Monday, November 24, 2014

REVIEW: "Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover" by Sarah MacLean

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #4)
Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
(The Rules of Scoundrels #4)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Avon -- November 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Read in November 2014
Received from Edelweiss

Heroine in Disguise, Across the Tracks

She is the most powerful woman in Britain,
A queen of the London Underworld ...
But no one can ever know.

He is the only man smart enough to uncover the truth,
Putting all she has at risk . . .
Including her heart.

"I love you."

Warning!  This review contains spoilers for earlier books in the Rules of Scoundrels series particularly information about the identity of Chase.

When I finished Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover, my first reaction was "Thank goodness!"  Readers of Sarah MacLean's Rules of Scoundrels series have been anticipating the release of this book for awhile and I was so happy that it met all of my expectations.  Over the course of the past few years, we have seen the other owners of the Fallen Angel gambling club fall in love.  But, the real power in the club is the mysterious Chase who finally takes center stage.

Lady Georgiana Pearson (aka Chase) is the scandalous sister of the Duke of Leighton (Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart).  Her life is changed forever when she falls in love, is abandoned, and then discovers that she is pregnant.  After the birth of her daughter (Caroline), Georgiana decides to thumb her nose at society by using a generous gift from her brother to purchase a gambling club which she dubs the Fallen Angel.  She ends up saving three other aristocrats who have fallen on hard times and together they make the Angel the most prestigious establishment in London.
Georgiana is truly the star of Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover.  She finds herself in a difficult situation and figures out a way to establish a life without society's approval.  It did help that she had her brother's money, but she did all the legwork herself.  I loved how strong-willed Georgiana was.  She becomes pretty savvy in her years at the Fallen Angel which is fun to read about in a historical romance.  I also admired her determination when it comes to her daughter even though she often feels like she has let her down. 

Duncan West is the hero and he was pretty wonderful as well.  He is the owner of multiple newspapers in London and also acts as a secret partner with the Fallen Angel.  He has always had tension with Georgiana's "Annie" persona which allows her to move around the club without being harassed, but never knew who Chase really was.  Duncan has some skeletons in his past which allows him to connect with Georgiana.  They really worked together as a couple though the secret identity stuff did go on a bit my opinion.

While most of the book focused on Georgiana and her relationship with Duncan, readers also get to see the other owners of the Fallen Angel (Bourne, Cross, and Temple).  They are still as irreverent as always and it was great to see their interactions with Georgiana.  And Caroline was just so funny!  She is exactly the type of daughter that I thought Georgiana would have though she never seemed to act too precocious.  As in the previous books, the Fallen Angel is a character by itself.  The descriptions are lush and just make me want to visit.  Georgiana's change in attitude does effect the club and it was interesting to see that development.

Overall, I was extremely happy with Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover.  It was the best of the series and my second favorite Sarah MacLean romance after Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke's Heart.  I highly recommend that readers start from the beginning so that you can truly appreciate the evolution of the Fallen Angel and its unusual owners.

I received a free e-galley of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

Georgiana looked to the Wests, "One should always travel with a nine year old to complete one's thoughts."
Cynthia replied, all seriousness, "I so agree.  In fact, I was thinking of finding one for myself."
"I'm certain my mother would happily lease me." Caroline's jest drew laughter from the group.

1. A Rogue By Any Other Name
2. One Good Earl Deserves A Lover
3. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished
4. Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover


  1. Oo. Great review! Even though it's simple, I really like that opening line & the cover is prettty. I LOVE the "heroine in disguise" and "across the tracks" storylines. I haven't read a MacLean book since her debut (and her YA), so I'd love to try this one out--Is it okay to read her books out of order, or is there something to be gained in reading them in order?

  2. Soooo . . . I'm not the biggest Sarah MacLean fan. Which makes me feel like I'm not legitimately a historical romance lover. I've read three of her historical romance novels for adults - Nine Rules, Ten, and A Rogue By Any Other Name. I definitely liked the first two, but I was never really in love with them. And I wasn't the biggest fan of Rogue. But I am thinking I should give her another try.

    I'm so glad that this lived up to your expectations.

    1. Actually I have a bit of a bi-polar relationship with MacLean. I loved Nine Rules, Eleven Scandals, One Good Earl, and this book. But, I struggled with Ten Ways, A Rogue By Any Other Name, and No Good Duke. I do think you would like this for Georgiana's evolution alone.

  3. Great review, Jennifer! I also did think that the identity issue took a bit longer than necessary to be resolved resulting in lagging moments in an otherwise perfect novel. But this was a great read still. It wasn't my favorite, I'm still very partial to No Good Earl but I just loved the freshness of the set-up for this story.

    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one that struggled with the identity plot. And, yes, I still love No Good Earl. Thanks for visiting!


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