Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #1
Date Published: February 28th 2012
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Description: What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets. . . A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London's most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury. A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to an unexplored world of pleasures. Bourne may be a prince of London's illicit underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them . . . .even her heart.
It really shouldn’t take reading through 60% of a book for something, anything, to happen. With the plot. Or the characters. And 90% of the book for me to actually care what is happening. I think this book is a good example of why most readers do not enjoy the romance genre, especially historical romance. What little plot there is crawled along to a predictable finish. The characters marry quickly, but take most of the book to get together.
Bourne and Penelope were neighbors and companions as children. Now, as adults, he’s interested only in her dowry, and she’s choosing marriage to anyone over spinsterhood. Bourne is so focused on getting revenge for something that happened ten years ago, he cannot see the forest for the trees. He wants his wife, but doesn’t want to destroy her. I just wanted him to look forward, instead of backwards. Penelope is passive, and at 26 and unmarried, well into becoming a burden to her family. The scandal of Penelope’s broken engagement is a heavy burden. Two of her younger sisters are wed. The other two, out in society. And I am more than glad to not live in a society with those constraints. Suffering from a broken engagement should not lead a woman to being a societal pariah. I found Penelope to be dull. Both characters redeem themselves in the end, but I knew it was going to happen, and didn’t care.
I’m rating the first 60% as 2 Stars, and the final 40% as 4 stars. The characters finally start to develop towards the end of the story. I could take it or leave it. And of course the synopses of the next books in the series will probably suck me in, and I’ll read the others.