Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

The Rogue Not Taken 
by Sarah MacLean
Series:  Scandals & Scoundrels #1
Pub. Date:  Dec. 29, 2015
Publisher:  Avon
Pages:  432
Format:  eARC
Source:  Edelweiss
Challenges:  New to Me

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:


The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…

When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.


The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.


He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive… 

This historical romance paints a vivid picture of the aristocracy from the view of someone who was not born to the life. The story is full of London nobs that you will love to hate, an outrageous and flamboyant family who eschews propriety, and a heroine who will tug on your heart strings.

Sophie Talbot is the youngest of five Talbot daughters, deemed by the ton to be the Soiled S's or Dangerous Daughters. They say they are soiled because their father is a coal miner who won his title in a card game... and they are said to be dangerous for trapping men into marriage. The sisters are peacockish and ostentatious, each trying to outdo the other in the scandal rags. All except for Sophie, who never wanted to be a lady. She was perfectly happy in her hometown of Mossband as a coal miner's daughter. She is bookish and blunt, and is said to be the "plain" Talbot sister. I had a great emotional connection with Sophie, I was able to slide into her character and feel all the annoyance, frustration, and hurt right along with her.

Aloysius Archibald Barnaby Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley, Future Duke of Lyne is known by the ton as a rapscallionesque rake and ruiner of women. King wants absolutely nothing to do with the Dangerous Daughters, as he is not about to let any scheming female trap him into marriage. So when he finds that Sophie has stowed away on his carriage, he is cruel to her. His hurtful remarks seem to come without thought, likely a product of being an aristo as he is parroting what the people of the ton have always said about the Talbots and Sophie. He was really a hard hero to love because he was quite self-absorbed and continued to marginalize Sophie until almost the very end. While I understood his wanting to never marry and his anger at his father, I did not see that as a valid excuse for the way he treated our heroine.

This is somewhat of an enemies to lovers romance, and is quite steamy for a historical. There is one scene between King and Sophie in a carriage that particularly fogged up my kindle screen. MacLean did a great job at building up the tension in these encounters as well.

I like the premise that this series is following with the focus on the scandal sheets and outrageous behavior. I love a little good gossip here and there... but I love getting the REAL story behind the gossip more. The next book is going to follow a Scottish scoundrel, the Duke of Warnick. I can't wait for his story. He seems particularly jaded and in need of a good woman to help warm his heart.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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About the Author

Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Intro from Sarah MacLean
Being shot on the Great North Road isn't exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.)


“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.

She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.

Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.

“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”

He raised a brow. “Clever. There's food when you’ve bathed." The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”

“It seems so,” she said.

“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”

She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”

“It’s a particular talent.”

“What with you being called King.”

“Name is destiny.”

She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.

King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.

If only someone would tell his body that.