My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/one-good-earl-deserves-a-lover-by-sarah-maclean
Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. She knows it; everyone knows it. As a rule, Pippa isn’t bothered by her oddness. She’s content to marry her sweet — if slightly less-than-intelligent — fiancé and live in the country, conducting her experiments. What does bother Pippa is that she’s entering into marriage completely unprepared. She wants to learn about life…namely, the aspects of marriage her sisters are unwilling to tell her about. Pippa needs a research partner, and she’s found the perfect man for the job: Cross, one of the four owners of the exclusive gaming hell, The Fallen Angel.
Cross has no desire to help his business partner’s sister-in-law with her “research.” The bespectacled, brainy beauty is far too tempting for Cross’s peace of mind; she makes him want things he knows he can never have. But left unchecked and unattended, Pippa’s eagerness and trusting nature is bound to get her into trouble. Can Cross resist his attraction to Pippa while helping her with her mad scheme?
Who doesn’t love a story where a sensual hero falls for a bookish wallflower? In One Good Earl Deserves a Lover author Sarah MacLean serves up a sweet romance that celebrates intelligence and originality.
Pippa is a bit of an outcast, even in her own family. She’s brilliant, but awkward in social situations, two aspects of her character that endeared her to me immediately. Pippa (to my mind) needed someone who not only appreciates her uniqueness but can match her in terms of intelligence. Cross is most definitely that person. The sparks that fly in One Good Earl Deserves a Lover are fascinating because they stem from not only physical, but intellectual chemistry.
It was easy to root for Pippa and Cross to find happiness for most of their story. I did find my interest flagging in the last part of the book when the romance suffered because Cross went a bit too far into martyrdom. That, and a lack of resolution in the storyline regarding Cross’s relationship with his sister, were my only complaints about One Good Earl Deserves a Lover.
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is the second Rules of Scoundrels book, but you don’t have to have read A Rogue By Any Other Name in order to follow along. Fans of the first Rules of Scoundrels book should, however, be pleased with the small supporting roles Michael and Penelope (the hero and heroine of A Rogue By Any Other Name) play in One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. That being said, the truly fascinating secondary characters of One Good Earl Deserves a Lover were Cross’s unmarried partners, Temple and Chase, and Pippa’s fiancé, Lord Castleton. Castleton isn’t quite as simple as people seem to believe, and the bone-deep kindness that seemed to emanate from him actually made him my favorite character in the book. I desperately hope Ms. MacLean has plans to write a short story or novella about Castleton and the woman he marries. As for Temple and Chase…Well, they’re intriguing in different ways. After seeing Temple in One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, Ms. MacLean has me on tenterhooks for the third Rules of Scoundrels book, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, for Temple’s story sounds like it will be one heck of a tale. When it comes to Chase, I won’t say much about the founder of The Fallen Angel, so as to not spoil the book for readers. However, I will say that my suspicions about Chase’s gender — which began with the lack of pronouns or other gender identifiers in regards to Chase in A Rogue By Any Other Name — are heightened after reading One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. I’m most eager to learn if Chase and Chase’s HEA are who I think they are.
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is a solid second installment in the utterly charming Rules of Scoundrels series. I can’t wait to return to the world of The Fallen Angel with No Good Duke Goes Unpunished!