One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (The Rules of Scoundrels #2)
January 29, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
I found the set-up in the beginning of this book to be so far-fetched that I could not buy into it, therefore setting a frustrating tone for this book. Pippa is engaged to be married to an Earl. It is not a love match, rather she is the last of her sisters to get married and her father thinks she will do well by this man. He is a kind man, but more interested in his dogs rather than Pippa. Pippa is very smart and obsessed with science and horticulture. She realizes she really has no idea what to do on her wedding night so she decides to go to a notorious gaming hell that her Brother in-law owns with three other men. She would never tell her brother in-law of her plans, but she knows the man who goes by Cross (who is secretly Jasper Arlesey, Earl Harlow but she doesn’t know this) might help her education. She doesn’t want to have sex, she just wants to be lectured about the subject.
Cross has been estranged from his family for six years, running away from his title after his brother died tragically. He now is part owner of The Angel and keeps their books. He is a well known womanizer in his past, although is trying to lead a more honorable life. When Pippa shows up at his door demanding improper things, he immediately pushes her away, but he doesn’t realize just how stubborn she can be.
As I said at the beginning, I never bought into the fact that Pippa would go to this gaming hell and demand to be taught about sex. It just didn’t fit in with her character. By all accounts I should like an odd bird heroine. She wears glasses and is a bit awkward. But I couldn’t reconcile her behavior of leaving her house and doing all these secret things. She is book smart, not street smart and after awhile her actions annoyed me.
Cross on the other hand – I understood him better. I like how conflicted he is – broken over the estrangement of his family, and how the now bitter man molds to the previous scoundrel.
As their romance builds through this book, I continuously had a thought. Deep down, Pippa is starved for loving attention. Her sisters are selfish, her mother is not attentive and her fiancé could care less about physical attraction. There is a point where things heat up between Pippa and Cross and she asks him, if he wants her. It is a very moving scene. But I kept thinking – Cross is the only man that has ever touched her in a romantic way. That has ever had an intellectual discussion with her. Is it really true love with Cross, or would she fall into the arms of any man who gave her the attention she deserved? I felt their lust but I never felt their love. I felt like Pippa was still too innocent and naïve to really know what true love is. She lusted after the man who gave her physical pleasure. But would she lust after another man if he did the same?
All that being said, I found out Temple’s book is next (he is another owner) and I about fell off my chair. He intrigues me so darn much. I think this author has a cute and witty voice and I still anticipate her books. This one just didn’t do it for me.