Tag Archives: Sarah MacLean

Release Day Review- Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

Brazen and the Beast

Title: Brazen and The Beast (Bareknuckle Bastards book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon, July 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 400

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:
Author Sarah MacLean returns with the next book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series about three brothers bound by a secret that they cannot escape—and the women who bring them to their knees.

The Lady’s Plan
When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.
The Bastard’s Proposal
When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.


Yes, this is another gem from the brilliant Sarah MacLean. This book has 400 pages but I was turning pages at warp speed to find out what would happen next. Hattie is a woman whose ideas are ahead of her time but she is intelligent, feisty and determined that she will take over her father’s business as opposed to her near-do-well brother. Beast is already in charge of his kingdom by the Themes along with his brother Devil. There are villains but an especially evil one who adds to the danger for both Beast and Hattie.

I can highly recommend this standalone book in the Bareknuckle Bastards Series. References are made to the previous book which whets my appetite to read that one, WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER. Try this one, you’re gonna love it.

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What Turns me on…

What turns me on….

Vincent Eduardo Verastegui

No, no, not him…well…maybe him, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.  (BTW his name is Edwardo Verestiqui) Here I’m talking about what I swoon about with my fave authors

I know there are a ton of books that have been released over the years that I haven’t read and I assume you might have missed them also. That’s why I review some older books from time to time along with current ones.
It seems, when I find a new-to-me author, which I like, I want to read their entire back catalog. Linda Howard was one of those for me, also Lisa Kleypas and Stella Riley, Lucinda Brandt, Harlan Cobin, Julia Quinn, Courtney Milan, Sarah MacLean and Sherry Thomas. All have a way with prose that bespeaks an inventive intelligence and I’m surely (if nothing else) an intellectual snob. There you have it, another confession. I’m not proud of being that kind of a snob, or any kind actually. It’s just that I don’t tolerate idiots well at all. I’m a bottom-line, drama-free, give-me-some-common-sense kinda woman. Come to me crying that you just bought a Prada purse but now don’t know how you will buy groceries and I about go ballistic at your stupidity. (my husband considers this a gross personality flaw, the ballistic thing, not the practical thing) I’m just practical beyond reason. I’m certainly not the academic-intellectual type of snob but all of this is off topic….
I simply love “smart” writing.
1. When characters are brought to life and I can feel them breathing I am delighted.
2. When plotting is intricate and a novel has twists that I never saw coming, I will probably give it an automatic five.
3. When romance is slow built and I can see the protagonists falling in love even before they do, I’m swooning.
4. Make me laugh with wit and intelligence and you are on my all time fave list.
5. Give me action and adventure that is heart pounding and page turning, well let’s just say you had me at the first run through the forest to escape the baddies.

And, if you give me all of those wrapped in one paperback cover…. I’m gonna bake you a pie and read your entire back list.

P.S. Click on a mentioned author’s name in “tags” to see my reviews.

(portions of this post have been edited from an earlier post.)


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Holiday Anthology- How the Dukes Stole Christmas by T. Dare, S. MacLean, S. Jordan & J. Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas

Title: How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Genre: Historical Romance /Holiday/Anthology
Author: Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Schupe
Publisher: Amazon Digital, Oct. 15, 2018
Source: Purchase for Kindle
Pages: 392
Rating: 4.5
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Descriptions from Amazon.com:
Christmas magic is in the air… From the ballrooms of London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy streets of Gilded Age New York, four bestselling authors whip up some unforgettable romance…with a little help from some enchanted shortbread.

“Meet Me in Mayfair” by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid, heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with the enemy: the horrid, heartless—and unexpectedly handsome—Thorndale himself. Now the duke’s holding her future in his hands…and he’s not letting go.
Deet’s review: Delightful! This is Regency romance how we like it: desperate heroine, clueless Duke, magic shortbread, witty repartee and even a romp in the snow. Tessa Dare at her best. 5-stars, very sexy Christmasy feeling: 4

“The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm—the only two things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single Christmas, Eben can’t resist the woman he never stopped loving…or the future they’d once been promised. It will take a miracle to convince her to stay…but if ever there were a time for miracles, it’s Christmas…

Deet’s review: This is the most emotional of the four novellas. We ache for Eben’s heartache and we try to figure out if Jack is in it for revenge or something else. Maclean is the mistress of perfect prose and the long awaited HEA. 5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

“Heiress Alone” by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister’s family leaves her behind in the rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss … until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the danger of brigands and snowstorms.

Deet’s review: The romance felt a bit rushed. There is no denying that this novella was based on the movie HOME ALONE. There is a breath holding action scene. This one needed a bit more emotional feeling. 3.5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy Feeling: 2

“Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker’s weekly column for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column’s author, can’t even boil water. When the paper’s owner, Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears her perfect plan is failing—especially when Duke’s attentions make her feel anything but professional. To save her career will she give up her chance at love?

Deet’s review: This novella is based on the movie CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. This novella is so well done I wish it had been a full length novel. I wanted more romance between Duke and Rose although this was very sexy, but the romance was rushed.
4.5- stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

Deet’s Over All Opinion: You can’t go wrong with this anthology. Every story is a page turner. I finished it in two nights and wanted more. Highly recommended!!

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Rereading Sarah MacLean- Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake


Nine Rules to Break

I originally posted this review  when this book was first published.  This week I reread it and liked it just as much as the first time.  I’m reposting in the hope that you will read this terrific book, the first by Sarah MacLean.

Title: Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publisher: ?
Source: Purchase
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Description from the author’s website:
A lady does not smoke cheroot.
She does not ride astride.
She does not fence or attend duels.
She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen’s club.
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she’s vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she’s been missing.
But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.
If she’s not careful, she’ll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love
There is nothing I love more in a Historical Romance then fabulous writing and a yummy plot. Well…perhaps a good dose of humor, too. This book has all those and it made for a can’t-put-it-down read.
Callie is the all too respectable young woman who sees her chance for marriage and children fading into the land of lost dreams. She decides if she can’t have what she wants then she will have adventures like the men have. She makes her version of a Regency bucket-list and decides passionate kissing should top the list. Once she starts on the slippery slope of checking off her list, all manner of compromising situations ensue.
This delightful romance is laugh out loud in some scenes and also brought tears to my eyes in other scenes. The author weaves a spell that makes the reader care deeply about Callie and her happiness.
If you trust me, you cannot but delight in this book.
P.S. Lord Ralston, the hero, is the rake in question and don’t we love the bad boys?

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Review-Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean


Title: Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover (Rule of Scoundrels, book #4)

MacLean Never Judge a Lady

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon, Nov. 2014

Source: Purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from the back of the book blurb:

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a Duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.


This is MacLean’s final book in The Rule of Scoundrels Series. I’m sure I am among legions who wish this series would continue. The series is full of everything we love about Historical Romance; redemption of Bad Boys, feisty heroines, dire straits, sexy encounters, action, adventure and of course Happily Ever Afters.

This final book about Chase, AKA Lady Georgiana, AKA Anna, enveloped us in characterization born of exquisite dialog. This is about a woman forced to be a hard as nails fighter against society because of a scandal who meets the love of her life while she is trying to marry another man.   How she and Duncan reach their HEA is a beautiful tribute to MacLean’s word mastery. The dialog between Georgiana and Duncan is everything witty, snarky, wise and all couched in deceit by both protagonists. But there is that undeniable attraction between the two that no amount of fighting the feeling, continues to fuel their encounters.

Do read this series and I guarantee you will enjoy every one of the books. The series ends here with book #4 but in this book we are introduced briefly to the protagonists of MacLean’s new series Scandal & Scoundrel, to be published later this year.

Rule of Scoundrels Series:

1. A Rogue By Any Other Name

A Rogue by any other name




2. One Good Earl deserves a Lover

MacLean One Good Earl




3. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

MacLean No Good Duke




4. Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover



Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Romance

La Deetda Reads Top Reads in 2013

Deet’s Best of The Best Reads for 2013

There are two on this list that were not published this year but I just found the time to read them.  The others were published this year.  Of course, there are many good books out there.  I have enjoyed many more than are on this list. (You can see all of my favorites by clicking on the header above “Deet’s Favorite Reads”)  This list is, in my opinion, the best of the best that I have read out of a total of 134 books since last January.  If you want a good read, you can’t go wrong with any of these. Now in no particular order…..drum-roll please…

The Rosie Project by Grame Simsion,  reviewed  September 13, 2013

The Rosie Project

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan, reviewed  July 19, 2013

(Brothers Sinister Series)

The Heiress Effect

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, reviewed September 2, 2013

The girl You Left Behind

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long, reviewed August 30, 2013

(Pennyroyal Green Series)

It Happened One Midnight

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean, reviewed February 6, 2013

(The Rule of Scoundrels Series)

One Good Earl deserves a Lover

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, reviewed February 27, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox, reviewed April 12, 2013

About Last Night

Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory, reviewed July 29, 2013

Untie My Heart

To find my review of each you can go to the month of the review in the “Archives”  to the left or you can put the title or the author in the “search” box.


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Filed under Books, Contemporary Romance, General Fiction & Literature, Historical Romance, Opinion, Romance

Review- No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

Title: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Third Rule of Scoundrels)

No Good Duke goes unpunished

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon, 2013

Source: purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.


I surely liked this book, but with a few reservations.  I hate to judge a book on the author’s previous hits but this is not the best of the series.  That said, I still think that Sarah MacLean writes rings around most other authors in the genre and this book is still a very good read.

The romance was slow developing and the chemistry between the H/h was certainly sizzling.  But it left me wondering “why?”.  Yes, she wanted to make amends but only if he gave her something, that being her brother’s gaming loss forgiven.  It was a bit confusing but she also wanted money from Temple.  He wanted revenge in the form of outing her to the Ton and humiliating her.  Neither of these reasons seemed to justify the sizzling attraction between the two.

And yet…the story kept me turning pages to see what would happen next.  Would these two actually fall in love in spite of all the reasons against that result?  What did actually happen on that fateful night?  Why did she become foster mother to all those orphans?

Yes, I do recommend this as a good read.  And I will be in line to read Chase’s story in the next book.


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Review- One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

Title: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Book of Scoundrels

One Good Earl deserves a Lover

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon, 2013

Source: Purchase

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Lady Philippa Marbury is . . . odd

The brilliant, bespectacled daughter of a double marquess cares more for books than balls, for science than the season, and for laboratories than love. She’s looking forward to marrying her simple fiancé and living out her days quietly with her dogs and her scientific experiments. But before that, Pippa has two weeks to experience all the rest—fourteen days to research the exciting parts of life. It’s not much time, and to do it right she needs a guide familiar with London’s darker corners.

She needs . . . a Scoundrel

She needs Cross, the clever, controlled partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, with a carefully crafted reputation for wickedness. But reputations often hide the darkest secrets, and when the unconventional Pippa boldly propositions him, seeking science without emotion, she threatens all he works to protect. He is tempted to give Pippa precisely what she wants . . . but the scoundrel is more than he seems, and it will take every ounce of his willpower to resist giving the lady more than she ever imagined.


Contrary to the description above, Pippa is not so much looking for excitement before her marriage as she is looking for answers to questions and an understanding of what the marital intimacy is all about.  She’s not looking to be deflowered.  Cross understands what she wants but he feels any association with him will mean ruination for her and he does his best to thwart her attempts to involve him in her scheme.

Once again Sarah MacLean has written an outstanding historical romance. The accomplished story vibrates with a romantic intensity I rarely find in many novels.  The characterization of the naïve, yet brilliant heroine is superb and the Earl with the tortured past is better than any I’ve read in a very long while.  There are laugh out loud moments as well as moments given over to tears.  That the author can bring us to these heights and depths is proof of her mastery. I can highly recommend this book, but be sure to read the first installment in this series A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME.  Although this book is self contained there is much back story that is in the first book and fortunately now both are available.  Believe me when I tell you that you will read through both books in record time.  This book will be on my Tops of 2013 list.

Go here to see my review of A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME:

A rogue by any other name The first Rule of Scoundrels (fallen Angels series)



Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance

Review- A Rogue by Any Other Name: The First Rule of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean

Title: A Rogue by Any Other Name: The First Rule of Scoundrels

                (Book #1, Fallen Angels)

Genre: Historical Regency Romance

Author: Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon, Feb. 28 2012 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from back of book:

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.


When Sarah MacLean burst on the scene with her fantastic NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE, I was delighted to jump on the 5 star bandwagon.  It was a fabulous book!  Then she followed that gem with two more books in the trilogy/series that, although they were good they were not up to the first book.  It was disappointing.

This new book has once again put her in five star territory.  It has all the makings of a delightful romance; a tortured, driven hero, a sweet but sassy heroine and enough angst between the two and in the plot to keep you up all night reading.

Michael, Lord Bourne is not a nice guy.  I couldn’t help but be very aggravated with him most of the time.  He was obsessed with revenge and we know that that is the slippery slope to hell. But, he is handsome and he is not really as bad as he would like to think of himself.  Penelope has always loved him since childhood.  He treats her poorly but she still cannot let him go.  Can she save him from himself, for herself?

MacLean can write rings around most authors with realistic dialog and breathless love scenes with the exquisite build up of sexual tension.  She is a master at developing characterization.  We see the hero and heroine both gradually grow into the adults we want them to be.  This is pure magic in her hands.

There is even a hint of what is to come in the next book of the Fallen Angels series.





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Review- Eleven Scandals to Start to Win A Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean

Title: Eleven Scandals to Start to win A Duke’s Heart ( 3rd in Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon 2011

Source: Purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5


She lives for passion.

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips . . . and precisely the kind of woman The Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening—risking everything he holds dear—he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety. She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.


Sarah MacLean can write a story. Her dialog is realistic and often funny.    Her first in this series (Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake) is one of my all time favorites.  I wasn’t so enamored of the second book in the series and this one was not on a par with the first either.  Yet, it is a really good read. 

I think my dissatisfaction has to do with the characters, because I am very pleased with the writing.  Juliana is so immature acting and Simon is so unbending that it is really hard to see them falling in love.  Not to mention, it is difficult to feel connected to either of them. 

I do think this is a stand-alone in the series although meeting the characters in the earlier book does give you an added sense of their nature.  I will continue to read whatever Ms MacLean writes since she is a welcome addition to the genre.


Filed under Book review, Historical Romance