After she’s spent the last decade incognito, posing as the most enigmatic (male) casino owner in England, a ruined lady re-enters society to secure her daughter’s rightful place in the beau monde, attracting suitors, enemies and the attention of a handsome newspaper magnate.
Lady Georgiana Pearson has been happily free of the strictures of Victorian society since she ruined herself at the hands of a man she thought she loved and bore a daughter, scandalizing polite society and setting herself firmly beyond the pale. Since then, she's partnered with three other titled social pariahs to create The Fallen Angel, the most successful gaming club in London, which deals in scandal and secrets as much as gambling. Under the guise of the mysterious “Chase,” who works in the shadows and is represented by yet another alter ego, Anna—whom every assumes is Chase’s mistress—Georgiana is secretly one of the most powerful figures in England, though none but her partners know her true identity. Blissfully disreputable, she is suddenly aware of her limitations when society’s scorn turns toward her beloved daughter, and she decides to seek an aristocratic husband to raise her daughter’s social standing. However, her return to society draws more than a few eyebrows, as well as the interest of all the scandal sheets, including one published by newspaper magnate Duncan West. Understanding there are layers to this story, West digs into Georgiana’s past and realizes Georgiana and Anna are one and the same, then misreads the hold “Chase” has on her, even as he finds himself falling for her. West has dangerous secrets of his own, ensuring he can never offer her the security or respectability she wants, but he intends to free her from Chase’s influence and pave the way for her happiness, realizing too late how misguided that plan is. MacLean wraps up her popular Rules of Scoundrels series with the clever plotting, exquisite writing and lush sensuality she is known for.
A worthy conclusion to an extraordinary series.