When Lady Philippa Marbury realizes she is headed into marriage and marital intimacy without the appropriate knowledge, she does what any proper woman of science should do—research; and who better to approach as a resource than Mr. Cross, the most notorious rake in London?
Pippa Marbury knows she’s odd, so she’s grateful when a perfectly nice earl asks for her hand in marriage. However, she’s a little surprised by how difficult it is to garner information as to what to expect on her wedding night and resents the typical Victorian “lie back and think of England” response. Approaching her brother-in-law’s business partner, notorious reprobate Cross, she’s shocked and disappointed when he turns her down. Unbeknownst to Pippa, though, the damage has been done. Cross is well and truly intrigued by the strange little lady scientist, and her determination to get the answers she’s looking for will lead them both down a dangerous path of passion, secrets and betrayals, ultimately bringing Pippa to a whole new understanding of love, pleasure and sacrifice. She’ll also force her way into the shady Victorian London of gaming hells and the society of prostitutes, while making some enemies who will threaten her physical and emotional safety. As Cross watches, fascinated and bemused, and tries to block her at every turn for her own protection, Pippa stamps her own unique mark on a decidedly male territory—the gambling world—and comes into her own, staking a claim on the man of her dreams and the life she never knew she wanted. McLean’s second Rule of Scoundrels novel is a clever, original historical romance with compelling main characters who are so engaging and enchantingly well-matched you simply don’t want to see their stories end. Cross is a fallen-angel archetype with a damaged, guilt-ridden past, but it is the delightful, captivating Pippa whom readers will fall in love with and root for, and readers will love Cross just a little bit more because he does, too.
At moments heart-wrenching, at moments comedic, at all times entertaining and satisfying, this book deserves a read if you’re a romance fan.