The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean.
Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.
Like any good scientist, Pippa's done her research and Cross's reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion—the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it's more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts—and giving the lady precisely what she wants.
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One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is dedicated to girls who wear glasses, and that alone was enough to win me over. Fortunately, the rest of the book is just as sweet as the dedication and I couldn't put it down until Cross and Pippa got their HEA.
This book is, for the most part, not bogged down with historical details, and I'm actually grateful for that in this case because it means the focus was more on the romance.
And wow, what a romance! Cross and Pippa are absolutely adorable together and their dialog was even more entertaining than Simon and Juliana's in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart.
I warmed up to Pippa way before Cross, a rarity in most HRs. Because really, is there anything cuter than a heroine who tries to not get distracted by the smexiness of the hero by naming the bones in his body?
She spoke to her hands. “It’s just that...since we met, I have been rather...well, fascinated by...”
Say it, he willed, not entirely certain what he would do if she did, but willing to put himself to the test.
She took another breath. “By your bones.”
Would she ever say anything expected? “My bones?”
She nodded. “Yes. Well, the muscles and tendons, too. Your forearms. Your thighs. And earlier—while I watched you drink whiskey—by your hands.”
Cross had been propositioned many times in his life. He’d made a career of refusing women’s requests. But he had never been complimented on his bones.
It was the strangest, sexiest confession he’d ever heard.
I loved Pippa's straightforward and plain manner, and while Cross isn't the most memorable character out there, they make such a fascinating pair that I came to care for him as well. My eyes even welled up with tears reading the epilogue because I'd become so emotionally invested in their romance and HEA.
“My whole life...two and two has made four.”
He nodded, utterly focused on her, and she loved him all over again for paying attention...for understanding her.
“But now...it’s all gone wrong.” She shook her head. “It doesn’t make four anymore. It makes you.”
At times heartbreakingly tragic, and at others cutely frivolous, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover was a riveting and emotional read throughout, and more than half the credit for that goes to Pippa's unique personality. I can't wait to read the sequel and find out more about the mysterious Temple in No Good Duke Goes Unpunished.
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