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Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (Rules of Scoundrels Series #4)

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (Rules of Scoundrels Series #4)

4.4 41
by Sarah MacLean

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RITA® Award-winning author Sarah MacLean reveals the identity of The Fallen Angel's final scoundrel in the spectacular conclusion to her New York Times bestselling Rules of Scoundrels series . . .

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—


RITA® Award-winning author Sarah MacLean reveals the identity of The Fallen Angel's final scoundrel in the spectacular conclusion to her New York Times bestselling Rules of Scoundrels series . . .

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/27/2014
MacLean's fourth and final Scoundrels historical (after No Good Duke Goes Unpunished) proves that romance can happen in the most unusual circumstances. In 1830s England, Lady Georgiana Pearson, a duke's sister, has been forced to reinvent herself after being ruined by a stable boy. She is respectable Georgiana by day, but by night, she has not one but two secret identities: Anna, the most powerful madam in London, and Chase, Anna's crafty business partner, who's widely believed to be a man. Georgiana is determined to marry a titled gentleman, and newspaper magnate Duncan West agrees to help her seal the deal. But Duncan is drawn to Georgiana himself, and she to him. Soon they form an intimate connection, with many deep emotional developments that propel the story. Though they eventually decide to act on their attraction, they struggle with the knowledge that they can never wed; Duncan fears the revelation of buried secrets that could destroy him, and Georgiana believes that only a title can help her daughter escape the stain of bastardy. Series readers will be blown away by the revelation of Chase's identity, and will cheer on Duncan and Georgiana as they bring their complex relationship to a riveting conclusion. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Dec.)
Booklist (starred review)
“RITA Award-winning MacLean again successfully woos readers with another entrancing literary merger of sophisticated sensuality and scintillating wit as she wraps up her exquisitely written Rules of Scoundrels quartet in splendid fashion.”
Library Journal
Georgiana has always exploited society's secrets and kept her own, but when she decides she must wed to give her illegitimate daughter a chance at a different life, she turns to newspaperman Duncan West for help. Although there are rewards for longtime readers of MacLean's historical romance series, this could easily be enjoyed by anyone who loves watching a woman succeed despite the restrictions of her gender. (LJ 12/14)
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-10-23
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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Rules of Scoundrels Series , #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

A life-long romance reader, Sarah MacLean wrote her first romance novel on a dare, and never looked back. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romances, and the author of a monthly column at The Washington Post celebrating the best of the romance genre. She lives in New York City with her husband, daughter, dog and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers.

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Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (Rules of Scoundrels Series #4) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful ending to the series. The series is one of the best. Can' t wait for the next book. She is an excellent author. If you like Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, and Mary Balogh, you will love Sarah Maclean.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love sarah's books and her writing style, this last book was good. I had a few little problems with the story. Like why would her brother would fund a gaming hell when he didn't want any more scandal brought to his family. (If they would of found out who she was) also she pretty much left her daughter to be raised by her brother for 6 years then all of a sudden she is worried about getting Married to a title gentlemen for her daughters sake. And she grew up around the aristocrats and didn't seem to care what they thought, now she suddenly did. When she is one of the most richest women in england. With all that money her daughter could have found a title gentleman to marry. Most books I read dukes pretty much don't get shunned or there family's. Couse they are rich and powerfull. It was a good book but it wasn't to me like the other books. I was hoping for the series to end on a big bang. It was a little lacking for me couse she was suppose to be the bigger than life chase. Always the one in controll. I guess I was just expecting a little better. But it was still good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Agree with others that this one was no up to the standard of the series. Really tough to get thru in some spots. The dialog for the daughter was way too old for a character who was supposed to be 9 years old. Seems like this plot was trying to be too clever and force a wrapup to the series.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
Delicious ending to a delicious series! Georgiana was a wonderful and strong heroine and Duncan West was her perfect match. The conflict and turmoil was high and intense at times and poignant and passionate at others. I enjoyed watching their story unfold, and just with Mara and how she sets out to save Temple, I loved how Georgiana saves Duncan. This series has a set of really strong female characters and Georgiana leads that group beautifully. I enjoyed the series immensely and have fallen in love with a new author, Sarah MacLean! Her style and characters are strong and passionate. If you have not yet picked up one of her books, you should definitely do so and I highly recommend this series. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite authoress. Just finishing reading this series for the second time. Love it more every time I read it. You feel like you are one of the players in her stories. Absolutely love her writing!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved everything about this book. I couldn't put it down. This book kept me up until 4 am, even though I needed to be awake at 6 for work. It's been over a decade since I've stayed up all night lost in a book. Every page was stimulating. The chemistry, oh the effing chemistry between the two leads is phenomenal. This is everything I ever wanted in a Romance Novel. The heroine isn't some delicate, insecure dolt. She's perfectly feisty, and everything a real woman should be. Then there is West... he reminds me of Colin Bridgerton from Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series, possibly more brilliant and of course I fell madly in love with the idea of him. Sarah MacLean did an amazing job imagining up this guy. I owe her big. I'm rereading every part of the book where Georgiana and West interacted currently. I simply can't get enough. It's so good I might make my husband read it. Do your heart a favor and read it now, just start in the morning so you don't miss a nights sleep.
Frenchiebella More than 1 year ago
Just alright for me. I thought reading Chase's story would be anti climactic but it was just okay for me. Don't get me wrong, it was a good book, just not what I expected.
julieford More than 1 year ago
Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover is the final book in the Rules of Scoundrels series. I have enjoyed the other stories but the reveal of Chase is spectacular. I am not going to write any details about this story so that I won't spoil it for those who have not read it but I was so captivated that I couldn't put the book down. Sarah MacLean has written a fantastic ending to this series.
s_h More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I thoughly enjoyed it. I had a hard time putting the book down. Well written with laughter and romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beliveable character
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
If you haven't read the previous three books, then don't read any further. You really need to read them before you even look at this one. This is a wonderful series, so you won't regret it. We've met all the owners of The Fallen Angel, and up until now, we've learned all of their stories except for Chase's, the founder of The Fallen Angel...until now. Sarah MacLean writes the kind of stories that you can completely immerse yourself inside. While reading her books, it's like you're living them. The ARC of Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the entire series but this was the best!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story with good resolve at the end.
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
With this book, the very entertaining and sexy Rules of Scoundrels series comes to a close but, I have to say, this and the last book, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished were a disappointment to me. Sarah MacLean writes very well, her characters are likable and complex, and this is a great story and series, but this story kind of fell flat for me. And her short sentence structure kind of annoys after awhile. It seems to try too hard and reminds me of Stephanie Laurens’ style where she tries to build suspense and longing with every sentence. It’s a bit much. I like Georgiana but I like Duncan more. And I feel Caroline, Georgiana’s daughter is way too precocious, wise, and sophisticated than any nine year old could possibly be. Georgiana is the ruined daughter of a duke, whose one sexual encounter at age sixteen left her pregnant and alone by her lover and shunned by society. So she ran away to the country and was taken in by Isabel Townsend, the heroine of Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord, who ran a house for unwed and abandoned young mothers. Georgiana feels she can never trust anyone ever again, so she rebuilt herself, her identity, and her life, collecting the deepest and darkest and most ruinous secrets of the most powerful men of the ton. They are beholden to her for those secrets in exchange for membership in her exclusive gaming hell, The Fallen Angel. The secret identity of Chase is finally revealed here with Georgiana as the elusive and all powerful Chase, who rescued Bourne, Cross, and Temple, all ruined aristocrats, helped them regain their footing, and find true love. Now they’re returning the favor and I feel this part of the story is a bit overdone. It is almost comical at times. I really doubt men talk among themselves like this about women, ever. Duncan West is a just a kind, hard-working, and honorable newspaper magnate, who regrets his one distasteful and scandalous depiction of Georgiana once he meets the lovely and intriguing lady in the flesh. But he finds he has known her, for many years in fact. Both Georgiana and Duncan keep secrets from each other; she because she feels the need to wed a title in order to restore her bastard daughter’s place in society and he because he feels he’s so far below the status of deserving a duke’s daughter. But true love wins out and the man both Duncan and Georgiana feel she should wed is just a really nice guy, like Pippa’s sweet fiancé. I thought the part toward the end with Langley and Caroline was unrealistic; it is just too convenient that he’s so gracious and that Caroline is so perceptive and intuitive. She makes both Duncan and Georgiana look quite foolish with their many reasons to avoid marriage. The passion between Duncan and Georgiana, while provocative, does not compare to that between Bourne and Penelope in A Rogue by Any Other Name or Cross and Pippa in One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (my personal favorite). Those love stories are breathless and exciting.  It’s been a great series  and I’m sorry to see it end, but the first two books are the best. I look forward to MacLean’s newest series, Scandal and Scoundrel, coming next year.
Shortstride More than 1 year ago
Sorry but I have to say it. This was my least favorite scoundrel book and I didn't like the fact that Chase was a woman.
Nagirref More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled to order this book the day it went on sale and even happier to read it that day! It is one of the books that I really wanted to get to the ending of, so I could see what happened, yet at the same time regretting each turning of the page that would actually bring me to the 'end' of this tale. It was great meeting all the characters throughout the whole Scoundrels Series. I had no idea Chase was female until the end of book #3 and it did want me to re-read them all just to see how I could have missed so many clues. Knowing what I know now, I don't see how I didn't see it! This is a wonderful story that stands alone, but I would advise reading the other three books, only because they are so well written and really do relate well with the others. This has a powerful heroine and a really wonderful hero who have a tension between them that simmers throughout. Read this...you won't be disappointed. It has surprises, laughter, sad parts, and lots of story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great chapter in the scoundrel series....thank you Ms. MacLean.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DreamerAC More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable read. I loved the female lead. The male was a little more difficult to like, but overall I liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago