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The Rogue Not Taken: Scandal & Scoundrel, Book I

The Rogue Not Taken: Scandal & Scoundrel, Book I

4.5 26
by Sarah MacLean

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Lady Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately,


Lady Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/19/2015
MacLean’s spellbinding first Scandal and Scoundrel Regency romance (linked to her popular Rules of Scoundrels series) revitalizes the usual pairing of defiant wallflower and misunderstood rogue, spicing up the story with characters who make provocative propositions and brave assorted dangers. Sophie Talbot loathes everything about the aristocracy. Her father’s now an earl, thanks to his financial success with coal mines, but she preferred her previous life as a commoner, and after an embarrassing public scene, she decides to flee London forever. To her chagrin, the carriage she stows away in also contains Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley, who’s making a hasty getaway after what she assumes is one of his infamous trysts. Eversley knows he should steer clear of the Soiled S’s, as Sophie and her sisters are known, but that doesn’t stop him from helping Sophie time and again. He’s made it clear to the brash young woman that he’ll never fall for her. Now, if he can just convince himself of that, his world can remain upright on its axis. Readers will be intoxicated by the emotional connection between the lovers, which makes their banter that much more amusing and their eventual physical passion that much more satisfying. Sophie’s delightful family will leave readers eager for future installments in the series. Comedy, action, secrets, and love: this book has it all. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Dec.)
“MacLean’s elegant writing, brisk storytelling, and clever dialogue are frosting on the cake of Sophie’s compelling romance, and they’ll hook the reader into this new series about the risqué Talbot sisters [...] MacLean’s latest shines with the intensity, wit, and emotion for which she’s celebrated.”
RT Book Reviews (top pick)
“MacLean has the magic touch... This lovely story is perfect in so many ways; it’s funny, with rapier wit, sweet and super-sexy, one of those stories you’ll keep close to your heart.”
Library Journal
★ 12/01/2015
Incensed when she catches her aristocratic brother-in-law cheating on her pregnant sister at a party, quiet Sophie Talbot, the "unfun" wallflower of the scandalous Talbot sisters, does the unthinkable and pushes the arrogant, furious duke into the fishpond in full view of everyone. Now a pariah in the eyes of the ton, Sophie just wants to go home. Her ill-advised plan turns into a hair-raising carriage ride north to Cumbria with the infamous Marquess of Eversley, and suddenly her misadventure is no longer a game but something potentially far more risky. This refreshing romp is both a thrilling, often funny romantic journey and a delicious, scathing commentary on upper-class pre-Victorian society. VERDICT A roguish hero who's not quite the cad he's supposed to be and a bright, resourceful heroine who's anything but dull drive each other to distraction—and into love—in the first of a most promising series. A purely delightful diversion (and who wouldn't love the title?). MacLean (Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover) lives in New York City.
Kirkus Reviews
After Sophie Talbot creates a scandal, she tries to escape aristocratic society by stowing away in the Marquess of Eversley's carriage—but she winds up in even more trouble. Since her father went from being a coal miner to a rich businessman to an earl, Sophie has become increasingly unhappy. Unlike her sisters, who take glee in creating scandal and flaunting the mores of Victorian society, Sophie hates feeling like an outsider and detests the hypocritical aristocracy. But when she goes too far, pushing her brother-in-law the Duke of Haven into a fish pond after she catches him in a compromising position at a garden party, she asks the rakish Marquess of Eversley, nicknamed King, to give her a ride back to Mayfair. When he denies her request, she pays one of his grooms for his livery and hitches a ride on the back of the carriage. But it turns out that the carriage isn't going to Mayfair; when it heads out of London, Sophie is stuck on the road with an angry King and no way home. Changing her plans, she asks King to deliver her to the small town where she spent her childhood, claiming a lost love is waiting for her. Skeptical but intrigued, King agrees, but nothing goes as planned for the antagonistic pair, who snipe at each other along the journey yet somehow turn to each other in times of trouble, even while a sense of pride keeps them from admitting their growing regard and attraction. When King finally takes Sophie back to his home in Cumbria, where he'd been headed all along to see his ailing father, a series of miscommunications drives the couple apart, risking their happy-ever-after. MacLean's elegant writing, brisk storytelling, and clever dialogue are frosting on the cake of Sophie's compelling romance, and they'll hook the reader into this new series about the risqué Talbot sisters, who must forge a path through a hostile social structure. MacLean's latest shines with the intensity, wit, and emotion for which she's celebrated.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Scandal & Scoundrel , #1
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861 KB

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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The Rogue Not Taken 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read and enjoyed Ms. MacLean's books in the past. However I found this one to be tedious, with repetitive thoughts of the Earl on his past. It had been a decade since the admittedly traumatic events of his youth, with no evolution in his thought processes as he matured into manhood. Similarly Sophie was frustrating in that she misinterpreted every comment by the Earl as a criticism, leading to her getting angry unnecessarily. Neither appeared particularly intelligent.
Anonymous 8 months ago
girlfromwvaKY More than 1 year ago
This is book #1 in the scandal & scoundrel series. It is the story of Lady Sophie and Kingscote (King) Lady Sophie is the youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters. She scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree by striking her sister's well-known cheating husband and causing him to fall rear-first into a goldfish pond. Everyone thought Sophie was the quiet one...the dull one... Now finding herself scorned by the aristocrats, she wants to escape their judgement by leaving the city. She vows never to return to London, or the society that targets herself & her family. She flees on the back of a carriage, one that she thinks will be her means of escape. Little does she know that the carriage she is fleeing in won't save her from ruin, it will actually cause it. Spotted escaping from a once-future countess by climbing down her rose trellis, the Marquess of Eversley has provoked an Earl...again. No female is safe from Kingscote's charm. His reputation precedes him, even if it is far worse than the truth. King is summoned from his father home to the Scottish border. He is not looking forward to the long, boring trip. Then he discovers Sophie stowing away on his carriage, the trip takes on a far from boring mood. King thinks Sophie is trying to trick him into marriage but Sophie has no want for a husband. Do opposites attract? Will the close confines of the carriage bring about a change in them? Will secrets be shared? Temptation is almost agonizing between the two. Suddenly the temptation becomes all too appealing. Wonderfully written story. Loved the chemistry between King & Sophie. Really enjoyed reading their story. Can't wait for more!!!
red_riding_hood More than 1 year ago
A great read, very enjoyable .
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
The Rogue Not Taken took me on an exhilarating adventure with Sophie and King with heaps of chemistry and romantic anticipation. It captivated my attention completely. I absolutely loved it! I'm a big fan of this author's writing, and I'm looking forward to more in this series. The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean was kindly provided to me by Tasty Virtual Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun! Entertaining! I recommend it for an afternoon read
julieford More than 1 year ago
The Rogue Not Taken is the first in the Scandal & Scoundrel series. I absolutely loved this book because it was full of twists, turns, laughs and a whole lot of emotional starts. This book is about Sophie, who's father gained a title because of wealth he gained through coal mines and King, who is heir to a dukedom that he doesn't want. Everyone treats Sophie's family with distain and when she pushes back (literally) she is shunned. She hides out in King's carriage and the adventures begin. King refuses to marry and carry on the family line due to a tragic incident from his past but he finds himself constantly rescuing Sophie. After many misunderstandings King and Sophie become closer. They must overcome all their misconceptions to find a true love. Sarah MacLean is a fabulous writer who continues to entertain and enthrall.
Shortstride More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! And all other Sarah Maclean books. The explicit sex scenes are not for everyone but if you are a mature adult woman, who has a great marriage and a sensible head on her shoulders, you should enjoy them.
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Fun & smart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book.
MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by Sarah MacLean, but it won't be my last! I loved the traveling adventures of Sophie and King. Due to a series of unfortunate events, Sophie ends up in King's carriage. Which is the last place she wants to be, since she can't stand the aristocracy and he's the rakish son of a duke. Although she's now a Lady, Sophie grew up as the daughter of a coal miner who happened to be rewarded for his success with a title. Her many scandalous sisters have enjoyed life in London among the ton, but Sophie would rather read a book and misses the days when she lived in the country. King has a reputation as a rogue, and he has no intention of being caught and forced into marriage by one of the Talbot sisters. He'll be glad to get rid of Sophie at the first opportunity. After all, she's not his problem. There's lots of adventure along the way, and more than a little romance. These two might just be perfect for each other if they can overcome their past hurts and prejudices.
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely love this book. Just the right amount of sass mixed with a wonderfully witty heroine. King is no slouch either. Highly recommend this book. I cannot WAIT for the next book in this series
def618 More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book full of love, adventure and interesting characters by the fabulous Sarah MacLean. Sophie's father acquired a title due to his wealth. The youngest of 5 daughters, she is unimpressed with the ton. After an incident at a party, she decides to return to her childhood home but lands in the wrong carriage! King, the Marquess of Eversley, was in love at 18, but the girl died in a carriage accident. He blames his father and vows never to marry and have children. The line ends with him. But finding Sophie in his carriage may change his life. For better or worse? Read the book to find out. I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Can't wait for the next book to come out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can not wait for the next installment
Lost-N-Love-N-Hopeless More than 1 year ago
This one has something more to offer me and my yearning desire to be immersed in this world of romance by chance and not by design. This heroine, Lady Sophie Talbot, feels she is the least likely to have anything to do with the society world her mother and sisters so desperately want to be a part of. This fr me is the bang to start off this series. We are able to observe the Talbot family construction from the eyes of the one person that wants nothing to do with the society that she has been cast into. Want more see my Blog http://mileythebookjunkie.blogspot.com/ This early review was made possible by Tasty Book Tours and the ARC copy provided for an honest review.
chucha_13 More than 1 year ago
Since the start, my heart already went out to Lady Sophie. She made me laugh so hard with what she did to her brother-in-law. What a brave, brave, and quite foolish girl. Despite the fact that what she did made her the talk of the town, it allowed her something that she wished for since then: her freedom. She planned to get out of London, and start a new life very far from her present situation, away from the aristocracy. She didn’t expect was to run into King, the Marquess of Eversely. His reputation precedes him. King can charm any woman, and has a reputation of ruining them. He was on the way to home to the Scottish border to answer the summon from the father he have never spoken to for 15 years. But when he discovered the stowaway that has been riding with him – his journey became so much more interesting and exciting. He meant to keep her safe. Bring her to his home, wait for her father to pick her up, and go on with his plan. She promised him she wouldn’t trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he was the last man or earth – but travelling together, getting shot along the way, closed quarters, sharing the deepest darkest secrets, and a sprinkle of attraction and temptation makes it hard to resist. You just have to love every Sarah Maclean books – she makes historical romance pretty much an unforgettable read. This book had been my Christmas read, and it got me teary-eyed (in a really good way). This was the kind of book, that once you have opened, you can never stop reading until you finally reached that happy-ever-after you have been waiting for after all the hullabaloos and the everything that has been happening between our two leads. The characters were pretty much amazing, their complexity, their depth, and how they develop throughout the story – you’d root for them, your hearts would get broken and yet you’d love them: flaws, imperfections and all. I like the twist, a part of it was the reason I got a little teary-eyed. I didn’t expect that. OMG. I could’ve hated him – but he did something to redeem himself, and made everything okay. This book is one of those reads that ended my year with a wonderful bang. It’s something I’d recommend to friends if they want something that is fun, touching, sweet, a little (or more) steam and a whole lot of crazy adventure – this one is really worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh and cry! It was a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book. Very quick to read because I didn't want to put it down. Makes you laugh and cry. The only problem is I have to wait until August for the next one.