NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER – Sarah MacLean
The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels
A Perfect 10
In the heart of Mayfair exists London's foremost gentlemen's club, The Fallen Angel, run by four powerful men, a duke, a marquess, an earl, and a mysterious fourth, identity unknown. The three known men were rogues until they met and became partners of the fourth. They are now a rich and powerful group who hold many of the secrets of the ton . The world would love to know the identity of the invisible founder of the club, especially Duncan West, publisher of several popular newspapers, including The Scandal Sheet. West recently published a cartoon that was obviously about Lady Georgiana Pearson, daughter of the late Duke of Leighton and sister of the present duke.
Ten years ago, at a gullible sixteen, Lady Georgiana ruined herself for love of an unworthy servant and is now the unmarried mother of a daughter. For the sake of Caroline's future happiness, Lady Georgiana decides to attempt an entry into Society the only way she can see to do so…marry a man with a title. She's chosen the gentleman she wants, a well-regarded viscount, but it's going to take a lot to overcome her scandalous past. At her first ball, she hears a group of young ladies gossiping about her. She doesn't slink away; oh, no, she gives them a taste of her temper and sly wit. Duncan West overhears it all, and that's how they meet…or so West believes. They have met before when Lady Georgiana was in one of her disguises.
Lady Georgiana is three people. She's the mysterious founder of the Fallen Angel, the man who goes by the sobriquet of Chase…a fact known to very few others. It wasn't Chase, however, that West met. Georgiana keeps her eye on the club and all its members. They know her as Anna, the madam who supplies the women of the house. It's a wonder what clever make-up, a wig, and distracting clothes can do to fool people who see what they expect to see. As Georgiana and West get to know each other, there is an attraction that runs both ways. West awakens feelings in her that she hasn't had since that one time with her first love. And West may be accepted in Society, but should knowledge of his past become public it would put a stop to that. So he knows he's not worthy of Georgiana, but helps her reputation through his papers. And she remains an information conduit between West and Chase . By this time, West has followed Georgiana home and discovered her Anna disguise. He believes Chase controls her and has ruined her life even more. (But that all comes later when West is in danger of exposure and needs Chase's help.)
The above is just the bare bones of the plot that involves a villain, West, and his charming younger sister. And speaking of young ladies, Georgiana's nine-year-old Caroline is a heart grabber. Serious things are afoot in NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER, but it has its humorous moments. Poor West becomes so jealous of the hold Chase has over Georgiana, he tries everything to find him. All the while, she wants and fears to tell him she, herself, is Chase.
Other characters from the three earlier books enrich the whole with their interactions. Chase's three partners have their tales told in A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME, ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES ANOTHER, and NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED. They are all riveting reads that culminate in this sensational conclusion…one deserving of an RRT Perfect 10.