A reader who’ll try anything once, including bad books in search of good ones. Eclectic as her tastes are, she tends to gravitate to historical romances, realistic contemporaries, and some fantasy novels.
I was spoiled. I picked up this book because of the huge secret in the fourth Rule of Scoundrels book—don't look if you don't know already—and it'll probably keep me reading despite my disappointment with this book.
MacLean writes well enough to spin an entertaining tale. She does have a horrible smut vocabulary, although I have small hope that she was using characterisation appropriate word choices. I liked that the heroine, Penelope, was smart enough to usually figure out whatever Bourne was trying to hide and I liked that he never lied when directly confronted with a question, but that's about the extent of their characterisations I liked.
I'm not going to complain about her virginity at the age of twenty-eight (or maybe a
little) but I am going to complain about her constant vacillation between adoring her husband of convenience and being utterly disappointed in him. He too, went back and forth between being starstruck with her and wallowing in self-pity while simultaneously pushing her away. Instead of showing why these people should be together, the author mostly spent her time in description, focusing on the inarticulated pining and introspection for introspection's sake.
Neither character properly grew up on the page to believably accept each other as is, and they apparently fell in love in a single afternoon. There were some childhood letters littered between the chapters but they mostly distracted me from the actual story rather than affirmed the couple's childhood sweethearts status.
The pacing was a problem too. Having a genuine rogue as a protagonist helped to add two explicit sex scenes before the 50% mark and push this book over to the oversexed historicals category.