The Rogue Not Taken: Scandal & Scoundrel #1 by Sarah MacLean with Excerpt and Giveaway

The Rogue Not Taken: Scandal & Scoundrel #1 by Sarah MacLean with Excerpt and Giveaway

Whenever a book has me in that “just a few more pages” mode, and the next time I look up the letters are waving to me as the clock reads 3 am, I’m lost in a world of the author’s making. The first book in Sarah MacLean’s Scandal & Scoundrel Series, is a wonderful start to a new series.  Please read on for my review and  an excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought  and don’t forget to enter the giveaway where you could win a Set of the Print editions of all books in the Rule of Scoundrels series (A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME, ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, and NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER) *U.S. ONLY.  Please discover more about

The Rogue Not Taken

Sarah MacLean opens her new Scandal & Scoundrel series with The Rogue Not Taken, a wonderful introduction to a new series, and a perfect introduction to historical romance for those new to the genre.  Using all of the foundations to build a good story:  well-developed characters, compelling storyline, adventure and humor, and never gives much downtime.

Sophie is the youngest daughter in a family that seems to attract and covet scandal. Daughter of a coal-miner who was titled by the king, she is frustrated by the suffocating convention (and hypocrisy) of the Tonne.  When she catches her brother-in-law in a compromising position, she’s fed up and their verbal confrontation ends in a koi pond, she is given the cut direct by all who saw her outburst. She dashes out of the gathering, but must find a way home without sulking in the family carriage.

Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley and famed (if the scandal sheets have it right) for breaking up betrothals and then moving on happens upon Sophie hiding out in the garden as he, following his boots, climbed down the trellis.  Seeing potential for escape, Sophie attempts holding a boot hostage for a ride back to Mayfair. Soundly rejected, she uses her wits, fearlessness and impulsivity to trade places with a footman, clothes and all.

From here, the story mixes scandalous headlines, action, adventure, cross-dressing, robbery, bullets, pubic scuffles and arrangements that would turn proper society upside down as they gobbled up the stories. Using headlines that could be ripped from a current day tabloid, MacLean updates each new development with the best innuendos and rumor as fact.  This story is warm, funny and engaging, and while some of the moments dip into silliness, MacLean fully embraces that lightness and joy, and the few somber moments are balanced nicely with the lighter moments, as characters are built, connections are forged as the story works to a conclusion that is inevitable to everyone BUT Sophie and King.

Mixing secondary characters that add depth and the occasional tension-fraught moments, this was a read in one sitting far past my bedtime story, and I loved every moment of it.  Both characters were so intransigent in their own self-made prisons, and so afraid to see what was standing in front of them, waving a big red flag and doing the jig.  This just made the realizations sweeter and the ending more satisfying for everyone concerned.

The Rogue Not Taken: Scandal & Scoundrel #1 by Sarah MacLean with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: The Rogue Not Taken
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #1
Also in this series: The Day of the Duchess
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon
ISBN: 0062379410
Published on: 29 December 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 7 Hours
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…

When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.


The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.


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, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive…

See the Scandal & Scoundrel Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to drug and alcohol use / violence and/or sexual content in a genre not specified as Erotic.

Header - Excerpt - Tasty

Author Commentary:

Being shot on the Great North Road isn’t exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.



“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.


She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”


“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.


Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.


“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”


He raised a brow. “Clever. There’s food when you’ve bathed.” The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”


“It seems so,” she said.


“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”


She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”


“It’s a particular talent.”


“What with you being called King.”


“Name is destiny.”


She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.


King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.

If only someone would tell his body that.


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About Sarah MacLean

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on's Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious." Sarah lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.



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