Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #3
Published by Avon on November 26, 2013
NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is the third book in Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series. It is the story of Temple, known as the Killer Duke, one of the four partners in the Fallen Angels gaming hell. As with all of The Rules of Scoundrels series, the story begins with Temple’s “fall” from grace. Temple’s fall occurred twelve years ago when he awoke in the bed of his future stepmother covered in blood. Temple does not know what happened. While no body is found, but Mara Lowe has disappeared so Temple is believed guilty – even by Temple.
Mara Lowe is not dead. She was 16 when she was to marry Temple’s father (she was to be Temple’s fourth stepmother). Twelve years later, she returns because her younger brother, Christopher Lowe, has gotten into debt at the partners gaming hell and she wishes to save him and recover her money that Christopher has lost.
The first scene between Mara and Temple is really great. It isn’t a spoiler to state that Temple is a bit annoyed to discover that Mara is alive. The scenes throughout the book between the two are fantastic. Mara is a fighter and certainly a match for the boxer extraordinaire Temple. This book is a bit more plot heavy than the other books of the series and the two characters struggle against one another more. It is more of a prize fight and the reader experiences round after round of action between Temple and Mara. Without giving too much way, the two have some incredible battles in Temple’s boxing ring at the Fallen Angel!
NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is a dark and emotionally intense novel. Temple and Mara have a long way to go to get their HEA. Temple, a character who has accepted his fate, is now consumed with rage and a lust for vengeance. However, that desire is not natural for Temple who struggles with his desire to redeem himself and his desire for Mara.
I have enjoyed all of MacLean’s novels. She is now one of my favorite writers. I find that her books are filled with incredible, individual characters. They are memorable and no two of her books are the same. I also really enjoy The Rules of Scoundrels in particular because her books are dark and filled with tension. When the HEA finally happens, I feel that I have traveled alongside the characters and rejoice with them.
NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is the darkest novel in the series because both characters are deeply hurt by their past. In the previous two books in the series, the heroine provided the light in the story. Here, Mara is the catalyst for the darkness in Temple’s life so their romance is much more complicated. In fact, Temple is the victim here and Mara is the one who feel unworthy. She has harmed Temple immensely in the past and continues to harm him throughout the novel. It is Temple who ultimately gives his forgiveness and acceptance to Mara.
To me this book isn’t quite as good as ONE GOOD EARL DESERVERS A LOVER (the second book of the series) but that book is one of my all time favorite novels. That being said, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is at least as good as A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME and in some ways I like this more because the characters are now familiar to me. I loved the interaction with all the Scoundrels and their wives. This is the first book of the series where we really get to see all the characters together and the crisis which brings all our characters into the same room was emotional and heartbreaking. These Scoundrels are not only partners but are also a family.
Finally, I give a WOW, WOW, WOW for the Epilogue. This is one book that you want to read without spoilers for the Epilogue. MacLean reveals a big secret about Chase, whose book is the next in the series. My mouth dropped when I read the reveal and I had to read it twice to believe what I was reading. I think that the Reader who does not peek at the ending will get a really great surprise and I can’t wait for Chase’s book.
NO GOOD DUKE DOES UNPUNISHED continues a fantastic series by Sarah MacLean. A reader doesn’t have to read the other books of the series before reading this one, but honestly, this book is more enjoyable if you have already encountered Temple. Start with A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME and then continue with ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER (my favorite of the series) before reading this book. Temple is important in both those novels and a reader will have a better idea of his relationship with the other Scoundrels and their wives.
I give this book a 5 plus stars! I only give this rating to books that I love the first time I read them but that are also ones that I will re-read. I’ve already read this one three times and I expect that I will read it again and again.