Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #2
Published by Avon on January 29, 2013
ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER is the second book of Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series.
I will make a confession before I begin the review of ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER. I read this book for the first time four months ago and I’ve read it at least 6 times since then. It is already one of my favorite romance books of all time. The book makes me laugh and makes me cry. I absolutely love the characters and while I understand the complaints that some have about the plot or the motivations of the characters, I don’t agree.
To me the romance between Lady Philippa (Pippa) Marbury and Jasper Arlesey, Earl Harlow aka Cross is magnificent. I love how Cross is just baffled by Pippa. She is a unique character and he is enthralled and bemused by her. Their first meeting, Pippa arrives at Cross’ office while he is asleep and she proceeds to inspect his books and criticize his calculations is so amusing. Pippa is “odd” and Cross is simultaneously fascinated and horrified by her.
Cross is a wonderfully tortured hero. He is a man who was a second son who was happy living dissipated life; a young man who did not take anything seriously. He is tortured because his older responsible brother is killed in a carriage accident while traveling to an event that Cross at first promised and then reneged on attending. Cross then gains his brother’s title. Cross, however, believes that he should have died instead of his brother and thus refuses to take up that life because he does not feel worthy of it.
Pippa is amazing. She is clever and strong and quirky. She is a scientist and looks at the world in a curious manner. She is engaged to marry an earl (who is nice enough but no match for Pippa’s intellect) because she is settling because she believes that no one could really want her because of her odd nature.
I love this book. The dialogue is the best part. The conversations are so fascinating that I could just continue to read them again and again. Cross and Pippa are both intellectuals and they discuss things in such an unusual manner. I am both fascinated and amused by their conversations. I especially like the fact that Cross is so bemused in Pippa’s presence. He is a man who has denied his passions and yet has such incredible passion inside him.
MacLean always has such vivid characters, but I find Pippa and Cross to be incredible examples of her expertise. They are unusual people and I understand their motivations because MacLean does such a great job of bringing the reader into their minds. I know that Cross’ actions are the subject of some confusion and criticism by some readers. I feel, however, that Cross has made a life for himself of denying himself. He refuses to be happy because he feels unworthy. Eventually, he concludes that he is not worthy but that he is enough of a scoundrel to take what he wants anyway. Thus, the HEA. It doesn’t bother me when characters make swift changes in decisions because I find that realistic in that Cross is so used to denying himself happiness that he does so by habit until he is shaken from his routine.
I also really enjoy all the secondary characters. Chase and Temple have important roles in the story and I enjoy the interaction between the partners. My only small complaint is that Penelope and Bourne only have a small role here. I would have liked to have seen what their reaction to Pippa and Cross was, and I missed that payoff.
While you don’t have to read A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME first, the story certainly gains from having the background from that story – plus, any reader of ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER must read the Epilogue of A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME where Pippa and Cross meet. While their meeting is summarized in the first chapter of this book, the Epilogue is so amazing that for me I always read that before I start to read ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER.
I recommend this book highly!