Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER by Sarah MacLean


NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVERTitle: Never Judge A Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels #4)
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publishing Date: November 25, 2014 (from Avon Romance)
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking-in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered…until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear…including her heart.




My Review:

SPOILER ALERT! Take a little caution as this includes a bit of spoilers especially for those who haven’t read Book 3 yet.


Why did I want to read this book?

This is the fourth and final book in Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series and it’s Chase story! Finally! I was completely floored by that teaser/spoiler at the end of the third book and I had been ready to read this story ever since.


What worked for me?

I love the whole idea behind this book. It was original, refreshing, and really empowering. First, about Chase’s identity. It came as a real shocker to me when I found out but my next reaction was full of excitement because oh my gosh, the possibilities, the implications.

One of Sarah MacLean’s strongest suits in her writing is her great characterizations. She has some of the best and layered characters. Georgiana and Duncan are most definitely layered and multi-dimensional characters. These are two people who’ve been dealt with tough cards from fate in the past and have had to make life-altering decisions. And somehow, they’ve risen above it all. But still, those pasts wouldn’t let go of them. Not until they let go of the past first. These internal struggles that they have was presented in a way that you feel exactly what they’re feeling, the feeling of inevitability, sometimes of desperation that you just want them to win and for all the people who’ve ever brought them down to lose and be gone.

As for the romance, these two have definite and sizzling chemistry. No doubt about that. Whether their conversing, staring at each other, or you know, doing other things, their combustible connection is very apparent from the pages. Despite the many secrets that they can’t help but keep from each other or the lies that they can’t help but tell each other, there still that rawness and honesty between them. They also seem to see each other beyond the surface. These two are also pretty stubborn so they inevitably clash but damn if their passion and emotions for each other do not make you want to just tie them together so they won’t ever part. But it was wonderful watching these two find their way to each other, even after all those past, circumstances, and conflicts.


What did not work for me?

My only misgiving with this book is that there was, towards the end, too much emphasis on why these two can’t seem to overcome their past, on how much risk it would be to expose themselves and finally be completely honest with each other. There was a lag in the latter part of the book where all I seem to hear from them were these things and it had gotten a bit old very fast.


My over-all take on it?

All in all, this was a great closure for the Rules of Scoundrels series. Everything did come full circle and it has been satisfying watching Georgiana and Duncan be at peace with themselves and be happy together. They’ve made a lot of sacrifices because of their past but they’re good people and good people deserve to have their heart’s desires. And Sarah MacLean gave us that with this book. Don’t miss out on this one.


My rating:

4-5 stars 


DisclaimerI received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange  for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.





Lady Georgiana Pearson—who barely claimed the honorific and barely deserved the descriptor—was thrilled with her ruination, and had been for years. It had, after all, made her rich and powerful, the owner of The Fallen Angel, London’s most scandalous and most popular gaming hell, and the most feared person in Britain … the mysterious “gentleman” known only as Chase.

It was of little consequence that she was, in fact, female.

So, yes, Georgiana believed that the heavens had smiled upon her that day a decade prior when her fate had been forged. Her exile from Society, for better or worse, meant a dearth of invitations to balls, teas, picnics, and assorted events, which, in turn, eliminated the necessity for battalions of chaperones, inane conversation over tepid lemonade, and pretending to show interest in the holy trinity of aristocratic female conversation—mindless gossip, modern fashion, and marriageable gentlemen.

She had little interest in gossip, as it was rarely the truth and never the whole truth. She preferred secrets, offered by powerful men who had scandal to trade.

Similarly, she had little interest in fashion. Skirts were too often taken as a mark of feminine weakness, relegating ladies to doing little but smooth them and less refined females to doing little but lift them. When on the floor of her gaming hell, she hid in plain sight inside the brightly colored silks that costumed London’s most skilled prostitutes, but in all other places, she preferred the freedom of trousers.

And she had no interest in gentlemen, caring not a bit if they were handsome, clever, or titled as long as they had money to lose. For years, she had laughed at the eligible gentlemen who had been marked for marriage by the women of London, their names listed in the betting book at The Fallen Angel—their future wives speculated upon, their wedding dates predicted, their progeny forecasted. She’d watched London’s bachelors from the owners’ suite at her casino—each more rich, handsome, and well-bred than the last—as they were felled, shackled, and married.

And she’d thanked her maker that she hadn’t been forced into the silly charade, forced to care, forced to marry.

No, Lady Georgiana Pearson, ruined at the tender age of sixteen—now a decade-old warning for all jewels of the ton who had followed her—had learned her lesson about men early, and blessedly escaped any expectation of the parson’s noose.

Until now.




About the Author:

SarahSarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at

Connect with Sarah MacLean:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads



$50.00 Gift Card to Choice Book Seller and Print Set of Rules of Scoundrels Books 1-3

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Other books by Sarah MacLean on the blog:

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (Rules of Scoundrels #3)


Have you read Sarah MacLean before? Have you read any of the books from her Rules of Scoundrels series? What did you think about the big identity reveal?

8 thoughts on “Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER by Sarah MacLean”

  1. We had the exact same thoughts about this book! I loved both Georgiana and Duncan. I can’t wait to see what MacLean does next.


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