NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED
There is a great deal of power emanating from the third Rules of Scoundrels novel. MacLean, like hero Temple, holds a tight rein on emotion and, when unleashed, it hits the reader like one of Temple’s punches. Two unforgettable characters slowly move from the pain and anger of the past, and the driving need for absolution, toward forgiveness and redemption. That progress is more meaningful and touching because of MacLean’s sensitive depiction of her characters’ hearts and souls. This is not just a marvelous deep-sigh romance, but a story in which the intensity and profound significance linger long after the tale is done. Well done!
Temple, aka the Killer Duke, allegedly murdered Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding to his father. With no memory of that night and his life in ruins, Temple fled to the darkest corners of London, literally fighting his way to the top and now ruling the ring at his gaming den, the Fallen Angel. Mara disappeared that fateful night, leaving a blood-covered Temple in her bed. Now, she offers him redemption if he settles her brother’s debt. Temple has hidden his feelings for so long he is virtually dead inside. He should hate Mara but he cannot. As she bravely fights for those she loves, she brings him back to life. He might find everything he desires if he’s willing to take the chance. (AVON, Dec., 400 pp., $7.99)