What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets . . .
A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London's most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance - including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.
A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures. Bourne may be a prince of London's underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness - a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them . . . even her heart.
MacLean starts a new pre-Victorian series with enjoyable romps, witty banter, and electric sexual tension. Michael Lawler, the marquess of Bourne, lost everything in an ill-considered wager with a scheming neighbor. He spends 10 years recreating his fortune three times over by running the Fallen Angel, London's notorious gaming hell. Wealth hasn't stopped him from wanting to regain his family estate, and when the opportunity presents itself, Michael jumps at the chance, regardless of the strings attached namely, marriage to his childhood friend Miss Penelope Marbury, the villain's daughter. Perpetuating a farce of a marriage for London society isn't difficult, but Bourne's all-consuming need for revenge endangers the possibility for real love between the two. The couple's buried insecurities become tiresome after a while, but the comic relief from feisty sisters and a marriage-minded mother pushes the reader onward.