No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (Rule of Scoundrels #3)
Avon / November 26, 2013 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital
A rogue ruined . . .
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.
A lady returned . . .
Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows...that he is no killer.
A scandal revealed . . .
It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.
Turns out that despite popular opinion, dukes cannot get away with anything they like. In the third book in the Rule of Scoundrels series, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, Sarah MacLean reveals the entire story of Temple’s fall from grace. William Harrow, Marquess of Chapin and heir to the dukedom of Lamont, was shunned by society for murder after he awoke in a strange room covered in blood—the blood of his stepmother-to-be, Mara Lowe. With no body, the Marquess was never convicted, but was cast out by his peers.
Eventually, William became Temple and fell in with three other peers in the same predicament. Together they built The Fallen Angel, a gaming hell, and ruled London’s underworld. Temple became the fighter of the bunch, regularly taking on customers in the hell. Those who had lost their entire fortunes gambling at the hell could challenge Temple to a bout, and their losses would be restored if they won. However, Temple never lost. When Mara Lowe’s brother challenges Temple fifteen years later, he refuses to even consider giving the man a chance to win back his losses.
Christopher Lowe’s loss of fortune is a turning point. It brings a beautiful woman to Temple’s doorstep, one armed with a request to restore Christopher’s funds. It is actually Mara Lowe, herself, not even remotely dead. Temple does not react well to Mara’s presence in his home. He refuses to listen to her pleas or to bargain with her. He sees his chance at redemption and wants to make her pay. When things don’t go as planned, Mara drugs Temple again and flees.
Yet Temple’s life is turned upside-down. He had no recollection of the events of the night that he supposedly killed Mara as she had drugged him then too. She had no intention of faking her own death, just planned to ruin herself so that Temple’s father would call of their wedding. But because he had no memory, Temple had no idea if he had actually killed someone. And quite frankly, Temple seemed to be very afraid that he had done so. His anger at Mara’s deception is palpable and all-consuming. He has no sympathy for Mara’s plight or for the fact that her brother had betrayed her by losing all of their money. All Temple can see is the fact that Mara had been living her life while he had to deal with the ramifications of her actions, letting him believe himself a killer—for fifteen long years.
As a result, Temple and Mara’s relationship is not a pleasant or easy one. Their attraction to each other is fueled by anger, vengeful thoughts, and sometimes violence (emotional, not physical). And Mara is not an easy character to like. She is the guilty party, the one who needs forgiveness. While her reasons for her actions are sympathetic, the way these actions impacted Temple makes them hard to justify. It can be no surprise that Temple’s friends are hard to convince, especially when Christopher continues to make trouble.
It is through their burgeoning relationship that Mara and Temple find forgiveness and redemption. Mara brings Temple back to life and allows him to take up the mantel of his dukedeom. She also makes Temple realize that he has been happy in his new life. Meanwhile, Temple proves to Mara that not all men treat women like pawns. The two need each other and work surprisingly well together.
No Good Duke Goes reads differently than its predecessors in the Rules of Scoundrels series. It is a dark tale of betrayal and redemption with a highly memorable romance. While Temple is a character who is larger than life, it is Mara who is the star, the more complex character who drives the story. Is she worthy of forgiveness? You will have to read this one to find out the answer.
Learn more or order a copy of No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean, available November 26, 2013: