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Monthly Read > A Rogue by Any Other Name ***SPOILERS****

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message 1: by Kasey (new)

Kasey | 560 comments Mod
Here you can live comments with spoilers about Susan MacLean's A Rogue By Any Other Name.

message 2: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I think Sarah's decision to use the letters prefatory to the chapters was such a smart move with this hero. He was such a jerk at times, but I never gave up on him because I believed the Michael who wrote those letters was still there, a buried part of the vengeful Bourne.

And I loved Penelope. I love seeing the jilted woman get her own story and her own hero. Jo Beverley's Hazard is a favorite of mine too.

message 3: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Romain | 420 comments I really liked the letters too, Janga. They helped me understand why Penelope was open to marrying Michael even though he was (as you say) such a jerk. :)

I also liked that we pick up with Penelope eight years after we last saw her, and we see the effect of her jilting not just on her, but on her whole family. The revelation from her father at the end--that he wanted to protect her, not get rid of her, by adding the land to her dowry--was unexpected and very nice.

message 4: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2080 comments Mod
Ok, I guess I have to go back. This was going to be a DNF for me, even though I loved the letters, because I really didn't like how much he was a jerk. (Nor could I really believe in her reactions to him after 8 years, no matter how close they were in the past.) And also, because I couldn't buy that Penelope being jilted would do such harm to her family's marital chances--that plot line just didn't work at all for me.

message 5: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Romain | 420 comments Dls, I think it hurt her family because her reputation had been "practically perfect in every way" (to quote Mary Poppins). So her jilting showed that she wasn't as worthwhile as everyone thought. The timing was also bad since her twin sisters came out immediately afterward, while everyone was still laughing at the family.

Michael does verge on alphole territory, but I'm intrigued by the setup for the next book in the series: a pairing of two nerds. Bring it on!

message 6: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2080 comments Mod
Theresa, her family was still extremely rich and her dad was a Marquis. Even if people thought maybe she wasn't that perfect, I just don't see it hurting her sisters' marital chances, particularly in that day and age.
If she had been the daughter of a country squire, maybe....

message 7: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Romain | 420 comments That's a good point, Dls. I guess we forget how few marquesses there really were, since there are so many in fiction. :) I don't recall whether they had good dowries--that was probably the main factor in making a good marriage. Penelope's was sweetened considerably at the beginning of ARBAON, which kicked off the plot.

message 8: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2080 comments Mod
I checked once and there were 100 dukes, give or take. If there were about the same number of marquesses, and probably only 5-10 had daughters on the marriage mart at any given time (even with the prolific family sizes...) and given that he was rich you figure either they had good dowries or there would be a story line explaining why...The daughters should have been some of the big catches of their seasons.

message 9: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
Deb, I'm certainly no Regency expert, but I do know a broken engagement carried the weight of a broken legal contract and included consequences for even for men. I was under the impression that the reason honorable men rarely broke engagements themselves and allowed the woman to do so was the irreparable damage done to the woman's reputation--and I suppose they wanted to avoid breach of promise suits. Since chapheronage was considerably relaxed after an official engagement, assumptions might have been made about the woman's chastity. I'm sure their social status and dowries could have won husbands for Penelope's sisters, but I didn't find it difficult to believe that their pool of potential husbands would have considerably diminished by scandals, and probably the most desirable suitors would have been the first ones to disappear.

message 10: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 346 comments This book might get better with a re-read, but for now I’d give it 3½ stars.

I agree with Janga and Theresa who liked how the letters between Penelope and Michael opened all the chapters. In reading those letters you see who Michael was as well as watching Penelope slowly loose her faith that he would return. I was glad that Penelope accepted (for the most part) that Michael had changed from the last time she had saw him and he was no longer the charming young man she was writing to. She had to get to know and love the man that he had become, and I did believe by the end that she was in love with this new Michael just as much as she had been the younger version.

What I had a harder time believing was Michael giving up his revenge plot so completely just for Penelope. The only reason I could suspend my disbelief on this was because the H/h had that connection from the past that he built his love upon. If they had been strangers from the onset there is no way I could accept that within a month of marriage she could completely turn his thinking around and he could stop himself from destroying Langdon. Heck, right up to that night when she appeared at the club he was still convinced that revenge was the only course his life could take, and it took Chase’s machinations to force the H/h together so they could have that deep heart-to-heart. I guess we have to assume that being with Penelope forced Michael to confront all the emotions that he hid from himself after losing everything. All of the experiences he has in the book; having someone truly happy to see him, spending time away from the gaming hell, and reevaluating what his title really meant were all necessary for that final epiphany that the land and the past were nothing if he couldn’t secure his future with Penelope. I’d like to think that moving forward they really will be happy together.

One last nitpick was the epilogue being more of a teaser for the next book. I thought there were a few points in the story where it was said that Cross specifically stayed away from maidens. Why would Phillipa go to him for ruination and not a well-known rake of the ton? Just so that the author could match up all four partners in each book? Then why not establish that he was a rake, not just the bookkeeper who kept nighttime visitors?

message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1002 comments Phoenix77 wrote: "This book might get better with a re-read, but for now I’d give it 3½ stars.

I agree with Janga and Theresa who liked how the letters between Penelope and Michael opened all the chapters. In ..."

I liked that Cross acted afraid of Phillipa... it kind of evened out the field before they started their story.

message 12: by Kasey (new)

Kasey | 560 comments Mod
I finally read this book while I was on vacation last week. I ended up really liking it. Like some of you mentioned, I think the letters really added to the story and gave us some insights into their past relationship, which I liked.

I too am excited to see how the Cross/Phillipa relationship will play out. It should be interesting.

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