The third book in the Rules of Scoundrels series, is about Temple (the boxer and enforcer of The Angel) and Mara, the girl who was believed to be dead AND the reason why Temple was banished from society.
I had great expectations in this book since I have been quite intrigued about Temple since I read about him in A Duke by Any Other Name (Rules #1). I was dying to find out who would be his salvation but I was a little bit surprised that MacLean paired him with Mara the person he was believed to have killed. Although no body was found, Temple has been under a shadow of doubt and was already guilty in the eyes of the Ton and everyone in society. Although the interactions between both Mara and Temple were sizzling, I just could not begin to understand how these two fell in love (more like lust) with each other.
First of, I had difficulty understanding the reasoning behind Mara’s plot to be “dead.” It all just seemed so shallow to me. I mean, she just didn’t want to marry the Duke of Lamont (Temple’s father) so she shirked her duties and concocted a plan to disappear, seemingly dead or something so no one would look for her and in the process, condemn Temple to a life in the shadows. I just don’t know what to say. I did not think that Temple would forgive HER for whatever reason and I think what they felt for each other was just NOT love. Add to that her reasons for groveling to Temple: her brother had racked up a lot of debts at The Angel and he wanted her to save him. I just felt like I wanted to scream in frustration!
So, in exchange for forgiving the debt owed by her brother, Mara said that she will return to society and in doing so, prove to the Ton and society that Temple (William Harrow, Duke of Lamont) is really innocent. I could not believe that Temple fell for it! Again, it was too shallow for me. I just could not understand it. I know I am repeating myself but I just can’t help myself.
Now I had been intrigued by Temple and I just could not believe the injustice that had forced him to be banished/exiled from society. Temple has embraced his reputation as the Killer Duke and is formidable in the ring and as an enforcer for The Angel. Everyone quakes when they hear his name. He is unbeatable in the ring. And yet, he was felled by Mara who didn’t even do anything to earn his love. I just could not understand it! I can’t understand how Temple was redeemed.
I love the books that I read by MacLean but I just couldn’t stomach this story. The only redeeming part of this book is Chase’s revelation (which is why I gave this 3 hearts). THAT one was a shocker!