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Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at www.macleanspace.com
Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Avon Romance
Release Date: November 25, 2014
By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking-in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered...until now.
Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear...including her heart.
What a way to end a series! Way to go Sarah MacLean!
As the ruined sister of a duke, Lady Georgiana doesn’t have much to look forward to in society. She’s barely tolerated, highly gossiped about and sometimes openly disdained but for the one she loves most she’ll continue to play the role of reformed woman until she can find a titled husband to protect them both. However, once all society has turned its eyes away from her, Georgiana becomes Chase, the infamous founder of a legendary gaming hell. Not much is known about Chase and that’s exactly how Georgiana likes it. As Chase, she collects’ the secrets of the very people who scorn her for her past mistakes, allowing her to rule over them without their knowledge. For years Georgiana has played both roles to perfection without fear of discovery, until now.
Duncan West not only runs one of the most successful newspapers, he’s also great at digging up secrets. As intrigued as he is by Georgiana, he also knows she’s keeping secrets so he starts looking into what could possibly keep someone as lively and courageous as Georgiana from living life on her terms. As he continues to search for answers, he discovers that Georgiana is a woman with many layers, each one more scandalous and admittedly, more exciting than the last.
I was beyond excited when I found out the real identity of “Chase.” Georgiana first appeared in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart as a secondary but crucial character. Then, she was just a frightened 16 year old girl who had had her dreams of romance shattered in the most definite way. Her brother, a duke who spent his entire life keeping his title and family name untainted and free of scandal, was beyond furious with her but Georgiana refused to cower before him. Ever since I read Eleven Scandals and met Georgiana, I wanted to know more about her because she left such a strong impression on me! I had hoped her story would be different from the other women in MacLean’s books and it really was! Who better than the rebellious, courageous and intelligent Georgiana to have been the real brains behind the The Fallen Angel?
Never Judge a Lady by her Cover is easily one of my favorite Sarah MacLean books and Georgiana one of my favorite characters. She had so many different sides to her and each one was so different from the last. She was a bundle of conflicting emotions as well. On the one hand she was fearless as Chase, strong and confident yet as Georgiana she was terrified of re-entering society. Though she didn’t outright tremble in fear, it was still there, she was still that 16 year old girl who found herself ruined and cast out of the very society she needed to belong to again. As larger than life that Chase appeared, the reality was that Georgiana was terrified and used her identity as Chase as nothing more than a shield between her and the world. I loved that she wasn’t infallible and that she did have her moments of fear and doubt. She’s so different from her brother Simon and yet she had the same stubborn determination as he did.
And Duncan? Where did he come from? He went from zero to sixty in a matter of pages! His personality went from someone not worthy of a second glance to commanding attention from everyone in any scene he was in. He and Georgiana butted heads a lot in the beginning and to me that’s what help Georgiana gather her courage when she needed it the most. They brought out the best and worst in one another and that tested their relationship early on. What I loved most about Duncan though was how he knew when to push Georgiana and when to leave her alone. By pushing her out of her comfort zone, Duncan made sure Georgiana faced her fears rather than run from them. He fell for her rather quickly but it took him awhile to realize it. These two both carried some pretty scandalous secrets so naturally they were going to be hesitant to trust one another but I really enjoyed their journey and their growth as individuals and as a couple.
However, my favorite thing about Never Judge a Lady by her Cover is the revelation that without Georgiana there would be no Rules of Scoundrels series. It just wouldn't exist without her and without the creation of Chase. It’s refreshing in a Historical Romance to have a woman truly save a man, or in this case, three. For all intents and purposes, Georgiana is the true hero of the entire series, if she hadn’t intervened in the lives of Temple, Bourne and Cross then where would they be? So of course she should have her own happy ending and with a man who would see all sides of her, love her for it but most of all, understand why she did it.
Last but certainly not least, let me talk about the cover. It’s gorgeous! Huge props to the person who decided that Georgiana should be dressed in breeches instead of a dress. Not only is it eye catching (How many historical romances have a heroine in breeches?), but it definitely represents Georgiana and her personality.
Final Verdict: It's a bittersweet ending for me since I've loved Georgiana (and her brother) for such a long time. I couldn't have asked for a better story or happy ending for her though. Never Judge a Lady by her Cover is definitely on my list of best reads of 2014.
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