Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Rogue Not Taken - Historical Romance Review

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean (Amazon link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: Purchased

The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…

When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.


The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.


He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive…

Genre: Historical Romance

Why I Picked This Book: I was looking for a new to me historical romance author and I've loved Sarah MacLean's interviews.  Plus this new series just sounds fun!

My Impression:  Sarah MacLean is an author who has been on my radar for years.  I read one book by her several years ago and it was good but I wasn't wowed and haven't exactly rushed out to get anymore books from her.  Last year or so I discovered Avon on the Air which is a podcast that focuses on romance authors.  It hasn't updated in awhile which makes me really sense but you can go back and listen to the ones are already up and they're so great.  My favorites are the ones with Sarah MacLean where they discuss classic romance books.  She comes off as so smart and funny that I found myself wanting to give her another chance and then when I discovered her latest series is a version of Regency TMZ I just couldn't resist!

The TMZ feel is very subtle so if you're not a celebrity gossip fan don't let that scare you off.  You don't have to know anything about the incident that inspired the beginning of the book (It involved Jay-Z and an elevator) to know what's going on in the book.

I loved the characters in this book.  Sophie is smart and funny and really does not want to be involved in the constant circus her family surrounds themselves with.  She misses a simpler life and desperately wants to go back to the time before the money and the title.  She's a bit reckless and somewhat unrealistic but it's not something that irritated me about her.  Even though she wasn't always making the best decisions I understood her motivations which made it work.  King is a victim of the old romance trope where he's not going to marry because the family line cannot continue for various reasons.  At the beginning he's deeply suspicious of Sophie's motives mostly because of her family's reputation. I'm never a big fan of a romance where one character has a lot of contempt for the other and refuses to see them differently though all their actions prove otherwise but thankfully this isn't one of them.  There are times when King doesn't trust Sophie but for the most part all of those times are justified even if not exactly right. King does some stupid stuff and is definitely hard headed but for the most part it's because of issues not because of what he thinks of her.   I even liked Sophie's family despite the fact they cause Sophie a great deal of stress.  They genuinely love each other (even the parents which was nice to see) and don't mean to make Sophie unhappy.  Even when they could easily blame Sophie for something they aren't mad and just know they have to fix it.

I really enjoyed this historical romance.  It's a quick read, with characters I instantly connected too, witty banter and a lot of heart.  It's the kind of book that made me love historical romance in the first place.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  I'm super excited about the next book in the series!

Would I Recommend this Book?: If you enjoy Julia Quinn type historical romances I think you'd enjoy this book.


  1. I love those Avon on the Air podcasts with Sarah MacLean about classic romances, too. I've read three MacLean romance books. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord, and A Rogue by Any Other Name. I enjoyed 9 Rules, liked 10 Ways, but really disliked A Rogue. That last one made me realize that her books just don't work for me. Even when I like them, I'm all stressed and frustrated for a lot.

    My problem with A Rogue (this isn't a spoiler in case you want to read it) is that the hero wants revenge on this guy because the hero lost all his money in a card game. And all I could think was "Dude, it was your choice to gamble. No one was cheating. You were the one to blame." And so I couldn't justify the stupid things he did in the book - a lot of it involving the heroine.

    I think I would really struggle with King in this one. BUT BUT BUT I'm so glad that you enjoyed this and are reading a few more romances.

  2. Mmm very tempting and I just must try her out and this one sounds like the place to begin. Very happy to hear you loved it so much.

  3. This sounds like a great book! I have only read one book written by Sarah MacLean and I did enjoy it. I haven't listed to the podcast but it sounds interesting. Great review!

  4. Oh I did not know Avon on the Air was a thing! Must check it out ASAP! Glad you enjoyed this one, because I really liked this too! It really reminded me MacLean's 9 Rules to Break...
    Great review, Katherine!

  5. I've liked the handful of her books I've read. Enjoyable writing. It's been a while so I should make a point of reading one of her newer ones.

  6. I loved this series and I love this author. Such a smart lady. Fabulous review!

  7. I'm glad it was good; I probably added this one b/c of you.