No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished - Sarah MacLean I keep trying with Maclean's books because I love the out of the box premises, troubled heroes and plucky heroines. This was no different. The set up was great, very intriguing: a man framed for a murder he didn't commit and a woman with a forged identify. Also our hero, Temple, is a fighter. He boxes for the gaming hell The Fallen Angel. He's never lost a fight. This was all vey intriguing, right up to the meeting between our heroes, but I got a bit lost in the angst. And boy was there a lot of angst. Rightfully so, there was a lot to cover: Mara's troubled, secret past, Temple's demons over losing his life as a Duke and place in society. And of course, of course the characters can't just come out and say what they feel, so that takes up most of the book. Mara fighting with herself about her feelings for Temple and her reason for coming to him, showing that she's really alive and demanding money in exchange for revealing herself to the world.

In fact the whole conflict is predicated Mara's inability to tell Temple why she needs the money. It is not, as Temple believes, just to save her brother from financial ruin, but rather because her brother frittered away all of her money for the running of her orphanage as well. So really, she could have saved them all a lot of trouble if she would have come out with the "secret" about 40%, naturally. And her rubbish excuse for not doing so and dragging their nonsense out for pages and pages is that Temple upon first discovering her alive says, "nothing you could do would make me forgive." Well that obviously a load of bollocks, Mara knows it and the reader knows after a few more interactions between. The two of them can't keep their hands off each other, they keep finding excuses to see each other and they really like each other, from the get-go. I just got irritated with them running from each other for the whole book.

This makes it seem like the book. I did like it. I think that Maclean writes well and her characters are always dynamic and out of the ordinary. I think the real problem for me is that I enjoyed Nine Rules For Romancing a Rake so much that I just hold all of her other books to that standard. If you like a dark hero, some angst in your historical, this one is for you.