A Rogue by Any Other Name - 

Sarah MacLean
The summary for this book is so exciting! 
A rake trying to protect his virtuous wife from his life of sin!
Too bad that, though that is in the story, how we get there and how it's handled leaves quite a bit to be desired...
Michael, the marquess of Bourne, lost his entire fortune and properties on the gambling table to his late father's best friend.
Feeling betrayed, he swears vengeance and lives his life completely obsessed with gaining back his lands and destroying his enemy.
Cue Penelope, his childhood best friend. Once they were inseparable but, when Michael lost everything, he left society and Penelope behind. 
Nothing would make him go back... that is, until Penelope's father, now in possession of Michael's lands which he won from Michael's enemy, attaches said lands to Penelope's dowry.
I must say I absolutely LOVED Penelope. 
She was so sensible, so practical. All her actions and thoughts made sense, everything she did felt real. 
Which makes everything all the more jarring when Michael turns out to be totally crazy.
This dude was 21 when he gambled all his possessions and lost. 
What does he do? Admit the error of his ways, realise this was his fault?
He keeps on believing that he was an innocent ~child~ when this happened.
In what world is a 21 year old man a child?
I wouldn't have gambled my entire worldly possessions at 12, let alone at 21!
How irredeemably stupid do you have to be not only to do that but to go on believing it wasn't your fault.
It could be rightfully argued that a gambling addiction excuses his bet.
But it certainly doesn't excuse his dogged belief that the fault lies in the man who won the bet and not in himself.
Not only that but he acted like a creep. 
I thought he'd approach Penelope and, building on the friendship they had, try to court her.
He kidnaps her and compromises her. Manipulates her by threatening her sisters.
Then, when they could have moved on and been happily married he was all, "Woe is me!" and "I'm not fit to love her!", and "I must send her away!"
This dude acted like losing his stuff and becoming a self made man was the equivalent of sucking dick for coke, in terms of shame.
This turned what could have been a satisfactory, if problematic, book of about 200 pages into a boring drama of about 400 pages.
Still, I am curious and will probably read the second book with Pippa and Cross. 
The author does know how to write, even if her male protagonist was a complete waste.
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