Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sarah MacLean

Looking for a new author to try out? Here’s everything you need to know about Sarah MacLean, whose books include Brazen and the Beast, The Rogue Not Taken, and Bombshell.

What She Writes:

Historical M/F romance set in the very early Victorian period or the end of the Georgian period. Expect fast-paced, probably angsty, bananas extravaganzas. 

What Makes Her Unique:

She trends a little steamier than a lot of traditionally published historical romance, but more than that, she envisions the huge moment that the whole book (or sometimes series) will lead up to, and then travels to that moment with dramatic flair that EXPLODES when the climactic moment finally arrives. 

Writing Style:

Third-person alternating POV with intense characterizations and rich worldbuilding. 

Why We Love Her:

All. The. Drama. But in a fun way.

Her Books as a GIF:

She Might Not Be For You If:

You prefer your historical romance to hold tight to a lot of old school historical romance conventions. A reasonable amount of suspension of disbelief is a must when reading, and her protagonists are not all conventional aristocrats (at all). 

Also if you like nice heroes, most of her backlist will probably not work for you. She really likes to break heroes and make them realize how many mistakes they’ve made before they can have their forever.

Notable Quotation:

He shouldn’t be noticing the pretty softness of her face, or the fullness of her lips, stained red with paint. 

She wasn’t for noticing. 

He narrowed his gaze on her, and her eyes—was it possible they were violet? What kind of a person had violet eyes?—went wide. “Well. If that look is any indication of your temperament, it’s no wonder you are tied up.” She tilted her head. “Who tied you up?”

Whit did not reply. He did not believe she didn’t know the answer. 

Why are you tied up?”

Again, silence. 

Her lips flattened into a straight line and muttered something that sounded like “Useless.” And then, louder, firmer, “The point is, you’re very inconvenient, as I have need of this carriage tonight.”

Brazen and the Beast

The Bottom Line:

MacLean crafts dramatic historical romance that, while they have tons of delicious angst, are more playful than brooding. Great for those endorphins highs!

Content Warnings:

Class conflict and social ostracism themes are common. Violence may occur, especially with plots that include a villain. Family conflicts (including absent or emotionally distant parents) and self-esteem-related struggles also form components of many of her characterizations.

Start With:

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake


Review: Bombshell by Sarah MacLean (2021)

Hell’s Bells, Book #1

Heat Factor: He really likes to go down on her.

Character Chemistry: It started before the book, so there’s not a ton of buildup.

Plot: She’s in an extralegal girl gang, he’s got dark secrets, being together isn’t going to work, but everything swirling around them connects them. As does sex.

Overall: There’s a lot in this book that should be more prevalent in historical romance.

Continue reading “Review: Bombshell by Sarah MacLean (2021)”
Review, The Duke Project

Review: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean (2013)

The Third Rule of Scoundrels

Thanks to Susan Craig for the recommendation! I was looking for inspiration for The Duke Project, and Temple is, indeed, a prime specimen of Duke-ish-ness.

Heat Factor: Simmering 

Character Chemistry: Sizzling

Plot: You ruined my life, and now I will have my revenge!

Overall: Well executed, but I couldn’t get over the initial premise

Continue reading “Review: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean (2013)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean (2020)

Bareknuckle Bastards, Book 3

Review of Bareknuckle Bastards, Book 2

Heat Factor: Very sexy

Character Chemistry: If you’re looking for a 380-page grovel, you’ve come to the right place

Plot: Stay with me – He tried to kill her when they were kids – Stay with me! – Now he’s a fraudulent duke – Stay with me – And she’s the queen of the Covent Garden criminal underground

Overall: MacLean nailed the close on this trilogy.

Continue reading “Review: Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean (2020)”

Anthology Review: How the Dukes Stole Christmas (2018)

Heat Factor: Hot cocoa level heat – not the burn-your-mouth kind, either

Character Chemistry: Three of four stories have insta-love and…it works okay

Plot: Connecting thread is terrible love inducing shortbread

Overall: MacLean’s snowflake scene is one of the most romantic ever. The rest is fine.

Continue reading “Anthology Review: How the Dukes Stole Christmas (2018)”