Summary from Goodreads:
The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean.
Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she’s never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London’s most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.
Like any good scientist, Pippa’s done her research and Cross’s reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion—the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it’s more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts—and giving the lady precisely what she wants.
(I don’t know about this cover copy, though – Pippa’s more than “nearly engaged” at the beginning of the book. The wedding is scheduled.)
[ETA: This is one that I’m very sad to lose the full review from the original post at Brazen Reads – I only have the last full paragraph. I loved this book so much that I’m not even going to being to be able to reconstitute it.]
Pippa is a character after my own heart. It aches for her because she believes that no one will truly love her because she’s odd, and scientific, and has glasses. And for all of us fellow Geek Girls with Glasses: we’ve been there. Pippa gets her happy ending because she is herself, no matter how much Society tells her she needs to change (and her dog, Trotula).
Cross is a hero more than equal to her – and he’s a ginger to boot – with a guilt-laden past. He gives Pippa everything she asks for including a scorching seduction scene in which hero and heroine do not touch one another yet the room is almost on fire at the end.
Sarah MacLean has created a character far superior to any other bluestocking, non-normal heroine in the romance genre. Pippa is given leeway to speak freely, frankly, and intelligently. She is bold and unafraid of self-examination. Because of this the plot resolves itself in an unpredictable way – instead of the hero rescuing the heroine, it is the other way ’round. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is one of the best books to release in 2013 – yes, I know it’s January now but this is the best MacLean novel to date.