Publisher: Avon Historical Romance
Release: March 30, 2010
Source: I purchased this book to read and review
A lady does not smoke cheroot.
She does not ride astride.
She does not fence or attend duels.
She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen’s club.
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she’s vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she’s been missing. But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.
If she’s not careful, she’ll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love . . .
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is a book I ran across by accident. The title caught my eye as I’ve recently been enjoying fellow bloggers’s posts about lists, and quite frankly, I’d just finished reading Julia Quinn’s latest “Ten Things”. Although I’ve never read anything by this author before, and knew nothing about this, I decided to give the book a read. I loved this book!! It was so refreshing!
Here are the rules:
Kiss someone – passionately
Smoke a cheroot and drink scotch
Attend a duel
Fire a Pistol
Gamble (at a gentleman’s club)
Dance every dance at a ball
Be considered beautiful. Just Once.
As we can see from the blurb above, this story is about Lady Calpurnia (Callie) Hartwell. She is 28 years old, her much younger sister has just become engaged to a Duke and everyone is commenting on the reasons why she is “on the shelf” so to speak. It occurs to her that she has spent the first 28 years of her life religiously following all the rules and look where it has gotten her. She now feels she needs to make a new list of rules – these ones are the ones she will follow. She is tired of sitting around waiting for life to happen, and makes her list to help her experience life.
Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston is devastatingly handsome and has a wicked reputation. At the beginning of the book he finds out that he has a half-sister. His mother left him and his brother many years before and apparently had a daughter with her Italian lover. The two brothers aim to present Juliana (their sister) to society. In order to help them with this they need a sponsor who is above reproach.
Callie runs into Gabriel once in the first year of her come-out and now decides that he is the perfect partner to help her complete her list. To that end, she breaks into his house in the middle of the night to ask him to kiss her. He agrees to kiss her and maybe help her with her list, if she agrees to help prepare and present Juliana to society. The “deal with the devil” is made. At this point, I’ll leave the book for those who want to read this book and don’t want the story spoiled!
I feel that this book is brilliantly written! It is wonderful story about a woman who doesn’t fit into the point in society in which she is born and how she finally turns into a peacock so to speak. Callie bravely takes hold of her life and decides to make some changes in a time when young women had very few freedoms, and abuse of societies rules was swift and brutal. She systematically accomplished the items on her list regardless of what or who got in her way or tried to talk her out of her actions. Gabe goes from being a rakehell to trying to be a proper gentleman. He doesn’t want to fall for Callie’s charms, and he is trying to introduce his sister into society. His reactions to the various situations he is put in by Callie is beautifully written. The chemistry between he and Callie is strong, and the love scenes sizzle.
I’ve seen several criticisms of this book, but I found it to be a delightful comment on a woman’s place in Regency England.
Romance Rookie liked this debut book saying:”Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a RakeSarah MacLean’s debut novel. It was chosen as a RT’s book of excellence pick and has gotten favorable reviews on the blogosphere. I am on a historical romance kick and thought I would try out this new author. I was very glad I did give MacLean a chance as I felt that this was a very enjoyable book is .”
RTBookReviews nominated this book for 2010 Historical Romance of the Year and said: “MacLean has penned a fast-paced, funny tale with a marvelous cast of characters who captivate and enchant. This book should come with a warning: Once you start, you won’t want to put it down!”
This book was also a NY Times bestseller and a USA Today Bestseller
For more information on more books from Sarah MacLean visit her website HERE.