Title: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publication Date: March 2010
Classification: Adult Romance Novel
Content: Adult Sex Scenes
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I had this book on my shelf for a while and I never really thought it would be that great/awesome/epic of a read. I mean it is historical romance but any historical romances that I had read in the past half a year just could not hold a candle to the woman who I think is the queen with historical romance, Lisa Kleypas. I adored her Hathaway series and in my mind no one could come close to touching the type of books that woman can write. Well let me introduce you to Sarah MacLean…
I was instantly drawn into this story as soon as I learned just a little about Callie! I mean what woman wouldn’t like this lovely lady! She is your plain Jane type of girl, the girl who spent her life watching others live their lives. She was always at the edge of the ballroom, doomed to be a spinster as she grew older. No man would ever ask her to dance and the only men who would marry her are too old, too drunk, or too poor. I instantly loved her because you could see that although she had resigned herself to this sort of life it was far from the one she wanted. I believe most women out there know what it is like to feel like you can’t attract the right man or being afraid that if you don’t do what you are told and be a size zero with DD boobs that you have no hope of attracting a man. This is simply not true even though this is what we teach girls growing up in today’s society and I think Callie’s story is a great way to showcase how a woman should really act. Callie of course had another popular weakness in that she dreamed that the male characters in the books that she read were going to be her prince charming one day. (come on ladies you all know we have book boyfriends) Plus there was always one man that she pictured as her prince, the rake of the ton, Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston.
*pulls out fan* Now ladies this is the man you want. Although he has the title of a classic rake his character is so much more than that. So I already loved Callie and the fact that she wanted a hopeless romantic type of love, now I had a great male character to love as well. Ralston, as he is refered to in the book most often, is handsome, can have his pick of any lady in town, and has a bad reputation for having mistresses and deflowering young innocent ladies. Oh he is delicious and although this only makes sense if you read the story I will never look at fencing the same way again.
Which brings me to the fact that although this was historical romance there were some certainly heated scenes in this book. The characters certainly are not afraid to show passion. Of course with great passion comes great arguments and these two have some rows along the way which adds an element of drama and suspense to the story. There is also a great plot during the whole novel, another rare thing to find in the romance genre since it got overtaken by stories that were just filled with mindless sex. You will have none of that here! There is also no instant love bullshit like YA novels. This romance happens overtime and the characters learn to care about each other. Callie is infatuated early on with Ralston but only with time does love develop.
Overall, not only were the main couple so very fascinating but the secondary characters were perfect as well. I simply can not wait to dive into the second book where we get to see Ralston’s brother, Nicholas, fall for his own special woman. He was probably my favorite secondary character because he isn’t a rake and I can’t wait to see a historical romance where the guy is a real gentleman instead of a rake that needs reforming. This was a perfect historical romance where Callie was still a strong female lead despite her time period and I can respect and love that. I just loved this story. Between the characters, the plot, the romance…oh I just loved the whole darn thing! Seriously do yourself a favor this year and buy two copies of each book in this series, one for yourself and one to give to a friend. MacLean will rival Kleypas for my favorite historical author and I have only read one book by her. That is power in my mind. 5 hearts all the way for this beautiful story.