Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake: 1 Mass Market Paperback – 30 March 2010
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- Mass Market Paperback : 422 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061852058
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061852053
- Dimensions : 17.53 x 10.97 x 3 cm
- Publisher : Avon Books (30 March 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 695,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
An entertaining Regency debut.... The 19th-century clothes are luscious, the 21st-century sensibility is raunchy, and it's all implausible, escapist fun.--Publishers Weekly
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!--Romantic Times BOOKclub
Wow, what a great book! I love it. One of the best wrenching-heart scenes ever...Fabulous!--Eloisa James
From the Back Cover
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 . . .
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Top reviews from Australia
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The book centres on the heat between the Ralston and Calpurnia but I did not find it convincing despite pages of groaning sucking and licking. The main problem for me I could not understand why they liked each other apart from animal magnetism. And there were lines like 'she was his piano, he played her body with his warm hands' that were more funny than erotic.
But there is still lots to like with interesting side characters and an enjoyable writing style. But I'm glad I read the later book in this series as it shows how talented this author really is.
Top reviews from other countries
A frustrated 28-year-old spinster ticks off items on a scandalous to-do list, starting with kissing her long-term crush: a man who doesn't believe he can love until this wallflower rocks his world.
The good and the bad:
Well, this book has secured Sarah Maclean's place on my Fantastic Author Billboard (see my profile page for more info).
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell is an absolute sweetheart and you really feel her pain - as a teenager she failed to catch the interest of the local studs and within a couple of years she has completely resigned herself to being a plain Jane spinster, overshadowed by her beautiful younger sister.
Even cad-about-town Marquess Gabriel St John hasn't noticed her in the ten years she has spent camouflaged against the dance hall walls each season.
But then Lady C finds her inner vixen and throws caution to the wind, starting by smooching Gabriel. This pique's Gabriel's interest and pretty soon you are screaming "just tell her you love her!" But he won't because his troubled childhood has left him with a complex about relationships.
It's gripping (though marginally less than the Rules of Scoundrels series).
There is the usual Maclean humour, with some chuckle worthy moments, and can we talk about the sex, please? Maclean is the master of raunchy romping scenes. There's plenty of them throughout; they're graphic and they're hot. I think my favourite might have been at the fencing club... Or maybe at the gentlemen's club... Or...
Judge for yourself - buy this book!
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell is twenty-eight years old, unmarried and now considered a spinster. She's entirely fed up of the proper life of a lady, and so writes a list of things she'd like to do, activities that men typically do, like gambling and fencing. Gabriel St John, the Marquess of Ralston, unwittingly finds himself as her partner in crime, and soon it's more than just Callie's reputation on the line. Could she fall in love with a renowned rake?
I haven't read enough historical romance to comment on whether this is one of the best ones out there, but for me it certainly beats most other books I've read recently. Sarah Maclean writes with a style that can only be described as addictive, and makes her characters truly unforgettable. I never for one minute thought I'd genuinely love a regency romance, but love is indeed the only appropriate word I can use to describe my reading experience!
Callie, for me, is the best kind of heroine. She's been repressed for years, bogged down by society's rules and regulations - their idea of how a lady should behave - and she's had enough. She's on the shelf anyway, so what does her reputation matter? The fact that she decided to forego all that and do what she wants is testament to her character - she's completely headstrong and stubborn and, to the people of the ton, really quite mad. She goes after what she wants without a care for how it will affect her reputation in the long run, instead choosing to enjoy herself and actually live her life. Despite her situation, she's an independent woman who will do anything to get what she wants, by any means necessary. Which is where Ralston comes in.
Ralston is a rake, well-known for his less than positive reputation. He beds women, gambles, avoids as many social events as possible and behaves as any unattached Marquess should. He's everything Callie has ever dreamed of for over a decade, but he doesn't even notice her until the day she strides into his bedchamber. He's much like Callie when it comes to character traits: he too is infuriatingly stubborn, so used to getting his way with everyone and everything. He has trouble with feelings thanks to an absent mother, making it difficult for him to really let anyone in. His development throughout the novel is so brilliantly written and realised, and he's a male lead I won't be forgetting in a hurry! Plus, he's ridiculously handsome with the ability to raise only one eyebrow. Sigh.
Another aspect of this book I enjoyed is the whole Regency setting. My best friend happens to be an Austen enthusiast, so I know a fair amount about that period in history. I still learnt a lot of stuff through reading this book - mostly about the ton and the rules of ladies and lords - and I really enjoyed it. It was a completely different, alien world back then, with different manners and ways of life. The men were proper and romantic, while the women were mostly focused on securing themselves a well-to-do husband. My, how times have changed!
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake has opened my eyes to the world of historical regency romance and has left me with a strong yearning to read/watch Pride and Prejudice again. It's one of those novels that takes over your life while you're reading it and is, in my opinion, the best introduction to this genre you could hope for. I loved every single page of it and I can't wait to read the rest of Sarah MacLean's Love by Numbers series. I think she's created a new historical fiction fan!
All in all - not a bad reading but I had better
After all, she's never even been kissed! Luckily she has just the rake in mind to help her out - Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston - who Callie's been in love with for ten long years. But when Ralston bargains for her help in return for a kiss, a new Callie is born, and it's time to have some fun.
Ridiculous, frivolous, funny and thoroughly enjoyable, Callie's adventures in the top tier of the ton are a delight. As a proper girl who has always done what's expected of her, no one could blame her for being tired of being good. Especially when it's done nothing for her. And the bold, frequently fearless way she sets about achieving her list with such romantic naivety makes her hopelessly endearing. She's no fool, she's just had enough of being ignored while life passes her by.
Ralston is a suitably handsome hero, seductive and sinful, with an awkward habit of turning noble at just the wrong moments. He's got enough shadows in his past to hint at being a tragic hero, but his cheeky twin brother and unexpected sister save him from angst. As does his indulgence for Callie's starts, no matter how ridiculous they are.
Pure fun from start to finish, with a sparkling historical setting, a touch of adventure, a hint of wickedness and bundles of romance, MacLean is a great addition to the genre. As for whether Callie achieves everything on her list... well, you'll just have to read it and see.