Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake written by Sarah MacLean
Publication Date: March 30th 2010
Series: Love By Numbers #1
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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.
I initially read Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake a couple of years ago and DID NOT finish it! Gasp! I know, right? Then last year, I picked up One Good Earl Deserves a Lover and I was hooked! I immediately went back and read her backlist and I am so glad that I did.
The story takes place 10 years later when Callie, wanting to be free and taking a page from her brother, creates a bucket list. Naturally, she immediately visits Gabriel in his townhouse in the middle of the night to ask for assistance. Gabriel reluctantly agrees in exchange for Callie, introducing his half-sister, Juliana Fiori (Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart, Love by Numbers #3) to society. As both Callie and Gabe are thrown together, sparks fly and before he knew it, Callie had worked her way into his heart.
I love Nine Rules. In fact, I was charmed and blown away by Lady Calpurnia (love her name, by the way) Hartwell and her antics. I love that she took charge of her own destiny by taking matters into her own hands. I especially liked her first meeting with Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston 10 years before where he called her “the Empress of Rome.” I thought that it was a unique first meeting between the two h&H because their real relationship would begin after 10 years.
I love rakes and scoundrels so it was no surprise to me that I immediately fell for Gabriel. Of course, the scene where he was assuring Callie when she was at her lowest point during her first season convinced me that he was going to be a wonderful hero.
Despite it being a little bit predictable, I loved the freshness that the author added to make it unique. There were no boring parts and for once, I did not skim the pages.
I highly recommend reading the whole Love by Numbers series.