Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
(Love By Numbers, #1) by Sarah MacLean
Published: March 30, 2010 by Avon
Received: Checked out from my library
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. [goodreads]
To say that I adored this book is putting it lightly. I've had a taste of historical romance, but this one put my appetite over the edge! There is something so intriguing about this world set in history where women were to act with such a grace and excellence, yet never to push the boundaries. The heroine in this story not only stepped across the line, she went so far beyond it that I found myself unable to put the book down.
Lady Calpurnia is a spinster, which means she's accepted her fate to never marry and be the wallflower who sits on the sidelines of life, witnessing other's encounters with romance - even though love is something she's longed for for quite some time. Her passionate mind has led her astray to countless daydreams of far away lands, with breathtaking men to captivate her heart. The man who plays center stage in her daydreams? Well that would be the Marquess of Ralston.
She's conjured up a list of items she'd daringly like to accomplish, since after all her reputation is of no importance once you're considered a spinster. However, fate has something else in mind for Lady Calpurnia, which leads her straight to Ralston as she attempts to check each item off her list. What begins as a shared acceptance to help the other out, soon sparks into a full on passion-filled romance that neither saw coming. I was instantly pulled toward their encounters, just waiting until the next extravagant experience would turn these two characters toward one another.
I highly recommend this novel if you're a fan of adult romances, particularly historical ones that leave the mind breathless and the passion steaming from the pages. I will definitely be reading more from Sarah MacLean.