Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers #1)

Original Title: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: Love By Numbers #1
Publisher: Avon
Published Date: March 30, 2010
Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Excellent writing and delightful romance - what else does a reader want from historical romance.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell is a twenty-eight year old unmarried wallflower, who dreams of marriage and children seem to be lost in some Neverland.  During her first season, all nervous and hopeful, Calpurnia a.k.a Callie quickly knows that she can never be the belle of the ball.  She is not as beautiful as her sister or most of the women in the society.  When she is disappointed by her aged and dull companions of the ball, she distracts herself by escaping to a garden and stumbles into Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston, who compliments her of her name and just have some normal talk.  Now, ten years later, Callie is deep in love with the Marquess, who never again seem to notice her.

Callie's younger sister, Mariana, is about to be getting married and she is still a spinster.  When Callie overhears her younger sister speaking about her as "passive", Callie thinks she have some rules to break.  Then comes our real fun.  She makes a list of nine things, which she would like to do, if she had the courage and opportunity.

Kiss someone - passionately
Smoke cheroot and drink scotch
Ride astride
Attend a duel
Fire a pistol
Gamble (at a gentleman's club)
Dance every dance at a ball
Be considered beautiful. Just once.

I think this list is awesome.  Well, on to our list, huh, sorry, Callie's list.  Resolved to complete her first item in the list, Callie reaches the Marquess of Ralston's house requesting Gabriel for a kiss.  While Callie's adventure starts like this, she finds herself in Gabriel's arms every time she tries to complete another item in her list..of course, no one can complain about THAT.

Gabriel, renowned for his notorious rakishness, who was left with a twin brother- Nicholas - and a newly found sister - Juliana Fiori, by his beautiful, but not-caring mother, is afraid and detests the concept of love.  When he needs to present his not-so-ready-for-the-society to the society.  When Callie comes to door requesting for a kiss, the attraction flares between them.  And he asks Callie, whether he could teach his sister about the ways, a woman should behave in their society.  Callie agrees and then there were those nail-biting moments for me, every time they face each other.

Slowly and deliciously, the society's most renowned rake falls for our innocent and plump wallflower, Callie, who is brought up well to hold her reputation.  What with the adventure she is seeking with her list and romancing with a rake, her reputation is at stake.  Will the Marquess of Ralston fall so hard for Callie, that he will start to love her, in spite of his hatred towards love?  Will Callie, who never lays one step out of line, will receive her share of adventure, romance and the love she ever craved for?

Most beautiful writing and fabulous romance makes this book, a downright success.

Highly recommended.

Series Order:

The series contains 3 primary works, to date:

1.  Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake
2.  Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord
3.  Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart

The series need not be read in the same order, although they are related.


  1. Great review, Vidya. I remember enjoying this one. Btw, this scene.... was it like the one in Notting Hill b/w Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant... "Iam just a girl, standing in front of a boy."

  2. Not really..but nice comparison, Mia. :) Julia Roberts looked more confident to me in that scene, that Callie. Our heroine here is acting partly because of the effect of scotch and partly of love towards the Marquess. :)


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