Friday, July 20, 2018

Sarah's Review: Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake

First off, please welcome Sarah to the blog! For her first review, Sarah decided to pick up Sarah MacLean's 2010 release -- her first time with this author, and it was a hit!

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on July 26th for a chance to win an ecopy of your own!

Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake by Sarah MacLean
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (March 13, 2010)
Series: Love By Numbers, 2
Genre: Historical Romance

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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Reviews for MacLean's books:

Sarah's Review:

Hi y’all!  I’m excited to the reviewing for The Book Queen.  This is a perfect combination of my voracious reading habit, all the thoughts I have about books, and social media. When I got the email inviting me to review, I had a hard time deciding what book to review… anold favorite, a new release, something on my never ending TBR pile?! 

Then I stumbled upon SarahMacLean’s twitter and a live stream conversation she was having with a book club. I must admit to a bit of an instant author crush. As any reader does, I researched her books and decided, “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” (2010) was the place to start.

This story begins with a prologue ten years earlier. Our heroine, Callie, is 17 and being introduced to London society. She is dressed to the nines in what her mother deems fashionable and feels like an overripe apricot. In a brief meeting with the Marquess of Ralston, her heart is stolen.

When the story starts, Callie is a 27-year-old veteran of the London social scene. Her younger sister, Mariana, is having a debut season that is everything that Callie’s was not, and Callie is resigned to her fate as a spinster. She is excited for her sister but determined that if she is going to be ignored she might as well do all the things she wants to do like smoke, drink, gamble, and fire a pistol.

Unbeknownst to Callie, Ralston’s life has been upended. He discovers he has a sister, Juliana, who needs a guide into London’s social scene. Aided with liquid courage, Callie appears at Ralston’s house to check the first item, kiss someone— passionately, of course -- off her list. Ralston trades the kiss for her tutelage of his sister and Juliana’s introduction to the ton. With this deal, Ralston unintentionally signs on to help Callie check items off her to do list and in the process they realize how well suited they are for one another.

During their first kiss Ralston tells Callie

“...kisses should not leave you satisfied…They should leave you wanting.” 

This perfectly sums up this book and Sarah MacLean’s writing. The story is rich, lush, surprising…and I want more! I lean more toward contemporary and paranormal romances (which is why I think I had not discovered MacLean earlier), but this story is decidedly historical with an eye to biting social commentary about who can see and be seen in society. With MacLean’s rich storytelling we meet a heroine who is discovering, and using, her agency to learn, grow, and live the kind of life she wants to live rather than the one she feels destined for.

I am also impressed with MacLean’s hero. He is a giver of pleasure. Callie finds her own release multiple times before they consummate their relationship, in a gentleman’s gambling hall of all places. Callie’s wants and needs are centered in this story in a way that feels contemporary and timely. 

I am also enamored with the sibling relationships we see in this story. Stories are rarely about just our hero and heroine. People love, shop with, fight with, and conspire with siblings and friends. In this story we meet siblings on both sides. Those relationships add depth and richness to the story—and I can see more stories developing from those characters.

While outside of my go-to reading genre, I am glad I found Sarah MacLean’s book and her active Twitter presence. I see more of her in my future. I give “Nine Rules”

4 1/2 STARS! 

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Source: Bought

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Thanks for the review, Sarah! I'm so glad you found Sarah's books (and her awesome Twitter!).


Until Next Time,

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