Monday 3 December 2012

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake Review

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.

It started with a kiss.  A very scandalous kiss I might add and that was only the first thing on ‘the list’.  At twenty eight, Lady Calpurnia Hartwood (Callie), resigned to being left on the shelf finally grabs life by the balls after her brother calls her “passive”.  She suddenly comes to the realisation that she has no idea why she should give a damn about her reputation when her only destination is spinsterville (I was practically fist pumping at this point).  Basically, Callie makes a list of scandalous things she’d like to do – like visiting a public house, smoking, drinking scotch – all things not pertaining to a lady’s behaviour and sets her heart on ticking off the items, one by one.  What she doesn’t expect however is to fall for the very guy who’s agreed to help her do it.  

Nine Rules is a thoroughly enjoyable historical romance and a very adult book with mature content (just warning you now).  That being said, I think it was very tasteful and that’s probably something to do with the historical element and the way people conversed and behaved in those days.

Although Ralston is a player, he’s respectful and a decent guy who doesn’t pretend to be anything that he’s not.  He may be a rule breaker (and because he’s a man, he can get away with it) but he treats ladies well enough whilst he’s with them and I do believe that like most players, he just haven’t found ‘the one’ yet.  Callie on the other hand is the exact opposite.  She is innocent and there’s a sad streak to her in the beginning before her true bravery comes to light.  She is described as plain and ordinary, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that message came through loud and clear whilst reading.  Basically, the stunning looking beauty in the corner isn’t always ‘the right one’ and personality counts for A LOT.  Ralston thought she was pretty anyway so that’s all right.

What I liked most about Nine Rules is the message between the lines.  It’s a book about taking chances and risks, living life to the fullest because it’s only when Callie embraces life that she truly starts living and potentially finds the one thing she is without and has craved for so  Callie believed she was nothing and acted accordingly, she made the world believe this so they treated her as such.  I wonder what would have happened if she had been different from the outset?  WE WOULDN’T HAVE HAD SUCH A GOOD NOVEL I hear you say and yes, you’re quite right.

I really enjoyed this book and whenever I read a historical novel, I always ask myself why I don’t read more books in this genre.  After reading, I immediately bought the two companion novels in the series and I look forward to finding out what happens to the rest of the characters.  This book comes highly recommended by me and I’m definitely going to be checking out more of Sarah MacLean’s work.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake was published on 30th March, 2010.  To find out more about Sarah MacLean and her books, please click here to visit her website.


  1. I love this book! (and all the series by the way)
    thanks for reviewed!

  2. Pretty sure that when romancing a rake, you need to break every rule, and GET IT. Just saying.

    Bahaha, this sounds kind of awesome, ngl. I love that she took her brother's description of her as passive as a challenge. Hell yeah!

    Wait, his name is Ralston? O_o I don't think I can take him entirely seriously. Then again, it's a romance novel, so that may not be the point. Also, I totally believe that same thing about most players. One guy I know who claimed he didn't believe in relationships is in one now. Only too him about a year. Yeah, right, buddy.

    1. I'm laughing at your first sentence as yes, you're probably right but romancing a rake wasn't her intention ;) Ralston is his surname, he has another name but it's rarely used.

  3. This book sounds really good. I love your take on the message to take risks/chances- its always nice when a book leaves you with a thought to take away from it, and its always nice to see a female protagonist learning to kick ass at life.
    New follower.

    1. I love books with messages that come through loud and clear! Thanks for commenting and following :)