Author: Sarah MacLean
Original Title: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake
Release Year: 2010
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, regency
Series: 1° of Love By Numbers series
I must thanks my dear friend Mary for the decision to finally read Sarah MacLean's novel, she's an awesome reviewer with a remarkable Historical Romance knowledge, I always rely on her when I need a romance advice (check her blog out if you want, it's worth it!); I bought Nine rules to break when romancing a rake several days ago (maybe weeks is more appropriate...) but for several reasons, including the fact that this novel purchase was part of compulsive books shopping and ARCs requesting, I put it temporarily aside...and now I regret it.
I found a similarity between Sarah MacLean and Lisa Klypas' stories timings, and if you are not new to this blog probably you already know my strong passion and appreciation for the latter; I LOVE Kleypas' characteristic choice of the dramatic turn of events at the “end” of her romances, when the reader starts to relax for the imminent happy ending (which will definitely arrive but not that easily): it creates a thrilling feeling which drags the attention giving that last satisfying excitement and making the protagonists' love and connection even more strong and touching. Well the author, in Nine rules used the same escamotage, and I enjoyed the plot even more because of that.
Lady Calpurnia “Callie” Hartwell has always followed the rules, she's the image of the perfect unmarried lady who, ten years earlier, during her debut, has desperately fallen in love with one of the handsomest and most notorious rake among the society: the Marquess of Ralston, Gabriel St. John.
Callie, at twenty seven years old, is now considered a spinster. But impeccable manners and a spotless reputation aren't enough anymore and that's why she decides to draw up a list to break the rules she has so diligently followed until now. And who better than the rules-breaker-by-definition, the Marquess of Ralston, could help her?
The author has been exceptionally good in the plot organisation, there are not boring, dead or useless moments.
I liked both the protagonists; Gabriel is very well-characterised and refined; his emotional part is strong, charming and intriguing, and I felt it clearly.
Callie on the other side is very good as well but I didn't actually empathise with her because of her behaviour towards Gabriel's almost systematic inclination to say something bad in front (or not) of her, she's way too inclined to easily forgive him.
There are a lot of interesting characters...I'm especially eager to know more about Benedick, Callie's brother.