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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 . . .

Topics: England, London, Regency Era, First in a Series, Playful, Adventurous, Twins, Forbidden Love, Social Class, and Heiress

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061987946
List price: $2.99
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had do read until i fined...it is fullnof adventure more
Very good! Could not put it down. more
This is the first book I've read by this author, and I've already read a second and purchased a third! Even though the title is a real mouthful, the story is a whole lot of fun. The characters are believeable and realistic--and I especially enjoy reading books where the heroines aren't skinny twigs--and of course, who doesn't like reading the story of a rake reformed by love? Sarah MacLean writes with a dry humor that had me laughing out loud. This book is a sure bet for anyone who enjoys historical romances. The second in the series, Ten Ways to be Adored While Landing a Lord, is equally anjoyable, and I'm counting the days until her third, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, comes out. I'm very glad I found this author!more
I had a taste for a historical romance, and this one was cute and quick. Nothing particularly memorable here for me, but not a bad read.more
Funny and enjoyable.more
I really expected not to like this novel. I found the idea of the list almost cringe-inducingly silly - I imagined rolling my eyes every time prim-and-proper Callie decided it was time to smoke a cigar or visit a pub. But I read enough good reviews that I decided to give the book a try, and it turned out to be fantastic. Callie's rule breaking is about coming to terms with her own spinsterhood, about understanding why she has to feel guilty for being on the shelf when a man of her age would just be a happy bachelor. She's really more interested in being free to accept herself, free to live her life, than she is in making some sort of rebellious statement. She's not a rebel at all, which is why her list ends up being so fascinating.

Gabriel, for his part, is perfectly dreamy and the tension between them is fantastic. She's so in love with him, and so deeply convinced that he could never reciprocate the emotion. It's another play on the idea of preconceived notions, which is so much a part of her list. And Gabriel falls into the same trap. He's head over heels in love with her before he realizes it, and has a hard time accepting the idea that he - handsome, desirable to many - wants Callie more than anyone else.

Heartfelt, lots of emotion, tugged on my heartstrings in just the right way. Huge fan of this book.
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This was a great story and I really enjoyed it. Lady Calpurnia has been a wallflower thru 10 seasons and at the age of 28 after a chance remark by her brother she decided to change her ways and take what she wants. She makes a list of her goals and sets out to cross them off one by one sometimes with unexpected consequences. Can she find what she has been looking for?more
I loved this book!!! I loved Callie. She was such a strong, independent woman - especially given the era. I also loved Gabriel and enjoyed watching him realize he was in love with her. There were a lot of great moments in this story and some interactions with all of the characters. The words just flowed across the pages. Once it got steamy, it was really steamy! MacLean knows how to write an amazing love scene.more


Lady Calpurnia is a lonely spinster who has harbored a crush for the gorgeous Marquess of Ralston since the time she was an 18 year old wallflower. As the novel opens, Calpurnia's family is celebrating the marriage of her younger sister and she becomes unbearably aware of the fact that her own opportunity for love and life has passed her by, leaving her to a life of spinsterhood and loneliness. Impulsively, she decides to take life by the horns and creates a list of the things she would want to do if she doesn't have to worry about society's restrictions and rules. And so, MacLean does a fantastic job of setting up the action of the story.

The first 100 pages or so are absolutely charming. Needless to say, Calpurnia's plan brings the Marquess into the mix with delicious results. There are many things which are quite enjoyable about the book. I like that MacLean creates a character who is lonely and truly vulnerable emotionally, a character who has a lot of personal development that needs to take place. I really enjoyed the dialogue because I thought it was well done and not too much. I loved the family dynamic, especially the amazing, supportive Benedick (the overbearing older brother is so overdone) and the loyal Anne (I could have done without the irritating Mariana.) I think the author did a great job of fleshing out the character of Calpurnia, who I found sweet and adorable.

There were some things in the novel, however, that I most definitely did NOT like. The novel tended to drag for me a little bit toward the end and I thought it could have been 50 pages shorter. I thought the Marquess was kind of an ass, honestly, and he doesn't seem that bright. Their verbal interactions were interesting because of Calpurnia's insights and passion, not because of his. He was hot, though, I'll give him that. I thought the whole "evil mother" premise sort of weak, and in my mind it didn't excuse his poor behavior. Furthermore, I felt like the pacing of the conflict was inconsistent. Calpurnia and Ralston would get into an argument, for instance, and both would flounce off, and the next time they meet, they start going at it, seemingly forgetting their previous fight. It got kind of old toward the end...

A last word: I thought it kind of cool that the author chose not to frame Ralston's mistress into evil Satan, just because she's hotter than the heroine and happened to be with him before her. I think it may be interesting if MacLean chose to write a book featuring Nastasia's story. And let's not forget adorable Benedick...more
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has lived a life of always living by the rule book, never breaking any rules especially that in society, and yet she is still unmarried. So deciding that she wants some changes in her life, she writes a list of nine things that she wants to do, that she has always wanted to that she feels she has missed out on now that she feels that she is on the shelf; but because she is a woman, she is restricted to respectable activities. But as she starts crossing items off of her list, she starts to see that she has a partner in her list of daring things, who is none other than Gabriel St John, the Marquess of Ralston, who is too charming and wicked for his own good. But as the risks of her adventures escalates so does the passion that ignites between them, that starts to blossom into a love that will come up behind them and surprise them in ways that they never expected.Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake by Sarah Maclean, was purely wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed it and had it read in just under a few hours, I found it to be such a enthralling romance that had me resisting to ever putting it down despite the bruised elbows (since my favorite position is to read on my stomach) And I think one of my favorite things about their relationship is the witty interchange between the two and had me amused till the very end of the book. Also the plot was truly entertaining. We have Callie, who has always obeyed the society rules, which have brought her only loneliness and a yearning for dreams and desires and that fear that they will never be fulfilled. So she starts writing a list of things that no respectable lady would ever do, and would cause a scandal. Such as Fence, Attending a Duel, Gambling at a Gentlemans Club (where women are never allowed), but she somehow adopts a companion that protects her reputation yet steals sensual embraces that would cause anyone sensible to blush the roots of a carrot. Yet there is a strong connection between these two characters that are so enjoyable to see progess throughout this story that leaves the reader breathless with anticipation with every page turned. I truly have enjoyed reading this story and am looking forward to reading the next one in the series, I can hardly wait!!!! Sarah MacLean is such a remarkable writer into historical romance, that no one would want to miss out on!!!more
I absolutely LOVE this book!!! It was a great adventure and fun romance story! I would recommend it to everyone!more
Fun romance in the grand tradition but with a strong female lead that is much more than a victim of circumstance. Great beach read!more
I started this book last night and stayed up until 4am trying to finish it. In the end I had to give up about 60 pages from the end because I had to function the next day. However, the book was just so good, that I considered eschewing sleep one night just to find out how Callie and Ralston’s story ended. This is only my second Sarah Maclean book but she is fast becoming one of my favorite historical romance writers. Callie, twenty-eight, has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood when she comes up with the idea to write a list of improper things that she’s always wanted to do. The list includes tasks such as “smoke cheroot and drink scotch,” “attend a duel,” and “kiss someone-passionately.” Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake has such a great, original premise. Armed with a list of activities that no proper young lady should even think about much less try to accomplish, Callie sets out to find adventure. With little prospect for marriage, Callie decides to have some fun, even if it means tarnishing her spotless reputation. Callie was a character that I could really relate to. Plainer than most (though prettier than I think she believes), Callie is sweet and endearing and also has a lot of spirit in her. She’s never felt herself really worthy of admiration or love and it’s painful at times to watch her cut herself down. I did get frustrated a few times when Callie jumped to conclusions, immediately thinking the worst of Ralston. But her self confidence and self esteem grow and she really comes into her own by the end of the book. Lord Ralston is the kind of rake I love - arrogant, smart, charming and irresistible. On the surface Ralston is a shameless rogue but, as the story goes on, he proves to loyal and kind as well. Ralston and Callie have crazy chemistry and the love scenes definitely raised the temperature in the room. The book also has a great cast of secondary characters and I found myself wanting to know more about Ralston’s sister Juliana and his twin brother, Nick. Yes, more of both, please. am really looking forward to reading both of their stories soon.Do yourself a favor and pick this book up ASAP! Be a little smarter than me and don’t start it late at night though because this is a book you’ll want to finish in one sitting.more
I really enjoyed this book, but there were a few issues.A subplot with Ralston's sister, Juliana was introduced, but never followed through with. I don't understand why it was in the book. There were a few grammatical and wording errors, for example statutes instead of statues.Also, the sex scenes had some strange wording. There were too many references to her "sweet rain" and "sipping", which made me think of nursing.Although, I complained a lot in this review, overall the book was really good. I stayed-up too late finishing it and am going to follow this author.more
I picked Nine Rules to Break up on a whim due to a conversation I had with some other bloggers on Twitter. I am so glad I did! I've been reading a lot of sci-fi and young adult books lately. A nice dose of adult romance was a fun break from all that. Historical romance is genre I really enjoy and don't read often enough. This is definitely one of my favorites that I've read of the genre so far. Normally I always recommend Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series for someone looking for romance. I'll definitely be recommending this one too from now on. It was so much fun! Hysterical in parts, and also poignant at times. Callie Hartwell is a very fun and relatable heroine. I really enjoyed her thoughts and personality. Her jump into being more daring was a bit sudden, but that just made it more fun to read. I loved the chemistry between her and Ralston, because sometimes their interactions were more silly then romantic, and that made their chemistry so much more realistic feeling. This is not an original plotline. In fact, it is a lot like Kleypas' Wallflower series, so it must just be a plot I generally enjoy. The heroine that has always been overlooked deciding to throw convention out the window and do what she good-and-well-feels-like-doing-thank-you-very-much. So if you enjoy that storyline with a large dose of romance and constant laughing...pick this up, because you will love it!more
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell is a 28 year old spinster. She has accepted this role and is quite comfortable in it, or at least she was until one day she overhears her little sister talking about her and saying that she is passive, that she will make a great aunt but she would have made a great mother too. This is a wakeup call for her, she was always passionate and was hoping to find the love of her life, but time went by and nothing. Now she finds herself feeling old, plump and average, and she decides to change that. But she doesn’t get a makeover, nope, she writes a list of the outrageous unladylike things she wants to do. Among those things we have drinking scotch, riding astride and getting her first kiss. Since the kiss is number one on the list she decides to do it with the guy she has secretly admire for the past ten years, Gabriel St. John, Marquis of Ralston, who happens to be a very famous rake.I admit that some time ago I suffered from historical romance overdose, especially regency novels. I think I read so many that I just couldn’t stand them anymore. And by that time I had discovered contemporary romance which marked my official breakup with the 19th century. But of course there will always be some remaining feelings. Besides, my relationship with historical romance was a very passionate one. So when the third book in this series started to make a lot of noise in the reviewing community I was very curious. Since I hate reading series out of order I decided to give this one a try first and see how it went. Boy was I in for a ride! Let me tell you, if I keep finding regency novels as good as this one, I might ask the genre to take me back.This book had a very old and tried premise, the ugly duckling. And everything that happens is very unoriginal and actually predictive. You have the ugly plump spinster who longs for a happily ever after, the unapologetic rake who has some unresolved mommy issues, there is the evil vixen lover, the funny best friend sidekick, there is even a makeover. It has all of that but not really, all this clichés are presented in a way that makes them fresh, the evil vixen is not really evil, the makeover doesn’t really makes her look much better and by the time it happens our hero has seen past the appearances. The heroine takes charge of things, the hero is instantly charmed by the heroine but their relationship grows slowly. It was refreshing to say the least and by the end of the book I could understand why everyone was charmed by this author. The leads were both very likeable. The heroine steals the show, but I think that Gabriel was the perfect match for her. I loved her damned the torpedoes attitude, and I loved that he was both charmed and scandalized by her actions. The secondary characters were also good. Callie’s little sister, Gabriel’s twin brother Nick. Then there is Juliana, she is Nick and Gabriel’s Italian half-sister, she was just a joy to read.The only thing that bothered me was the final big misunderstanding, it didn’t last long but I think that since the book had such an interesting take on a very old plot, it could have done without the very old plot devise. Of course you see it coming, but I was hoping that they will deal with it in a different way, maybe just communicating and being honest with each other.The other thing that I noticed after reading the second book was that the sex scenes were basically the same ones, is like Sarah used the exact same mold for each book. The last book fortunately is different, but I suppose that is because is the heroine doing the corrupting of the hero and not the other way around.Overall the book was wonderful, if you like your historicals a bit lighthearted, without much drama and very hot, this book will be perfect for you. I liked it very much, and as you might tell after reading my review, once I finished it, I went and bough the other two books. I not only recommend this book, but the other two as well. You won’t regret it. This is a case of well-deserved reputation.more
Based on the title, I was anticipating a story not unlike Julia Quinns "10 things...." which was very funny and lighthearted. I was a bit disappointed. Though it was entertaining, there were a lot of cliche moments. I have read a lot of books from this genre and I felt like this book was not very original.more
When Lady Calpurnia's younger sister becomes happily engaged to one of the ton's best catches, she can't help but feel that she is firmly on the shelf and that life has passed her by. She makes a list of adventures that she wants to experience and top of the list is to be kiss passionately. In truth Callie has only one man in mind for the task, the Marquess of Ralston. When Callie shows up in Ralston's bedroom in the middle of the night he agrees to the kiss on the condition that she sponsor his newly discovered half sister in society. Soon Ralston catches Callie as she tries to complete the items on her list and finds himself attracted to the honest, open hearted Callie. Ralston, however, has no faith in love after his mother heartlessly abandons her family but Callie's generous and passionate ways have him reconsidering his roguish ways.more
Interesting idea, a wallflower who who seeks out scandalous adventures. The writing is good. Likable characters. So why didn't I like it more? Because everything was so cliché. Experienced alpha male who all of a sudden wants the virginal heroine. He can't love her because all women are like his mother. Reads like a check list of things to be included in a regency romance. Nothing new or exciting but still an enjoyable read. I know the author can write a better story.more
There's been alot said about this book already so I'll just keep my review short and sweet.This was fabulous.more
I thought I already reviewed this a while back, but apparently not. Anyhoo, what an AWESOMELY WICKED foray into the romance genre! Hats off - just the hats, mind you - to Sarah MacLean for keeping the bubbly fun from her YA debut The Season and cranking up the heat to scorching hot! A must-read for anyone who enjoys historical romance full of romp, pomp, and chompful of humor!more
The charm and humor of Julia Quinn, with the sex scenes of a Stephanie Laurens. Entertaining, fun, and steamy.more
Started out really good, then the heroine started doing and saying stupid, immature things and the book lost me. That was not the heroine’s character as first presented. She regressed into a state where I lost sympathy with her.more
I loved Sarah's YA book "The Season" but I think this one may even be better! Both the hero and heroine were endearing and had great chemistry. Definitely looking forward to Nick's story (as well as more YA books!).more
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell feels a bit ridiculous. A self-proclaimed, plain Jane, with a rather silly name, and more figure and curves than are fashionable, she even looks ridiculous in the horror of a dress her mother insisted she wear to her debut ball. Adding to the ridicule of being plain and looking horrid, Callie hasn't danced with one eligible or desirable man all evening and has been reduced to a wallflower at her own coming out ball. Feeling rather sorry for herself, and loathing all the rules of society that claim a well-born lady must make nice with everyone, even undesirable oaths, she escapes to the garden where she can feel sorry for herself and dwell on the shame of being such a disaster at her own ball. Ladies are not suppose to hide unattended in the garden, at night, and they aren't suppose to engage in conversation and flirtation with a well known rake, like the Marquess of Ralston even if he is devastatingly handsome. He's kind are not intended for girls like Callie.Ten years later, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has been relegated to permanent spinster with no hopes of a match and she hasn't danced at a ball in years. With her lace cap, and still ridiculous dresses chosen by her mother, she seems much older than she is. Sitting on the side lines with the other unfortunates of her class, she watches as life and love happens around her. When her younger sister lands not only a duke, but a duke that loves her, Callie can't help but feel that her last ten years have been wasted and she longs for a love of her own- and an adventure. Problem is, for the last ten years her fantasy hero has had only one face, that of the irreputable Marquess of Ralston. She decides then and there that she is quite fed up with her role in life and pens a scandalous list of nine, forbidden adventures she would like to have and she's going to accomplish at least one of them tonight- "Kiss someone- passionately."It's ok to stop at this point and squeal. I am. I'm also sleep deprived because I read this book in one sitting because it's impossible to put down. This story is so much fun! Callie is such a refreshing character, an ahem, older heroine in search of adventure and freedom from her everyday life and the unspoken rules and regulations of a society that has kept her trapped, even from herself, for ten years. By day she is the picture of decorum and manners as she councils a young lady about to enter society and by night she is daring and rash, shocking even herself as she breaks every rule she's ever adhered to. She engages the Marquess as her partner in crime and the ill reputed playboy quickly has to take on the roll of protector as this well-born lady goes down her list, astounding even the Marquess.I just adore Callie and envy her lack of restraint, especially in a time when a lady was only ever allowed to be a lady. Her adventures may not be shocking by our standards but for 1823 England her actions were unheard of and her single-minded determination is admirable in any age.MacLean has made an instant fan. Her writing is clean and precise making for a seamless story that tells without so much as a hiccup from start to finish. There's nothing silly about her characters, they are well defined and immediately lovable- even our bad boy, and her love story never comes across as sappy. Be advised that the Ralston's dialogue is best read with a fan handy.more
Oh, but I loved this book! One of my fave reads of the year thus far. See, I picked this up because I had read a couple of reviews on it and they were saying how gloriously wonderful it was and yada yada yada. So, I picked it up because I figured it couldn't be that great - but YES, it was that great.This book has everything that I love in a Regency romance. The heroine is not your average damsel in distress. Oh no, Callie is on-the-shelf, and doomed to a life of spinsterhood. Thus the list is born... to smoke a cheroot, drink scotch, ride astride, fence, attend a duel, fire a pistol, to gamble at a gentleman's club, dance every dance at a ball, be considered beautiful (just once), to kiss someone passionately. And she sets right off and does exactly that... well, kiss someone passionately that is (that someone being Gabriel, the Marquess of Ralston, known as a notorious rake and the man who Callie has crushed on for the past decade) and thus our journey begins. What really made this book stand out for me from the rest:The fact that Callie is plain and plump really made her appealing to me. I liked the fact that she wasn't a stunning beauty with a willowy frame. The fact that Gabriel loved her with no prejudice as to her curves and looks really worked for me. As for Gabriel, I thought it refreshing that he wasn't a man running from commitment or love, but instead he had issues with relationships because of his parents' disastrous marriage. All the supporting characters were loads of fun as well - especially the siblings. There were brilliant laugh-out-loud moments, the witty banter and teasing between Gabriel and Callie will leave you smiling, and the tension/romance was just perfect. Oh, and I forgot to mention the hot and heavy scenes were well just that... hot and heavy. Very sexy (something that I rarely find in historicals)... I'm just saying. ;)Overall, this was a tremendously enjoyable read and one that I highly recommend to lovers of romance (no matter what your favorite sub-genre is) this will appeal to everyone.more
While I usually don’t read Historical Romances, I have to say that lately I’ve been really shocked at the good historical romances I’ve been reading, including this one. I was totally intrigued in reading the synopsis on the back because one of the things that I don’t like about historical romances is how the main lady is so dependent and how timid and shy they are. But this was not the case with this story, though in the beginning our main character Callie spent her beginning years up until she turned 28 being just that, she then decided to take her life in her own hands and decided to start living by her own rules. And so she devised a list of all the things that she wanted to experience in life, not giving a care to her reputation or what others would think of her. In comes the devastatingly handsome Gabriel St. John Marques of Ralston to help her in her quest to find the real Callie. We are thrown into a high paced romance between the two as each of them find what they are really looking for in life thorough the adventure of accomplishing every task on Callie’s list. The romance was so hot and steamy and the relationship between Gabriel and Callie had me so engrossed in the story that I couldn’t put it down; I had to know how Callie was going to accomplish the next task and how Gabriel would factor in helping her. I loved reading how Gabriel slowly fell in love with Callie and how Callie found her independence. The historical time period only enhanced the plot line, giving added intrigue and dept to the story. The plot was interesting, the characters compelling and the romance hot; with all those factors this was a wonderful well told story. I would defiantly be reading more historical romances and would recommend this book!!more
Spinster-in-the-making Lady Calpurnia "Callie" Hartwell has had it up to here with being the good, demure lady. She has no romantic prospects, and so decides to follow through on her desires to engage in unladylike activities--such as fencing, smoking, and drinking--that she has always wanted to do. In doing so, she inadvertently enlists the "help"--and captures the attention--of Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston, the infamous rake with whom she's been in love with for years.Pure escapist smut, of course, but I don't think I've ever had so much fun reading a historical romance before. I haven't read enough HRs to notice tropes or whatnot (okay, that's so not true--there's always the whole rake + innocent virgin = reform and true love thing, but still), but I enjoyed the heck out of Callie and Ralston's interactions. Callie struggles relatably against her society's stifling rules. She is part modern woman, part enticingly vulnerable FEMALE.In comparison, Ralston feels a little underdeveloped. I wanted to see more of how he comes to fall for her. We get quite a bit of internal monologue from Callie's POV; why can't Ralston have some of the same himself? Despite that, I thought the plot flowed, the "sex scenes" deliciously but not tastelessly so. Ralston and Callie have an incredible chemistry, and Sarah MacLean is an impressive historical romance writer, as I am happy to say after feeling lukewarm towards her YA historical debut, The Season. I am definitely checking out more of Sarah's future HR books!more
I'm sorry, but this is rubbish! Modern characters transposed to the nineteenth century by replacing 'will' by 'shall' is just really annoying. Its a shame, because the basic plot is quite fun, but there has been no research (other than, I guess, reading equally poor 'regency' romances) and the quality of the writing is not good either.more
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Reviews

had do read until i fined...it is fullnof adventure more
Very good! Could not put it down. more
This is the first book I've read by this author, and I've already read a second and purchased a third! Even though the title is a real mouthful, the story is a whole lot of fun. The characters are believeable and realistic--and I especially enjoy reading books where the heroines aren't skinny twigs--and of course, who doesn't like reading the story of a rake reformed by love? Sarah MacLean writes with a dry humor that had me laughing out loud. This book is a sure bet for anyone who enjoys historical romances. The second in the series, Ten Ways to be Adored While Landing a Lord, is equally anjoyable, and I'm counting the days until her third, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, comes out. I'm very glad I found this author!more
I had a taste for a historical romance, and this one was cute and quick. Nothing particularly memorable here for me, but not a bad read.more
Funny and enjoyable.more
I really expected not to like this novel. I found the idea of the list almost cringe-inducingly silly - I imagined rolling my eyes every time prim-and-proper Callie decided it was time to smoke a cigar or visit a pub. But I read enough good reviews that I decided to give the book a try, and it turned out to be fantastic. Callie's rule breaking is about coming to terms with her own spinsterhood, about understanding why she has to feel guilty for being on the shelf when a man of her age would just be a happy bachelor. She's really more interested in being free to accept herself, free to live her life, than she is in making some sort of rebellious statement. She's not a rebel at all, which is why her list ends up being so fascinating.

Gabriel, for his part, is perfectly dreamy and the tension between them is fantastic. She's so in love with him, and so deeply convinced that he could never reciprocate the emotion. It's another play on the idea of preconceived notions, which is so much a part of her list. And Gabriel falls into the same trap. He's head over heels in love with her before he realizes it, and has a hard time accepting the idea that he - handsome, desirable to many - wants Callie more than anyone else.

Heartfelt, lots of emotion, tugged on my heartstrings in just the right way. Huge fan of this book.
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This was a great story and I really enjoyed it. Lady Calpurnia has been a wallflower thru 10 seasons and at the age of 28 after a chance remark by her brother she decided to change her ways and take what she wants. She makes a list of her goals and sets out to cross them off one by one sometimes with unexpected consequences. Can she find what she has been looking for?more
I loved this book!!! I loved Callie. She was such a strong, independent woman - especially given the era. I also loved Gabriel and enjoyed watching him realize he was in love with her. There were a lot of great moments in this story and some interactions with all of the characters. The words just flowed across the pages. Once it got steamy, it was really steamy! MacLean knows how to write an amazing love scene.more


Lady Calpurnia is a lonely spinster who has harbored a crush for the gorgeous Marquess of Ralston since the time she was an 18 year old wallflower. As the novel opens, Calpurnia's family is celebrating the marriage of her younger sister and she becomes unbearably aware of the fact that her own opportunity for love and life has passed her by, leaving her to a life of spinsterhood and loneliness. Impulsively, she decides to take life by the horns and creates a list of the things she would want to do if she doesn't have to worry about society's restrictions and rules. And so, MacLean does a fantastic job of setting up the action of the story.

The first 100 pages or so are absolutely charming. Needless to say, Calpurnia's plan brings the Marquess into the mix with delicious results. There are many things which are quite enjoyable about the book. I like that MacLean creates a character who is lonely and truly vulnerable emotionally, a character who has a lot of personal development that needs to take place. I really enjoyed the dialogue because I thought it was well done and not too much. I loved the family dynamic, especially the amazing, supportive Benedick (the overbearing older brother is so overdone) and the loyal Anne (I could have done without the irritating Mariana.) I think the author did a great job of fleshing out the character of Calpurnia, who I found sweet and adorable.

There were some things in the novel, however, that I most definitely did NOT like. The novel tended to drag for me a little bit toward the end and I thought it could have been 50 pages shorter. I thought the Marquess was kind of an ass, honestly, and he doesn't seem that bright. Their verbal interactions were interesting because of Calpurnia's insights and passion, not because of his. He was hot, though, I'll give him that. I thought the whole "evil mother" premise sort of weak, and in my mind it didn't excuse his poor behavior. Furthermore, I felt like the pacing of the conflict was inconsistent. Calpurnia and Ralston would get into an argument, for instance, and both would flounce off, and the next time they meet, they start going at it, seemingly forgetting their previous fight. It got kind of old toward the end...

A last word: I thought it kind of cool that the author chose not to frame Ralston's mistress into evil Satan, just because she's hotter than the heroine and happened to be with him before her. I think it may be interesting if MacLean chose to write a book featuring Nastasia's story. And let's not forget adorable Benedick...more
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has lived a life of always living by the rule book, never breaking any rules especially that in society, and yet she is still unmarried. So deciding that she wants some changes in her life, she writes a list of nine things that she wants to do, that she has always wanted to that she feels she has missed out on now that she feels that she is on the shelf; but because she is a woman, she is restricted to respectable activities. But as she starts crossing items off of her list, she starts to see that she has a partner in her list of daring things, who is none other than Gabriel St John, the Marquess of Ralston, who is too charming and wicked for his own good. But as the risks of her adventures escalates so does the passion that ignites between them, that starts to blossom into a love that will come up behind them and surprise them in ways that they never expected.Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake by Sarah Maclean, was purely wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed it and had it read in just under a few hours, I found it to be such a enthralling romance that had me resisting to ever putting it down despite the bruised elbows (since my favorite position is to read on my stomach) And I think one of my favorite things about their relationship is the witty interchange between the two and had me amused till the very end of the book. Also the plot was truly entertaining. We have Callie, who has always obeyed the society rules, which have brought her only loneliness and a yearning for dreams and desires and that fear that they will never be fulfilled. So she starts writing a list of things that no respectable lady would ever do, and would cause a scandal. Such as Fence, Attending a Duel, Gambling at a Gentlemans Club (where women are never allowed), but she somehow adopts a companion that protects her reputation yet steals sensual embraces that would cause anyone sensible to blush the roots of a carrot. Yet there is a strong connection between these two characters that are so enjoyable to see progess throughout this story that leaves the reader breathless with anticipation with every page turned. I truly have enjoyed reading this story and am looking forward to reading the next one in the series, I can hardly wait!!!! Sarah MacLean is such a remarkable writer into historical romance, that no one would want to miss out on!!!more
I absolutely LOVE this book!!! It was a great adventure and fun romance story! I would recommend it to everyone!more
Fun romance in the grand tradition but with a strong female lead that is much more than a victim of circumstance. Great beach read!more
I started this book last night and stayed up until 4am trying to finish it. In the end I had to give up about 60 pages from the end because I had to function the next day. However, the book was just so good, that I considered eschewing sleep one night just to find out how Callie and Ralston’s story ended. This is only my second Sarah Maclean book but she is fast becoming one of my favorite historical romance writers. Callie, twenty-eight, has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood when she comes up with the idea to write a list of improper things that she’s always wanted to do. The list includes tasks such as “smoke cheroot and drink scotch,” “attend a duel,” and “kiss someone-passionately.” Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake has such a great, original premise. Armed with a list of activities that no proper young lady should even think about much less try to accomplish, Callie sets out to find adventure. With little prospect for marriage, Callie decides to have some fun, even if it means tarnishing her spotless reputation. Callie was a character that I could really relate to. Plainer than most (though prettier than I think she believes), Callie is sweet and endearing and also has a lot of spirit in her. She’s never felt herself really worthy of admiration or love and it’s painful at times to watch her cut herself down. I did get frustrated a few times when Callie jumped to conclusions, immediately thinking the worst of Ralston. But her self confidence and self esteem grow and she really comes into her own by the end of the book. Lord Ralston is the kind of rake I love - arrogant, smart, charming and irresistible. On the surface Ralston is a shameless rogue but, as the story goes on, he proves to loyal and kind as well. Ralston and Callie have crazy chemistry and the love scenes definitely raised the temperature in the room. The book also has a great cast of secondary characters and I found myself wanting to know more about Ralston’s sister Juliana and his twin brother, Nick. Yes, more of both, please. am really looking forward to reading both of their stories soon.Do yourself a favor and pick this book up ASAP! Be a little smarter than me and don’t start it late at night though because this is a book you’ll want to finish in one sitting.more
I really enjoyed this book, but there were a few issues.A subplot with Ralston's sister, Juliana was introduced, but never followed through with. I don't understand why it was in the book. There were a few grammatical and wording errors, for example statutes instead of statues.Also, the sex scenes had some strange wording. There were too many references to her "sweet rain" and "sipping", which made me think of nursing.Although, I complained a lot in this review, overall the book was really good. I stayed-up too late finishing it and am going to follow this author.more
I picked Nine Rules to Break up on a whim due to a conversation I had with some other bloggers on Twitter. I am so glad I did! I've been reading a lot of sci-fi and young adult books lately. A nice dose of adult romance was a fun break from all that. Historical romance is genre I really enjoy and don't read often enough. This is definitely one of my favorites that I've read of the genre so far. Normally I always recommend Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series for someone looking for romance. I'll definitely be recommending this one too from now on. It was so much fun! Hysterical in parts, and also poignant at times. Callie Hartwell is a very fun and relatable heroine. I really enjoyed her thoughts and personality. Her jump into being more daring was a bit sudden, but that just made it more fun to read. I loved the chemistry between her and Ralston, because sometimes their interactions were more silly then romantic, and that made their chemistry so much more realistic feeling. This is not an original plotline. In fact, it is a lot like Kleypas' Wallflower series, so it must just be a plot I generally enjoy. The heroine that has always been overlooked deciding to throw convention out the window and do what she good-and-well-feels-like-doing-thank-you-very-much. So if you enjoy that storyline with a large dose of romance and constant laughing...pick this up, because you will love it!more
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell is a 28 year old spinster. She has accepted this role and is quite comfortable in it, or at least she was until one day she overhears her little sister talking about her and saying that she is passive, that she will make a great aunt but she would have made a great mother too. This is a wakeup call for her, she was always passionate and was hoping to find the love of her life, but time went by and nothing. Now she finds herself feeling old, plump and average, and she decides to change that. But she doesn’t get a makeover, nope, she writes a list of the outrageous unladylike things she wants to do. Among those things we have drinking scotch, riding astride and getting her first kiss. Since the kiss is number one on the list she decides to do it with the guy she has secretly admire for the past ten years, Gabriel St. John, Marquis of Ralston, who happens to be a very famous rake.I admit that some time ago I suffered from historical romance overdose, especially regency novels. I think I read so many that I just couldn’t stand them anymore. And by that time I had discovered contemporary romance which marked my official breakup with the 19th century. But of course there will always be some remaining feelings. Besides, my relationship with historical romance was a very passionate one. So when the third book in this series started to make a lot of noise in the reviewing community I was very curious. Since I hate reading series out of order I decided to give this one a try first and see how it went. Boy was I in for a ride! Let me tell you, if I keep finding regency novels as good as this one, I might ask the genre to take me back.This book had a very old and tried premise, the ugly duckling. And everything that happens is very unoriginal and actually predictive. You have the ugly plump spinster who longs for a happily ever after, the unapologetic rake who has some unresolved mommy issues, there is the evil vixen lover, the funny best friend sidekick, there is even a makeover. It has all of that but not really, all this clichés are presented in a way that makes them fresh, the evil vixen is not really evil, the makeover doesn’t really makes her look much better and by the time it happens our hero has seen past the appearances. The heroine takes charge of things, the hero is instantly charmed by the heroine but their relationship grows slowly. It was refreshing to say the least and by the end of the book I could understand why everyone was charmed by this author. The leads were both very likeable. The heroine steals the show, but I think that Gabriel was the perfect match for her. I loved her damned the torpedoes attitude, and I loved that he was both charmed and scandalized by her actions. The secondary characters were also good. Callie’s little sister, Gabriel’s twin brother Nick. Then there is Juliana, she is Nick and Gabriel’s Italian half-sister, she was just a joy to read.The only thing that bothered me was the final big misunderstanding, it didn’t last long but I think that since the book had such an interesting take on a very old plot, it could have done without the very old plot devise. Of course you see it coming, but I was hoping that they will deal with it in a different way, maybe just communicating and being honest with each other.The other thing that I noticed after reading the second book was that the sex scenes were basically the same ones, is like Sarah used the exact same mold for each book. The last book fortunately is different, but I suppose that is because is the heroine doing the corrupting of the hero and not the other way around.Overall the book was wonderful, if you like your historicals a bit lighthearted, without much drama and very hot, this book will be perfect for you. I liked it very much, and as you might tell after reading my review, once I finished it, I went and bough the other two books. I not only recommend this book, but the other two as well. You won’t regret it. This is a case of well-deserved reputation.more
Based on the title, I was anticipating a story not unlike Julia Quinns "10 things...." which was very funny and lighthearted. I was a bit disappointed. Though it was entertaining, there were a lot of cliche moments. I have read a lot of books from this genre and I felt like this book was not very original.more
When Lady Calpurnia's younger sister becomes happily engaged to one of the ton's best catches, she can't help but feel that she is firmly on the shelf and that life has passed her by. She makes a list of adventures that she wants to experience and top of the list is to be kiss passionately. In truth Callie has only one man in mind for the task, the Marquess of Ralston. When Callie shows up in Ralston's bedroom in the middle of the night he agrees to the kiss on the condition that she sponsor his newly discovered half sister in society. Soon Ralston catches Callie as she tries to complete the items on her list and finds himself attracted to the honest, open hearted Callie. Ralston, however, has no faith in love after his mother heartlessly abandons her family but Callie's generous and passionate ways have him reconsidering his roguish ways.more
Interesting idea, a wallflower who who seeks out scandalous adventures. The writing is good. Likable characters. So why didn't I like it more? Because everything was so cliché. Experienced alpha male who all of a sudden wants the virginal heroine. He can't love her because all women are like his mother. Reads like a check list of things to be included in a regency romance. Nothing new or exciting but still an enjoyable read. I know the author can write a better story.more
There's been alot said about this book already so I'll just keep my review short and sweet.This was fabulous.more
I thought I already reviewed this a while back, but apparently not. Anyhoo, what an AWESOMELY WICKED foray into the romance genre! Hats off - just the hats, mind you - to Sarah MacLean for keeping the bubbly fun from her YA debut The Season and cranking up the heat to scorching hot! A must-read for anyone who enjoys historical romance full of romp, pomp, and chompful of humor!more
The charm and humor of Julia Quinn, with the sex scenes of a Stephanie Laurens. Entertaining, fun, and steamy.more
Started out really good, then the heroine started doing and saying stupid, immature things and the book lost me. That was not the heroine’s character as first presented. She regressed into a state where I lost sympathy with her.more
I loved Sarah's YA book "The Season" but I think this one may even be better! Both the hero and heroine were endearing and had great chemistry. Definitely looking forward to Nick's story (as well as more YA books!).more
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell feels a bit ridiculous. A self-proclaimed, plain Jane, with a rather silly name, and more figure and curves than are fashionable, she even looks ridiculous in the horror of a dress her mother insisted she wear to her debut ball. Adding to the ridicule of being plain and looking horrid, Callie hasn't danced with one eligible or desirable man all evening and has been reduced to a wallflower at her own coming out ball. Feeling rather sorry for herself, and loathing all the rules of society that claim a well-born lady must make nice with everyone, even undesirable oaths, she escapes to the garden where she can feel sorry for herself and dwell on the shame of being such a disaster at her own ball. Ladies are not suppose to hide unattended in the garden, at night, and they aren't suppose to engage in conversation and flirtation with a well known rake, like the Marquess of Ralston even if he is devastatingly handsome. He's kind are not intended for girls like Callie.Ten years later, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has been relegated to permanent spinster with no hopes of a match and she hasn't danced at a ball in years. With her lace cap, and still ridiculous dresses chosen by her mother, she seems much older than she is. Sitting on the side lines with the other unfortunates of her class, she watches as life and love happens around her. When her younger sister lands not only a duke, but a duke that loves her, Callie can't help but feel that her last ten years have been wasted and she longs for a love of her own- and an adventure. Problem is, for the last ten years her fantasy hero has had only one face, that of the irreputable Marquess of Ralston. She decides then and there that she is quite fed up with her role in life and pens a scandalous list of nine, forbidden adventures she would like to have and she's going to accomplish at least one of them tonight- "Kiss someone- passionately."It's ok to stop at this point and squeal. I am. I'm also sleep deprived because I read this book in one sitting because it's impossible to put down. This story is so much fun! Callie is such a refreshing character, an ahem, older heroine in search of adventure and freedom from her everyday life and the unspoken rules and regulations of a society that has kept her trapped, even from herself, for ten years. By day she is the picture of decorum and manners as she councils a young lady about to enter society and by night she is daring and rash, shocking even herself as she breaks every rule she's ever adhered to. She engages the Marquess as her partner in crime and the ill reputed playboy quickly has to take on the roll of protector as this well-born lady goes down her list, astounding even the Marquess.I just adore Callie and envy her lack of restraint, especially in a time when a lady was only ever allowed to be a lady. Her adventures may not be shocking by our standards but for 1823 England her actions were unheard of and her single-minded determination is admirable in any age.MacLean has made an instant fan. Her writing is clean and precise making for a seamless story that tells without so much as a hiccup from start to finish. There's nothing silly about her characters, they are well defined and immediately lovable- even our bad boy, and her love story never comes across as sappy. Be advised that the Ralston's dialogue is best read with a fan handy.more
Oh, but I loved this book! One of my fave reads of the year thus far. See, I picked this up because I had read a couple of reviews on it and they were saying how gloriously wonderful it was and yada yada yada. So, I picked it up because I figured it couldn't be that great - but YES, it was that great.This book has everything that I love in a Regency romance. The heroine is not your average damsel in distress. Oh no, Callie is on-the-shelf, and doomed to a life of spinsterhood. Thus the list is born... to smoke a cheroot, drink scotch, ride astride, fence, attend a duel, fire a pistol, to gamble at a gentleman's club, dance every dance at a ball, be considered beautiful (just once), to kiss someone passionately. And she sets right off and does exactly that... well, kiss someone passionately that is (that someone being Gabriel, the Marquess of Ralston, known as a notorious rake and the man who Callie has crushed on for the past decade) and thus our journey begins. What really made this book stand out for me from the rest:The fact that Callie is plain and plump really made her appealing to me. I liked the fact that she wasn't a stunning beauty with a willowy frame. The fact that Gabriel loved her with no prejudice as to her curves and looks really worked for me. As for Gabriel, I thought it refreshing that he wasn't a man running from commitment or love, but instead he had issues with relationships because of his parents' disastrous marriage. All the supporting characters were loads of fun as well - especially the siblings. There were brilliant laugh-out-loud moments, the witty banter and teasing between Gabriel and Callie will leave you smiling, and the tension/romance was just perfect. Oh, and I forgot to mention the hot and heavy scenes were well just that... hot and heavy. Very sexy (something that I rarely find in historicals)... I'm just saying. ;)Overall, this was a tremendously enjoyable read and one that I highly recommend to lovers of romance (no matter what your favorite sub-genre is) this will appeal to everyone.more
While I usually don’t read Historical Romances, I have to say that lately I’ve been really shocked at the good historical romances I’ve been reading, including this one. I was totally intrigued in reading the synopsis on the back because one of the things that I don’t like about historical romances is how the main lady is so dependent and how timid and shy they are. But this was not the case with this story, though in the beginning our main character Callie spent her beginning years up until she turned 28 being just that, she then decided to take her life in her own hands and decided to start living by her own rules. And so she devised a list of all the things that she wanted to experience in life, not giving a care to her reputation or what others would think of her. In comes the devastatingly handsome Gabriel St. John Marques of Ralston to help her in her quest to find the real Callie. We are thrown into a high paced romance between the two as each of them find what they are really looking for in life thorough the adventure of accomplishing every task on Callie’s list. The romance was so hot and steamy and the relationship between Gabriel and Callie had me so engrossed in the story that I couldn’t put it down; I had to know how Callie was going to accomplish the next task and how Gabriel would factor in helping her. I loved reading how Gabriel slowly fell in love with Callie and how Callie found her independence. The historical time period only enhanced the plot line, giving added intrigue and dept to the story. The plot was interesting, the characters compelling and the romance hot; with all those factors this was a wonderful well told story. I would defiantly be reading more historical romances and would recommend this book!!more
Spinster-in-the-making Lady Calpurnia "Callie" Hartwell has had it up to here with being the good, demure lady. She has no romantic prospects, and so decides to follow through on her desires to engage in unladylike activities--such as fencing, smoking, and drinking--that she has always wanted to do. In doing so, she inadvertently enlists the "help"--and captures the attention--of Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston, the infamous rake with whom she's been in love with for years.Pure escapist smut, of course, but I don't think I've ever had so much fun reading a historical romance before. I haven't read enough HRs to notice tropes or whatnot (okay, that's so not true--there's always the whole rake + innocent virgin = reform and true love thing, but still), but I enjoyed the heck out of Callie and Ralston's interactions. Callie struggles relatably against her society's stifling rules. She is part modern woman, part enticingly vulnerable FEMALE.In comparison, Ralston feels a little underdeveloped. I wanted to see more of how he comes to fall for her. We get quite a bit of internal monologue from Callie's POV; why can't Ralston have some of the same himself? Despite that, I thought the plot flowed, the "sex scenes" deliciously but not tastelessly so. Ralston and Callie have an incredible chemistry, and Sarah MacLean is an impressive historical romance writer, as I am happy to say after feeling lukewarm towards her YA historical debut, The Season. I am definitely checking out more of Sarah's future HR books!more
I'm sorry, but this is rubbish! Modern characters transposed to the nineteenth century by replacing 'will' by 'shall' is just really annoying. Its a shame, because the basic plot is quite fun, but there has been no research (other than, I guess, reading equally poor 'regency' romances) and the quality of the writing is not good either.more
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