Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Avon, 2010
397 pages
Historical; Romance
First in trilogy
3/5 stars

Source: Bought

Summary: Callie is tired of being the perfect spinster and is spurred to try living her life anew after hearing some less than flattering comments.  To that end, she approaches the Marquess of Ralston, the man she's been in love with for ten years, in order to have her first kiss.  He sees an innocent who nonetheless provokes and intrigues him as well as the solution to the problem of his untutored sister.

Thoughts: I mostly enjoyed MacLean's The Season and I saw largely positive reviews of this book so I thought I'd try it.  Once I got past the insanely long title, I was not enchanted.  I expected a lot of humor after enjoying the Austenesque Season but it was not really funny.  I was intrigued by the concept: a confirmed spinster decides to start pushing the bounds of propriety, including brazenly romancing a rake.  And I liked Callie a lot.  I also appreciated her points about the sexist society in which they live-very different fare than I usually see in romance novels. I somewhat liked the hero, Ralston.  He was very devoted to his brother and newfound sister.  That sister Juliana will be the heroine of the third book and she was lovely.  She was raised in Italy and shares a mother with the brothers; all of them were abandoned by the mother.  Because of that, Ralston has vowed never to love (see where this is going?) while Callie is adamant that she will have only a love match.

I didn't enjoy Callie's adventures as much as I wanted to because Ralston kept interfering in a patronizing way.  His slowness in not realizing that he loved her was infuriating and after he compromised her, his proposal of marriage sucked majorly.  There was also a lot of kissing and sex scenes which despite my love of romance novels is my least favorite part (I know for some (many?), that is the main reason to read them but I prefer humor and the clean ways they spend time together.)  However if you like that, you would probably enjoy this.

Overall: Two idiots (eventually) in love and a severe lack of humor hamper my enjoyment.

Cover: I really love the heroine's dress although there is again a cut-off head.


  1. I have this book on my wishlist because of the interesting premise. Good review! I see it has both good and bad points in a pretty equal measure. That makes my decision easy: borrow, not buy, just in case.
    I like romance novels, but not for the sex, like you said. I just love the general romantic atmosphere, adventures, battles of wits and humour.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. The title may be insanely long, but I like it. I may just have to venture out of my usual book haunts and go into romance to try this out. Nice review!


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