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Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love by Numbers) [Kindle Edition]

Sarah MacLean
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (343 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Combine a few tried and true romance tropes, like the wallflower spinster and the jaded rake, with some improbable but amusing misadventures, and you have the makings of an entertaining Regency debut. Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, a plain but wealthy 28-year-old who refuses to marry a man who only desires her fortune, acts on a long-held crush and flings herself at Gabriel St. John, marquess of Ralston. Gabriel finds her antics more amusing than enticing, but his half-wild half-sister needs an impeccable chaperone and he chooses Callie for the role. Their proximity creates an infinite series of opportunities for the rake to practice his wiles on the more than willing wallflower. The 19th-century clothes are luscious, the 21st-century sensibility is raunchy, and it's all implausible, escapist fun. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Wow, what a great book! I love it. One of the best wrenching-heart scenes ever...Fabulous!

Product Details

  • File Size: 942 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus Entice (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00713DN2Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,897 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first romance novel! And now I'm OBSESSED! March 30, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake (or 9 Rules for short) is the first ever adult romance novel I have ever read and I think Sarah MacLean may have just led me to a whole new genre to explore! After having read her Young Adult title (and first book), The Season I knew I would read anything else she wrote and this book took my breath away! Coming to 9 Rules from The Season was very natural and just ramped up everything a little bit more. I love that they are both from the same world and time period.

Now it's time for some details. Main character Callie is someone that I could instantly relate to, she isn't as young as the other society girls and has been labeled a spinster and has been almost forgotten about. She realizes that after playing the part society has cast her in she really hasn't had any fun and hasn't gotten anything out of being a good polite woman and so the list is born.

The whole idea of Callie completing a list of basically un-lady like and scandalous tasks is written in a very clever and funny way. Seeing someone try something new is usually always funny and when they have to sneak around in disguises and in the pitch black night it's all the more fun. And add in Ralston and you are very much set!

I loved every single character in this book, pretty much as much as I loved Callie (except for maybe her mother, lol!). From her younger sister Mariana who is engaged, to her older brother Benedick, to Ralston (swoon) and his brother Nick to everyone else. The characters are fabulous. I'm very excited that this is the first of 3 books in this series because I definitely want more where this came from (as if you couldn't tell!).

And the romance, how can I say this politely, it was HOT!
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a feel-good romance! Better than chocolate. March 31, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't mean to gush, but this was a really lovely romance. Well written, with a very appealing heroine and hero, some really good secondary characters, in particular the twin brother and half sister of the hero, who I imagine will have their own stories eventually. If you try to summarize the story, there's not really that much to it, but it was such fun to read and gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling. 28-year-old Lady Calpurnia Hartwell is plump, plain, on the shelf, and feeling that life is passing her by. She has given up on finding her one true love and decides she just needs to live, really live, and makes up a list of nine things she would like to do, if she could just get up the courage to do them. They are slightly scandalous and could ruin her spotless reputation if she were discovered doing them. Number One on her list is to have a Passionate Kiss and she picks our hero Gabriel St. John, a slightly rakish Marquess, as her kissing partner, since he is the man she has had a secret crush on for ten years. Well, this brings him into her life and his interference and participation in the other eight adventures on her list. He does so because he wants to protect her reputation and keep her from being discovered in the act of pursuing these slightly scandalous activities. Along the way her crush develops into real love and he realizes that this plump and plain woman is really lovely, sexy, bright and exciting to be with. Reading this gives you the same kind of feeling as watching a top-of-the-line romantic comedy like the oldies but goodies, "Sleepless in Seattle", "You've Got Mail", or "While You Were Sleeping". Not similar plots, just that same warm fuzzy feeling.
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106 of 119 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing January 30, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
You'll have to forgive me for sounding somewhat irritated in this review...I just finished this book, rather against my will, and have a few bones to pick.

Frankly, I am baffled at the rave reviews this book has been receiving. Though I'll admit it started out with plenty of promise, by the time I got 40% through it got annoying, and by 70% it became nearly unreadable. I frequently wanted to do bodily harm to the heroine, and the hero was so underdeveloped I barely cared whether he got the girl in the end or not. The emotions, especially towards the end, felt contrived and superficial.

This is Sarah Maclean's first adult romance, and it shows - the writing is very amateurish in several places. There is lots of word repetition, as someone else mentioned - there are two instances where the heroine seems to be unable to think of any way to describe her feelings other than "sadness." I believe she uses the word about five or six times in the span of few pages. There's also waaaay more telling than showing. We are told explicitly what each character is feeling and why, especially when it comes to the hero.

I have to agree with the other reviewers who said this book was full of romance novel clichés. The spinster nursing a long-term crush on the emotionally distant rake has been done hundreds of times before, and much more creatively. The book was also rife with Big Misunderstandings, and the kissing and love scenes were full of overused phrases. Although, there was one term, "sweet rain" (I'll let you figure out what that refers to), that I don't think I've ever seen, and it made me burst into giggles every time I saw it.

Here are some of my other issues with the book (may contain very minor spoilers):

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This book was so romantic. I love Victorian romances. I love books that are hard to put down and end with you wanting more.
Published 2 days ago by Michelle LaCoss
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed
Fun reading, romance, trouble, duels, and a few sniffles too. I recommend this story. Take a weekend and read it!
Published 22 days ago by candy
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, witty, cute.
Lady Calpurnia a young woman considered on the shelf decides to take herself in hand and be more daring and have some life experience that makes her feel like she is truly living... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 swoon worthy stars
I absolutely loved this book! Ralston is a rake, but a lovable one! Callie, although a spinster, is feisty and just what Ralston needs! Read more
Published 1 month ago by silvia
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Emotional Roller Coaster.
This is the first book I've read of this series and I started with no. 9 because another reviewer used this book as an example of a better read than the book she was actually... Read more
Published 2 months ago by By What the...?
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read! Look forward to all her books.
Published 2 months ago by Alice NIBLETT
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable page turner
I am not a particularly big romance reader as I normally find them kind of boring, and the heroines annoying. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Natalie
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie/TV tap necessary...
...if it has not been done already. Callie is a much agreeable heroine who is honest, thoughtful and realistic. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Philmore
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Romance
Very enjoyable read, both the hero and heroine were very likable and their chemistry sizzled. I really enjoyed seeing them complete her list together as well, it added fun... Read more
Published 2 months ago by kdpgreen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Story
This was the perfect book to curl up with on a quiet, rainy Saturday. You will enjoy the tale of the empress and her rake.
Published 2 months ago by Beverly Hill
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More About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book. Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels.

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