Publisher - Piatkus Entice Publication Date - 14th February 2012 Genre - Historical Romance
Source - Received from publisher for review
Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it
Reviewed by - Chrissie
Book Info - "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...
Review - I am very new to the world of historical romance (this is only my second book from the genre) but Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is such a fun and entertaining read that I can't wait to read more from this series, and the genre as a whole.
I absolutely loved the descriptions of the fashions and customs of the times. It was all just so elegant, with all the dances and traditions that seem to surround everything that happens, and it made me want to travel back in time to the 19th Century.
And the characters were so much fun! Callie, a wallflower who believes she is now too old to find herself a husband and will spend the rest of her life 'on the shelf', decides that she will now no longer be restrained by society's rules. She writes a list of nine things that she would like to do, all of which would thoroughly ruin her reputation. I loved this sense of adventure that she shows, and the courage that it must have taken for a young woman to do these things at that time. And to add the icing on the cake, Callie does not take any nonsense from Gabriel St. John. She tells him exactly what she thinks, often leading to some hilarious exchanges between the two of them. The only thing that did irritate me slightly about Callie is that she sometimes has the tendency to look down on others, but this wasn't really enough to make me dislike her.
And as for Gabriel *sigh*, he is a character that I fell in love with instantly. He is a complete womaniser, but at the same time he is so charming it is easy to forgive him for this. But he is trying to mend his ways as a sister unexpectedly arrives on the scene who he has to introduce to proper society. He knows that his own bad reputation could reflect badly on his sister so he decides to take a break from his womanising ways. However, then Callie arrives on the scene with her list and he gets drawn into her little adventures, risking both of their reputations and once again providing some very funny moments. He often becomes frustrated with her and her list, leading to much bickering and then much *ahem* making up!
The romance between Callie and Gabriel is steaming and I loved reading about the two of them together. They really complement each other well and I enjoyed the bickering between the pair of them just as much as the intimate moments. The ending is a perfect happy ending, although there were probably one too many diversions on their route to happiness for my liking.
Summary - Overall, I absolutely loved Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. It was just so much fun and I couldn't get enough of the humour, the loveable characters, and the descriptions of people, places and customs. I can't wait to read more from this author in the future.
Other books in the series:
1. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
2. Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord
3. Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart