Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Published by Avon
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always been a rule-follower. Born into privilege, she’s always been taught how to be a proper lady, and forbidden from doing many of the things she watched her brother and his friends do without a second thought – things like smoking, firing a gun, riding astride, and gambling. But all these rules have left her, in her twenties, practically an old spinster with no marriage prospects and absolutely NO experience in the area of love and romance. So she makes the drastic decision to break these rules and begin really living her life, and to do this she enlists the help of Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston – a man who is not only incredibly handsome, but has the reputation of being incredibly rebellious, a man who doesn’t even acknowledge that there are rules, let alone someone who follows them. Callie has to be careful, though, because this guy just make her break the only rule she doesn’t want to break – that a lady should never, EVER, fall in love.
Okay, so I don’t read romance. That’s not a rule of mine, I just have never been especially interested in the genre. But I DO like romantic scenes in novels, when done well, and I was looking for something light to read at a certain point in my life when nothing was holding my attention and I was insanely stressed about some life stuff. So, insert Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. And I FLEW through this thing. I was totally captivated by Callie and her romance with Ralston, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, and MacLean’s writing is GOOD!
Basically what I have to say about this one is that while I was expecting a book to hold my attention and something that would be an “easy” read, I did get those two things, but I got much, much more. I got genuine character development. I got a plot that moved along smoothly, with just the right amount of surprises to keep me turning pages frantically. I got real romance, with an edge to it that was just fun. And I got that historical element that makes things just a little bit more exciting. All in all, this was about as perfect a romance novel as I can possibly expect to read.
And now … here’s where you come in. I’m very intrigued by this genre now. I think I’ll continue to read Sarah MacLean’s books (she has five more, I believe), but I’m looking for other authors of romance novels that you absolutely love. I’ve read some Kristan Higgins, which I’ve liked, but not anywhere close to how I felt about Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. I’m looking for smart writing, good character development, and sizzling romantic moments. Suggestions?