Express Lane Review: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Welcome to my Express Lane Reviews, where I review a book quickly – with 7 points or less – so you can get on your way!

nine rulesNine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publisher: Avon
Age Group: Adult
Source: Amazon
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


4 out of 5

4 out of 5

My Thoughts

*so, I’m starting a new type of review on my blog called Express Lane Review.  The idea is that these types of reviews are quick (think express lanes in grocery stores), and each review will have 7 (or less) points.  Let me know if you like them, or if you have any advice.  I’ll still be doing my regular reviews, as well.  I just wanted to have some variety in my review structures*

Point One:  I’ve been hearing how amazing Sarah MacLean is for well over a year, but I was nervous.  You see, I love historical romance, but I can be incredibly picky about which ones I like.  But finally, after talking with Heidi, I decided to give her a try, and seriously, you guys, why was I dragging my feet?  I LOVED this book.

Point Two:  Callie, the main character, was so easy to like.  In fact, I pretty loved her.  She’s just so relatable.  But she’s also brave in deciding that she’s going to try these things that ladies aren’t supposed to do.  If I lived in that time (and was part of the nobility (but honestly, I would have totally been a peasant)) I would never have been as brave as Callie.

Point Three:  Gabriel is sort of your typical historical romance hero.  He’s a bit of a ladies’ man, and he’s gorgeous.  Oh, and he’s titled and filthy rich.  So he pretty much has everything going for him.  MacLean does show his vulnerable side, though, and ultimately he’s a nice and honorable guy.  I fell for him hard.

Point Four:  As much as I liked Callie and Gabriel, I loved them together even more.  MacLean did a wonderful job in creating two characters that make a great couple.  There’s nothing more frustrating than reading a romance, and not believing that the hero and heroine belong together.  Luckily with Nine Rules, it is obvious that Callie and Gabriel belong together

Point Five:  The story is paced perfectly, and it was nearly impossible to put down.  I practically read this in one sitting.

Point Six:  I guess my one complaint is that there are a few silly bits.  The whole thing with the duel was a little eye-rolly, in my opinion.  I never quite understand why the heroine has to rush off to a duel at the last minute – but I don’t want to spoil anything.  I didn’t hate that scence, I just found it a tad bit silly.

Point Seven: Basically, Sarah MacLean writes my kind of historical romance, and I will be reading more (okay ALL) of her other books soon.

Life Tidbits

  • I almost didn’t post anything today.  There’s been a little bit of a family issue, and, with the holiday on Wednesday, I probably won’t be posting much this week.  I need a little time to regroup.  Have a great holiday, though.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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4 Responses to Express Lane Review: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

  1. Christina says:

    Awesome review…I felt the same way about this book. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would and I think it was a lot of fun. However, I agree that the “duel” scene definitely was cheesy, but nonetheless, I will definitely be reading the other books in the series, too!

  2. I love Sarah MacLean. Nine Rules to Break was great, I agree with everything you’ve said. The second book in this series was just ok for me, but the third one is my favorite of all of Sarah MacLean’s books. I hope you get to keep reading her soon!

  3. I love this book! Sarah MacLean is definitely a talented writer and I recommend all of her books. I do agree with you about the duel scene…I remember rolling my eyes a little when reading it. Great review! Happy holidays!

  4. This is one of my favorite historical novels! Callie is such an awesome main character and I’m definitely looking forward to see more from the side characters.

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