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Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake    by Sarah MacLean order for
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
by Sarah MacLean
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Lady Calpurnia (Callie) Hartwell is twenty eight years old, a bit on the plump side, and resigned to spinsterhood. Her younger sister Mariana is already engaged. Since the rules for being a lady seem to get in the way of having fun, Callie creates a secret list of things that she would never normally do, such as kiss someone passionately, fence, and smoke a cheroot.

Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston, is at home when he is surprised by Callie showing up with the request that he kiss her. She proposes to cross one item off her list, but he asks her in return to help his Italian half sister Juliana come out in Society. Callie agrees, but when she tries to cross another item off her list - dressing as a man and learning to fence - she's caught by Gabriel. He is furious and makes her agree (if not he will tell her brother) that the next time she wants to cross something off her list he will chaperone her. Gabriel didn't expect to end up gambling in a gentleman's club with Callie!

The chemistry between Gabriel and Callie is evident right away. They banter back and forth. Gabriel falls in love with Callie unwillingly, so when he compromises her and asks her to marry him she refuses. Can he convince her that he really wants to marry her and is not offering just out of duty?

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake has great characters whom readers will fall for. Callie and Gabriel knew each other when Callie was young, but sparks certainly fly between them now. The secondary characters - such as Gabriel's twin brother and Callie's brother - are colorfully written. I can't wait for the next book which features Gabriel's brother Nick.

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