Last fall I picked up
, by then newcomer Sarah MacLean, and was thoroughly pleased to find a story that bore the Regency flavor of some of my favorite romance novels but managed to imbue it with a youthful spirit. Once I found out about Nine Rules
I was anxious to read a more grown-up tale from MacLean and she didn't disappoint.
The tale revolves around Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, a well-behaved spinster aching to experience life, and Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston, a notorious rake looking to improve his image for the sake of his newfound sister. Character types like Callie and Ralston pepper the genre, but MacLean manages to at least make Callie more original. Her dogged determination to step outside of her role is admirable and one can't help but root for her. The same can't be said for Ralston, however. While he is an attractive and sympathetic hero, he still comes across as a bit too much of the stereotypical rake at times.
I found myself intrigued by the secondary characters, especially Nick (Ralston's twin) and Juliana (their younger sister). They are both extremely likable characters with their own quirks and unique histories - Nick, with his mysterious scar and parent-less childhood with Gabriel, and Juliana, with her abandonment and marriage issues courtesy of their mother. My appetite is sufficiently whetted for their respective, upcoming stories.Nine Rules
has an intelligent humor and and a touching premise. MacLean beautifully renders a tale about two people, and their families, all growing and coming together out of love and respect. The romance between Callie and Ralston is simultaneously sweet and steamy and the love scenes are well-done...To continue reading this review, visit my blog The Eclectic Book Lover