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Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

(Love By Numbers #1)

by
4.08  ·  Rating details ·  34,932 ratings  ·  2,730 reviews
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 miss
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ebook, 343 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by HarperCollins
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  34,932 ratings  ·  2,730 reviews


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Eastofoz
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Kleypas/Quinn/Enoch/Chase/Anna Campbell
This book has everything single thing I love about romance novels:

• a kill me now s.o.b alpha hero (be still my pitter pattering heart :D)
• an amazing heroine who is (brace yourself now) **shock** normal
• biting humor
• great repartee
• story focus on h/h 99.9% of the time (a rare breed of book)
• originality for something that's been done 36 gazillion times
• superb tension building
• unpredictability where you’re expecting the predictable (aka bug-eyed scenes)
• chilling meanness
• sex-a-licio
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Karla
There once was a plain and plumpish blubbery waste of space girl with tons of money called Calpurnia, who never got married even though she had some suitors. We're told she's a pragmatic girl who has dreams of marriage, house, home, and children, but she's turned everyone away because they're not the same as that handsome guy she once talked to for a couple minutes a decade ago about how her quaintly Classical name isn't really cause for eternal shame and contemplated suicide.

So in the meantime,
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Updated because.... I've been asked by the lovely Jessie Edwards, one of the fabulous ladies in charge of the Avon Addicts program, to choose my favorite Avon romance. Is she kidding?? She must be joking! Just one???

*sigh*

Anyway, to refresh my memory, I reread a few of my old Avon reviews and I've decided to repost this review in hopes that anyone not familiar with the Love by Numbers series will give it a go. Yes, it's that good.

So, my favorite Avon romance...

Well, there are a few books that i
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Shawna
5+ stars – Historical Romance

What a wonderful, charming, sexy, entertaining, sweet, funny, emotional, steamy, and well-written regency romance with an utterly lovable, quirky, plump, Plain Jane, wallflower, spinster heroine and a sexy-as-sin, tarnished-heart-of-gold rogue hero to die for!

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is a truly delightful read with everything I love in a historical romance: an engaging story, witty dialogue, humor, drama, emotion, smokin’ hot love scenes, an endearin
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Nalini Singh
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the "on the shelf" heroine who decides to do all the things ladies aren't supposed to do (smoke a cheroot, gamble, attend a duel...), and the scandalous hero who gets caught up in her rule-breaking (until he actually helps her do some of the things on her list). Totally recommended!
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was rich with depth and with characters that I was interested in reading about. Callie was tired of being trapped by society's expectations, and the box she'd been put into, and decided to claim some happiness for herself. I liked that Gabriel liked her for who she was. He was drawn to her, even though she didn't fit society's ideas of beauty. She became the one woman he couldn't resist, and it wasn't hard for me to believe that was the case as I read this story.

I
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Vinaya
Nine Rules to Follow When Writing a (Regency) Romance:

1. Read Georgette Heyer: This one is self-evident. (If it's not, read this)

2. Spinster on the shelf: Make sure your heroine is never the belle of the ball. Young, vibrant beautiful ladies are, of course, infinitely less interesting than pale, passive, middle-aged women who somehow mysteriously retain the fresh bloom of youth and the ability to attract rich, handsome men who are being desperately pursued by 17 and 18-year olds. Right.

3. The ha
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Blacky *Romance Addict*
This was absolutely enchanting, lovely, witty, funny, emotional, and a billion similar epithets :) I really loved it <3

The style of writing is great, much to my liking, the dialogue is witty and funny, and the characters believable and loveable <3 I only wish Sarah MacLean had more books so I could enjoy her writing some more :)

The first chapter had me giggling and squealing all over hahah Callie is trying to hide in the bushes during a ball because her mother forced her to wear the uglies
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Baba
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historicals
FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED

"I love you. I love your extravagant name and your beautiful face and your brilliant mind and your ridiculous list and your taste for adventure, which I imagine is very likely going to be the actual cause (view spoiler)

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Even though the plot is very predictable, I really enjoyed Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. It's another winner and delightfully p
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MelissaB
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake was an utterly charming and wonderful read! I was very impressed with the story and the characters. I loved the heroine, I really felt emotionally connected to her and wanted her to get the love and life she longed for with the handsome rogue hero.

Lady Calpernia Hartwell is an on the shelf spinster at 28 years old. She believes herself plain and thinks her opportunity to have a husband and children is over. Seeing her young sister fall in love brings Cal
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Auntee
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes a good romance
Recommended to Auntee by: Kathrynn M., Eastofoz, everyone
I loved this book! Loved it! For the last few years I've drifted away from reading historicals, but with all the rave reviews regarding this book I thought I had to take the plunge and see what all the fuss was about. And all those glowing reviews are not wrong, IMO--this was one delicious read!

I absolutely adored the heroine in this book--and I'm not one who usually falls for the heroine. But there was something so real, likable and relatable about the character of Lady Calpurnia "Callie' Hartw
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Sarah MacLean
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mine, romance
once again, don't take my word for it. ;)
Felicia
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you just NEED a book like this, and I was definitely in the mood for some mind candy of the genre! Doesn't really re-invent the historical-romance wheel, but has a sweet sensibility about it that doesn't make you feel skeevy when you're reading REALLY naughty bits (which this one does very well!) Typical wallflower/rake setup, I just really enjoyed the style of writing, it was easy and breezy and made me keep reading even when I wanted to slap the heroine upside the head a few times fo ...more
Rane
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake had everything I love about romance novels, humor, drama, wallflowers and a rake. Once I picked this book up, it was very hard to put down, it’s that fun to read.
With a heroine Lady Calpurnia Hartwell or Callie being front and center, a wallflower and now a spinster, Callie was a great lead as she made a list to do, something wild , something that breaks her out of the mold she’s been placed in. What made Callie so great was how relatable she was to t
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Mo
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one. I do love the books where these Rakes suddenly find themselves "in love". Something they promised they would never do!! I liked that Callie was normal. She wasn't super slim. She wasn't overtly beautiful. She was normal.


“Love isn't one-sided and selfish. It is full and generous and life-altering in the best of ways. Love does not destroy, Gabriel.It creates.”



It was a terrifying feeling. And if it was love, he wanted none of it.”


Ingie
Written March 12, 2015

4 1/2 Stars - Simply Splendid! A very well done audio edition of a lovely historical

Just my second HR by Sarah MacLean but I have a good feeling.



Everything I want in a good 'Regency'...
I have a weak heart for those wonderful spinster romances with older heroines. Yeah, I'm not kidding they touch my heart every time.

A fantastic 13 hrs audiobook narrated in the very best way by Carolyn Morris. Highly recommended!

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Amy | Foxy Blogs
OH MY GOSH!!! Loved it!

The title of this book had me pondering what a "rake" means. A man who is morally loose. Simply put- a womanizer. I wonder if the slang word- 'ho' comes from men being called, rakes?

Callie is a total rule follower. She’s a 28 years old unmarried women who is feeling unsatisfied with her proper life. Her brother challenged her to break some of her rules. Her younger sister is newly engaged and going to live the life that Callie has always dreamed of. Callie begins to ponder
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D.G.
First of all, please know that I’m picky. For a romance to grab me, it has to have a compelling plot, interesting characters and internal consistency. This last quality is what I called when the elements of the story come together to form a cohesive whole. If one of those elements is missing, I start having problems with the book.

Nine Rules has a compelling central plot – a wallflower who decides to eschew convention and her reputation to do things she always wanted to do because she wants to li
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Juliana Philippa
Yay!! Finally a good new release, a wonderful new author, and a fantastic shy-wallflower-heroine (4.5 stars)

Summary
"Plain" and spinsterish 28-year-old Lady Calpurnia "Callie" Hartwell is sick of being seen as an old spinster, on-the-shelf, passive, and uninteresting - and thus THE LIST is born. On this list of nine things are activities that normally-shy Callie would never have dared to even contemplate, let alone actually do (gamble at a gentleman's club, drink scotch, smoke a cheroot, attend a
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Dina
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the inside cover of this book!

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♡Karlyn P♡
An entertaining Regency read. The writing voice reminds me of Eloise James, Suzanne Enoch, Stephanie Lauren. The heat is more pronounced though, I'd say on that level its similar to Kleypas or Gaelen Foley. This is hot! I enjoyed it, and the characters were fun. In many ways it's a typical regency story that centers around all the events the Ton participates in to 'see and be seen' (Balls, operas, shopping on Bond street, museums...etc.) The storyline is a bit of a farce and does require you to ...more
Lisa Kay


★★★★★ Five full stars! I loved both the hero and heroine in this one, with the author bringing a depth of character I appreciated. It also had great secondary character development. There are a lot of situations that have been done before in other books, but they are done so much better here, with much better dialogue.

I enjoyed doing it as a "buddy read," too. Thanks, ladies of Happily Ever After Café for the great discussion!
Bithi
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I am an empress, he is the only man worthy of being my emperor.

- Sarah MacLean, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake


While reading this book, I have frequently thought that I am reading one of the Historical Romance novels of Julia Quinn.

Both of the authors possess the quality to mix humor in a grave situation. Both of them are satirical of the then London Society, popularly known as the Ton or the Marriage Mart. Both of them disparage the then rule for the girls to be shown as some merch
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Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)


2012 Reread - I still love this book, I wish I could give it more then 5 stars!
2015 Reread - See above, I can't help but love this book

I really loved this book! I loved the idea of the list of forbidden activities, the lovable rake and the unconventional heroine.

It all starts when 27 year old spinster Callie hears her younger sister having a romantic liaison with her fiancee at their betrothal dinner and hears herself described as passive. This instigates her to make a list of activties that sh
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Laura the Highland Hussy
A big fat 5 star rating! 5 shining stars!!!

I think that I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did, but it is far and above my absolute favorite book this year. (even above Pride Mates which as you all know, is a huge favorite of mine!) I loved how Callie, one day tired of being nice, proper, boring Callie, just decided that was it! She had lived on the outskirts of the ballroom long enough. She may never be the belle of the ball, but she would not die an unkissed old spinster! She wr
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Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) by: Leah
I’ve always said RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN

And I’m sure Lady Calpurnia Hartwell would agree with me on that!

As a twenty-eight year old self-proclaimed spinster, Callie is feeling pretty crappy about how her life turned out. Her younger sister is engaged to be married to a duke , no less, while she’s been put away on the shelf, doomed to be alone and unloved forever.

Tired of sitting around the perimeter edges at all the balls, Callie decides to take a more adventurous route in life. Her plan?
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Ronyell
Nine

After reading so many romance novels with a generous and kind hero, I have finally stumbled upon a romance novel where we have here a “bad boy” hero. “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” is an amazing tale by Sarah MacLean about romance, drama, betrayal and lots of love making scenes that will have romance fans flipping over with excitement!

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell (Callie for short) has always wanted more out of her life since her life as a spinster to make a list of nine rules to break t
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Lola
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
SPOILERS/RANT

It was a enjoyable read overall. It's light hearted without all those unconvential villians and secrets for the sake of having a plot. It just focuses on Callie's hilarious determination to break the rules, being a spinster at twenty-eight years old, while falling for Ralston, a rake who gets in her way. Callie also chaperones his half young sister, Juliana, so they get closer. Throw in a slight problem of the hero secretly betting against the heroine before realizing he loves her,
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 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
(4.5 Stars)

I really enjoyed this... but I'm a little sad that it wasn't an OMG-I-LOVED-it!!-5 Star read for me, like it was for others. I really wanted it to be!

I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved the heroine (Lady Calpurnia) and the hero (Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston) and their repartee was great. The chemistry was hot. There were humorous moments. And moments that made me teary for the heroine (mostly - Oh, how my heart ached for "plain and plump" Callie!) and the hero (somewhat). Ma
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7,437 followers
New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studie
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Other books in the series

Love By Numbers (3 books)
  • Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2)
  • Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3)
“Kisses should not leave you satisfied. They should leave you wanting.” 137 likes
“I've spent twenty-eight years doing what everyone around me expected me to do...being what everyone around me has expected me to be. And it's horrid to be someone else's vision of yourself.” 81 likes
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