Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)” as Want to Read:
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

(Love By Numbers #1)

by
4.09  ·  Rating details ·  43,407 ratings  ·  3,495 reviews
A wonderfully talented new author joins the Avon Romance family - Sarah MacLean, who fans of Eloisa James and Julia Quinn will immediately take into their hearts! Sarah’s delectable debut, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is the Regency Era romp readers have been waiting for - fresh, fun, and wonderfully romantic - placing her solidly in the company of Elizabeth H ...more
Kindle Edition, 423 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jen He does not have his own book, sadly. I don't recall if he meets his match. …moreHe does not have his own book, sadly. I don't recall if he meets his match. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  43,407 ratings  ·  3,495 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)
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
...more
Karla
Oct 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you know who you are
Recommended to Karla by: not gonna name names
Shelves: did-not-finish
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,
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Jessica
OMG I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. ugh. The romance. Was so cute.

I really loved the premise how Callie made this list she wanted to do because she was a spinster and was tired of not living her life. It was fun watching her try to achieve her list and how Ralston is always roped into her antics. Their romance was just so adorable. I also loved how close Callie was with both her sister and her brother. I just couldn't get enough of this book and highly recommend it!
...more
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!
...more
EmBibliophile
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
4.25 stars

Not only am I a shallow person who sometimes picks books because of their lovely covers, but I’m also a shallow person who picks books because of their fun titles. I saw the book titles of this series and I was sold! Aren’t they fun?

Callie doesn’t like the way her life turned out. She’s tired of being a spinster and she is longing for an adventure, so she made a list of scandalous things to do which is completely inappropriate for a lady.

This book got me laughing out loud. It’s so fun
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)
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
...more
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
...more
Baba
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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)

Photobucket

Even though the plot is very predictable, I really enjoyed Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. It's another winner and delightfull
...more
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 ugliest dres
...more
Hulya Kara Yuksel
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Hulya by: Seda
I absolutely adored this book. It was quite sensational. 😜😜😜

@Seda: My dear friend, thank you so much for recommending this book to me. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series. Probably very soon. 😋
...more
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. ;) ...more
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
...more
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
...more
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
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
...more
Mo
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.”


...more
Emilia Barnes
Welcome to one of the worst historical romances (not-at-all-historically-accurate-barely-disguised-porn-books) I have ever read. Welcome to the land of cliches, to the kingdom of the One Dimension, the Empire of Clumsy World-building. This nirvana of terribleness is somehow a well-regarded, best-selling novel.



Do you want some of Sarah Maclean's success? Well, it shouldn't be too hard. If you know nothing about history, can barely put a sentence together and don't feel like writing well-rounded
...more
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!

******************************************
...more
mwana
This book was very meh. It started out promisingly. A young wallflower, Callie, stumbles into a dashing rogue who makes her feel daring although briefly. Fast forward ten years later, she ends up bored at a ball and sneaks off to hide in her brother's man cave. Or whatever the equivalent of a man cave is in regency romance.

Her brother tempts her to take scotch and she decides nah, too much too soon. While leaving, she accidentally eavesdrops on her younger sister and the new husband-to-be who ar
...more
Topastro
*Originally read April 2019. Reread December 2019 & May 2020. Its safe to say I'm obsessed with this book. I only wish Carolyn Morris narrated more historical romance books.*

This was my first Sarah Maclean book and I absolutely adored it. Calpurnia and Gabriel stole my heart and the audio book was fantastic. I can't wait to read more from Sarah Maclean.
...more
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy | Foxy Blogs by: Nat O
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
...more
Dina
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the inside cover of this book!

Photobucket
...more
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
...more
Crystal Cook
May 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2021
After having read all of Sarah's other works it was a delight to go back and read her first historical romance. This was so fun and would be a great recommendation for a beginner romance reader. The hero is a typical reformed Rake and the heroine is a plus size spinster who makes a list of all the things she wants to do that she has missed out on in life so far. It has Sarah's trademark swoony, steamy writing style with pretty low angst. ...more
♡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!
...more
Warda
MY EMOTIONS!!! 😭
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
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3)
  • Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)
  • A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)
  • It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)
  • Married By Morning (The Hathaways, #4)
  • Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1)
  • Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4)
  • Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5)
  • Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3)
  • Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2)
  • Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)
  • Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2)
  • When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1)
  • Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3)
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • Suddenly You
  • Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
10,440 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.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. A romance columnist and co-host of the weekly romance novel podcast, Fated Mates, her work in support of
...more

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)

Articles featuring this book

Get in the mood with our list of the top 100 romances of all time. We narrowed the field by limiting our results to books aimed at...
263 likes · 462 comments
“Kisses should not leave you satisfied. They should leave you wanting.” 141 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.” 86 likes
More quotes…