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.
Rating: Narration – B+; Content – A-
Sarah MacLean’s first historical romance is a rake-meets-wallflower story which, I confess, is one of my favourite tropes in the genre. I do so love watching the sophisticated ladies’ man and serial avoider of emotional entanglements falling under the spell of the “girl least likely to” and Nine Rules is a highly enjoyable version of that particular story.
But Ms MacLean doesn’t stop there, and ingeniously combines it with the idea of a wallflower “bucket list”, as the heroine, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, decides she’s old enough and high enough up on the shelf to be able to risk doing some of the things she’s always wanted to do. It’s perhaps an implausible premise, but it’s easy to understand Callie’s motives, given that she’s followed the rules her entire life and the one thing she’s always wanted – love – has eluded her.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.