Lady Calprunia Hartwell has met the most dashing of men at the height of her season, but alas
- the Marquis of Ralston is also a notorious rake with no intention of getting married anytime soon. Ten years later, we find Callie’s younger sister, Mariana, set on her marriage to a duke and Callie is feeling older by the minute. Overhearing a conversation, Callie hears her name and the word passive in the same sentence. Could that be why she is on the spinster shelf? Because she is not adventurous enough?
Emboldened by her older brother, The Earl of Allendale, into having an adventure, Callie determines to make a list of nine rules that society has dictated that women cannot do.
She is set to break them one by one, and she has in mind the perfect man to help her:
the man of her dreams, Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston. Propelled to change her life and add some excitement, Callie finds herself on the doorstep of the seventh Marquess of Ralston. But plans have a way of going awry…
Ralston has a younger sister whom he has just found out about and is in need of a spinster chaperone for her coming-out.
It seems the perfect chaperone has literally walked into his house in the dead of night! Completely unchaperoned! A most unexpected surprise awaits Ralston in the form of Lady Calprunia, for
she is in fact seeking an escort to guide her through her list of things that women cannot do.
Before Callie and Ralston can even reach number three on the list, they are well and truly attracted to one another.
Nonetheless, Ralston doesn't believe in love, while Callie has been in love with him for years. With the help of his twin brother, Nick (who we met in Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord)), and their newly found half-sister, Juliana, Gabriel finds out the hard way what love is all about.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is truly a wonderful story and marks the first time in years that I have stayed up past my bedtime to read the last page. Sarah Maclean is a masterful storyteller, and I’m on tenterhooks waiting for Juliana’s story (Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart), due out in April 2011.