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Melanie_Murray
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April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

 

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

  

 


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 . . .

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Maybe some of you have heard that I kind of like historicals? That being said, I've never shied away from debuts because if there's a horse or a carriage or a palatial estate with servants, chances are I'm going to find something to like in the book.

 

Sarah MacLean's debut is one book I'm glad I picked up. It's garnering comparisons to the work of our own Miss James, and I have to say that the wit, whimsy, and charm in this book makes me anxious for more of Sarah's work.

 

The story is about a well-behaved wallflower named Callie who realizes, when her younger sister makes a love match, that all those years of being a good girl has left her on the shelf. Since she has no prospects, she decides to enjoy her life a little. And one of the daring things she vows to do involves a man she's loved from afar for years, the notorious rake Gabriel St. John.

 

I really enjoyed this story. The characters are funny, the romance is rewarding and fun, and the hero is delicious. (Lucky for us, too, is that he's a twin! More romance featuring the St. Johns, please, Sarah!)

 

Sarah is joining us all week to chat a bit about Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. Please give her a warm welcome!

 

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Sarah, what attracted you to the idea of the good-girl-goes-bad? (Not that Callie really goes bad, but you know what I mean...) Are you usually a fan of those types of stories?

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SarahMacLean
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

 

Melanie_Murray wrote:

(Lucky for us, too, is that he's a twin! More romance featuring the St. Johns, please, Sarah!)

 

 

Hi Melanie!  Thanks so much to you and all the rest of the board members for having me!  I'm thrilled to be one of the features for April!  And thanks for the amazing words about Nine Rules... it's so good to hear that people are enjoying it! 

 

Now...just because you asked...I'm thinking that the next book should be about Ralston's twin, Nick.  Does October work for you as a release date? Let's say...the 26th? :smileywink:

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

 

SarahMacLean wrote:

 

Melanie_Murray wrote:

(Lucky for us, too, is that he's a twin! More romance featuring the St. Johns, please, Sarah!)

 

 

Hi Melanie!  Thanks so much to you and all the rest of the board members for having me!  I'm thrilled to be one of the features for April!  And thanks for the amazing words about Nine Rules... it's so good to hear that people are enjoying it! 

 

Now...just because you asked...I'm thinking that the next book should be about Ralston's twin, Nick.  Does October work for you as a release date? Let's say...the 26th? :smileywink:

 

 

Hmmm...the 26th. Yes, I think I can be there. :smileywink:

 

I did enjoy Nick and it'll be fun to see what kind of lady catches his eye. Any teases?

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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

 

Melanie_Murray wrote:

Sarah, what attracted you to the idea of the good-girl-goes-bad? (Not that Callie really goes bad, but you know what I mean...) Are you usually a fan of those types of stories?

 

 

Well, I've always had a thing for wallflower-rake romances, in part because i think the evolution of both the hero & heroine in really well-written ones is so powerful. The Rake softens and comes around to love, and the wallflower always comes out of her shell--at least a little.  So, I guess it's no surprise that my first romance is the story of a wallflower and a rake. 

 

But I wanted to explore the other things that might send a wallflower on that journey--what if the wallflower began her transformation, and THEN the rake came into play?  What would that mean to their interactions?  What would that do to the power dynamic between them?

 

So...Nine Rules happened.

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becke_davis
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

This book sounds wonderful. I'm going to pick up a copy right away.

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Sarah, I just love the wallflower/rake dynamic, too, because usually in the books the rake is transformed by the power of the wallflower's transformation, which just seems smashingly feminist and modern and romantic at the same time. Callie in particular read very modern to me, but not ananchronistically so. She was vibrant enough for me to identify with and yet very true to her time period. Great job with that.

 

 

And: congrats on the PW review! Glowing!

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njoireading
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

I just finished the book yesterday and have to agree with someone else who said that this was written in the same tone as many of Eloisa James' books.  There was a bit of humor in the story and it was a fun read.  As a first novel it was good and I will look forward to the next story about Gabriel's twin brother Nick.  Of course, I will also look forward to Juliana's story (which will probably include a certain Duke).

 

One of the things I did enjoy about this book was that both Gabriel and Callie were a little older.  I am definitely drawn to the stories where the H/H are at least beyond their teens when the majority of the story takes place.  I know that girls were married very young in that day and age, but I also cannot credit giving mature emotions as they are supposed to experience to an eighteen year old.

 

While Callie did break out of her shelll, it was Gabriel who was much more interesting.  Playing the pianofore as well as he did was certainly interesting and something that I would have liked to have explored a little more.  It was obvious from Nick's interest in the arts that there was more to their background than was conveyed in the story.

 

All-in-all, I think that for a debut novel it was definitely worth the read!

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Great insight, njoireading. I love your point about the unexplored artistic side of the St. John twins. Sarah, can you shed any light on that?

 

When Callie finds Gabriel playing the piano in his bedroom - yowza. Nothing else happened in that moment but it was so sensual and enticing. Great scene.

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Maria_Lokken
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Sarah, I loved your book.  And did I see mention of a Nick story?  I sure hope so.  He had so many qualities I enjoy in heroes.  I'm a 'series' kind of gal - so if there is a continuing story with Gabriel's twin brother and another with their half sister, I'm all in.

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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Hi Maria! 

Yes, you heard correctly...Nick's story is coming out in October...and Juliana's will follow Summer 2011! 

 

**

 

As for the question about Nick & Gabriel's interest in art...Gabriel's reason for picking up the piano is explained in Nine Rules...although I can see how the mystery of an aristocratic male with a penchant for the pianoforte is something that readers wish I'd spent more time with.  Truthfully, I wanted the piano to be a part of his character--something that showed him to be more than a rake--without becoming his ENTIRE character. 

 

As for Nick, his fascination will be explained in Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord! 

 

xox

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becke_davis
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Yay! I've got my copy, now I just have to find some time to read it!

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becke_davis
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

 

becke_davis wrote:

Yay! I've got my copy, now I just have to find some time to read it!

 

Well, I made time. I started it while I had my lunch and haven't gotten a lick of work done since then. I passed page 200 awhile back and only stopped because I had to answer the phone. This is so good!!! Go Calpurnia!!

 

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kmgevans
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

I ordered my copy on Tuesday, so like 10 more days to go for me then I can finally get cracking. Good thing i have other books to keep my occupied till then.

Katie
"Death is hereditary. Make sure you enjoy each day before it catches you." Tara Daniels
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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

I'm so glad so many of you are giving this one a try. It's well worth it and I'm eager to see what Sarah's next books are going to be.

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becke_davis
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

It was really good! 

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kmgevans
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

First things first, i loved this book!!! Second.. when I opened up the cover, I got a neat little surpise. The picture on the inside cover is definitely very hot!!

Katie
"Death is hereditary. Make sure you enjoy each day before it catches you." Tara Daniels
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Melanie_Murray
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Re: April Feature #1: NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean

Oh, yes. The cover is very nice.