Setting: Regency 1823
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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A book that starts with an adventurous list… What’s not to like?
I completely fell in love with this book from page one. Callie was such a great heroine and one with issues we all can relate to. She’s been a wallflower much of her life because she isn’t considered beautiful by society’s standards and yet she’s passionate, adventurous and so much more than anyone would have expected. I really related to her and rooted for her the entire novel.
Ralston on the other hand… Well, let’s just say he had me glued to the page, my cheeks aflame for much of the book. 😛
But it wasn’t just his obvious sexiness that hooked me, it was his ability to recognize Callie as worth so much more than his typical courtesans-to fall in love with her and see her for the true beauty she really is.
As for the rest of the characters, they were all easy to fall in love with as well-Callie’s sister and brother and Ralston’s sister and brother were all great; really fleshed out characters that are REAL.
The romance was spicy and well-written and it was clear that Callie and Ralston were well-matched. I love that in books when you can really see the connection between a hero and heroine and I could certainly see it in this one. I loved how Raslton was simultaneously irritated and bewitched by Callie-it made for some spicy interludes. The interactions between them were also so real you can almost imagine them taking place right in front of you.
The premise was unique and very well carried out-It wasn’t at all predictable in terms of what she would do to get the things on her list ticked off and more than that, the book was funny. I laughed several times throughout at the wittiness and the antics that the characters performed. Sarah Maclean has some serious talent and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with for the hero of her next book, Ralston’s twin brother, Nick!
Sensuality Level: Very, very spicy 😉 (Very explicit love scenes)
Verdict: It was fresh, witty, sexy and very romantic–Sarah Maclean is now on my favourite authors list!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars