Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake by Sarah MacLean

4.5-star
Plain-looking 28yo spinster has been in love with rake Marquess ever since their only conversation during her debutante ball 10 years ago.  Challenged to stop being such a passive wallflower, heroine makes a list of experiences she wants to try & makes a bold move to ask Hero for a kiss.  Hero trades his kiss for heroine’s teaching his newly-found half-sister the social graces necessary to be accepted by the Ton in the next few weeks. The kiss leads to Hero’s desire to be with heroine when she checks off the other items in her list. But is heroine willing to compromise her love goals for Hero’s desire?

This MacLean was an enjoyable read. The writing was smooth & well-paced. The book was amusing yet not light. It had emotional depth & some poignant moments of unrequited love. Sexual tension was good. Sex scenes were passionate & detailed enough. Characterization was good. MacLean managed to take 2 very different people to meet at some common ground & make their love convincing.  I liked heroine’s resolve to not compromise her marriage goals, even if it meant never getting married. But she wasn’t black-&-white about it.  She was willing to bend her love goals if Hero was willing to marry her for herself.  I also liked her courage to try things outside her comfort zone. Hero was good about being open to new experiences & didn’t judge heroine for her quirks. He was also protective of those he cared for. 

My only quibble is that I wish heroine was memorable enough for Hero when they 1st met. I just felt sad for her but I guess that’s the point of unrequited love. When Hero did return her affection, his love for her was deep & convincing.

I recommend this book.

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