All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Series Review: Love By Numbers by Sarah MacLean

on March 23, 2016

Nine Rules 2Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake (Love By Numbers #1)
Sarah MacLean
Hachette Digital
2010, 432p
Personal purchased copy

Blurb {courtesy of the publisher/}:

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.

I’ve heard some really good things about this series and I always rather liked the titles. Lately I’ve been on a massive historical romance kick – it’s pretty much all I want to read so I was scouring iBooks looking for some good candidates and these jumped out at me so I thought it was time to give them a go. I really enjoyed this first one.

Calpurnia (Callie to her friends/family) had one interaction with Gabriel St John, the Marquess of Ralston as a debutante and it’s something she’s never forgotten. Now a wallflower almost a decade later, her younger sister is out and has landed the catch of the season, bagging a proposal from a Duke no less. Callie decides that she’s never going to be married so she might as well live her life, doing the things she’d never be allowed to do were she a successfully married lady or someone who still had prospects. The first thing she wants is a proper kiss – and she chooses Ralston to deliver it.

I loved Callie and Ralston together – he’s a total rake, existing kind of on the fringe of society due to a scandal. He’s a Marquess so the mothers would still be happy to marry a daughter off to him but Ralston doesn’t want to be married. When Callie lays out her plan to him he decides that he should at least accompany her to do several of these things and keep her safe. In return he needs her help making sure his half sister is accepted by society. With an impeccable family and her sister marrying a Duke, Callie has the ability to smooth the way. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, complicated only by a bit of falling in love. Callie and Ralston have great chemistry and her adventures were fun. I also really liked her relationship with Juliana, Ralston’s recently-acquired half sister and can’t wait for that book!

All in all this was exactly what I was after. A super fun read.


Book #48 of 2016

Ten Ways To Be AdoredTen Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord (Love By Numbers #2)
Sarah MacLean
Hachette Digital
2010, 400p
Purchased personal copy

Blurb {courtesy the publisher/}:

Since being named one of London’s “Lords to Land” by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!

The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.

But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless…like falling madly, passionately in love.

I have to admit, I read this one for continuity. I really just wanted to skip to the third one but I thought this one might contain some development for those characters so I’d better read it so I didn’t miss anything. I liked Nick, twin brother of Gabriel, the Marquess of Ralston in Callie and Ralston’s book, I thought he was quite fun.

Whilst I admired Lady Isabel and what she was doing, I have to admit that I didn’t warm to her the way I did to Callie and to Juliana. Perhaps that was simply because of the way she had to be due to her position. She’s the daughter of an Earl who had gambled basically everything away (including her, many times) and left her impoverished, trying to keep a household going as well as raise her younger brother (now the actual Earl after the death of her father) without any funds. Nick happens on them whilst looking for something  and Lady Isabel sees a chance to get her marbles (statues) valued as he’s a well known antiquity expert. She’s unaware that Nick is looking for something that she’s hiding and this…well it plays out for a looong part of the book. Nick wanting her to trust him with her situation so he could help but Lady Isabel believing that he would betray her or make things very difficult for her or others.

This one was just okay, an easy read but didn’t love it.


Book #49 of 2016

Eleven Scandals To StartEleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke’s Heart (Love By Numbers #3)
Sarah MacLean
Hachette Digital
2011, 385p
Purchased personal copy

Blurb {courtesy of the publisher/}:

She lives for passion.

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips . . . and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening – risking everything he holds dear – he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety. She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

I was excited for this book from Juliana and Simon’s first interaction in the first book. They are utter opposites – Juliana has had an unusual upbringing and has come to England under a cloud of scandal that her brothers and sister-in-laws have attempted to smooth over with their social standing and connections. Simon has been raised as the eleventh Duke of Leighton, and has had duty and prestige and social standing rammed down his throat from the time he was born. He is icy politeness and correctness where as Juliana is fiery passion and free will. She likes doing what she pleases, not what she should as a young lady.

All of their interactions are so amazing – Juliana hasn’t been raised in London so there’s a lot she doesn’t understand about the social hierarchy and just who a Duke can (or will) and cannot (will not) marry. She’s all about the passion, she wants to experience things and she wastes no time telling Simon that she plans to bring him to his knees in the name of passion. He prides himself on his self-control and his correctness, the very upbringing that has been relentlessly drummed into him but he finds Juliana very hard to resist. He seeks her out (under the pretense of helping Ralston keep an eye on her) even when he should be doing something else. Simon knows that he must marry and marry extremely well in order to protect the family from a secret that will break sooner or later and cover them in scandal but Juliana makes it increasingly hard for him to do his dukely duty. He’s always known that his marriage would be a contract, a pairing of social equals. Love isn’t something that’s considered during a marriage in the ton and if it comes later, well it’s an added bonus. Juliana makes him want more even as he’s aware that it isn’t in his future. Unless he risks everything about the impeccable family name and sheds his entire upbringing of course!

I really loved this one – it lived up to all of my expectations.


Book #50 of 2016

One response to “Series Review: Love By Numbers by Sarah MacLean

  1. […] get lost in these stories. Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean (my review) Sassy impetuous heroine. Stuffy, repressed Duke. Enough said. Silent On The Moor by Deanna […]

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