Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean TOO MUCH SEX; NOT ENOUGH ROMANCE

Count me amongst the detractors. When I initially finished it, I thought this book was okay, but the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that it left me ultimately unfulfilled.

**Possible spoilers in this paragraph** Because so many others have rehashed the plot, I won't go into details on that point other than to say I am among those who found it rather cliche. The only scene I found "original" was the gambling house scene, and that was only because I was SO surprised by the courtesan questions and that Gabriel just went with the decision to take Callie's virginity in the back room of some gambling house. I mean, really? I don't even recall his having any real thoughts or concerns about that fact, which shows a certain lack of respect to me. Maybe he was caught up in a tide of lust (see below)? *lifts eyebrow skeptically*

Some scenes and turns of phrases made me laugh out loud. However, they didn't make me like the novel in the end. Being a traditional Regency reader (of the Signet and Zebra Regency novels of yesteryear), I was uncomfortable with the speed and frequency of Gabriel and Callie's sex scenes. I think there are upwards of five or six rather graphic physical encounters. I'm okay with some sexual encounters in books, but I like them to be more about feelings or lead to a better understanding of the characters and their motives. I don't think the sex scenes in this book really added to the development of the characters' romantic feelings other than lust (particularly on Gabriel's part).

The formula for the "build up" (if it can be considered that, even) is a consistent (1) they argue heatedly about something or other - usually his surprise and disapproval of her putting herself in a questionable situation for the sake of her list, (2) he makes a move on her, and (3) they fall into a lust-filled sexual encounter that opens her eyes to this world of pleasure. *insert eye roll* There never seemed to be an actual resolution to their arguments other than something sexual/physical.

For reference in terms of "taste," in addition to the traditional Regencies, I also like Julia Quinn and Jo Beverley for historical romances. I don't think this book delivers on the level of those authors' books. I would suggest the Bridgerton series, starting with book 1, The Duke and I (Bridgerton Series, Book 1), by Julia Quinn if you would like humorous, mostly non-angsty Regency era reads.

In terms of writing style, the author has a lighthearted tone (as I'm sure you'd expect given the somewhat silly/modern-ish title to the book). Overall, this was not a BAD book, but it definitely was not to my liking.