Summary: 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.
Review: A seemingly sweet romance about a spinster finding love with a handsome duke that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Callie was an ok character although I quickly got sick of her describing herself as plain, plump, and with large breasts. I get it. As she is aptly described, Callie is very passive. Even when she is going about her adventures, she always winds up being rescued or accompanied by a man. She can’t seem to do things on her own. While her epiphany feels realistic, deciding to make a list of nine items she hasn’t done or is not supposed to do a woman feels false to me.
I really disliked Ralston. I get that Callie was obsessed with him for ten years (I can’t figure out why after one brief encounter) and circumstances throw them together (It happens way too often in my opinion and turns into a plot device for the book), Ralston was an ass. I know physical attraction might not happen right away and love does do a great deal to make a person more attractive, but he was so derogatory to her at the start. He takes advantage of her so many times throughout the book that it made me sick. I don’t believe that Ralston is reformed at all.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical romances with wallflowers or spinsters falling for the handsome man who sweeps them off their feet.