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Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Love by Numbers by Sarah MacLean

Book cover of Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Despite their cutesy titles, Sarah MacLean’s Regency romances are very good reads indeed.  Her newest book is Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart (ugh, I know), the third in a series about the bold and engaging St. John siblings.  I hesitated to read the books because of their silly titles (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a RakeTen Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord), but I’m glad I got over it.  MacLean’s books are clever, funny, sensual and compelling. 

Miss Juliana Fiori didn’t know she had two half-brothers in England until her father died and left her to their care.  Her very arrival in London is a scandal, but her passionate Italian nature makes her even more notorious.  Soon, she is rejected by the aristocracy and barred from many social events.

Book cover of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLeanNo one is more cutting to Juliana than Simon Pearson, Duke of Leighton, nicknamed “The Duke of Disdain.”  Simon has a dark secret that threatens to destroy his family, and he cannot afford any association with Juliana, no matter how much she tempts him.  Juliana and Simon have a history (see note below), and an ill-advised bet brings the two of them even closer together at the moment when both can least afford it.  Juliana and Simon have a tense but passionate relationship from the start, and the scenes between them are pretty hot – MacLean writes great steamy scenes.

Book cover of Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLeanNote: Though it’s a good follow-up to the first two books, this one does not stand alone well.  I read 50 pages of Eleven Scandals but was confused about the plot and uninterested in the characters.  After I reread Nine Rules, Eleven Scandals made SO much more sense and I genuinely cared about Simon and Juliana because I knew how far they’d come. MacLean added some flashbacks so a new reader could easily grasp the story, but they didn’t work well enough.  If you’ve enjoyed the first two books, absolutely read Eleven Scandals.  If not, I highly recommend reading Nine Rules first – it was one of my top picks of 2010 – then decide if you want to continue the series. I think Sarah MacLean is a fabulous new addition to the romance world, and I can't wait to read her future contributions.  I just really hope she ditches the too-cute titles.

Romance novel book reviews by Sarah the Brazen Bookworm


  1. I cannot wait to read this! I love this series!

  2. I loved it too! I can't wait to see what she does next...

  3. Sarah's books are why I am now hopelessly addicted to historical romances despite years of refusing to read them. Nine Rules... is one of my favorite books- I can admit that now.

    Have you checked out her blog? She has a really good list of "must read" romances. I discovered Eloisa James that way.


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Romance novel book review