Series: Love By Numbers, Book 2
Also in this series: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
Published by Avon on 26 October 2010
Genres: Adult, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
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Also by this author: The Season, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, The Rogue Not Taken, A Scot in the Dark
Place(s) Traveled to: London, England // Dunscroft, Yorkshire, England (1823)
First Line: It cannot be denied that there is a veritable epidemic spreading among the young ladies of London – a tragic reality that ends in nothing but the very worst possible scenario.
Any regular reader of my blog knows that I am a fan of Sarah Maclean. She is an author who writes really good heartfelt stories. Her heroines aren’t your typical girls. They are usually a bit awkward, bookish and perhaps a bit plumper than what is considered the norm. They are girls that defy the conventions in their own ways in order to blaze their own path. They are girls in which you can see yourself in and become really attached to. But there is something about Isabel Townsend that really sets her apart for me. I think it might have begun in part because of the roof incident (see vlog reading).
This may seem odd to you but roofs hold a special place in my heart and were a big part in my growing up years. You see the house I grew up in had a porch – it wrapped around most of the building and went under all of our second floor windows. Reading books like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn made me long for a place like Francie Nolan’s fire escape. And since I couldn’t convince my parents to move to a place with one I had my roof. Only the roof was FORBIDDEN.
My dad had few rules but they were meant to be followed to a T. We weren’t allowed on the roof. We weren’t allowed in the attic. We weren’t allowed to dig holes in the yard. We aren’t allowed to take things apart (along with a long hard stare at me). There were others to be sure but those were repeated. Often. Probably because they were the ones we broke the most. Especially after The Incident – which involved my brother, a friend, the attic and a hole in the ceiling. After The Incident there were so many talks on not going in the attic that even now in my 30s when my mom sends me to fetch something my first response is ‘but I’m not allowed’ followed by a sigh, a look and an exasperated that was when you were a child. So you can only imagine my glee to find Isabel ON THE ROOF….which she got to by GOING THROUGH THE ATTIC. (Yes I am weird, I know.)
Its not just the roof though, Isabel is such a strong character who bears a HUGE weight on her shoulders. She has relied only on herself for so long that she has forgotten what its like to lean on someone else. This is both good and bad as you can imagine. She is smart and resourceful and also can get so lost in her thoughts sometimes that she doesn’t always see what’s around her. Which is like me in some ways. Her first meeting with Nick St. John….yeah that could so happen to me – well something similar since I don’t live in 1823 England. (Now if only I could find me a Nick too…*wanders off to dreamland*)
As with many romances the plot is pretty standard in that the heroine is poor, about to lose her home, has some secrets and is searching for a solution to all her woes. Our hero, the very swoon worthy Nick, is trying to escape the marriage minded mamas on the ton and so leaps at a chance to escape to the country. Especially after being named London’s most eligible bachelor. (Eep! poor Nick lol) The two meet and the reader is taken on a fun and wonderful journey as you watch them struggle with what you know is gonna happen. Added to the mix are some of the best side characters ever. I ADORE Rock almost as much, if not more than Nick. He is this great and wonderful teddy bear of man with some laugh out loud lines. Rock is such a perfect counter point to Nick you can see why they are friends. Isabel’s house staff also add in some amusement and her younger brother is both endearing and the sort of boy who just makes your heart melt.
As of this posting, I think that Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord, is my favorite book by Sarah Maclean yet. Which is saying a lot since I LOVE LOVE LOVED The Season! (my review) (Speaking of I STILL want more of that story Sarah! The girls need swoon worthy boys and Freddie needs to meet his Petunia!!) Ten Ways isn’t as naughty as Nine Rules but there was less head jumping and I felt that the story was just a bit tighter. Although I missed the lack of Callie and Gabriel. (I know I know Yorkshire is a long way from London but still…I just want EVERYTHING lol). I really just can’t say enough how much I loved this book. I just couldn’t stop reading it once I had begun. I laughed out loud and would have happily moved into the story if such a thing were possible. Don’t believe me…well here is a wee snippet from the book that is will hopefully tease your appetite a bit:
“Minutes later, Isabel was pressing her ear to the heavy mahogany door of the earl’s study. She could detect the low hum of masculine voices from within, but their words were impossible to understand. She leaned closer, cursing the ancestor who had selected such a sturdy portal. While she appreciated that had in question likely had goings-on that he had not wanted overheard, the choice of two-inch-thick wood showed an obvious lack of foresight when it came to the requirements of future generations.” (Note: Text is taken from the ARC and may not be the same as in the finished version.)
Seriously folks, this is a book that I can gush on at length. I really could. This is the sort of book that I will reread. I don’t do that with many books but I just know that Nick and Isabel will become good friends and a welcome distraction when I am sick or my life is just so chaotic that I can’t focus on anything new. I also want it said that I think that Rock deserves his own novella. I want to know what he was doing when Nick and Isabel were busy on rooftops. So Sarah, please make that happen. pretty please?
Now begins the long wait until the release of the third book in this series, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart which won’t be out until June 2011. *le sigh* Until then I guess I’ll just have to pick up a hard copy of Nine Ways (out 26 Oct) and reread it for any clues to what might happen in Eleven Scandals. Hmm…I might just have to reread Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake as well…..you know….for the clues.