When the RT editorial staff sat down to select our first Seal of Excellence title, we were wary of how we would all agree on one book to recommend. We all love different genres, we all have different criteria for what makes a book great. But then (but then!) we got our hands on Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. Only MacLean's second book, it's her first historical romance for adults, and it's already hit The New York Times bestseller list. Once we met MacLean's heroine, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, we were suddenly all in agreement. Turns out a good book is a good book, after all. And so in keeping with MacLean's snappy title, we thought we'd listicle for you why we think you'll love Nine Rules.
9. Giggle-worthy dialogue. When you're LOL-ing in the prologue, that's a good sign for the book ahead.
8. STEAMY love scenes. Hoo boy! Smelling salts at the ready, ladies.
7. Dreamy hero starring in those love scenes. Dreamy.
6. And that's not to mention the swoon-worthy hero in waiting. MacLean's got a delicious brother on deck, and we can't wait for his story.
5. Great family dynamics. A mom who costumes you in terrible outfits, and siblings whose dialogue spurns the plot onward while reminding you of your own family is surely a winner.
4. A fresh take on a classic storyline. Historical romance fans will enjoy the realistic feel of this fast, fun read that's not bogged down with historical detail, while still remaining true to the time period.
3. Engaging writing, a polished, refined writing style that's still accessible to readers.
2. No matter your genre of preference, MacLean's story will win you over. One non-historical romance fan in particular stormed the RT office after finishing MacLean's story, demanding more books of the same ilk.
1. Total lack of contrivance. As editors, plot holes and extraordinary leaps of faith required by readers can drive us mad. But MacLean's plot makes sense, her heroine stays true to herself, and everything plays out in a completely logical way — making us very, very happy (let us count the ways).
-Elissa Petruzzi, RT BOOKREVIEWS Senior Editor
Click here to watch Sarah MacLean's video interview.