I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Sarah MacLean
Released: March 30. 2010
Series: Love By Numbers #1
Published by Avon
I really loved this book! I loved the idea of the list of forbidden activities, the lovable rake and the unconventional heroine.It all starts when 27 year old spinster Callie hears her younger sister having a romantic liaison with her fiancee at their betrothal dinner and hears herself described as passive. This instigates her to make a list of activities that she has always wanted to do, such as gamble at a gentleman’s club and attend a duel. She actions her first item on the list a passionate kiss, that very night. And who better to kiss then Ralston, the man she has been in love with for 10 years, but who has never noticed her. Notice her he does when she gets into his bedroom and asks for her first kiss, he obliges her but for a price. She must help Ralston introduce his sister into society.
I think everyone at some point has had a similar list to Callie, a list of things they have always wanted to do and hope one day they will be able to pluck up the courage to actually go through with them. The first thing I love about Callie was that she was going to act on her list, she was going to seek out adventure after ten years of waiting for it to come to her.
The infamous list leads Callie and Ralston into a number of both funny and passionate encounters, which gradually makes Ralston rethink his opinion of the seemingly very proper, plump and plain Callie. The budding relationship between them was funny and sweet, Ms Maclean wrote the banter between them perfectly.
Ralston was a good hero, although I wouldn’t put him under the category of tortured hero, he did have a painful past that had him distrusting love. He was also wicked enough to be intriguing but not disgustingly debauched. For those of you who have read The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas, he sometimes reminded me of a more responsible older brother of St. Vincent. However, as much as I liked Ralston, I found that, for a change, it is Callie that I remember this book for her, her transformation to passive wallflower to adventurous beauty was entertaining to watch unfurl as the romance.
The cast of secondary characters were also fantastic, they were well rounded and each had their own small story. Juliana and Nicholas, Ralston’s siblings also have books in this series, and I can’t wait to read them!
Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?