After ten unsuccessful years on the marriage mart, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has had enough. An impeccable reputation is all very well, but hardly what she dreamed of as a child. With her little sister about to marry, Callie is tired of false sympathy and impertinent comments. Perhaps the time has come to stop being so passive - and to take her fate into her own hands.
After all, she's never even been kissed! Luckily she has just the rake in mind to help her out - Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston - who Callie's been in love with for ten long years. But when Ralston bargains for her help in return for a kiss, a new Callie is born, and it's time to have some fun.
Ridiculous, frivolous, funny and thoroughly enjoyable, Callie's adventures in the top tier of the ton are a delight. As a proper girl who has always done what's expected of her, no one could blame her for being tired of being good. Especially when it's done nothing for her. And the bold, frequently fearless way she sets about achieving her list with such romantic naivety makes her hopelessly endearing. She's no fool, she's just had enough of being ignored while life passes her by.
Ralston is a suitably handsome hero, seductive and sinful, with an awkward habit of turning noble at just the wrong moments. He's got enough shadows in his past to hint at being a tragic hero, but his cheeky twin brother and unexpected sister save him from angst. As does his indulgence for Callie's starts, no matter how ridiculous they are.
Pure fun from start to finish, with a sparkling historical setting, a touch of adventure, a hint of wickedness and bundles of romance, MacLean is a great addition to the genre. As for whether Callie achieves everything on her list... well, you'll just have to read it and see.