Sunday, 22 May 2016

Bargain Read: The Rule Book (The Rule Breakers #1) - Jennifer Blackwood

Starr Media Second-Assistant Survival Guide

1. Don't call your hot boss the antichrist to his face. 
2. Don't stare at hot boss's, um, package or his full sleeve of tattoos. (No. Really. Stop!) 
3. Don't get on the malicious first assistant's bad side.
4. Don't forget to memorize the 300-page employee manual.
5. If you value your cashmere, steer clear of boss’s dog.
6. Boss’s dimples are lust-inducing. Do. Not. Give. In. 
7. “The elevator ate your clothes” is not a valid excuse for showing up to important meetings half dressed. 
8. Don't break seven of the rules within the first week of employment if you, ya know, are in dire need of money to support your sick mom.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the boss. See rule eight about sick mom.
10. Never forget the rules.

It's been a wee while since I picked up a good ol' fashioned romance and when I saw The Rule Book for a mere £2.84 on Amazon I thought, why not?

The Rule Book tells the tale of recent MA graduate, Lainey, and her tattoo'd dreamboat boss, Brogan. Lainey, who's mother is undergoing expensive treatment for cancer, moves to Seattle to take a high earning media job in order to help pay her mother's expensive medical bills, once in situ at Starr's up and coming company, Lainey realises she's falling for the boss  - Breaking Bad this isn't. 

Whilst I did enjoy the first in Blackwood's latest series, the book did leave me feeling a little unsatisfied. Perhaps a tad short for my tastes, The Rule Book tries too hard to include every enjoyable facet of popular romance novels.

Poor Lainey falls into the trap of ditzy yet sassy heroine almost immediately, seemingly living with her foot in her mouth. She makes a lasting impression on Brogan from the start when she accidentally reveals that employees refer to him as the Antichrist.  Brogan is seemingly charmed, although I'm not entirely sure why, Lainey does little to distinguish herself as a character and Brogan seems to fall very quickly. Despite their slapstick-esque and repetitious meet cutes, the hero and heroine actually share very little connection throughout the book; where their relationship could be enriched with increased dialogue, Lainey's internal monologue dominates the novel. Despite this, Lainey is an intriguing heroine, just as Brogan is an enticing hero, but Blackwood never quite seems to find the time to develop either character.

The romantic situation between our characters takes quite a while to come to fruition, and where I am usually a fan of the slow burning romance, The Rule Book just takes that little bit too long to get going and fails to reward the fan with a decent pay off  (if you like your romances steamy, you're going to be disappointed). The inevitable break-up drama appears a little rushed, as does the situation with Lainey's mother. 

Having said that, I did enjoy The Rule Book and even squeezed an extra ten minutes out of my lunch hour in order to finish it. Lainey and Brogan definitely share a sweet connection and the lust between the two is well presented, it just never quite develops into anything more for me. If you're after a short, entertaining diversion for less than your average magazine, you could definitely do worse than picking up The Rule BookJennifer Blackwood is definitely a name I'll keep my eye out for - especially when I'm in the mood for a bargain. 

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