Books,  Reviews

The Rule Book

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College sweethearts meet again years later, in this highly anticipated romance and companion story to the viral TikTok sensation The Cheat Sheet.

Nora Mackenzie’s entire career lies in the hands of famous NFL tight end Derek Pender who also happens to be her extremely hot college ex-boyfriend. Nora didn’t end things as gracefully as she could have back then, and now it’s come back to haunt her. Derek is her first client as an official full-time sports agent and he’s holding a grudge.

Derek has set his sights on a little friendly revenge. If Nora Mackenzie, the first girl to ever break his heart, wants to be his agent, oh he’ll let her be his agent. The plan is make Nora’s life absolutely miserable. But if Derek knows anything about the woman he once loved—she won’t quit easily.

Instead of giving in, Nora starts a scheme of her own. But then a wild night in Vegas leads to Nora and Derek in bed the next morning married. With their rule book out the window, could this new relationship be the thing to save their careers?

Synopsis source: Goodreads


Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
HB&W Rating: 4
View on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble

I was super excited to be able to meet Sarah Adams and B.K. Borison when they were in town together for Sarah’s book tour. They have such a fun dynamic, grumpy-sunshine isn’t just a romantic trope! I was even able to meet some Instagram friends in real life! Being able to listen to an author speak about their life, career, who they are as people, what inspires them, etc, is always such a treat. It allows me to really see the author peek through the pages of the stories they write when I’m reading, making the experience that much better!

I read this one on the heels of finishing The Cheat Sheet, which I liked better, but I did still really like The Rule Book. I loved all of Nora‘s catchphrases and her sunshine personality. I loved her relationship with Nicole, showing women sticking together instead of competing in a male-dominated industry. I loved the dyslexia rep and the friendships the men share.

I always try to give a little insight into the spice for romance books because people enjoy varying levels, and it’s always nice to know what you’re walking into. In The Rule Book, Adams veers from her typically closed door policy and we are given one chapter with on-page spice, which she warns you about in the author’s note at the beginning of the book, so it can be skipped if the reader prefers. Regardless, even outside of that chapter, the tension and the steamy build up are on point.

I love how Adams always tries to highlight some less-talked-about topic and make readers relate and empathize with characters on the basis of those topics. I also love that she highlights male characters that are no less swoon-worthy for being emotionally intelligent, helping to turn toxic masculinity on its head.

I’m still not a fan of the fake-dating trope, which Adams does seem to favor since all three books I’ve read of hers have had that trope in some fashion, but she makes the entire thing so enjoyable, I didn’t mind it as much as normal. Adams’ way of blending heart and humor to showcase mature, respectful relationships has cemented her as a new favorite.

Also, black sweatpants. IYKYK. 😉

Until next time,

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