Adult Fiction · Bout of Books · Brown Chicken Brown Cow · Romance

Rules of the Game by Sandy James

Kathryn West has it all – she’s a confident, bestselling author living it up in New York City. Too bad she doesn’t actually exist, and is only timid Maddie Sawyer’s pseudonym. Determined to attend her high school reunion with a man right out of one of her racy romance novels, she plots to find a sexy bad boy who’s up to Kathryn’s standards.

She finds Mr. Perfect shooting pool in a biker bar. He’s a blue-collar hunk who just happens to look great in leather. But the mysterious Scott Brady has some rules of his own: he won’t agree to her deal unless she poses as his girlfriend in front of his family and friends first.

As the reunion nears, Maddie tries to maintain her carefree façade, knowing she’ll soon face some old ghosts. She’s torn between her growing attraction to Scott and the nagging feeling that he’s hiding something important. Will she still want him when she finds out his secret? What about when he discovers hers? (from Goodreads)

I don’t know how I feel about this book.  It started out like any normal chick lit/romance book.  Sweet and light-hearted.  Maddie goes out searching for a guy to bring with her to her High School Reunion (truthfully, I love a book about reunions and this is why I requested the book from Netgalley).  Plus, you know I love a good kissing book.  .

She meets Scott at a biker bar.  He looks appropriately blue collar, with is motorcycle, tattoo, and general air of badassery.  So Maddie propositions him, offering to pay him for pretending to be her boyfriend at the reunion and Scott counters that he would like to use her in the same capacity, to get his friends off his back about finding a woman and setting him up all the time.  But then he tells her he wants to date for real.  Everything is rosy, our couple is right on track for a HEA.  Sigh.  Cue birds singing.

Then, right around the middle, it kinda went somewhere I wasn’t expecting.  And I cannot really say too much about the storyline for the rest of the book after that without giving away spoilers. 

Let’s just say that it comes out that Maddie endured a big dramatic…thing that changed her life, which, in a story, is fine and dandy, it paints a picture of her past.  I had no idea it was coming and it kind of shocked me a little.  But then, another big dramatic thing is revealed and, okay, it made sense, but again, it came out of left field.  But then they just keep coming.  The dramatic pretenses weren’t what was annoying to me, however.  Maddie’s attitude and general way of dealing is what peeved me off.  She took everything out on Scott, who did not deserve it.  But then, Scott reveals something that really makes her go off the deep end.  The last 150 pages (of a 213 page book) were so tension filled and, again, dramatic, that I’m still not over it. 

I really liked Scott, he was a stand up guy, but I couldn’t see why he would want to stick around, getting abused (…okay, now I might be getting dramatic) by Maddie.  But I guess the heart wants what it wants.  I may give this author another chance, though, after I put a little distance between me and Maddie.

Pecans: 2.75/5


2 thoughts on “Rules of the Game by Sandy James

  1. Bummer… the premise of this book sounds like it would be a great and fun little romance, but romances don’t need a bunch of drama out of left field or whiny heroines going off the deep end. Boo. I was really hoping this was a good one after reading that summary!!

    1. yeah, me too 😦 and then i thought…am i expecting too much? but when it came down to it, i wanted to stop reading it, and I probably would have if not for Bout of Books, and it’s from netgalley ~dixie

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