Breaking the Rules by Larkin Rose is a light and fun, enemies to lovers erotic romance that had me chuckling to myself from the first page. (Yes, I really do chuckle.) It’s a story about being willing to face your fears and risk your heart even when everything you know to be true is screaming at you to play it safe.
Virginia Ward is writing a disastrous dating column for the local newspaper in order to fund what was once her grandfather’s service station and keep it from going belly-up in a poor economy. It is her one goal in life. She has no time for heroes like the police officer who lied, cheated and broke her heart. Unfortunately, the dates she is going on for the column are proving that there are plenty of other pitfalls to finding her one true love.
Firefighter Carmen Johnson is convinced her family is cursed and that her chosen career will bring about her early death. She shuns love and commitment so that she doesn’t leave a loved one behind to face life alone. Instead, she keeps herself occupied with a steady stream of one night stands.
Gin is determined to stay as far away as possible from the hero and Carmen desperately wants to make Gin, the hero hater, another notch on her bedpost. The two women find themselves fighting their chemistry which is far more hazardous than any four-alarm fire.
Can Gin and Carmen give up their deeply ingrained beliefs for a happy ending?
I adored Gin. She’s got a sharp tongue, a foul mouth, and a raging libido. She doesn’t tolerate tardiness from her dates and she loathes women who play games. Taken at face value, this acerbic ice-queen isn’t the most likeable of main characters. Stick with her! Underneath all the four-letter words and tough posturing is a sentimental young woman who is looking for the same true love she saw between her grandparents. Gin is a study in determination so watching her heart battle her head was lively and made for some wonderfully colorful tirades. The woman has no filter and a small part of me is a bit jealous of her ability to say exactly what’s on her mind.
Carmen is a player and the first person to admit it. She is a stunning butch who the women flock to and Carmen happily takes them to bed, letting them know it’s a one-time shot with no strings attached. Carmen keeps her life tidy by adhering to her priorities. Work first, women second. Her heart is under lock and key, yet part of her yearns to share a connection with a life partner. When Gin brushes her off like a piece of lint Carmen’s ego is bruised for the first time and she is left reeling. Carmen is just as resolute as Gin so watching her try and figure out how she can have her career and win Gin’s affections kept me invested in this battle of wills.
The Writing Style
The dialogue in this story was the highlight for me. It brings the characters to life and it is amusing, sharp, and at times unbelievably coarse. Most notably, Gin delivers hilarious and colorful commentaries at machine gun speed. Nobody is safe from her sarcasm and I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s a wonderful smokescreen to protect her fragile heart.
The plot unfolds naturally, and Gin and Carmen become more three dimensional as the story progresses. Rose shows how Gin and Carmen are more than their bravado, giving us glimpses of how they work hard towards their goals. The backstory provided for each of them shows how they became the women we meet at the beginning of the story, so it was satisfying to follow their character arcs.
I’m not ashamed to say it. The sex scenes in this story are off the charts hot. Larkin Rose is known for writing steamy sex scenes and this time around she does not disappoint. Gin and Carmen have amazing chemistry and when they give in to their lust, it’s a wonder my Kindle didn’t melt in my hands.
There were no cons for me, however I don’t shy away from colorful language or graphic sex.
I thought this book was so much fun. I love bold women who own their sexuality and Gin and Carmen do more than own it. They revel in it. I read it in one sitting with a smile on my face the whole time. I like to mix up what I read. If I’ve just read a book that has taken me on a profound, emotional journey, I need something playful to balance it out. Breaking the Rules is a sexy and amusing read that was exactly what I was looking for.
Excerpt from Breaking the Rules by Larkin Rose
Gin moved around the table. “I don’t have any questions. I know all I need to know about you.”
“You think you do. But you don’t.”
Gin found her shot, bent over, and struck another ball in. “I know enough.”
Once again, Gin moved around the table. She rechalked, lined up another shot, and bent over, fully aware that Carmen was following her every move. “That stool at the end of the bar is your designated spot.” She tapped another ball in. “No one ever sits in it. Like they know it’s Carmen’s chair. The fireman’s. The hero’s throne.”
Gin glanced up and found Carmen staring down at her. Carmen offered no response.
“You sit in that particular chair because you need the view of the front door. You need to see who walks through it.” Gin bent over and struck another ball in. “You need first dibs on fresh meat. You prefer first-time fucks over repeats. They’re more exciting. Makes for better sport, to catch fresh prey.”
Carmen glanced toward the stool in question. Of course that was true. Was she that apparent? Was that so horrible? It sucked that Gin knew it. Not that Gin knew it, but that it was true.
Gin continued to the opposite side of the table and paused to rechalk. “You wear that T-shirt because it scores the pussy for you. You never even have to leave your chair. The women flock to heroes, don’t they, Carmen?” She laid the chalk down and bent over the table.
“Not always.” But Carmen knew that was a lie. Almost always.
Another ball fell into the corner pocket. Carmen shifted from one foot to the other.
Gin continued. “You never actually date people. No candlelit dinners. No holding hands on a lazy stroll through the park. No fright night movies and popcorn and cuddles when the scary part flashes on the screen. Nope. Not for Carmen. That’s not her style, is it?” Gin tapped another ball in and rose. “You just fuck them. Maybe multiple times when this bar offers slim pickings. But you’re gentleman enough to make sure the rules are clear. That they get only one shot with you. Because that’s what heroes do. They protect people. And you think fucking women who know they won’t get to wake up in your bed, is heroic. Makes you feel good about yourself.”
Carmen shifted once again. This game was all but over, and she was no closer to getting to know Gin than she was before she stepped a foot inside the bar. It appeared Gin knew far too much about her.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635552614
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Larkin Rose Online
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