I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rule by Jay Crownover
Also by this author: Jet, Rome, Nash, Better When He's Bad, Leveled: A Saints of Denver Novella
Series: Marked Men #1
Also in this series: Jet, Rome, Nash
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-05-07
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Romance
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Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn't want--and the only person she's never tried to please. She isn't afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won't listen.To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother's girl. She lives by other people's rules; he makes his own. He doesn't have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she's the only one who can see the person he truly is.But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.The first Marked Men novel in Jay Crownover's combustible New Adult series.
I am sure many of you have experienced the tragedy of leaving your book at work and then having to pick up a new one at home to start reading. After leaving a young adult book in my office, I decided that I needed to pick up a book that goes in the opposite direction. I wanted something easy to read that was equivalent to brain candy. After staring at my stacks, I decided to pick up Rule by Jay Crownover. Okay, you guys, I don’t love these covers and I don’t always love New Adult books, but I honest to god was suckered in by Rule. I am a tiny bit embarrassed by how much I enjoyed the first book in the Marked Men series, but whatever you guys, sometimes I just need a book that is juicy and dramatic and romantic. My brain needs a break and Rule totally gave that to me.
Rule opens with Shaw, a straitlaced, rich and driven premed student picking up Rule Archer for Sunday brunch back home in Brookside which is two hours from Denver where the two live. Rule is in the midst of sending one of his many one night stands out on the walk of shame. Shaw is someone who has been in Rule’s life for a very long time. In high school, Rule’s twin brother Remy brought Shaw home and she just kind of became integrated in the Archer household, especially because although her parents are wealthy, they are distant and cold. Unfortunately, Remy died in a car accident. Rule’s parents blame him for Remy’s death, FYI. Anyways, needless to say, Sunday brunch is tense in the Archer household. OH and I should mention that Shaw has always had this major crush on Rule, but he has no idea and he kind of is a dick to her. Anyways, one night Shaw completely breaks with her character and decides to cut loose with the help of her best friend Ayden. She gets this makeover, and anyways, she ends up drunkenly losing her v-card to Rule. The two begin a tentative relationship complicated by lots of drama both internal and external. Will they get a happily ever after? You know they do, but the journey that Jay Crownover takes us on to get there is utterly riveting.
Jay Crownover’s Rule alternates in first person point of view chapters between Rule and Shaw. I thought I’d talk about Shaw first, because well, she’s good people. Shaw is someone I think plenty of us can relate to, she’s the sort of person who always follows the rules. She doesn’t put a toe out of line. She can’t stand the girl who bullied her in high school. Shaw is also fiercely loyal and the type of girl who accepts people as they are. Sure, she can be a pushover, but part of the fun in reading Rule is seeing Shaw grow into a strong, independent sort of person who is willing to voice her opinions even if they don’t please everyone. I mean, maybe she’s a wish fulfillment sort of character – she’s tiny, she is incredibly beautiful, she’s smart, she’s nice, and she’s wealthy. Still, instead of hating her character for being a Mary Sue, I ended up really liking Shaw. Judge away y’all, judge away.
Rule, the other narrating character, is a total pain in the ass. I mean, lol, I was won over by him sure, but he’s still a pain in the ass. First off, he is a total womanizer. Second off, he’s a hothead, meaning he flies off the handle quite a bit. He does not compromise and can’t ever tone it down. Yet, while those things are annoying, he manages to make them into strengths. How cool is it when someone knows their own mind and sticks to their guns? Rule does that. He’s the type of romantic lead who has all his walls him and you know this is the sort of romance where the girl moves past those walls. Oh! Also, Rule is a tattoo artist and he has all these tattoos and piercings including a Prince Albert. He also is supposedly so good looking that girls give him flirtatious looks when he is out with Shaw. Anyways, Rule is pretty much a major source of drama in this book, but I did not hate it! I KNOW! It is odd for me to say all this — to tell you guys about the things I find annoying but then turn around and be like aww yeah, that Rule is a good male lead. I guess he’s just interesting is all.
As for the romantic, sexytime bits, LOL, I was reading this before bed right, a particularly adult scene, and I close the book and look at Tony and go to him ‘that was intense’ and he replies ‘oh, so you’re reading one of THOSE books.’ Friends, this is one of THOSE books. There are a lot of sex scenes. THEY ARE NOT AWFUL. Granted, Shaw is like magically really good at sex her first time, which LOL. But still. Shaw and Rule have chemistry and even better they communicate about what they do and do not like, to the point where Shaw tells Rule when he’s being boring in bed. Shut it down right now, I am all a flutter with excitement over communication. Anyways, if you want a book that does not have terrible sex, get your hands on Rule by Jay Crownover.
Finally, I want to say that although I found myself totally won over by Rule there were a few problematic things. Like, there’s a ton of slut shaming, all ”skanks” and “whores” and “sluts”. The writing can be a bit on the telling side as opposed to the showing side. The dialogue is not always that realistic. But overall, I enjoyed reading this and am able to compartmentalize the things I find unsavory.