The Rule Book Book Review *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.
The Rule Book (The Rule Breakers #1) by Jennifer Blackwood is a very cute contemporary romance that has a millennial feel to it, or close to a New Adult tone. The heroine, who has her Masters, is on her own in the world and at her first job that’s not all rainbows and roses. But her attitude and insight on herself and the world around her will really grab readers, especially by her loyalty for her mother who has cancer, and that of her work, especially when she develops an interesting relationship with the company’s owner who’s a stickler for the rules.
Lainey has moved to Seattle for her first real job which is a social media company used by celebrities and other high profile people. Lainey has great book smarts. Her job seems like a dream because she’ll be in charge of social media for her clients, such as Twitter and their blogs. Can I have this type of job, please? But Lainey is under a lot of pressure. Her mother has aggressive cancer, and the treatments are expensive. Since Lainey’s father has been out of the picture a long time, Lainey helps her mother pay for her bills. She’s now living paycheck to paycheck, even though she lives with her best friend. Lainey’s first day on the job is more a nightmare than a dream. Her supervisor Jackson is some hipster jerk who belittles her, and treats her like she’s dirt because those Lainey’s position in the past barely lasted the month. The elevator named Betsey hates her, and she has to constantly go on coffee runs for Jackson. Also the owner of the company, Brogan, who she still hasn’t met is a real stick in the mud, by the book guy who Jackson calls the Antichrist.
When Lainey goes to lunch, she eats alone in what she thinks is the employee kitchen. She has to eat a sandwich instead of having Italian at one of her favorite restaurants because the big boss can’t stand garlic. While Lainey is eating her lunch all by her lonesome, a handsome guy walks in, dressed in jeans and a shirt and with tattoos, and definitely not obeying the dress code. He seems surprised to see her there, and they talk. She slips up about calling the owner the Antichrist, and when the laid back tattoo dude says she can call him the Antichrist, Lainey realizes he’s Brogan. Now she thinks she’ll be fired.
But Lainey’s doesn’t get fired. Brogan the obsessed with rules boss is very different from the Brogan she gets to know outside of the office. She even becomes Brogan’s dog walker after Jackson pushes the errand to her. Brogan’s dog Bruce brings them together. After some funny, yet adorable screw ups on Lainey’s part (which aren’t really screw ups), she and Brogan start hanging out. She even cooks for him at his apartment, and watches movies with him she’s seen a many times over. They bond, form a friendship, which then becomes more. Brogan wants to date Lainey but he can’t be committed to her because of his dedication to his company and that of his past that makes it hard for him to trust people. Lainey decides to give him a chance and see where it goes, even though it makes things uncomfortable at work because if anyone found out, her job could be on the line. But other than that, what’s the worst that could happen? Plenty, which keeps you reading until the very end.
The Rule Book is very enjoyable and entertaining. Lainey is a real hoot, an optimist even though her mother is very sick, and her relationship with Brogan can be stressful. Lainey is so generous and giving that people take advantage of it, which Brogan does, but not intentionally. She’s like a big ball of sunshine, which Brogan needs. Some of his, oh woes me, daddy issues may annoy some readers, especially a specific plot device thrown in toward the end to cause friction for Lainey and Brogan that may annoy readers. But the way it’s resolved fits, especially when Brogan tries to make things right for Lainey. It’s along the lines of a hero groveling, which Brogan does more in the terms of actions than words.
The sensuality factor here is very subtle. The Rule Book is PG-13 in terms of sex. The only love scene is fade to black, but Brogan and Lainey smooch a lot. Also Bruce loves to give Lainey doggie kisses. Some may be disappointed if they’re hoping for some hot loving described between Lainey and Brogan, but it really shouldn’t matter because the tone of the book is more light and fluffy even with some moments of tension and angsty mcangst from Brogan.
The Rule Book is one book I recommend for adult and teens that has a very meet cute scenario between the hero and heroine. It also has the cross genre appeal for those who enjoy New Adult and Adult Contemporary Romance. Do pick this one up by Jennifer Blackwood if you wants some major laughs combined with a few awww’s. (Entangled Embrace)
Final Grade: B+
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