Sunday, 2 March 2014
Series Review: Playing by the Rules and Rules are for Breaking by Imelda Evans
Playing by the Rules by Imelda Evans (Source: Netgalley)
This is the second book in this series but I didn't realise when I read it, and it actually made sense anyway because chronologically it comes first. Kate lives in Paris and has an amazing job with an amazing boyfriend, until he dumps her when she expects him to propose. She has to return to Australia for her 10 year high school reunion sans the fiance she RSVPed for. Her best friend Jo has the perfect solution: Jo's brother Josh is in town and can pretend to be her fiance for one night. Throw in the fact Kate was in love with Josh in high school and it turns out to be one very interesting night...
This book is completely adorable. The plot is full of ridiculous hijinks that are just so fun. The chemistry between Josh and Kate is great and Josh is totally swoon-worthy. Things progress very quickly but the fact that they had known each other years earlier prevented it from being unbelievable insta-love. There are so many cute and really funny moments, and I had a big goofy grin on my face for most of the book. I loved it.
Rules are for Breaking by Imelda Evans
So yes, this book came out first but the events take place after Playing by the Rules, so I'm kinda glad I read it second. It's a few years later and the focus is on Jo, Josh's sister and Kate's best friend. She doesn't really believe in love and is always seeing guys but never has a relationship last longer than three weeks. As a joke Kate bets Jo she can't go six weeks without hooking up with a guy, but her strength is soon tested when Declan, Jo's house guest, decides he's going to make Jo fall in love with him. He has a crush on her and also sees her as a challenge.
OK, the plot in Rules are for Breaking leans even more towards insta-love than Playing by the Rules, but it was so darn cute it didn't even really bother me. Declan and Jo have a kind of love-hate rapport that is really fun to read, and I really liked the exploration of love and relationships that happens through their story. I enjoyed the fact that Declan drove Jo absolutely nuts, and that while he could be really sweet, he also did annoying things like forget to do the dishes. You know, like real life! He was hot but he was no perfect God-like creature that you see way too often in love stories. I especially liked the realistic - and healthy - attitude towards relationships presented: that you don't have to do everything together, or even share all the same interests, to have a strong relationship - it's important to be a whole person and find someone who will support you to be that person, rather than needing someone to "complete" you. While I didn't love Rules are for Breaking quite as much as Playing by the Rules, I really liked it a lot!