Review: Rule by Jay Crownover

ruleReviewed by Carrie

This is one of those books that had been sitting on my kindle forever.  I admit I jumped to conclusions about yet another good girl/bad boy new adult novel.  I was a bit of a wild child in younger years and I think because I never was the ‘good girl’, that trope just tends to ring cliched and boring to me.  Yet, every once in a while, an author can make it work and when that happens, it’s such a joy to read.

The Archer family has always been the home of Shaw Landon’s heart.  It was the home where 16 year old Remy Archer brought a shy and lonely 14 year old Shaw and the home where she first set her eyes on Remy’s twin brother, Rule, and fell head over heels in love.  It was the home where Rome became her big brother-type protector and the boys’ parents, Dave and Margot, gave Shaw all the love and support she never could get from her own family.  For a few years all is well, until a car accident takes Remy and nearly destroys the only people Shaw can depend on.

Rule Archer figures if he’s going to be labeled the bad boy, why not live up to it?  Remy was the perfectly agreeable sweet golden son to his moody aggressive independent ways.  Remy played sports and then went to college where Rule focused on nailing chicks and becoming a tattoo artist.  When his mother decided to pin Remy’s accident on Rule, he gave up any pretense of playing nice with his family.  The only problem was that the ever-annoying Shaw never got the message and every Sunday would harass him into coming to family brunch.

Every single Sunday, Shaw pulls Rule out of the tangle of female legs and haze of alcohol still burning off to try to keep the Archer family from disintegrating.  Shaw is very vocal about her opinion of Rule’s life and Rule has no problem throwing it right back at her. Shaw hates to admit to herself that she dies a little death each week not only having to bear witness to his debauchery, but knowing in her heart that Rule will never see her as anything more than Remy’s “special friend”.

At first, Shaw comes off as cold bitch as she’s badgering Rule.  As the POV changes, the reader discovers that Shaw is a very smart girl who knows that Rule is a VERY bad idea.  She hates his lifestyle and actions at the same time she feels a kinship; both she and Rule have been forced into specific roles by their family that they don’t fit into.  What I loved about Shaw was that she had this strong sense of self.  She didn’t let anyone bully her, including Rule.

Rule made me smile because he reminded me of the loveable idiots I grew up around – all kinds of clueless badasses who, at the heart of them, are really solid, loyal and loveable guys.  Of course, those kinds of guys never make it easy for you to love them.  They are gigantic pains in the ass and Rule was no exception.  He deals with his issues by avoidance (girls and booze) and it takes a strong woman to have faith and almost unconditional love to get him to finally feel.

I just loved Rule and Shaw as a couple.  Their banter is great and fans of enemies to lovers stories will totally appreciate it.  I love that they don’t try to change each other.  Shaw loves Rule with a fierceness that takes your breath away.  When Rule finally realizes that he’s loved Shaw all along, you’ve been reduced to a puddle of goo.

The story is not just about their romance.  The author paints a larger picture with really rich side characters (most of which will get their own books) and the intricate and complicated nature of families.  Many early reviews had issues with typos, grammar and editing, but it has been cleaned up since it got picked up by a major publisher. I feel like this is a good book for those who don’t usually read this sub-genre. I highly recommend this New Adult book for its strong well drawn characters that stay true to they are and just enough angst to give you all the feels.

Rating: A-

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Jay Crownover
Release Date: May 7, 2013

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