Review: The Rule Breaker by Cat Carmine

Reviewed by Caitlin

I always enjoy Cat Carmine books. They’re fun and sexy and the men always dominate in the bedroom (and are sometimes kinda alpha outside the bedroom too). Even if they can be kind of problematic at times – there are multiple books where the hero is the heroine’s boss and no real conversation about the ethics of that – they’re a very easy read.

Emma Holloway has always followed the rules. She even has an advice column to help others make the “right” decision. She is essentially a 21st century Emily Post.

Tyler Grant is a bad boy who was living the trust fund lifestyle until very recently, when he decided to take a job at his dad’s media empire. He was given the job of CEO in the book publishing arm of the company. It’s clearly a test: this part of the company is deep in the red, and Tyler thinks his father doesn’t have enough faith in him to give him a more important job. Tyler decides to go to a reading of one of the company’s new books coming out, even if that’s not normally a CEO job. He is committed to making this work.

At a reading of Emma’s new self-help book, Emma is nervous about speaking in public and anxiously waiting for her family to arrive for emotional support. As she waits, she catches Tyler’s eye. Tyler doesn’t know she’s his author, and she doesn’t know he runs the company publishing her book. Emma makes a very un-Emma move and has a quickie with him in the bathroom before the event.

When she realizes who he is,she’s mortified. And when she reads from a chapter preaching against casual sex and one-night-stands, she clearly hears him laugh in the back.

I’ll admit I almost DNF’d the book here. I don’t mind a heroine who isn’t interested in casual sex (obviously) but I have serious issues with a heroine who gets on a pulpit and reprimands other women for engaging. It reeks of slut-shaming.

Overall, I’m glad I let it go. Emma continues her ill-advised sexual relationship with Tyler, breaking all of her very sensible rules. Tyler thinks for the first time he might have feelings for a woman and genuinely wants more than the sex (although he wants that too). Emma learns that having sex right away doesn’t doom a relationship, and that you don’t need to follow the rules to get a happy ending. I appreciated this sentiment, although the revelation came a little late in the book in my opinion.

In fact, I liked Emma, especially when she loosened up, and I even liked Tyler too. Yes, he was spoiled, but he was a legitimately good guy who wanted to do a good job and who always treated Emma with respect and appreciation. This might not be the most memorable book I’ve ever read, but it was fun.

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Ruler Breaker
by Cat Carmine
Release Date: July 12, 2018

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