This is classic Kaswell, complete with the tortured tattoo artist, constant sexual thoughts, conversations about fancy coffee, and distinctive writing style. And there are pros and cons to that. Obviously, I like her work because I keep coming back for more, but we’re definitely reaching the point where I know EXACTLY what to expect from one of her books and that takes the fun right out of it. There’s a distinct sense of deja vu with some of the scenes and conversations. It’s a good book, a solid read, and if I hadn’t already read several others like it from the author, then it would be something special. I like her fluid writing style, the depth of the want, and the great conversations. I also like that she’s shifted to younger characters to change things up a bit. But it’s still too much of the same.
The story follows 21-year-old tattoo artist Oliver, a guy who has used drinking and hookups to avoid his feelings. That all stopped recently when an event forced him to reevaluate things, including his dependence on alcohol and sex. When his little sister’s best friend, Luna, comes to stay with him while her parents separate, it throws everything off-balance. The two have known each other for years, but Oliver hasn’t been sober in a long time, and they’ve never spent one-on-one time together. As they both fight their attraction and struggle with their issues, the chemistry between them becomes impossible to deny.
Had this not been SO similar to the author’s other work, I’m positive I would’ve liked it better. She’s undeniably skilled at writing emotional romance, and I felt for both of these characters. Sure, they definitely feel a lot older than their ages at times (a lot of the time), but there’s also a youthfulness to the story that shines through. I empathized with Oliver, but his sobriety is WAY too fresh for me to think that any of this story is healthy. I get that they have history, and I was able to overlook some of that, but I would’ve liked this romance to breathe a little longer. That being said, this might be one of the slower burns I’ve read from the author, and I appreciated that it wasn’t scene after scene of steam. Yes, the whole book is sexy and a little much at times, but I liked the progression. Ultimately, I think every reader will have a different reaction to this one, depending on their experience with the author’s work. Do I wish she’d change things up a bit? Yeah, I do. Do I still think it’s a good book? Definitely. I received a free copy via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy, emotional romance.
Rule #1 Hands off my kid sister’s best friend
Rule #2 See rule number one
Rule #3 Seriously, don’t even think about touching Luna
Luna is my new room mate. My very off limits room mate. My gorgeous, feisty, painfully tempting room mate.
I try to keep my distance. To ignore her soft laugh, her intense eyes, her sweet smile.
And that groan, the one she makes over her morning coffee–Alright, the sassy college student is driving me out of my mind.
I can still keep my hands off her.
I double down on my rules. Draw that line between friends and lovers.
Then she kisses me.
And, suddenly, it’s obvious.
There’s no way in hell I can resist her.
The Rule Breaker is a standalone best friend’s brother romance with a feisty college student heroine, a brooding tattoo artist hero, and enough heat to melt your Kindle. Come see why readers say “no one writes broken bad boys like Crystal Kaswell.”