By - Jay Crownover
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I loved Rule Archer since the first moment I ever laid eyes on him. He was everything I shouldn't want and the only person I went out of my way to not try and please. He only saw me as a brat, as an entitled, stuck up princess but worse than that all he saw when he looked at me was his deceased twin brother's girl. It broke my heart because as much as I had loved Remy Archer there was never anything romantic between us and no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that loving Rule was a terrible idea, my poor heart just wouldn't listen. We tolerated each other, barely. We forged an uneasy alliance until one night I had too much to drink and changed the way we were forever. Suddenly life long secrets were no longer hidden and the one thing I always wanted for myself seemed obtainable as long as I was willing to go through hell to hold onto it.
Shaw Landon was a class act and I had no idea what to do with her. She was tied to my family, tied to the person that was my other half so I tolerated her and her haughty attitude because I didn't have any other choice. What I didn't know was that a short skirt and too many cocktails on her birthday was going to change my outlook on her for the rest of my life. Some people thought I hid behind all my tattoos and piercings, that I tried to distance myself from my dead twin, Shaw saw through it all and wasn't scared of what was underneath. We weren't supposed to be together, weren't supposed to be anything except uncomfortable acquaintances but that all changed in the blink of an eye. Now I had to figure out just how a girl like her and a guy like me were supposed to be in love without destroying each other. Add in her custom made ex and two disapproving sets of parents and the whole situation sounded to me like it was more trouble then it was worth. (Recommended for mature readers due to sexual content, language and drinking,)
Rule is a debut book from another indie author, Jay Crownover. Does it have grammatical errors and such? Yes. Is the book being sent off to an editor and to be re-released as an updated version? YES. Did this distract me from this awesome book? No. Did I give it five stars anyway? Why yes, yes I did and let me tell you why.
First the book is told from first person perspective, BUT it is told from both main characters points of view. I found that I LOVED THIS. The gap that I usually find from first person POV was missing as you knew what the other character was going through during the times that you needed to. From this perspective it was easy to see why decisions were made, as well as, mistakes.
Rule is about two people who basically have grown up together. Shaw was a girl that was basically drawn into Rule’s family by his twin brother Remy. With her home life less than stellar, she and Remy became close until his unfortunate death. Everyone in the family believes that there was a romantic relationship there, no matter how vehemently Shaw denies this. For her although she and Remy were close, she has always had feelings for Rule. But as she has been pigeon holed as Remy’s girl, even after his death, she can’t seem to get him to look her way.
Rule has lived his life the way he wants. He’s the black sheep of the family, being the tattoo artists with almost a full torso of tattoos, as well as many piercings. He doesn’t believe in living in Remy’s shadow either now or then and being who he is despite how his family view him. He lives for himself, but never realizes that even as he says he doesn’t need approval, the way he lives his life actually screams that he needs love. He tends to be self destructive, but it’s very understandable as you delve more into his family life and the way his mother has treated him in the past as well as the books present.
The story isn’t all candy hearts and flowers; I do believe it’s why I loved this book so much. While the pivotal turning point was something that I thought was a bit abrupt, it was really the only fault I could find with the book. (There was another and it had to do with a reaction to a secret Remy had where I thought it was blown a little out of proportion and was hard for me to identify why it was such a huge deal.) But it wasn’t too big of a deal and didn’t distract from the story in any way making it unbelievable. Rule in this book is one of the better alphas that I’ve seen. He doesn’t see the light and automatically know that Shaw is the one, he only knows that he has feelings for her that he has never previously experienced, wants to find out what it means, but in no way doesn’t make mistakes along the way. The mistakes that he makes are explored and I believe it helped that there were chapters that were told from his point of view so you could see where his mind was at. His realization isn’t instant, nor does he just seem to know what love is or how it feels as he’s never really experienced it before. This for me makes him one the top 10 of male alphas for me. The struggle to change but not change while trying to understand the need for communication and self-realization in a relationship is something you watch Rule come into. He’s not a natural, nor is he beyond help.
Shaw suffers from what everyone expects of her and what she’s supposed to be, rather than ever doing anything for herself. This leads to her being unhappy. It also seems that even when she speaks, no one really listens to her, but rather just assumes she agrees. She’s like this about every subject except for Rule. While she was best friends with his brother, she had always been in love with Rule. Rule saw her but never really SAW her, but that is explained in the book. Shaw is the one that defends Rule, puts up with his shenanigans and temperament, even though all they do is argue. Her defensiveness definitely seems like a mechanism to stop Rule from figuring out her true feelings. She presents the prim and proper Shaw to the world, but has always felt that she’s someone different underneath. Shaw grows in the book and finds the courage to take a stance against people in both big and little ways. There is a reason that she was attracted to Rule that neither she nor he understands until later in the book. I will state that there are parts where she seems a little too over the top, but at the same time it works for her and you come to accept that’s just who she is when it comes to Rule.
The side characters from Shaw’s roommate, to Rule’s tattoo buddies, as well as Jet from the local band, Rule’s brother Rome and Cora who is the no nonsense receptionist at the tattoo parlor, only add to the story. In no way do they take over the story or distract from it. They each have me hoping they all get their own book. Rome was full of sound elderly brother advise, Cora spunk and the others just enough here and there to help move the story along. There is also a villain there does live up his maniacal build-up and although it’s over fairly quickly, the scene in the hospital is heartbreaking.
I could go on and on about this book, but don’t want to give anything away. It was hard writing what I did without gushing over favorite parts. Rule is one of the better books I’ve read in a while. I would definitely recommend it to friends. I can’t wait for the next one about Jet and Shaw’s roommate. I gave this book 5 stars because I know that I will be rereading it in the near future. It’s already on my favorites in my Kindle.