TBR Reviewer: Shyla
I really felt like I knew the heroine Maddie, and not just because she was a writer ;). Sort of shy, soft spoken and a wee bit awkward, Maddie, often wishes she lived the life she’s made up for her pen name, Kathryn West. When her ten year high school reunion approaches, Maddie vows to make a splash and be more like Kathryn She’s convinced the way to do that is to come in on the arm of a bad boy. Hilarity ensues as she hits the bars in New York in search of Mr. Bad ass for hire. She’s in her third bar nursing her first beer when she meets Scott Brady. I have one word for this hero, YUM.
Scott Brady is a leather jacket wearing, bike rider with a heart of gold. His lithe tattooed frame and dress make it easy to misjudge him. Scott is amused not only by the offer, but by the woman herself. When she has three too many beers he sees her home personally on his Harley and agrees to go along with her plan in exchange for some acting of his own. He needs to convince his close friends he’s paired up so they’ll stop setting him up on blind dates. They seem to have an agreement until one kiss sets them both on fire, and changes everything.
Rules of the Game was a delightful romance full of humor, secrets, and good old fashioned sexual tension. I have to say Ms. James, far acceded my expectations. The blurb did not do this book justice. I had no clueI was going to be taken on such an interesting journey. The twist and turns of this story kept me wondering as I devoured one page after another. I did have some issues with the way she choose to handle an issue that happened in her past, so this ended up being rated a four instead of a five. Sometimes I think honesty is the best policy, and the decision to keep certain details under wraps, didn't sit right with me. I would go into more detail but that would ruin the surprise, so instead I say, read ahead and find out.
It’s been a while since I enjoyed a contemporary so much. Ms. James not only earned a wonderful rating, she earned a fan.
The first bar I’d chosen had great potential. Plenty of buff guys. Oodles of black leather. So much testosterone it left a haze in the air like some masculine version of cigarette smoke.
The third guy I targeted finally had mercy on me and told me everyone in the place was gay. Shit, my gaydar had to be way off.
At bar two, the moment I walked in the average age of the customers dropped a good twenty years. Gray hair and black leather really weren’t a sexy combination, and I had to fight hard to prevent images of Grandma and Grandpa dressed like Hell’s Angels from forming.
I blocked memories of the other three bars in hopes of avoiding post-traumatic stress disorder.
Trixie’s in Jersey City looked as good a place as any to end this humiliating night.
The bar area was crowded, smoky and smelled of stale beer. Surely in this group of men I would be able to find a guy who fit the bill. All he had to be was gorgeous in a roughneck sort of way, a good actor and poor enough to need the money Ioffered.
My tired yet still desperate eyes swept the long wooden bar. This was a saloon and pool hall, for pity’s sake. There had to be plenty of guys to choose from, any of which would knock my old high school classmates on their asses. Figuratively speaking.
Okay, maybe literally speaking.
The music thrumming through the place seemed the ultimate in the irony that constantly surrounded my life. I needed something like “It’s Raining Men,” but what I got was “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” That sure didn’t bode well.
At least there were plenty of guys to choose from. Almost every barstool was occupied. One by one, I judged them like pieces of steak at the supermarket.
Too much fat.
Past the expiration date.
Just don’t like the looks of it.
Damn it. The guy I needed was nowhere to be seen. Maybe Trixie’s wasn’t my lucky spot after all. Strike six, and you’re--
“You want a drink?” a husky Lauren Bacall voice called.
I want several. Do you make a good mimosa? I looked over to see a woman with gray hair and the brightest red lipstick I’d ever seen. A half-smoked cigarette sat pinched between her lips, and a bar towel lay slapped over her shoulder.
“Um…I guess,” I replied.
“What’s your poison,sweetheart?” she asked as the three guys sitting close to her turned to stare at me. They appeared to have come straight to the bar from some local meeting of Over eaters Anonymous.
Three sets of bloodshot eyes raked me from head to toe. I might have been desperate, but I was definitely not desperate enough to choose Larry, Curly or Moe.
Where’s Russell Crowe when I need him?
I almost ordered a wine cooler until I realized Trixie’s probably only carried the rough stuff and beer. “Whatever domestic you’ve got on tap.”
She filled a mug from the tap and handed it to me before turning back to flirt with the Three Stooges.
As I sipped my beer, the clink of balls on a pool table drew me toward the attached pool hall. The smoke grew thick. As my eyes adjusted, my mood improved.
This was what I had been searching for all night.
Bikers in black leather encircled all eight pool tables. Some younger than I needed. Some a little older. As I looked at each man, I started to feel like Goldilocks, fearing none would fit the bill.
Then I saw Mr. Just Right.