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At twenty-seven years old, Lauren Renwick’s mother has decided that she needs to settle down with a nice man and get her life together. Although she typically goes for bad boys, Lauren is making a sincere effort to follow her mother’s old-fashioned rules and make it work with an “appropriate” boyfriend. The rules include gems like “keep the mood light” and “limit how often you see him.” After a few months, Lauren’s pretty bored, but things are going alright. Or so she thinks. Then her perfect guy abandons her on New Year’s Eve to get back together with his ex.

Not wanting anyone to know she’s been dumped, Lauren heads to the one place where she’s least likely to find anyone she knows – a biker bar. And it’s there that she meets Jackson Sullivan, who violates just about every standard her mother has set for an appropriate partner. Lauren tries to stay away, but finds herself inexplicably drawn to this dark, mysterious stranger.

Rule Breaker is a really cute, surprisingly fluffy romance that you’ll probably be able to bang out in a couple hours. I appreciated that there was minimal angst, because that’s one trend in modern romances that I am completely over. Lauren obviously fell hard for Jackson, and he obviously fell just as hard for her. They’re honest and upfront about their feelings, not lying to themselves, each other, or their friends and families. Throughout their whirlwind romance, they even hold on to their other friendships, which is pretty rare these days! All in all, it’s a pretty mature relationship, and that’s one of the things I liked most about this book.

As for the characters, I thought Lauren was okay. She didn’t seem to have too much of a relationship with her parents, but was oddly fixated on whether her mother would approve of her dating life. Aside from that, I didn’t have any issues with her. I did vastly prefer Jackson over Lauren. Props to the author for making him an appropriate age for his accomplishments – it drives me crazy when the super sexy, super successful love interest is like nineteen years old.

I loved the way that Jackson persistently stood up for Lauren, and the fact that he was never afraid to call someone out for being terrible. There’s one scene in particular where Jackson clears the room to have a discussion with Lauren’s father and Lauren’s father says that’s the kind of overdramatic thing a woman would do. Jackson has the best response:

Jackson glared at him. “Am I supposed to feel like less of a man because you’re comparing me to women?”

Honestly, I had very minimal problems with this book, except for one thing: the characters are so focused on marriage. A month into their relationship, Lauren’s best friend grills her about whether this thing with Jackson is just a fling, or whether she’s in love and wants to be with him forever. After a month. Calm down, okay? I have been with my boyfriend for six years, and trust me when I say that I get pummeled with marriage questions all the time. But what I experience in my daily life is nothing compared to poor Lauren, who can’t even talk to Jackson’s six-year-old nephew without being asked whether they’re going to get married! Marriage is not the be-all and end-all of existence, and I would have liked it more if Lauren had just been allowed to be content with what she had.

In the end, Rule Breaker is a great first novel from Harper Kincaid. I wish I could give partial stars on Goodreads, because it clocks in around 3.75/5 for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy!

Final rating: ★

For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m checking off #27: a book you can read in a day.

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