by Roya Carmen
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Published by Self Published on October 20th 2015
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Purchase links: Amazon
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Five simple rules. And it was very simple…until it wasn’t.
It could have been much worse. We weren’t thinking straight and had put everything on the line – risking our marriages. So when Weston ended the arrangement, it was for the best – for all of us. But I was still heartbroken. I thought I’d shatter into a million pieces. I didn’t, I survived. Not only did I survive, I came out stronger and ready to move on with my life.
Weston reaches out to me. With a few soft words, a gentle touch and a lingering gaze, he crumbles all my efforts.
Neither Gabe nor I want to start this again, and we are determined to fight the temptation. But Weston and Bridget are not taking no for an answer, and the pull between all of us is still so strong.
I tell myself I can handle it this time. This time, I am in the driver’s seat. This time, I am rewriting the ground rules.
Book Review: 5+++ stars
I’d like to begin this review with a short recap of the first book in this series, “The ground rules”. It’s the story of two beautiful, married couples who cross paths coincidentally. You could call it fate, I guess. They somehow all feel drawn to each other (no F/F or M/M in these books, it’s just M/F). First, there’s Mirella and Gabe, which I’ll refer to as the main couple. The books are written in Mirella’s POV, so she’s the female MC for me. Then there are Weston and Bridget, the other couple. After their coincidental meeting/dinner, Weston reaches out to Mirella; he has an offer to make. A very special offer. He and his wife Bridget suggest Mirella and Gabe a couple exchange. Purely sexual. Weston has his sights on Mirella and Bridget would like to have her go with Gabe. After discussing the whole matter profusely, Mirella and Gabe agree to this strange exchange. A decision that will be life altering for all of them. They each arrange their “dates” and in order to keep everything as civil as possible – mind you, each and every game needs rules to play by – they have 5 “Ground Rules” they have all to stick with. Soon, all these rules are being broken one after the other, when Mirella falls for the enigmatic Weston… But should she really put her and her family’s happiness on the line for an affair? The answer is a very clear NO. So, it all ends in a big bang and despite his own growing feelings for Mirella, Weston ends the exchange.
That’s exactly where book two starts off. The two couples are living their respectable lives again without further contact. Until approximately 3 months after shit hit the fan, Weston suddenly reaches out to Mirella. He made a mistake in calling everything quits and wants to revive the exchange. He misses her. But he hurt her too badly, Mirella doesn’t want to put her heart on the line again. After all, her husband Gabe had suspected something after the whole shebang blew up, but he had no clue as to the depth of Mirella and Weston’s feelings for each other. So, after discussing everything again, he finally agrees to another go with the couple exchange. They even go on vacation together. But that’s where the whole problem starts and ends – they grow too close to each other again really quick and start to break rule after rule after rule – just like the last time. But this time, it’s even worse: The kids have been dragged into the equation and everything is really a hot mess. Until Mirella sees the consequences this has on her marriage and family, even on her friendship with her bestie. She then decides, with a very bleeding and hurting heart, to sacrifice the smaller heartache in order to keep everything that’s precious to her intact. So she ends the arrangement this time, leaving behind a devastated Weston. She thinks she’s done the right thing – until she gets a call…
Holy mother trucker!!! “The ground rules” and “The ground rules rewritten” have put my poor little heart through the wringer and back. And then stomped on it for good measure. My brain feels like mush after re-reading the first book and then reading the second one directly thereafter. The whole truckload of angst that the author keeps up through the COMPLETE two books is delicious. It’s exhausting and almost painful (my poor teeth, I’m surprised they’re still intact after all that grinding). But for an angst-addict like me, it was pure heaven. The writing is excellent, it flows perfectly, and there never once was a dull moment in these two books. The sex-scenes are plenty and very erotic, a sense of forbidden always looming above the story.
The only thing that gave me a hard time was, that you were so torn how to feel about the constellation of the couples. Me personally, I changed my mind almost from chapter to chapter. Through the majority of the book, I was rooting for Mirella and Weston to have a happy ending. After all, you see firsthand how they fall for each other. You feel each beautiful moment with them, every bump in the road. You can also see how happy Mirella and Gabe are, but you never “experience” their falling in love with each other, it’s just there. Weston and Bridget have a very complex and unconventional relationship, or so it seems. We don’t learn much about them until late in the second book. Then, there is this ending of book one. And after mulling over everything for a long while, I had to admit to myself, that I was happy with how Roya Carmen left things in “The ground rules”. After all, that’s how things should be – each one of the lovers with their significant other. I even contemplated if to read the second book at all. But when the publication came closer, I grew more curious and decided to read it. And it was so worth it… Heart through wringer and all – I’m glad I read it.
Holy mother of all cliffhangers… I think I don’t spoiler too much here if I say that the second book ends in a very bad cliffhanger. There would be no need of a third book after all if there wasn’t. The big twist was something that I anticipated anxiously – breaking the rules always backfires one way or another. And in Mirella and Weston’s case, it backfired BIG TIME.
All in all, I rate “The ground rules rewritten” with 5 stars (my rating for the first book, “The ground rules”: 5+++ stars) and await the third book in the series IMPATIENLY AND ANXIOUSLY. I can definitely recommend it for everyone who loves romance novels that are different, edgy and with a forbidden vibe. But please keep in mind, that Roya Carmen takes angst to a whole new level here! Ahhhhmazing!!!