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Review: Rules of Entanglement by Gina L. Maxwell

Rules of Entanglement (Fighting for Love #2) by Gina L. Maxwell
Category Romance, Contemporary Romance, Erotic
Ebook $3.79 (219 pages, ENTANGLED: BRAZEN)
Seven days. And seven rules to break…
District Attorney Vanessa MacGregor firmly believes that structure and order are the stuff that dreams are made of. Happiness can be planned—and it starts with the seven rules she’s laid out for her future. But as she’s organizing her best friend’s wedding in Hawaii, all of Vanessa’s best-laid plans are about to meet their match in a wickedly hot MMA fighter…
Jackson "Jax" Maris is focused on surfing, training, and fighting. That is, until he opens up his big mouth and finds himself having to pretend he’s engaged to his little sister’s best friend, Vanessa. When they’re forced to share a romantic bungalow, however, their little charade suddenly takes a turn for the seriously sexy. And while Jax is definitely not part of Vanessa’s long-term plan, he has seven days—and seven naughty nights—to turn her seven-rule plan upside down.

Author Site: website

Enjoyable characters, flimsy plot... (3 stars)

When Jax Maris, brother of SEDUCING CINDERELLA's Lucie, gets stuck helping her BFF, Vanessa MacGregor, finalize Lucie's wedding plans things get sultry in Hawaii. Vanessa lives by her own special set of rules. Rules intended to protect her from reliving past hurts. But the disciplined D.A. isn't totally immune to the laid-back surfer boy charm of her best friend's older brother. Jackson is a smoldering MMA fighter hiding from his own secrets and determined to get Vanessa to let her guard down. When one little lie has the pair forced into pretending to be engaged, the rule breaking begins to snowball.

Jax might not know why Vanessa needs her rules but if he wants more than a fling he'll have to come clean... and hope he has a fighting chance at making her believe that sometimes the rules need to be broken.

As much as I wanted to love RULES OF ENTANGLEMENT, there was just something missing. I've decided part of the 'meh' factor is that SEDUCING CINDERELLA is a really hard book to write a sequel to. It was that phenomenal. Keeping that in mind I really did like both Jax and Vanessa. Together there was great chemistry and apart they were both compelling, a little wounded but not broken. I'm not a fan of any trope that focuses on a character who lives by a literal set of rules and Vanessa's, while understandable in their motivation, felt really ridiculous to me. Especially since I found them to conflict with her personality... as if she made them to keep herself in line rather than to truly protect her heart.

While the steamy scenes were enjoyable and I liked Jax and Vanessa the overall plotline was really dull. I enjoy a soapy fake-engagement from time to time but this really wasn't one. It was them pretending to be Lucie and Reid to fool an exclusive wedding planner. Which meant a lot of plodding along doing nothing interesting and then a nice flirty scene concluded with a great dirty romp. Not totally bad but not enough to really make it a read I want to do again. I did, however, really enjoy the look at Jax training and the MMA scene, it was a nice break from the usual.

Ultimately, I just didn't enjoy RULES OF ENTANGLEMENT that much and it's very much the result of it's predecessor being so awesome. One Maxwell's fans definitely shouldn't miss, especially for the late entrance of Lucie and Reid and the conclusion, but one newbies to her work shouldn't read as a first.

Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Happily Ever After-Reads
Books vs. Boys
Sugar and Spice and Everything Naughty

Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

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