Review: The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood

Posted January 16, 2017 by Shannon in Blog Tours, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: The Rule Maker by Jennifer BlackwoodThe Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood
Published by Entangled: Embrace on January 16, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 194

Ten Steps to Surviving a New Job:
1. Don’t sleep with the client. It’ll get you fired. (Sounds easy enough.)
2. Don’t blink when new client turns out to be former one-night stand.
3. Don’t call same client a jerk for never texting you back.
4. Don’t believe client when he says he really, really wanted to call.
5. Remember, the client is always right—so you can’t junk punch him when he demands new design after new design.
6. Ignore accelerated heartbeat every time sexy client walks into room.
7. Definitely ignore client’s large hands. They just mean he wears big gloves.
8. Don’t let client’s charm wear you down. Be strong.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the client. You’ll lose more than your job—maybe even your heart.
10. If all else fails, see rule number one again.

Buy it here: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | 


Complete honesty, that’s our premise at the Sisterhood, so let’s have it. Ryder is what made the story for me and without him, I don’t know if I could’ve gotten through it. He’s swoony, he’s sweet, he’s thoughtful and persistent; all the makings of a good romance hero. My one question about him though that is never answered is, why doesn’t he call Zoey back after their one night stand (not a spoiler! This happens before the beginning of the story)? You find out why he left, but you’re never told why he never called her after that. It just doesn’t feel like something his character would do, so it was a little confusing.

“Pro snowboarder and a goat whisperer? Is there anything you can’t do?”
“I’m only fluent in Goat. If she were a sheep, all bets would be off.” He looked over and smiled at me. “And I am horrible at table tennis and always manage to overcook my scrambled eggs, in case you were thinking I was too perfect.” He winked.

My biggest downfall with this book was ultimately the heroine. I’m sorry, but she’s suppose to be in her early twenties and a professional, yet she speaks and has the inner monologues of a 15 year old with her first crush. At times, it’s seriously hard to get through. I loved Lainey in the first story and yes she was similar, but even she was more mature than Zoey. I don’t understand why they’re both like this though? I can get one heroine in a series being kind of silly and quirky, but Zoey felt like a carbon copy of Lainey, only less mature. Some cuteness or ditziness is fine, but she just never stopped! It started out sort of charming but then it became an overload.

“His lips pulled into a smile, one that deposited my undergarments straight into the panty incinerator.
Nope, panties, no time for vaporizing. You hate him, remember?
My body was a traitorous wench.”

I understand when it’s one character in a series being quirky, but Lainey and Zoey are the exact same and it’s actually kind of annoying. Why were there no differences between them? If you had to pull dialogue from both stories, I don’t know if I could tell you which heroine said what.

“A series of looks passed between her and her roommate. I wasn’t fluent in girl eye-speak, but I figured none of it was a testament to my character.”

I will admit thought that there were some really clever pieces of dialogue and fun, flirty times between these two. When they could just let loose and flirt, it was fun. But I also liked how Zoey held her resolve against Ryder in the beginning. He had hurt her in the past and her job was on the line, she couldn’t just jump back into bed with him.

“It was game time. Bases loaded. And I was counting on a guy who wouldn’t even attempt to hit a foul ball.”

In the previous book in the series, The Rule Book, there was a list of rules, all pertaining to certain situations that Lainey got herself in that went against Brogan’s manual. Each number dealt with a different issue in a different chapter. That’s sort of what I expected from The Rule Maker as well, but it wasn’t the case. Everything revolved around Ryder and the fact that Zoey couldn’t sleep with him… That’s it. Each number didn’t coincide with a particular scene or moment, it just revolved around a singular issue. This is fine, just not what I was expecting after how much fun I had discovering what all the rules meant in the first book.

I don’t care if it’s a knight in shining armour, but you can’t convince me that someone would consider giving up their life’s work or dedication for a person they’ve been dating for a matter of weeks. Sorry, I’m not buying this one.

I really enjoyed the conflict between characters and the emotion it held. This I did actually find believable and well done across all characters involved, and I really appreciated their reactions. I love grovelling, so that’s always fun to see.

“We’d danced around our attraction, using words as ammunition, and now that neither one of us was talking, we could finally hear one another.”

Though there were some fairly predictable moments, the ending kind of took the cake in this regards. In this sense, I’m okay with a little bit of cheesiness, but with the predictable ending came loads and loads of cheese as well. Think loaded baked potato with extra cheese.

But taking that away, it’s also kind of cute and whimsical like. How awesome would it be to have your perfect guy come back and fight for you because he won’t let you go? Try to woo you back and win your heart in the process? That sort of situation always melts me a little.

“Something about her ripped open a primal part inside of me.
Must have.
It overrode my number one rule. Something told me, though, that she’d be worth breaking the rules. Screw it. I’d break five hundred rules to have her lips on mine again.”

I love associating songs with the books that I read and as soon as I finished The Rule Maker, I already knew the perfect song for Ryder and Zoey. Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur is absolutely it for these two! Just check out this chunk of lyrics.

I met you in the dark, you lit me up
You made me feel as though I was enough
We danced the night away, we drank too much
I held your hair back when
You were throwing up

Then you smiled over your shoulder
For a minute, I was stone-cold sober
I pulled you closer to my chest
And you asked me to stay over
I said, I already told ya
I think that you should get some rest

I knew I loved you then
But you’d never know
‘Cause I played it cool when I was scared of letting go
I know I needed you
But I never showed
But I wanna stay with you until we’re grey and old
Just say you won’t let go
Just say you won’t let go

If you’re looking for an easy, light, fluffy RomCom, this is the perfect read for you. If you’re looking for substance and character depth, maybe not what you’re looking for. I liked it enough for what it was, but I honestly expected more from Zoey and not just a Lainey 2.0. Ryder and the emotion during the major conflict are what bumps this up to a 3.5 star rating for me.


*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.



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About Jennifer Blackwood

Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and contemporary romance author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she’s binging on Veronica Mars episodes and white cheddar popcorn.

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