Breaking All The Rules
by Amy Andrews
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Release Date: January 24, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
Do you have a special shelf for comfort reads? I do. It doesn't have a lot of books on it but I know that the stories that reside there are guaranteed to lift me out of the doldrums, make me laugh, make me sigh, generate a little steam, remind me why I love to read, warm my heart and, basically, chase all my blues away. Which is exactly what happened while reading Breaking All The Rules, the newest member of my comfort reads collection.
Bea and Austin hit the ground running with snarky banter, unexpected sizzle, and a whole lot of laughter...not to mention orgasm-inducing ice cream and the best pie west of the Mississippi. By the end of chapter one I was completely hooked, buckled in and ready for a rollicking ride. Which I got. But, there was also much, much more. Andrews combined laugh-out-loud humor with sweetness, sizzle, and a depth of emotion I wasn't expecting then wrapped it all up with romance, uncertainty, emotional growth, and a well-deserved grovel (I do love a good grovel) to create a feel-good happy ending that had me sighing with delight.
The cast of characters in this book were so well developed it felt like they were going to leap from the pages right into reality, with Bea and Austin leading the way. Andrews took her time with these two, slowly peeling away their layers and giving us necessary insight into their feelings, fears, frustrations, and hopes. At the same time she allowed Bea to rebel against past injustices in the best possible ways with Austin as the more-than-willing partner and safe landing place she had no idea she needed...or wanted. I loved them both. Okay, I loved Austin more but, come on. He's such a good hero! I understood Bea though and fully supported her rule-breaking rebellion. Any woman who has worked in a male-dominated environment is going to be right there with her. Mostly, I loved these two together. They balanced one another, were hot for each other (so hot), had fun together, and were sweet together. This was one couple that had me cheering for them from start to finish.
After reading the book, I discovered that this is the fourth book in Andrews' Credence, Colorado series. I didn't feel like I was missing anything by reading Breaking all The Rules first. However, after meeting some of the characters from the earlier books, I will definitely be reading their stories too. And, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a romance between a certain grumpy, by-the-book chief of police and a local erotic romance writer!
Have you read any Amy Andrews books? Do you have a favorite?
How do you feel about younger men? Does a younger man influence your enjoyment of a romance? (In this book, Bea is 35 and Austin is 25 but, honestly, much of the time it feels like he's the more mature of the two.)