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.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.59(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Rule Maker
Rule Breakers Series
By Jennifer Blackwood, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Jennifer Blackwood
All rights reserved.
Rule #1: Never eat while driving.
There was nothing quite like indulging in pity I'm-single-on-Valentine's-Day chocolate. No man candy? No problem. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups would surely fill the chasm that was my love life.
"Siri, read my emails." I unwrapped the candy I'd stashed on my dash, plopped it in my mouth, and put my car into drive.
"You have one new email," Siri replied. I loved my car for the sole reason that it had become my command station, my badass Batmobile that could answer emails, texts, and memos at a voice command. Okay, it was a Prius, but still. "Sender — Jason Covington."
I jerked back in my seat and sucked in a breath, the chocolate hitting the back of my throat. No. For the love of all that was holy, why was this man emailing me? Anyone but him. I went to clear my throat, and the candy didn't budge.
"Ms. Reynolds, it was a pleasure doing business with you on the Culver Cove Inn late last year. I have recently purchased a new resort on Mount Rainier and would like to hire your services again," she said in her monotone voice.
Goose bumps flecked my arms as I attempted to cough, to get some air into my burning lungs. I mean, if I had to choose a way to pass on to an afterlife filled with never-ending reruns of my favorite shows, self-filling coffee cup, and unlimited free wifi, death by chocolate was decidedly the best way to go. Chocolate fountain, satin pie, éclair ... hell, I'd even settle for a Snickers. And, as fate would have it, I'd be taking a visit to the white pearly gates with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup lodged in the back of my throat. But I still had seven episodes until I was caught up on Supernatural, and I hadn't made it to the highest level in Candy Crush. I didn't have time for dying yet.
My eyes filled with tears as I fought to extricate the candy from my mouth, attempting to give myself the Heimlich maneuver. And, if my burning lungs were any indication, failing miserably. I looked out at the sidewalk, and of course, at this time of day, there was no one in sight.
"I'll need you to take measurements today so we can discuss the design on Monday. Keys will be sent to you within the hour. Best, Jason Covington." There was a pause and then Siri asked, "Do you wish to respond to the email?"
No! I wanted to scream. Instead, salt and pepper particles invaded my vision. This was it, I'd die sitting in the spot outside my apartment, listening to an email from a stupid Covington. Even if this particular one wasn't the target of my wrath, blood relation was enough to taint my opinion.
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. Would you like to respond to the email?" Siri repeated.
All I could do was keep pounding my stomach, cursing him seven ways to Sunday. I somehow managed a garbled noise that could possibly pass as a no.
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch that."
Screw you, Siri. For what I paid my phone carrier, she should be able to give me a damn Heimlich herself.
My vision continued to fade and the clock was ticking as I choked my way into unconsciousness. This was it. My last meal had been screw-this-Hallmark-holiday candy and a friggin' ex-fling was going to be seared into my final fleeting thoughts. What a way to go.
In a last ditch effort, I took hold of the steering wheel with shaking hands and rammed my stomach into it. The piece of chocolate shot out of my mouth and hit the windshield with a splat. It slid down the glass and left a brown slug trail behind it. Sweet, delicious air rushed through my now-clear windpipe and the particles swarming my vision dissipated.
I held my head in my hands, taking deep, shuddering breaths, and cursed the day I decided to take my client's brother, Ryder Covington, to bed.
* * *
Three hours — and much-needed gulping of air — later, I parked my car, facing the snow-capped mountaintop that lay as a backdrop to one of the many ski resorts on Mt. Rainier. This one just happened to be closed for renovations. My renovations. And nothing made me happier than having my mind busy with plans for a new project. It even overshadowed the whole choking incident earlier.
I pulled my windblown hair into a messy bun, smoothed my black eyelet lace skirt, and glanced down at my list of specs I needed to acquire. Room layouts, size, supporting structures, the basics. Then, I had the simple task of creating mock-ups that blew the mind of Jason Covington, the most uptight, eccentric billionaire on the West Coast. He earned that title during our last job together. If I hurried, I could make it back to my apartment in time to implement my original plan for tonight: catch up on Supernatural while gorging on microwave popcorn. Maybe if I was feeling really wild, I'd go for the good stuff. The kind where the bag disintegrated into a sopping mess within twenty minutes due to grease concentration. This was obviously the makings of the best Valentine's Day ever. Or most pathetic. I hadn't decided yet.
Air gusted through my open window, ruffling my hair and the pages of my planner in the passenger seat. I took another few seconds to revel in the warmth and give myself a mini pep talk.
Time to get my butt into gear and turn on my designer mode.
Deep breaths. No need to panic just because of the little fact I was working on my ex-fling's brother's resort. Try saying that ten times fast.
I grabbed my camera bag from the floor of the passenger seat, plus my notebook and measuring tape, and kicked the door shut behind me.
Gravel crunched under my heels as I made my way to the main lodge. Normally I liked to go through the space with the client to get a feel for what they had in mind for the remodel. On my first project with Jason, he'd also asked me to scout the place without him. Weird, yes, but it didn't surprise me that I was here solo for this project.
Bring it on, Jason Covington. I can take whatever you throw at me.
I'd managed to hold my own at the most prestigious firm in the city. I was totally ready for this project.
That was until I pulled open the door to the main lodge.
My breath caught in my throat. I'd like to say it was because the entryway was just that beautiful, but what lay in front of me was a chaotic array of chairs, paintings, and wood paneling that screamed seventies love children were conceived here. The seventies had a lot going for itself. I mean, there was Clint Eastwood, ABBA, Cher. This did not have any of that charm — it was just plain outdated, ugly-as-sin, burn-this-place-to-the-ground disgusting. I gulped, forcing stagnant, musty air down my throat.
My fingers ran over the burnt orange window casing as I eyed the suit of armor — missing an arm and foot, propped up in the middle of the room — along with the remains of a broken disco ball, shattered into thousands of pieces.
Design situation: nightmare
Designer emotion: tonight's greasy popcorn would better serve as lighter fluid to torch this disaster to the ground.
Jason's email failed to mention that I'd be getting asbestos poisoning and possible death by disco ball with one wrong move. No wonder he sent me to do this alone.
I coughed as I inhaled another breath of noxious air, and beelined for the first available window. After unlocking it, I tugged at the pane and tried to pull it open. It gave a protesting whine as I inched it up the track, and slammed shut when I let go.
I decided not to take that as an ominous clue that I'd entered some kind of resort of tortures, and instead scanned the room for something to prop the window open. After passing over a rusted brass candlestick and a fireplace poker, I settled on an old piece of firewood stacked in the corner. I slid it between the sill and the cracked wood and breathed in the fresh air.
Now that air circulated in the room, making it slightly more tolerable, I took my phone out of my pocket to snap pics for reference when I went back to the office to design the mock-ups ... and okay, maybe text a few to my best friend Lainey, because she really needed to witness this hellhole. Just as I was about to click into camera mode, a call came through, Jason's number flashing across the screen.
"Ms. Reynolds. Are you at Divinity?"
"Yes." I sat down on the windowsill, tucked my phone between my ear and my shoulder, and grabbed my pen and notebook in my purse. "It's quite ... something." That was the only non-offensive adjective I had readily available at the moment.
"It is." He paused and I heard the sound of papers shuffling in the background. "I expect you'll have ample ideas for renovations."
Burn it all! I ached to say, but I really liked my job and Jason wasn't the sort to joke around, even in his best mood. "Of course. I'll have designs ready for you by Monday." I picked at a thread on my skirt and crossed my legs.
"I wanted to give you advance notice —"
His words were lost on me, because at that moment, something black and furry with eight legs skittered across the top of my skirt. A scream that could be heard from the other side of the mountain range ripped out of me, and at once I was on my feet, swiping at my skirt, hopping, cussing, regretting my choice of incredibly high heels.
I stared at the ground, frantically trying to find the culprit. He could have been anywhere. I shuddered.
My ankles buckled as I jerked in an uncoordinated, spastic version of an Irish jig. If I had a most-hated list, spiders took the number two spot, second only to clowns. And maybe this resort.
My pulse pounded as I twisted my skirt around. And a second time, just to make sure. No sign of my eight-legged nemesis. I looked around the floor. Nothing. He was here somewhere, hiding. I could feel his beady gaze on me, plotting my untimely death.
And then my ringtone began to blast.
I'd totally just had a freak-out while on the phone with Jason. So much for acting like a twenty-four-year-old professional. I made a quick search of the ground and the windowsill for my phone and came up empty. I listened for the ringtone, tracking the sound ... which came from a distance. I swallowed hard and peeked my head outside and looked down. Nestled between foliage of a bush four feet below, my phone continued to ring. And then cut to voicemail. Followed by another call.
I swallowed hard. The longer I took to answer Jason's call, the angrier he'd get, and I wasn't exactly winning any points at the moment. The phone was well within reach. It would have to be because if I were to go around the building, that would take at least a few minutes, and I already needed to do some major butt-kissing after screaming in Jason's ear. I scanned the sill for any sign of the creepy crawly, and once I was satisfied that he wasn't anywhere near me, I leaned out the window.
In a totally unladylike fashion that would have my aunt raising her brow at me, I reached over the sill, legs seesawing to steady myself so I didn't face-plant into a flower bed. My skirt rode up way past acceptable as my fingers grazed my phone.
I wiggled on the sill, and just as my hand grabbed my cell, I bumped the piece of firewood and the window hit the small of my back with a thud hard enough to leave me fighting for air. I struggled to backtrack into the room, and the sill dug into my stomach, the weight of the window pressing into the top of my butt.
This was it. The resort had a death wish for me.
My phone continued to ring, and I had no choice but to answer it. "Mr. Covington. I am so sorry. I don't know what came over me."
"Are you okay?" His tone dripped with more irritation than concern. I'd expect nothing less from him.
I looked behind me at the windowsill. My body was effectively pinned down, the pane too heavy to lift from this angle. He'd be less than sympathetic for my situation. In fact, I'd witnessed him fire vendors for less stupidity than this. "Yes."
Absolutely no need to panic. None at all. Not with a Chewbacca-level-hairy spider on the loose. I bet it made Wookie noises before sinking its fangs into its victims.
"I was going to tell you that I'm sending someone up there today —" "Great." I knew I was being rude, interrupting him, but I needed to figure out how to get out of this situation before I turned into a human popsicle. "Sounds wonderful." A note of hysteria laced my words.
"Are you sure everything is okay?"
"Of course. I'm just enjoying this breathtaking view." As the blood rushes to my head.
"It is quite beautiful. Well, I'll let you get back to it. Have a good day."
"You, too." As I hung up, I twisted to assess the damage the best I could. Besides a most definite bruise forming on my lower back and a dirty smudge on my white shirt, nothing was broken or ripped. I sighed. How the hell was I supposed to get out of this?
As I saw it, I had three options:
a) pray that I suddenly developed telekinesis
b) somehow induce an adrenaline rush that would give me Hulk-like abilities
c) beg the Chewbacca spider to bite me so I could die a quick, painless death before one of Jason's employees found me and reported back to him that I was completely incompetent
The first two options seemed a tad unattainable at the moment. The latter option erred on the side of melodramatic, even if this was a sucktastic situation. A tickle webbed across my calf, but I brushed away my paranoia. This would be totally fine. In the meantime, I'd just enjoy the beautiful scenery. While cursing this whole place.
After fighting a few more seconds and failing, I resigned myself to the fact that not even Crisco would get me out of this jam.
I did the only thing that seemed appropriate. Texted my best friend.
Lainey: What's up?
Zoey: I have a situation.
Lainey: ... are you going for the suspense factor, cause it's working.
I took a selfie and hit send.
Lainey: OMG. Are you ... uh ... stuck in a window?
Lainey: What the hell happened?
Zoey: This resort is alive and is actually trying to kill me. Tell my dad that I love him.
Lainey: Only if I get to keep the couch and your Chanel purse once you pass.
Zoey: You are ruthless.
Lainey: I can't help myself. For real though, do you need me to come get you?
Zoey: No, one of Jason's guys will be here later today. It'll be embarrassing AF, but at least it's not Jason, right?
Lainey: #truth Also, WTF is on your leg, dude?
My leg? I spread my two fingers over my screen, enlarging the picture I'd sent Lainey and froze at the sight of my hairy foe on my left calf.
No, no, no!
I thrashed and screamed in the sill, the window not budging even a millimeter. My scream echoed through the canyon, and if there was enough snow on the mountain, an avalanche would soon follow. Then, at least, I wouldn't have to worry about the fact that Chewbacca was picking out china patterns for its new home. Sweat beaded on my brow as I continued to struggle.
Just as the initial sting of tears invaded my vision, the distant sound of gravel crunched from the direction of the parking lot. Thank the lord, my savior had arrived.
I could play this off as a total accident, right? Maybe bribe him not to tell Jason?
A tall, broad-chested figure limped down the path on a pair of crutches, and my stomach bottomed out.
It looked just like ... no ... it couldn't be.
My pulse pounded triple time in my temples as the crunch tap crunch tap crunch of gravel under his tread drew closer.
"Zoey?" a low, gruff voice asked.
I'd recognize those wide shoulders anywhere. The backs of my legs knew them intimately.
Ryder. Freaking. Covington.
Okay, Chewbacca. Any time now. Sink those fangs into my leg and end this Valentine's Day from hell already.
Ryder stopped a few feet from the window, looking like he'd seen the Ghost of Christmas Past coming to bite him in the ass.
"Yup. It's me," I said.
He quickly recovered, his lips curling into a smile I'd once found charming. "You know, there's this thing called a door. Some people use it to go in and out of buildings."
I flipped him off. Immature? Most definitely. I blamed it on the blood rushing to my head. And the fact the one-night stand I had with him was the reason for my current string of sexual encounters of the lackluster kind.
Excerpted from The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Blackwood. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 stars — I think I wanted to like this one more than I did, I’m bummed that books that are hits with others don’t seem to be working for me. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy myself, but I did find myself avoiding reading, and at times having to read paragraphs over and over to keep my mind from wandering, which is just not a good sign for a book. I actually hate that the most, b/c it’s hard to pinpoint what didn’t work for me, other than I guess I just wasn’t captured. Characters tend to make or break a book, and neither Zoey nor Ryder made me fall in love. Which is not to say I didn’t like them, but it wasn’t over the top. I just read a few other reviews to see if I was alone, and it seems most people had a problem with Ryder…which is funny, b/c of the two of them, I liked him more! There was depth there I wasn’t expecting, and for the most part I appreciated how he struggled with his career. I liked seeing him help others on the hill, but it made it obvious to me what he should be doing, so the ending was no surprise. I LOVED how he cared about his brother and truly tried to help him, and I was pissed at his grandparents for the way they treated him and made him doubt himself. I wouldn’t have minded him growing a backbone with them earlier, but I get that it’s family. Zoey had her ups and downs for me. I think she’s just not my kind of girl. Something about her rubbed me the wrong way on occasion, like the whole hair incident…she felt kind of high maintenance there. I don’t know, I honestly don’t know how to quantify it other than to say I just didn’t connect with her. She definitely had her good qualities, I enjoyed her sass, and her determination to succeed at her work. I think the romance is where I was let down. You know those parts where I said I had a hard time not letting my mind wander? Those happened most in the steamy scenes. Like for real. I just didn’t feel their chemistry in that area. I also didn’t understand what made Ryder do a 180 on relationships…I just didn’t feel that change. HOWEVER, I ADORED their banter, they made me laugh so much at times!! They really connected on that level. And there were moments, more towards the end, where I felt like Ryder was really swoony with Zoey. Another area that just felt odd to me was the pacing and layout of the plot…there was something missing. It just didn’t feel like it followed a normal story arc. And I wasn’t as impressed with the comedy at times, it felt forced…like I wasn’t surprised, I could see the set up coming from a mile away. The banter was where the author hit comedy gold for me. Damnit, this is feeling like such a negative review. Sorry guys. Honestly, it’s not like it was a bad book, I swear. It just wasn’t the one for me unfortunately. Ah well.
The Rule Maker is just a fun read!! One of those books you pick up after a long week & can lose yourself in for a couple of hours. The Rule Maker is the 2nd in the Rule Breakers series but can be read as a stand alone. I love the writing style of Jennifer Blackwood- she brings her characters to loife in such an entertaining & real way. Can't wait to read more by this author. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Zoey loved cars for the sole reason it had become her command station,her Batmobile that could answer emails, texts, and memos at voice command. Zoey is an interior decorator. Zoey was choking on a Reeses peanut butter cup and finally slammed against her steering wheel and dislodged the candy. There was an email from Jason Covington. Zoey had slept with her client’s brother Ryder and she cursed that night. Zoey remembers how he snuck out during the night without an explanation and then never called her. Ryder was a professional snowboarder and was home while he recuperated from a broken leg. Ryder had a rule never to date or sleep with anyone more than once. Zoey pulled up to the one of many ski resorts on Mt. Rainier. Zoey was to do the renovations on this resort and it had been left in the seventies. Nothing made Zoey happier then having her mind busy with plans for a new project. All she had to do was create mock-ups that would blow Jason Covington’s mind. Then Zoey got stuck in the window but knew Jason had one of his men coming up. Zoey then heard a voice she couldn’t forget and sure enough it was Ryder. Then man she had slept with. Jason- Ryder’s brother had been paralyzed from the waist down and wasn’t doing too well since the accident and now Ryder was her client and she had to work with him through the whole project. Normally it would have been Jason as he was the head of the family’s real estate company. Zoey tries to get out of the project but Ryder said Jason wouldn’t be happy. Zoey had taken the second job from Jason as she knew it was good for her company as well as her career. Then a sudden snow storm occurs and Ryder and Zoey are stuck at the resort for the night. First thing the next morning Zoey leaves. Both Ryder and Zoey are leery of each other but both for different reasons. Zoey fought her feelings for Ryder. I liked this story a lot. It made me laugh out loud and that doesn’t happen very often at least not from a book. This is a fun romance that gave Ryder and Zoey a second chance with each other. But Zoey and Ryder made each other crazy as they tried to fight the attraction. But I will say that this story kept my attention from the very beginning to the very end. I love how Jason and Ryder are with each other. But this story was a little predictable. At first I really didn’t like Ryder for the way he treated Zoey but as time went on my opinion changed of him. But Ryder was also worried about his future after the broken leg. This dragged a bit at times but I still really enjoyed the story. I loved the plot, characters and the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.
Love this series...ryders character was amazing...i want more from these characters
They shared one night. He left without so much as a goodbye, which makes sense since, you know, it was only supposed to be one night, and she was left trying to forget him. Ryder and Zoey's story is filled with humor and sarcasm. Lots and lots and lots of humor and sarcasm. Because for all their attempts at trying to avoid one another, a difficult task given they're working together, their attraction to one another shines bright and strong. Ryder's policy of one night only with a woman was broken when he spent the night with Zoey. She was the first unforgettable woman for him ever and that was pretty amazing. Zoey is unsure of what to do with him though. She likes him but doesn't want to, wants to burn the sheets with him but wonders if he'll leave again, wants to be more than a one night stand to him but doesn't know if she should say that. Makes sense since he slipped out after an amazing night together. Yet she has no idea that he's never forgotten her, has no idea that he remembers everything about her, has no idea how much he regrets leaving the way he did. His self-realization was amazing because it also clued into his overall growth--playboy to a one-woman man and all the beauty that came with that change. No other woman had filled his head and heart since that night. No other woman ever would from now on. This was a fun story. I smiled and laughed as much as I contemplated and reflected. If you're looking for something a little more lighthearted with snappy dialogue and engaging characters, I hope you give this story a try. Ms. Blackwood knows how to write and this story doesn't disappoint. Complimentary copy received from publisher
It was a good book. I loved the characters. They were fun to read and very engaging. The beginning had me in stitches. I'd love to read a HEA story about Jason. He deserves one. Wow, the grandmother was a piece of work. I wish the story had explained why the grandparents were so opposed to the resort. It feels like there was more to the story. If you're going to read this book, read Rule Maker first. It has some cross over characters. Although this book can easily be read as a standalone.
The Rule Maker By: Jennifer Blackwood 4.5 Star Review by Kristie K Breaking the rules has never been so much fun… Zoey Reynolds loves her job, and when she is tasked with completing a second design job for a very important client, she prepares herself to deal with the powerful and enigmatic Jason Covington. An early trip to the property for measurements and initial interpretations of the space brings a very unwelcome surprise… A surprise in the form of the very gorgeous, completely cocky, and totally infuriating brother of her client, Ryder Covington. Oh, and did I mention that he also gave her the most incredible night of her life before leaving without a word? The man that caused her current dry spell, and ruined her for any other? Ryder Covington loves his job. As a professional snowboarder, his life is full of action and fun. When a broken leg sidelines him for the off-season, he goes back home to recover and rehabilitate in time for training. When his brother asks him to help him out with a new renovation project, he is more than happy to oblige. Things get even more interesting when he goes to check out the new property, and meets the new designer charged with transforming the property. It’s none other than Zoey Reynolds…the woman he hasn’t gotten out of his head since their night together. Unfortunately for him, his hasty departure after their one night together has caused a major chill in the air between them. Can Ryder thaw the ice around her heart? Jennifer Blackwood has delivered a fun, sexy read with plenty of humor and lots of heart. I love the quick wit, and sharp comebacks that both Zoey and Ryder threw around throughout the book. Some of the situations that they found themselves in were so hilarious, I found myself laughing out loud! Zoey was a slightly uptight little thing, but reminded me of all the anxieties and quirks that we, as everyday people, deal with on a daily basis. She was so refreshingly real, it was nice to feel such a kinship with her character. And Ryder? Hell, he was every red blooded American woman’s idea of a dream man. Gorgeous, funny, sweet, confident…but not afraid to be vulnerable, and kind. Not to mention amazing in the sack. Ryder is the complete package, but he has his quirks as well. Just as real as Zoey, but also as dreamy as a favorite book boyfriend. The character development was well done, and on point. The plot and storyline were well thought out and well executed. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire story, though there were a couple of times the outcome of a situation made me think twice. The writing was excellent, and I found it very easy to lose myself in the story and forget all about time and space. Definitely the most fun I have had in recent days, and I so look forward to what Ms. Blackwood has in store for us next. Kristie K
The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood is the second book in her Rule Breakers series. It is a standalone romance told in dual POV between the two main characters. Zoey is the best friend and roommate of Lainey who you may remember from book one, The Rule Book. Ryder is Zoey's one night stand from that same book and he is back in her life in the most inopportune way, at least for Zoey, at least according to her "rules". Sweet and sassy, the back and forth between these two is funny and tension-inducing all at the same time. Zoey worries that Ryder will break her heart AND ruin her fledgling career. Ryder isn't sure why but Zoey is nothing like any other girl he has ever been with. He begins to pursue her despite his own "no repeat" lifestyle. Enjoyable, sweet and well-written - Light on the steam but high on the emotions. Enjoy!
This is a sexy and entertaining second chance romance. Zoey, an interior designer/architect and Ryder, a professional snowboarder had a one night stand while she was working on a project for Ryder's brother Jason. It ended rather abruptly when Ryder took off before morning light without explanation. Fast forward a few months and Zoey has a chance to work with Ryder's brother Jason again. He's bought a resort that was a favorite family vacation spot, and it's in run down shape desperately in need of a makeover. It means she's going to have to see Ryder again, but this time, she's not going to be so easily charmed by him - or so she thinks. There were a few plot niggles for me that I questioned. Being completely in charge of the design and renovation of a luxury resort seemed like a really big job for someone aged 24 who hadn't been in the business that long. Combining the responsibility of all that with an inner monologue that seemed more college aged didn't always mesh for me. But I liked Zoey's character overall. Ryder's explanation for why he left Zoey without a note after their initial one night stand is understandable but doesn't explain why he couldn't have contacted her in the next few days. Instead he left it alone and then when they see each other again, isn't particularly apologetic about it. It took me a bit to warm up to him. He's dealing with a snowboarding injury that is causing him a lot of stress as he worries about sponsorships for the upcoming season. His relationship with his family is complex and there are several scenes dealing with that. I really liked his brother Jason who was paralyzed in a snowboarding accident and I'm hoping a story might be in the works for him. Ryder and Zoey have that whole forbidden workplace affair thing going on, as she's got to be careful not to reveal to her boss that she's involved with her client's brother. There are some sexy scenes between them, and by the end I was invested in their relationship. It's an easy and enjoyable read. 3.5 stars.
This is an emotional romantic comedy with a strong male lead, Ryder, a hunk of an injured snowboarder with a very soft heart that he tries to hide and protect. Mind you, when you get to meet his grandparents you start to understand why! He's also a very caring brother, highly independent but also worried about his future and very attracted to Zoey. They had a one night stand some months ago but then he disappeared and never got back in touch. That's left Zoey with some fantastic memories and a whole load of pain. When they need to work together on the refurbishment of the resort that his brother, Jason, recently purchased, there's a whole lot of angst, attraction and turmoil between them. You'll just have to read it to find out what happens - and why! I loved Ryder as a character. He seems well developed in every sense and I understand why he left Zoey on that fateful night but I still don't know why he didn't contact her again soon afterwards. Zoey understandably resents having been left without a word and is initially determined to keep their current relationship purely professional. Despite their past history, both are somewhat wary now but for different reasons. As revelations are made, things between the two seem to have more of a chance but with a hair eating goat, injuries, those grandparents, Jitters (the cat with claws) and all those feelings, things definitely won't go smoothly for this couple. If you enjoy cute, second chance romances you'll probably love this! Thanks to the publishers for gifting me an ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest opinion after reading it.
•Conflict Zoey loved her job as an interior designer, and the firm she works for is ecstatic about having another job from the prestigious Covington Family. Zoey has already designed one building for Jason and is excited to work with/for him again. Only she's in for a complete shock when his brother Ryder is the one waiting in her office instead of Jason. How in the world I'd she going to pull off working with him on this project when they've slept together which is one of the company's cardinal rules "Don't sleep with client".... But he want a client then, so as long as it's not repeated it'll be ok. Although she'd the throat punch him than work with him since he left like a jerk in the middle of the night. It doesn't matter that it was just a one-night stand, it was the best night and now she can't stop thinking about him. How is she going to work with him, maybe she should just hand of this project to another designer. Ryder was torn on his feelings for Zoey. He hated leaving in the middle of the night during what was supposed to be their one-night stand, but he didn't have a choice. Should he have called her, yeah probably but he'd never been in that type of situation before. Now his brother Jason has asked him to step in and work with Zoey on this project since he's home recovering with a broken leg from a snowboarding accident. How can he work worth her on this when 1-he can't so thinking about her and 2-he's not on board with this project. He thinks the place should be torn down, and add much add it positions him to admit he she's with his grandparents that the place should just be sold. How do Zoey and Ryder decide to make working together on this protest work? You'll have to read THE RULE MAKER to find out. Oh but this romantic comedy was great! You'll be chuckling if not laughing out loud throughout their banter. Their banter is hilarious, from page one I refused to put this book down! The sexual tensions are OFF THE CHARTS from the get go between Ryder and Zoey. Another spectaculiar hit from Jennifer Blackwood. I haven't read the Rule Book (Rule breakers#1) yet, but I'll definitely have to go read what I missed out on. These are stand alone stories with characters that blend together. Due to sexual situations, this book is recommended for readers 17 and older! I voluntarily reviewed an ARC copy of this book via IndieSagePR/Entangled Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Favorite Passages~ ~ “With the way my pulse races when I see you, I can safely say it’s accounted for.” ~ there was only one passenger on this train: me.
The second book in the Rule Breakers series is just as entertaining as the first...expanding upon Brogan and Lainey's story with the introduction of Ryder (Brogan's good friend) and Zoey(Lainey's roommate). The banter and dialog is just as smart and sassy, with more snark thrown in which makes for some pretty hilarious reading. The predicament that Zoey finds herself in, on Valentine's Day, when she inadvertently meets up with Ryder again after a one night stand months before, has to be one of the funniest I have read in a very long time. Ms Blackwood's comedic timing is storytelling at its finest. How Zoey earns the nickname Flash Ryder gives her is hilarious. The evolving of their relationship had some very heartwarming moments...Ryder mimicking one of Zoey's historic romance novels was one of the sweetest things anyone could have ever done for someone else. The banter between the two was charming and pulled at the heartstrings at the same time. I absolutely look forward to more from this author in the future. This book was provided by the Publisher and Netgalley, I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
Another Entertaining and Enjoyable Story from Blackwood > > Judging a Book by it's Cover > Looking Deeper Professional snowboarder and brother to Zoey's client, Jason. Had a one-night affair with Zoey 4 months ago. He's seen as the unreliable, irresponsible one; the one with no follow-through. His career is currently sidelined after breaking his leg. Zoey ~> Interior Designer, the firm she works for was hired by Ryder's brother once already and now again for a new, huge undertaking. However, due to recent circumstances, Jason passed the duty of the renovations to the new acquisition to his little brother. Despite the awkwardness of recent developments, they have to work together and she has to keep him happy if she wants to keep her job. Secondaries ~> Lainey and Brogan (The Rule Book) are present, Jitters the slasher cat, some family, and a few co-workers balance and fill the plot nicely. Chemistry & Compatibility ~> Electric sparks, crackling and igniting anytime they even THINK about each other. This one contains more sexier, heated scenes than the first book. Dialogue & Interaction ~> On point with current situations. The bantering and inner monologues were fun as heck. Plot & Flow ~> Smooth flow, mildly dynamic plot. Not a lot of deeper topics, but plenty of drama mixed into a sexy, RomCom. Conflicts & Resolutions ~> a few conflicts were presented here and there, all of which seem to be resolved fairly well. Predictability ~> Unfortunately, I predicted the conclusion fairly early on. However, it was not a glaringly obvious thing and did not really detract from the overall story. No fun surprises. Conclusion ~> Ryder and Zoey get an implied HEA that felt slightly rushed even with a short flash-forward ending. (No pun intended) Recommendability ~> I really enjoyed the overall story and think others would, too. . Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.1 ~ Stars: 4 ========================== ⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐
the characters in the rule maker have a lot going on. zoey is an up-and-coming interior designer who is looking to advance her career and loves a big job. ryder is a snowboarder who's broken leg has put his career on pause and has left him flailing. especially since his older brother, jason, also recently suffered a severe injury that left him paralyzed. zoey and ryder also have some history, since after spending one night together he basically ghosted her. when jason hires zoey to redesign his latest acquisition and puts ryder in charge of the day-to-day handling of the project, all those things come to a head. zoey is still angry with ryder for how he disappeared after they slept together, and ryder is conflicted? okay, i'll be honest, i still am unclear on ryder's behavior and feelings about the whole thing. did he only intend their one night to be a one night? at certain points it does, but then he admits that he left zoey that night because jason was injured and then he was caught up in the fallout and then his own injury. so he has some valid excuses. in the end i suppose they are both behaving like irrational twenty-year-olds and since this technically a new adult novel, i'll give it to them. this is written like most new adult novels are, with the labeled alternating povs, but the plot just feels like a contemporary romance, so i'm not sure that this needed to be a new adult romance. anyway, zoey and ryder figure their weird relationship out. basically they start communicating like adults and leave some of the teenage drama behind. the last obstacle to their relationship is a little over the top, but it's resolved in the end and everyone gets a happily ever after. **the rule maker will publish on january 16, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (embrace) in exchange for my honest review.
Jennifer Blackwood has done it again with her latest release, The Rule Breaker. This book was everything I expected from her storytelling with a healthy dose of humor, romance, and sexiness thrown in. You cannot go wrong with Blackwood’s stories and this one is no exception. The Rule Breaker is a romantic type comedy that has a wide streak of heartfelt emotion and anguish. Each emotion Blackwood introduces into the storyline gives the story depth and something to hold onto. The romantic angst is a huge part of this book and it is an angst you can love. There is a tug of war happening between Ryder and Zoey, one that you want them both to win despite the odds not being in their favor. This book has humor laced through the story. The things that happen to poor Zoey are hilarious, something you would die laughing over. She takes it all like a champ and her feisty personality shines through. I loved the rules, both personal and professional, listed at the start of each chapter and how it foreshadowed something happening, both pivotal to the story and laugh out loud funny. I could rave on and on about this book. This new release was well written, set at a pace I enjoyed, and I read it in record time; I just didn’t want to stop! The secondary people you meet in this book enhance what you read and we see more of Brogan and Lainey from The Rule Maker, a big bonus for me! I enjoyed the banter and chemistry between our two leads, and when it gets rough, the emotion and heart between these two rounds out their story wonderfully! If you are looking for a little something to fall into, a story that is sexy, sweet, and fun to read, give this one a go!
Zoey is a talented interior designer with an incredible future in front of her as long as she remembers “the rules.” But since it’s the client’s brother, Ryder, that she’s involved with and not the client, Jason, rule #1 shouldn’t be a problem. Until it is. Ryder, a professional snowboarder, has broken his leg and is in need of some downtime so Jason, who is recuperating from a much worse accident, asks Ryder to stand in for him in the dealings with Zoey for the new resort complex he’s renovating. The Rule Maker is the second book in Jennifer Blackwood’s series The Rule Breakers. Like The Rule Book, the first in the series which I posted a review for on Saturday (you can see that here) The Rule Maker is funny with very likeable characters in Zoey and Ryder. In fact, I enjoyed reading about Zoey and Ryder more than Lainey and Brogran from Book 1. The only lapse in characterization for me was that Zoey is so organized and put-together yet she’s ditzy enough to forget she’s put brownies in the oven. Other than that, Zoey was a great character who seemed more human than a lot of romance heroines. She managed to be true to herself. Unlike The Rule Book, The Rule Maker is told in alternating points-of-view from Zoey and Ryder and I think that helped with my understanding and liking of Ryder. His internal conflicts made him more credible to me and gave credence to Zoey’s opinion of him that there was more than he showed on the surface. I found myself intrigued by Ryder’s brother, Jason, and hoped that there might be a book about him in the future, but definitely not a Me Before You-type book. Also, unlike The Rule Book, The Rule Maker has open door sex, which was well-handled. Evidently the lack of in the first book was a game changer for some reviewers, which was a shame since the book had a lot of substance and should have been appreciated on that level alone. So why with all of these great qualities did I enjoy The Rule Maker and yet when it came to the ending I had a huge “meh” feeling wash over me? The conclusion. I don’t give spoilers in my reviews because sometimes I know curiousity gets the best of us and we look even though we know full well we shouldn’t. Suffice to say that the ending for me was unoriginal and just reflected the sensibilities of contemporary romances rather than new adult romances in which characters are still defining themselves and their futures. I didn’t want the neat package and the refined bow. With that said, I still recommend this book. How could I not? While I would have hoped for a more interesting ending, the one as-written didn’t ruin my experience. The majority of The Rule Maker was fun and appealing and well worth immersing yourself in. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I won an ARC of this book in a giveaway from the author. I really enjoyed this one. The author has a great voice. The banter and humor are especially well done. Zoey and Ryder were wonderful characters with good chemistry. I liked that this book had both the perspective of the hero and the heroine which was different from the first book in this series. The only small criticism I have would be that it could have been a little faster paced. Overall it was a fun, sweet read. I also definitely recommend checking out the first book in the series, The Rule Maker.
3.75 stars-- THE RULE MAKER is the second installment in Jennifer Blackwood’s contemporary, adult THE RULE BREAKERS romance series. This is twenty fie year old professional snowboarder Ryder Covington , and interior designer Zoey Reynolds’s story line. THE RULE MAKER can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Some of the event run parallel to the events of book one –THE RULE BOOK. Told from dual first person points of view (Zoey and Ryder) THE RULE MAKER is a second chance (of sorts) romance between professional snowboarder Ryder Covington, and interior designer Zoey Reynolds. Months earlier Ryder and Zoey had a one-night stand wherein Ryder walker away the next morning without a backwards glance. Fast forward to present day and Zoey has been contracted to redecorate a once-glamorous ski chalet for Ryder’s brother Jason Covington-a man who has all but become a recluse since a horrific snowboard accident months before. Enter Ryder Covington-Jason’s brother-and the man who has been tasked with working alongside Zoey Reynold’s on the rehab of the former chalet. What ensues is the rekindling romance between Zoey and Ryder, and the behind the scenes negotiations that will send our couple in opposite directions. The relationship between Zoey and Ryder is acrimonious at best. Zoey’s embarrassment over the one-night stand finds our hero trying desperately to make up for his actions months before. Working together places our couple in a precarious position leading to palpable sexual energy and brooding attraction. The $ex scenes are seductive without the over the top sexually graphic language and text. We are introduced to Ryder’s brother Jason Covington-a man whose life was destroyed following a snowboarding accident that left him a former shell of his previous self. Ryder and Jason’s grandparents are the requisite evil-a couple who believe that Jason and Ryder are wasting their lives and futures on nonsense and fun. Billionaire businessman Brogan Starr, and PR specialist Lainey Taylor (The Rule Book-book 1) plays secondary and supporting roles. THE RULE MAKER is an enjoyable, second chance story line with laughter, humor, heartbreak and romance. The premise is light-hearted with a little bit of angst and conflict; the characters are colorful and animated; the romance is sexy. I am looking forward to Jason’s story line.
The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood Rule #1. Always give 10 stars when book deserves it. Rule #2 Always read a book with a hot sexy snowboarder named Ryder. Rule #3. Always read a book by Jennifer Blackwood for a fun swoon worthy story you can't put down. I absolutely loved Ryder and Zoey they were so fun to watch with all the bantering and chemistry. You are immediately sucked into the story from the first sentence, Jennifer Blackwoods words flow so smoothly. I highly recommend this book, it is so worth your time. I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book.
Jennifer Blackwood packs in the laughter with The Rule Maker (after The Rule Book) and it’s a fun and sexy romance that is thoroughly entertaining. Ryder Covington and Zoey Reynolds had a one night stand months ago that ended badly when he left in the middle of the night without a word. Zoey hasn’t forgot him or their night together and unexpectedly finds him as her client when her design firm is hired to renovate his brother’s company’s new ski resort. Ryder is usually a professional snowboarder traveling extensively and is only in charge of the remodel, because his brother can’t do the job right now and he’s home temporarily to heal from a broken leg. The two are still fiercely attracted to each other, but Zoey is still angry over Ryder’s morning-after behavior and doesn’t trust him. Complicating matters, her company has a firm rule preventing designers from getting personally involved with clients. Sparks fly between them as they struggle to control their desire. Ryder will ultimately have to prove he’s worth Zoey risking her career and her heart to a man whose admits he’s around for a limited time. She is quirky and witty, and she’s The Rule Maker the heart of this enjoyable romantic comedy. ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley, but no one made me write this review and my opinions are honest and my own.
I love second chance romances and this was so much fun! Zoey Reynolds is a talented and ambitious designer. She has been given a huge opportunity by her boss to redesign a big clients new property and she doesn't want to let him down. Unfortunately the clients brother, Ryder, is in charge of the remodel. Ryder Covington doesn't do relationships at all. He and Zoey had one night of passion a few months ago and he broke her heart. Now he is at a cross-roads in his life and the sexy and sassy Zoey is changing his views on everything. But Zoey has her rules that not only protect her job but her heart as well. Ryder has changed and is determined to break down her walls and prove to her that he is worth another shot. He has his work cut out for him because Zoey, no matter how much chemistry they have, is not willing to lose her job for someone who will leave her again. I thought Ryder was so charming, loyal and sweet. Zoey is strong but vulnerable, quirky, funny and clumsy! They challenged each other making a great team on and off the job. I loved their witty banter, their playfulness and their chemistry was explosive. There were so many laugh out loud moments, along with some very touching, heartwarming and passionate moments as well. I really enjoyed this second book in the Rule Breakers series and am looking forward to more!
I didn't read the first book in the series, so I didn't know what to expect with this book. It is a stand alone and I absolutely loved it! What a fun rom com! The first chapter had me laughing out loud. Death by chocolate. It was funny and entertaining and of course a great love story. With all of the laughter, I did get the closing of my throat as Zoey feels wronged by Ryder. The books that can make me feel everything are an easy 5 stars for me because I love an author that can give me everything. Ryder and Zoey were fun. Zoey had a kick butt personality and was a take charge kind of woman. Ryder was a snowboarder who was recovering from an accident and looking for himself a little bit when he ran into Zoey for the second time. I loved that Zoey made Ryder work for everything. This was a great read!
The book blurb snagged me immediately. This sounded like it was going to be a very funny book. While it did have its funny moments, it was actually more serious than I was expecting, but that's not a bad thing. The only thing that truly kept me from loving this book was that I never felt Ryder truly cared about Zoey until almost the end. They met through Ryder's brother, Jason. He hired Zoey to design a property he purchased. Ryder got to know Zoey and ended up sleeping with her. He freaked and snuck out. There was never any intention of him contacting her again. After a horrible accident that Jason was involved in, Ryder stepped up to help with his business. This was how Ryder and Zoey met again. Even working with Zoey, it took Ryder a long time to realize he wanted more with her. I giuess the romantic in me would have preferred Ryder to show he cared more. ARC provided by NetGalley.
I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I really enjoyed reading this one, the characters, the storyline. I will definitely go back and read the previous book.
"I'm yours." Her words obliterated my world. The trust in her eyes, the way she looked at me like I was worth a da**--I'd hit the jackpot." The Rule Marker is the second book in the The Rule Breakers Series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. The Rule Maker follows the story of Zoey and Ryder. Their story is fun, captivating and is just what a second chance romance should be. I was pulled into Ryder and Zoe's story from the very first page. I thought the two of them had amazing chemistry and loved listening to the two of them banter. The more time that I spent with the two of them, the more I couldn't help but root for the two of them to find their happily ever after. The Rule Maker is a great addition to this series. It's fun. It's sexy. It's entertaining. This story will make you laugh. It will frustrate you. It may even have you pulling your hair a little. But, in the end, this story is going to grab you heart and have you swooning and just enjoying all of the feels. Overall, I found this story to be really enjoyable and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.