Three Rules

Three Rules

by Marie Drake


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What if the secret you believed was your most awful, shocking, and shameful wasn't truly the worst thing you kept locked deep inside your mind? What if you thought you'd survived the worst thing that could happen to you and you were wrong?
Joey Bishop has loved Hope Wellman since they were children, but Hope finds it difficult to love anyone else when she is less than fond of herself. Turning twenty-one, she carries a childhood full of horrific memories, a bone chilling recurring nightmare, and a persistent paranoid sense of being followed that she would rather keep repressed. Is evil reaching from beyond the grave to capture the tattered remnants of her soul once and for all? Is it only a machination of her disturbed mind? Is there something more sinister than even she can imagine happening?
Attending the funeral of her abuser is the first step in putting her life back together. She struggles with never telling anyone what happened to her, and that the grave they are mourning over is empty. She'd find it a lot easier to move on and believe in the future if he were in the box, waiting for a blanket of dirt. She fears the last thread of her sanity has snapped when she sees Lucas everywhere she turns, and can't escape a recurring nightmare. Is her tormentor alive, or does she imagine it? Do past fears trigger her dreams or are they a prediction of the future?
Will Hope realize the depth of Joey's devotion and accept his love, or will her temporary feeling of relief be shattered by an even harsher reality and end her wishes for a better future?

Quoted from Three Rules:
"I have learned three rules in my life: 1.) The most dangerous people in the world are not always strangers. 2.) The scariest things imaginable are not those that can kill you, but those you can live through. And probably the most prominent: 3.) The most horrible possibility is not what could happen to you, but what you could become - I became a killer."
~Hope Wellman

"Three Rules" was a semifinalist in the 2014 Best Kindle Book Awards Contest and captured the Bronze Medal in the 2015 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards Contest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492772903
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/24/2013
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Marie Drake lives with her husband and their four wonderful sons in a small town near Lake Ontario. Her entire family enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter. Their rescued Jack Russell/Corgi mix makes their family complete.
She is a crochet fanatic. She designs her own patterns and enjoys crocheting for friends, family, and charity. She loves to cook and bake, especially when making up a new recipe. Marie is an avid reader of romance, mystery, and suspense thrillers.
She is a woman of many interests - and maybe talents - but will be quick to tell you that her most important and proudest accomplishment is the part she played in the lives of children. She provided daycare for over ten years, and she and her husband fostered more than fifteen children over a five year period.
While juggling all her boys' sporting events, academic, musical, and other extra curricular activities, and running a small home based business designing crochet afghan patterns, she tries to squeeze in some time for writing each day.
Thank you for taking the time to read this book. Perhaps you'll feel inclined to leave some feedback by posting a review. It would be much appreciated. You can also email the author @ or visit her website @

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Three Rules 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
CayceCampaign7 More than 1 year ago
This is an unforgettable story about a young woman named Hope Wellman. Hope has hidden horrors she lives through day after day. Memories of abuse, memories she can't forget. After attending the funeral of her tormentor, she struggles to release her pain and admit to what happened. This story will grip you and never let's you go and the'll just have to read and find out. I recommend this story to teenagers and adults alike, you will not be disappointed.
kimmythegreat More than 1 year ago
**Book was provided by the author for an honest review** The story is about a young woman named Hope. She is going through her life day by day unhappy, unfulfilled and repressing the most awful of memories from her past. Drowning herself in the family business, the running of the Hideaway Hotel, Hope is brought out of her slumber by the death of her uncle, Lucas Wellman. Having to go back to her childhood home to attend his funeral, Hope faces the demons she's been hiding from her whole life. While Hope struggles with her nightmares and paranoia, the lives of the people she loves start to crash and burn around her slowly but surely, and while in the crook of things, Hope discovers new horrors that she could have possibly prevented. Hope's family dynamic was somewhat complicated. Hope's mother, Carol, left her father when she was still pregnant with Hope. She met Luther Wellman while working as a maid for the Bishops, a prestigious family. If I recall correctly, Hope was about three years of age at the time. Luther has brothers but all from different fathers. His half-brother, Lucas, was also interested in Carol, and there was a tiff between the two brothers that caused a lot of tension in their relationship throughout their lives. Michael was another half-brother, and then there was their mother Helena. The Wellmans were a rich family, but Luther had always wanted to earn his way and not live off the fat of the family. He started a chain of hotels with his best friend, Frederick Bishop, just around the time Luther met Carol. So, Hope grows up with the Bishops' children, Joseph and Karen. Joey is Hope's age, and Karen is five years younger. The story was pretty methodical and twisted which is what kept me glued to my Kindle! We start out at a funeral where there is no body! Then, to pull you in further, we have a unexpected pregnancy with a very outlandish story behind it! Then, you have this weird feeling that your being watched, but you're not sure because you're a little on the paranoid side already. The book just gave me the heeby jeebies, and that was my first major clue that I was totally involved and loving the story! The author takes us inside the head of an abused child, and it was eerily accurate and very disturbing. My empathy felt so real that just the mention of Hope's abuser made me very tense and angry. I struggled with grasping how her own family, the ones closest to her, didn't know just by how Hope acted and was closed off that something very serious was wrong with her! I truly enjoyed the fact that Hope had such a good friend in Joey though. Joey was her rock, her protector, her best friend, and he was in love with her. If it weren't for Joey, I'm not sure Hope would have made it this far in life. As secrets are uncovered and the mystery slowly unravels, Hope is finally able to start a new life with Joey and to face her demons by finally telling someone what happened to her all those years ago. And just like any great thriller, the story takes an outrageous twist and shocks the hell out of me! Ok, I was suspecting something was up, but what I thought and what was real were two totally different things! And while I'm on this topic, what the hell is up with the cell phone being dead?? It's like when you're watching a horror movie and the victim sees a clear path to the door that leads to safety. Well, same thing, just the mention of anyone's cell phone needing to be charged is a **BIG CLUE** something bad is about to happen and their cell phone is going to be dead, like them! If you want to truly have me screaming in fear that this person has a 99.9% chance of dying, then don't mention the cell phone needing to be charged right before the danger comes! The scene would have been more climactic if not for that, but it was still good, I'm just giving you an FYI is all... So if you're looking for a good thriller, suspense, heart-wrenching book, then I highly recommend Three Rules! This book had all the makings of a great thriller with characters you totally love and hate, root for and scream at, want to see die a painful death and want to see live happily ever after!
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Suzanne Cowles for Readers' Favorite The book is simply titled Three Rules, but the story that leads to the formation of the rules is tragic, although the ending is not a tragedy. That is how complex the plot woven by author Marie Drake, who tells a fictional tale of her own personal suffering and life experiences. With courage to talk about a closed-door subject and a will to break the cycle of abuse, we follow main character Hope as she attends her stepfather’s funeral. The opening sets the tone of a dreadful saga where Hope’s past haunts her; she is plagued by horrific nightmares and feels worthless, controlled and paranoid. Hope needs closure but can’t get it and panic attacks ensue. The secret is disturbing and the silence is soul crushing, yet the weight of the truth squelches her voice. Nevertheless, despite all this, in the end the truth is set free. With the help of her psychiatrist and the endearing love of a childhood friend, Hope has promise for a fresh start free of the chains that had bound her heart. The most powerful aspect of this book is the Three Rules: the harsh reality that sexual abuse is often by someone known and trusted, surviving violence only to be victimized another day is worse than death, and that negative events can change who we are into a monster. Those things are evident as Hope experiences them firsthand. This is a well-crafted story where Marie Drake’s talent and passion for writing comes through. It is inspiring that her memories of pain and anger toward the abuser could be transformed into a positive and entertaining creation. Marie Drake’s Three Rules is an unexpected gem, devoid of graphic offense yet spine tingling enough to disturb.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite Three Rules by Marie Drake is an absorbing, occasionally puzzling read, but for a good reason: Marie wants to keep the reader guessing, and she certainly succeeds in doing so. At the heart of this fictional story is child sexual abuse, but while the circumstances are made up, the emotions, reactions and fears of the protagonist, Hope, are very real. Any victim of child sexual abuse, especially by a relative, will immediately identify with what Hope feels in Three Rules. Hope suffers from flashbacks, confused memories, nightmares and depression, even years after the abuse has stopped, all of which arouses tension and curiosity in the reader. We want to know what is this really all about? Who is the abuser? Is it whom Hope believes it is or is there something else going on with her family? Hope wants to be normal, but she has difficulty responding to males, even one she loves, her childhood friend, Joey. To add even more intrigue, Marie tosses in greedy, self-serving adults, another abused child, a policeman determined to get to the bottom of a mysterious disappearance and circumstances that just don't add up. All of it keeps the reader of Three Rules turning the pages.  Besides being an interesting read, Three Rules has an important message about the devastating and long-term effects of silence on all victims of child sexual abuse. This, in itself, makes Marie Drake's book a very worthwhile read. With reasonable-length chapters, a colourful cast of characters, some romance and lots of suspense, women especially will enjoy Three Rules.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Author Anna del C. Dye for Readers' Favorite Three Rules By Marie Drake is a book that deals with child abuse, in this case the author’s own abuse. The author has done an awesome job with this story. Three Rules was written as fiction in order to make it an enjoyable read, but many of the thought processes, feelings and reactions to the abuse are real. It is so hard to believe what humans are capable of doing to other humans, especially children in the name of...what? There are so many forms of abuse in the world that it overwhelms me. Most of us have dealt with abuse in different forms over the course of our lives. Most often it is inflicted on us by those who should have protected us or kept us safe. In this book we find the powerful but not graphic details of another victim and how she overcame it.  In this story, Hope is a young woman turning twenty-one. She is dealing with the death of her tormentor, but there are other things in her life that she needs to deal with, too. The death of her tormentor does nothing to help her deal with a lot of her fears and heartaches in order to move on with her life, free once and for ever. Marie Drake states in her book, Three Rules, “Most of all, I wanted to express how important it is to encourage the discussion of abuse. In my book, as in my life, silence is the enemy.” These are words that I have heard many times before from victims of abuse, and that we as parents or adults do not take to heart to prevent this horrible disease from spreading. It was a pleasure to read this book and it was hard to put it down. It is a book full of mystery, drama and a great page-turner. It will be loved by teenagers and adults.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite “I have learned three rules in my life: 1.) The most dangerous people in the world are not always strangers. 2.) The scariest things imaginable are not those that can kill you, but those you can live through. And probably the most prominent: 3.) The most horrible possibility is not what could happen to you, but what you could become. I became a killer. I took another life.” These are the words that Hope Wellman lives by. All of her life she believed that the wicked one was dead and that she would no longer live under his reign of controlled terror. But there were words that haunted her: A promise is a promise. No matter how far beneath the ground her Uncle Lucas was, those five words sent a chill through her body that no warm hug could erase. Marie Drake has created a moving story of physical and psychological abuse. In her novel Three Rules, Drake brings to life the emotions and fears of the abused. It is unsettling that this happens every day in our society and it is most often very easily hidden from unsuspecting eyes.  It is difficult to overcome personal emotion when writing about a subject so “close to home.” Because the author added discussion questions at the end of the book, I can easily see this as a book club activity that would create a passionate round table discussion. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite Three Rules is the story of Hope Wellman who suffered abuse at the hands of her stepfather’s brother Lucas. At the story opens, Hope is attending the funeral of her abuser and she slowly unravels the story of how she came to be a Wellman and the horrors she had to endure. Hope wants to put the past behind her, but she learns it is not as simple as wishing it so, and struggles to move past her current fear and inner pain. Since the body of Lucas was never recovered, moving forward is truly difficult due to the constant fear that he will return. Marie Drake captures the fear, anxiety and desperation fantastically, allowing us to experience Hope’s past pain and her current anxiety and torment along with her. Three Rules is more than a melancholy story about the recovery of an abuse victim. It is a mystery and a drama and a work of incredible strength. There is something strange going on with her stepfather Luther, which is causing tension between Hope and her best friend Joey, whom she also happens to be in love with, and that is where things really start to unfold. Nothing is as it appears to be and Marie Drake presents these details beautifully. She never makes the connections obvious, but the reader can always see how the mistakes could have been made. Hope, although fragile, is a survivor and that makes all the dysfunction and horror in this story bearable. Where most would have been broken, Hope is fractured but willing to be whole again, giving Three Rules the glimmer of hope running through almost every page. The three rules Hope reveals at the end are phenomenal, with that ingrained element of truth valid for so many different aspects of life.
BookWorm2014 More than 1 year ago
Three Rules was about a woman named Hope. As she is nearing 21 years old she attends the funeral of someone who abused her in secret her whole life. Being a survivor of abuse myself I can tell you that this author captures the mind of an adult survivor perfectly, which is what sucked me into the novel quickly. I loved that it was written in first person, it was almost like reading her diary. I couldn't help being moved by Hopes emotional story of growing up with the trauma happening to her at home. Knowing that the abuser was dead helped a little... at the beginning. When Hope remembered the actual abuse it was cringe worthy... without getting graphic at all the author manages to put you there with her, the smell of his breath, the way his hands felt. Struggling to cope with her life now as an adult Hope seems to be making progress..... then the whole story starts turning around.... a great mystery ... some awesome action scenes... and an ending that I NEVER expected!!!!!!!! I give this book five stars. Great twists and turns, well written, and an awesome message that it's ok to tell someone if you are being hurt.
spnieme More than 1 year ago
Author Marie Drake did an OUTSTANDING job when writing "Three Rules". The main character's story, Hope Wellman, is so original and the way the author describes her disease (yes, I said disease because I believe paranoia to that extent is a disease) is just chilling to my spine. Her paranoia keeps her from anything and everything in her life, including from being with the love of her life. The second main character, Joey Bishop, is so in love with Hope from the moment they met when they were children. His love for her is so undoubtable and he tries everything in his power for them to be together, but Hope's disease is bigger than the both of them and bigger than they can imagine.  In closing, this is a tale of a girl that lives a life of constant fear and she allows for it to ruin her life. While Joey Bishop tries to win her love and fight against anything and anyone to be with Hope. I loved this book because it was full of romance, deception, sadness, and happy times also. It gives you a look at something different, but so interesting. 5 stars and thumbs up for this work of art that I assure you won't put down from start to finish!
Mrs1000 More than 1 year ago
Very well told story that had the ability to make you aware that it is not a story for many. This was a page turner that I completed in 2 days. Would have been sooner if not for work. I would image it is hard material to work with, but the author does so effortlessly. She is to be commended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like to sleep at night. It makes everything go sooo much better the next day. That is why I generally avoid reading Gothic or Horror novels. So normally after reading the prologue of "Three Rules" by Marie Grace and realizing that the heroine was a tortured soul haunted by the memories of abuse in her childhood, I would have put the book aside. Marie, however, had graciously provided me with this book so that I could review it. It hardly seems fair to abandon it so early. I checked the clock, 2:38 PM, and decided to try a few more pages as I could put it down any time and still have enough time to relax and avoid a sleepless night. HA! By the end of chapter one I am captivated by the characters and am surprised that the running first person narrative describing the thoughts of the heroine feel insightful and honest. The story line has gripped my interest. I read on and finish in one sitting. This is not an easy, feel good read. The subject of childhood sexual abuse and the consequences as they are revealed in family dynamics and personal pain is a difficult. The overlying mood is dark and frightening just as Grace's life is. The plot, while well paced and engaging, is just plain eerie. This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is a novel that will capture your imagination and stay with you a long while. The last discussion question at the end of the story is: Would you recommend this book to a friend? My answer is that I can not recommend it without adding a warning. BEWARE! This story may force you out of your protective she'll and make you actually think. And there is a twist at the end that is worth the wait.
chelleq More than 1 year ago
I have a friend who picks her romance books to read by looking at the covers. Just by looking at the cover for this book, it definitely got my attention. The storyline just hooks you right away and makes you want to keep reading just to find out what happens next. This is not for the faint of heart but if you can handle what happens, it will keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next. Hope is definitely a survivor and I am glad that she was able to open up first to Joey and then to a therapist as to what happened to her growing up. It's such a pity that Hope's mom ends up living with the type of person that she tried to run away from to begin with. I was able to pick up on a lot of Hope's traits from what happen and the reasons why, having some of those traits myself. The style of writing was different but it was an easy read and kept me hooked until the very end.
RuralMom More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most powerfully emotional and genera encompassing books I have ever read! It isn't a romance; but the unconditional love that Joey has for Hope inspired me to love more deeply. It isn't a thriller; but the constant twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first page. It isn't a psychological drama; but the mental and emotional impact of long term abuse are flawlessly integrated into Hope's psyche. It isn't a suspense; but the burning need to know what was really happening, and how the story ended kept me awake long past my bedtime. In the end, I was wrong on all previous accounts. Three Rules is a romance, a thriller and a drama. It is the story of one woman's will to survive and face her deepest fears in order to find the truth about herself.  It's a story that contains pain, suffering, heartache and betrayal. It made me gasp in horror, thirst for revenge, and cry both tears of sorrow and joy. If you have never read a story about abuse; read this one. If you don't think it's your cup of tea, try it anyway. The writing is flawless, the character building is complex, and the emotions will leave you stunned. Marie Drake has a gift for story-weaving that will touch you; and if you happen to have better luck categorizing this genera than I did, you are a better reader than I! A copy of Three Rules was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
LoriannJ More than 1 year ago
I received Three Rules from author, Marie Drake, in return for my honest review.  Thank you Ms. Drake. Three Rules is a very good book with multiple plot twists and turns.  I was horrified by the monstrous sexual abuse Hope suffered at the hands of a trusting family member.  That this actually happens in real life and not just in books/movies is atrocious and unthinkable.  I followed Hope's story throughout extremely closely with a very protective eye.  I still feel for her.  I am very happy to have read Three Wishes, I won't forget about this book for a very long time, if ever.
ReviewYou More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the most difficult reviews I've had to write.  It's a tremendous challenge to put in to words the magic an author uses which draws you so deeply into the persona of a character, you find yourself transforming into said character as you read. This is exactly what Marie Drake does in "Three Rules". She has taken on a difficult subject to write about, and has handled it masterfully.  Her characterization of the protagonist Hope, is spot on, true to life as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. A survivor herself, she handles this subject as tastefully as it is possible without "gory" details or the shock effect some others have resorted to. Her talent as a writer is so great, she doesn't need to.  The story does not end here however. "Three Rules" contains an addicting dose of suspense which twists and builds (almost unbearably) as the pages fly through the reader's fingers. Marie Drake has skillfully woven a story which is near impossible to put down and one that will not quickly be forgotten. I hope to read more by this author. The most "real" fiction I've ever read. Unforgettable. I highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys suspense or simply a great book!
BellaReadz More than 1 year ago
An excellently written novel that is almost impossible to put down once you start reading. Try it, you’ll see. I only intended to read a few chapters one night and ended up reading over 75%! (Would’ve kept going if my dang Kindle hadn’t died!) The pacing was fabulous, and although there were some minor punctuation and grammar things along the way, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment any. I could’ve done with so much of the novel being told in italics though. One or two sentences here and there are ok, but it seemed almost as if half the book is italicized. That’s something that readers (including myself) might find off-putting. But the story and plot and characters were fabulous. Really kept my interest in a way that few books have lately. I’d love to read more from Marie Drake in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was sucked into Three Rules from the opening pages, and was hooked until the very end. Marie Drake writes with such force and the perfect amount of descriptions that really paint the scene and you feel like you are in Hope’s shoes. I was never bored, in fact, the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. It wasn’t predictable at all for me, and I was surprised at how much I was creeped out in this book. If I had one complaint it would be the excessive use of italics throughout. I really wish the author would have not used them to show changes of scene and time as they aren’t actually necessary (when written the right way) and reading so much italicized text is annoying for many readers and they will want to skim it. But overall a very good read that I would definitely recommend to family and friends with the warning that it is quite dark and twisted. In a good way!
SDecker More than 1 year ago
Wow, what an intense, gritty and heart wrenching novel! You can tell the author has experience in this dark subject matter (as she states in her bio) and it really shows through in her writing. The actions, thoughts, dialogue… it all feels so authentic and genuine it moved me in more ways than one. I found myself just having to read more and more unable to put it down. I hope Ms. Drake writes more in the future as she seems to have a real knack for this intense, psychological thriller/mystery genre. I found it to be well written and with believable characters and an unpredictable plot that was disturbing, yet strangely addictive.
KMatthews More than 1 year ago
First, I must commend Marie Drake on writing such a brave novel when she herself has a history of abuse (as stated in her Amazon Biography and at the end). I was surprised by how much I really got caught up in this story, and I actually ended up liking it much more than I expected to. I think it’s because the author clearly knows what she’s talking about, and the story just rings true, if that makes sense. “Three Rules” just crawls in under your skin and will take ahold of your imagination in a way you don’t think is possible. While there were some slow parts with a bit too much narrative ‘telling’ for my tastes, and the ending felt a bit abrupt, I still give this book a well-deserved 5 stars for the sheer complexity of the original tapestry of events and emotions, and the fact that the author did such a skillful job in navigating some pretty explosive landmines in a sensitive subject. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved reading this! Well written, I couldn't put it down! I had to search under the author's name to find it.
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
I received this book to give an honest review as part of a blog tour. It was hard to rate this book I was so intrigued with the story line that I wanted to give it a full 5 rating but as it progressed I went from 4.5 to a solid 4.  My heart broke for Hope and what she had to go through during her childhood. And let me say this I am glad there was not any type of details as I do believe I would have been crying my eyes out.  I enjoyed the suspense within the story line, I enjoyed the love that Joey had for Hope even though it took them years to bring it to light.  The author did a good job with writing about the child abuse and making it to where she was sensitive to the readers. There was plenty of twist and turns and made me wonder is the dead man really dead? And will Hope's secret ever get out? You do go back and forth from the present to the past but it is not where you would be confused.  What made me drop my rating is how Hope seemed to handle some of the situations. The way that she did act sometimes I just couldn't really see it happening that way. Also when she found out the truth of her past I didn't get how she didn't know who this person was. I could understand her blocking it out but how come she didn't just know that it was this person. They didn't seem to be a like in any way but I could be wrong about that. If you are looking for a good read one that will keep you wondering on what is truly going on then give this book a try.