Hi, Liv!This is our first ever joint review. We’re kicking it off with Rules of Entanglement by Gina Maxwell. Her second book in the Fighting for Love Series which features some super hot MMA fighters. Rules of Entanglement is the story of Jax, Lucie’s brother from Seducing Cinderella and her best friend Vanessa. The two must pretend to be an engaged couple in Hawaii in order to make sure that Lucie has the wedding of her dreams. They decide to have fling that will last exactly three days after which they will both go their own way, no harm, no foul. Of course things don’t go as planned and to two fall in love despite what either of them planned.
Thuy: Before we get to the actual discussion, I want to just get off my chest the one thing that sort of annoyed me about the whole premise of the book. It wasn’t that they fell in love after three days (heck, I read romance so I am totally used to that). It was the premise that Jax and Vanessa had to pretend to be Reid and Lucie because of an eccentric wedding planner. I just thought it was far fetched that this wedding planner would be so fabulous as to dictate what the bride and groom had to do. I also thought it was odd that the engaged couple would have to be at the hotel a whole week before the wedding in order to actually plan the wedding. Vanessa and Jax were picking a cake, flowers, the whole shebang. I just can’t imagine any bride doing that one week before her wedding, especially if this place is as elite as they made it out to be. Surely the bride and groom would have had to make some of these decisions way before the wedding week. But that’s my mini rant about that. I suspended my disbelief in order to move on. So Liv – what did you think of Rules of Entanglement?
Liv: Hi Thuy! I can already tell that this is going to be a great discussion. Are there any “realistic” scenarios in contemporary fiction? Seriously, after the first book, where an MMA fighter is playing the role of a “fairy godmother” of sorts, you take issue with the last minute wedding plans in this one? You make me laugh.
But onto the serious stuff…my thoughts on Rules of Entanglement…First, I loved the chemistry between Jax and Vanessa. Both are strong characters in their own way and evenly matched. In some books, I feel like one person in the relationship is much stronger than the other one but here, I felt they each had strengths and weaknesses and complimented each other nicely. The back and forth banter between Jax and Vanessa had me laughing and all of Jax’s nicknames for Vanessa were fun. As a result, my love for the characters probably blinded me to some of the other issues that you mention above. Additionally, the setting is Hawaii which is a great backdrop for a very sexy romance story. I’m still thinking about those Tequila shots and the Waterfall scene. *fans self*
Thuy: Haha – yes, I guess you’re right about unrealistic scenarios. :) I totally agree that Jax and Vanessa had great chemistry. I loved that they were both really strong characters who weren’t afraid to call the other out. Jax was so charming and playful and I could totally see why women loved him. And Vanessa was a total ball buster! I loved that she didn’t fall for Jax’s charm right off the bat and make him work for it. Both of them had their own baggage and it was really interesting to see them both start to trust the other and open up. They had some really hot moments but also some really sweet ones. I also loved the Hawaii setting and reading this made me really want to go there.
Liv: So, what did you think about Vanessa’s rules?
Thuy: While I understood Vanessa’s need for The Rules, I did get frustrated with her because of them. She saw everything in such black and white terms that she was closing herself off to new and positive experiences. I was especially annoyed with her near the end of the book when she wouldn’t talk to Jax after their big fight. After all they had gone through, I wish she would have given him a chance to explain instead of just running off.
Liv: I had mixed thoughts about The Rules. I liked how Maxwell structured the book with 7 days instead of chapters. However, the drawback is it made the book more predictable. You immediately knew from the beginning what would be the conflict. Despite the predictability of the story, it didn’t seem to take away from my enjoyment. As for Vanessa and her refusing to speak with Jax after their fight, I expected that on some level, but I was more disappointed with Vanessa’s lack of support for Lucie in her role as Maid of Honor. Vanessa seemed stronger and more responsible than that.
Any favorite scenes?
Thuy: I agree. The conflict was pretty predictable but Jax and Vanessa had such great chemistry that I wanted to see how it played out. I wish there had been more of a resolution to the situation with V’s sister. It seemed like it was thrown in there as a catalyst for their big showdown but was left unresolved. I really enjoyed the first scene between Jax and Vanessa where she pretty much kicks him to the curb. I don’t know why but I just loved that she wasn’t falling for his charm and was ready to leave him there. Of course the waterfall scene was pretty awesome. There was another scene I loved and I can’t quite remember how it started but it ended up with Vanessa falling asleep with Jax holding her. Cue the “awwwwww.” What about you?
Liv: Yeah, I wonder what ever happened with Vanessa’s sister?! Anyway, as for favorite scenes, I loved the waterfall scene of course. I am a big fan of waterfalls and that one was just hot. And earlier, I mentioned the tequila shots scene was pretty steamy and wonderful. Overall, I loved the book. Maxwell has a way of creating characters and a story that hook me in.
Thuy: Agreed, I had a lot of fun with this book and Maxwell certainly knows how to write characters with great chemistry. I would definitely recommend this to contemporary romance fans.
Liv: 4 stars for a story with one super sexy couple that made me laugh, tear up a little, and *fan myself* throughout the book.
Thuy: 4 stars to this fun, steamy romance set in a tropical paradise with a super hot love/hate relationship.
Visit the author online at www.ginalmaxwell.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @gina_l_maxwell and pinterest