Rating : ★ ★ ★
Rule is a rowdy tattoo artist whose bedroom might as well feature a revolving door. Every Sunday he’s woken up by Shaw, his dead twin’s girl and the glue that is holding his family together. She’s smart, sweet and on track to becoming a doctor.
Shaw is struggling against her parent’s expectations. She’s always been the good girl in nice suits, dressing the part as a future doctor but something doesn’t feel right. She’s tired of being what everyone wants her to be and after a wild night on her 20th birthday party, she finds herself drunk and in Rule’s bed. The Archer boy that she had been in love with since she was 14 years old.
There are some good parts to this story and some yikes. With most romance novels there aren’t a ton of spoilers because generally you expect a happily ever after situation. It’s no shock that things get ironed out in the end, but there are a few things in this book that might turn people away.
First off, Shaw’s ex-boyfriend Gabe is a serious stalker throughout the story and it ends up in a fairly violent confrontation towards the end of the book, I’d say around 70-75% of the way through. A lot of the females featured that aren’t Shaw’s friends are seen as sluts, enemies or a mixture of the two. Everyone is falling over themselves to get to Rule’s pierced manhood. There’s also a moment when they forget the protection and after hearing that Rule sleeps with a different woman a day, even with protection, I cringed and felt a little sick to my stomach. After that time they basically figured “Hey, we’re monogamous now. It’s fine.”
I did notice that over the course of the story Shaw changed, she stopped wearing expensive clothing and started dyeing brown streaks into her platinum blonde hair. She even got pierced in the book. I get feeling liberated and wanting to be the person you feel you are inside, I just felt it was a little forced. I don’t think if she was wound up that tightly from what her parents thought about her that she would just change her appearance so quickly, this was all over about a month.
Let’s talk about what the story got right. While they kinda fetishized tattoo culture and inadvertently called most women who got tattoos skanks, the setting of the tattoo shop and Shaw’s experience getting pierced were pretty true to life. I knew that it would be since the author has a bit of ink herself from the looks of it. It also hit the right notes of a girl who had been in love with someone for years, feeling like she was invisible to him. I’m glad it worked out for Shaw since it usually doesn’t work out like that in real life.
What I really wanted was a nice New Adult Romance about a guy with tattoos or a tattoo artist. I guess I was expecting more. It wasn’t terrible, but just wasn’t that amazing. Both of the main characters were struggling with some pretty screwed up family issues, it kind of got a little annoying and the conflict that pushed the couple apart in the last quarter of the story didn’t feel like it should have been that much of an issue.
I’m not overly attached to the friend group that the subsequent novels are about, but I might go back and check them out if I get bored or need a break between chunky books.