Breaking the Rules by Jennifer Archer


Breaking the Rules by Jennifer Archer
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (114 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Quince

Sometimes love is worth breaking all the rules.

When Claire Mulligan’s fiancé decides they should become contestants on the popular reality show Eden to win money to save their failing business, she reluctantly agrees. But once filming starts, James seems more interested in the other female contestants than her.

After an impulsive attempt to draw his attention, Claire finds herself naked on the beach during a total island blackout. But instead of James, cameraman Mitch Talbott comes to her rescue. He can’t see her; she can’t see him. But the sparks they generate light up the night.

When morning comes and Claire has disappeared, Mitch decides it’s worth breaking the rules to find his mysterious sea maiden. But will he be able to convince Claire to forget about James and take a risk on him?

Safety and security is something that most people strive for. Sometimes in order to have it one can make his or her life pretty boring on the one hand, and on the other one can end up living someone else’s dreams. That is exactly what was happening to Claire Mulligan when she was persuaded by her fiancé to participate in a reality show. But being reality show contestant was an eye opening experience for her, the one that taught her that sometimes in life it is better to choose adventure and unknown instead of safety and security.

I wanted to read Breaking the Rules from the time when it was published in 2003 in the Heat Wave anthology, because of the high praises by in the reviews. And now that I finally read it I can say that all the reviews were correct. This is a story worth reading.

Breaking the Rules is character driven story. The great characterization is what makes it so funny, interesting and good. Claire is the strongest character, because her transformation from the girl who is always playing safe to the girl who is willing to take chances is driving force of the story. The hero, Mitch Talbott, is regular guy, he is sweet and caring and he knows how and which of Claire’s buttons to push in order for her to make right choices. The dynamic between Claire and Mitch is great and the chemistry is real.

The author also did great characterization of the secondary characters that are put in the context of the reality show. That way she created interesting gallery of secondary characters from attention seeking to back stabber girls and beyond. Archer has done great job choosing not to present Claire’s fiancé as completely heartless cheater and womanizer, but as a complex person who is just not right man for Claire.

Breaking the Rules is very well written story. It is also universal, all time story that can be read in 10 years’ time and it will still be fresh and modern. A good story for any season and any decade.

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