August 25, 2017

REVIEW: Rule Breaker (Rules of Engagement #1)

Rule Breaker (Rules of Engagement #1), by Sienna Snow
Publish Date:
November 1, 2016
Publisher: Forever Romance
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult crime/suspense romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(Synopsis) She controls a technology empire. He controls her.

At just twenty-eight years old, Arya Rey has become queen of the tech world. While she is highly respected as a philanthropist and fearless businesswoman, no one would suspect that beneath her controlled exterior simmers a private passion. A desire never spoken of in Boston’s elite social circles. A need for submission, for satisfaction, for the kind of exquisite pleasure that can only be provided by one man . . . her billionaire ex-lover Maxwell Dane.

It’s been five years since Max and Arya last met. Five years that they’ve longed for the feel of each other’s skin. Max always takes what he wants, and he wants Arya back. But it’s more than the memory of her broken heart that makes her resist. During their time apart, Arya has collected secrets of her own. She can give Max her body, but can she give him the truth?

I love getting sucked down the rabbit hole of a new-to-me author. It was like that for me with Sienna Snow. Rule Breaker was suspenseful and glitzy and so super sexy, and as soon as I was done, I had to read more. And not just because it was obvious that the story arc introduced here wasn't over yet, but because I found myself fully invested in the characters that were introduced.

The characters in the Rules of Engagement series are not your typical 20- and 30-somethings. They are all rich. Like, CRAZY rich. Billionaire with a B rich. And they're all brilliant, too. But, Rule Breaker drives home the point that, even though our main characters are beautiful and rich and smart, that does not mean that they can't still be idiots and do dumb things when it comes to love and relationships.

Rule Breaker is a second-chance love story. Arya and Max had a very intense relationship five years earlier until Max ended things abruptly and broke Arya's heart. Arya threw herself into her tech and security work and between she and her two best friends, she hid herself away from Max in an attempt to forget. Five years later, Arya and her friend Milla's company was just merged with another company in a billion-dollar deal - and the company it is now intertwined with is Max's. He's spent this time planning how to get her back, and it's time to set his plan in action. 

Max is absolutely a force of nature. He is determined and possessive and alpha to the millionth degree. And dominant doesn't even cover it. In ALL ways. Initially, when I learned of his and Arya's back story, I was totally in favor of Arya blowing him off forever. Or at least making him grovel. A lot. But, Max isn't the groveling type, so I remained firmly in Arya's corner for a long time as she continued to try and deny that she still loved him. 

But, Max does apologize. And through his actions, he won me over. Completely. Yes, he's overbearing and steamrolls Arya half the time, but his motivation was clear. Everything he did was done out of love and concern for Arya. And Arya definitely deserved his concern, since she has some really dangerous people after her for what's inside her brain. 

The ending is scary and suspenseful and exciting. And, although Arya's and Max's story of getting together reaches a conclusion in Rule Breaker, it's clear that the danger isn't over - it just gets transferred to her BFF and business partner Milla. 

Arya, Max, Milla, Lex, Carmen and Thomas are all compelling characters with so much story to tell. In addition to the romantic suspense, there's also a very rich BDSM thread woven in (Max also owns a BDSM club - I mean, what billionaire wouldn't?). Rule Breaker has a little bit of everything to thrill a wide variety of romance lovers. Be prepared for an exciting and steamy ride. 

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