“Ten Steps to Surviving a New Job:
1. Don’t sleep with the client. It’ll get you fired. (Sounds easy enough.)
2. Don’t blink when new client turns out to be former one-night stand.
3. Don’t call same client a jerk for never texting you back.
4. Don’t believe client when he says he really, really wanted to call.
5. Remember, the client is always right—so you can’t junk punch him when he demands new design after new design.
6. Ignore accelerated heartbeat every time sexy client walks into room.
7. Definitely ignore client’s large hands. They just mean he wears big gloves.
8. Don’t let client’s charm wear you down. Be strong.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the client. You’ll lose more than your job—maybe even your heart.
10. If all else fails, see rule number one again.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
The Rule Maker written by Jennifer Blackwood is the second book in The Rule Breakers Series. Add it on Goodreads!
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I have read the first book in the series – The Rule Book (add it on Goodreads) Which is about an assistant falling for the owner of the company she works for. I absolutely loved it.
I hope to re-read it soon and write a blog review shortly. When I do I will make sure to post a link shortcut here.
I have this need to start off this review by stating that I love Jennifer Blackwood’s writing style. JUST LOVE. Most female lead characters are explained as normal or somewhat put together. In both books in the Rule Breaker series, the main female’s CRACK ME UP. Their lives are anything but put together. One mishap after the next. One accident that if it happened to me I would be mortified, but reading it happen to them has me almost in tears.
This book did not disappoint on the hilarious level. It also had a cute and realistic story line. Not so fairy tale, which I seem to love more. Makes me think that romance novels can actually happen to people in real life – I know, yeah right.
Zoey Reynold’s life is definitely anything but perfect. She is accident prone and with each mistake and mishap she adds another rule to her list to make sure it doesn’t happen again. She is a designer and is helping out Jason Covington with his newly purchased resort on a mountain. With an accidental night spent with her previous one night stand from 3 months ago things could not go as planned. Jason had a serious accident also 3 months prior and has not wanted to leave his house since, leaving his brother Ryder in control of the company and this resort. Ryder just so happens to be the exact person Zoey had a one night stand with in November. Did I mention it was Valentines day when the two got snowed into the resort? They do their best to stay away from each other during the renovations, but of course as time goes on and more things get done and explanations of why Ryder never called Zoey after their night together, they start getting close again. Both of them help heal old wounds, and also help Jason heal some of his ghosts from his accident. Will Pro-Snowboarder Ryder heal after his accident that happened in January? Will he be able to heal in time to make it to spring training, which happens to start the same day as the big reveal of the new resort that him and Zoey worked so hard on? Will Zoey be able to make it again with getting so close to Ryder, and then him leaving? Or will something life changing happen and they’ll both realize where they really belong and need to do in life to be happy? I do promise there is a HEA!
I love this series, and I am absolutely rooting for another book in its line-up. Hopefully something about Jason! Also I really enjoyed being able to see where Lainey and Brogan – from the first book -are in their relationship, since Zoey and Lainey are best friends.
Check out my review on Goodreads or check out my longer review and summary below!
Long review with all the spoilers so SPOILER ALERT!
Zoey Reynolds lives her life by rules and we find out rule #1 real quick. Never eat while driving. It’s Valentines Day and lets just say her love life is lacking, well everything. The best remedy is a chocolate pick me up. Well up until she starts chocking on said chocolate while going through her e-mails and gets one from Jason Covington. The brother of Ryder Covington. The same Ryder she hooked up with 3 months prior. Jason owns property that Zoey has previous worked on, and he is asking that she checks out his newest land in Mount Rainier. Zoey is in such shock of everything coming back to her that the piece of chocolate is lodged in her throat so good that she has to throw herself against her steering wheel to get it out. Scary for her. Funny for readers. But that’s not the only thing that will be embarrassing for her.
She gets to the property and is already hating the layout and design. While on the phone with Jason her number two fear decides to make an appearance. Spiders. In her eyes this one is not a normal spider but so big and furry, it’s Chewbacca like. This causes a major freak out so big that she screams and throws her phone accidentally out the window. Jason, who yes was still on the line during this mishap, keeps calling back and Zoey has to answer it ASAP.
So she does the most logical thing she could think of and throw half her body out the window to grab the phone out of the bush it landed in. Somehow without falling out she grabs it, but just then the piece of wood she put in there to keep it open falls out and the heavy ass window lands on her squishing her between the glass and window sill. She tries the best she can to finish the conversation with Jason about how he is having one of his men stop by for a few things and should be there shortly. Zoey desperately tried to get herself out but had no such luck and waited out for one of Jason’s associates to arrive.
Nothing could be more embarrassing right? Negative. It gets worse. The associate is Ryder freaking Covington, remember me mentioning him? The guy who has ruined sex for her since last November after their one night stand. Not only that, but let me repeat it’s Valentines day, this is not the day to be seeing an ex-lover let alone be caught in such a predicament. But once again it doesn’t 100% get better from there. Her skirt is bunched up and he just so happens to see and starts teasing her about her Flash underwear. The type that is red and has a big lightening bolt flash symbol for the superhero character. It was laundry day. She was so flushed from awkwardness that she didn’t even want to ask why Pro-Snowboarder Ryder was on crutches and had a black boot on his leg.
Then this is where things are about to get interesting! It starts snowing pretty good and there is no way she is going to be able to leave the resort she is at that is located on the mountain. And when she looks out the window Ryder’s truck is still there. Peachy.
We get to read Ryder’s side for a little bit and somewhat why he never called Zoey after they hung out a few times and then had sex one drunken night. He is a typical guy that isn’t ready to settle down. Loves the thrill of women, and many of them. Plus he never thought he’d see her again, let alone be stuck in a closed resort with her due to snow storm.
Thanks to her wonderful stomach reminding Zoey she is hungry, she is almost all but forced to take Ryder’s offer of coming to his room for a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. Things aren’t going too bad for them, easy talk back and forth, so she decides to stay in his room and have some company. ONLY and I do mean only because her phone was at 6% battery life left. Damn cellphones needing to be charged all the time. The next thing she knows is she is on her back and Ryder is on top of her, bringing back all these glorious and delicious memories of that night they shared. Even though Zoey was very much so enjoying this spot, she clears her head and rushes out of there, for the safety of her own quiet and lonely room.
The next morning Zoey halls her ass out of the resort like it’s the last place she ever wanted to be at. Which is actually probably accurate. Ryder is somewhat disappointed that she left without a goodbye, so he calls his brother and asks for a favor. During the phone call we find out that his bro Jason was also involved in an accident. Just two months prior to whatever happened to Ryder. Unfortunately Jason seemed to be not taking it so well and was paralyzed from the waist down.
Due to this injury he doesn’t want to go anywhere which is how we find Ryder sitting in Zoey’s office waiting for her to talk business about the designs of the resort. Ryder is taking over some of the business while Jason heals emotionally.
Later that day Ryder gets a call from his pro-snowboarding manager. Even though he has only been out for 28 days, sponsors are already dropping him. Ryder had hopes that after rehab and working out that he would be able to make it back for the next season, but sponsors and his manager beg to differ. Right after that call he gets a call from his bitch of a grandmother who owns the company Jason and technically Ryder work for. She is claiming that Jason is losing his mind since the accident – where we finally find out what happened to Jason at least – he was snowboarding a charity event for Ryder and got into an accident. Ryder seems to think it’s his fault, so even though his not so lovely grandma is telling him to sell the land, it would be a better investment, Ryder does not want to let Jason down again.
We did however find out that Ryder has somewhat of a heart and wasn’t being a completely douchey mcdouche. The night that he left Zoey in the middle of the night after they had sex, what the same night he got the call that Jason had his accident. He was so caught up in that and guilt that he forgot to call Zoey, and he thought that it was only a one time thing. No big deal, family was more important and all anyways.
After days of Ryder not contacting Zoey about the resort agreement, they run into each other at a bar, due to mutual friends. We seem to find out the full accident with Jason about the charity snowboarding event. He hit his neck on a rail causing spinal issues that made him paralyzed from the waist down. We don’t know if this is a temporary thing or not, and I am desperately rooting for his brother to get out of this depression and also become miraculously healed! The two end up playing “Would you rather” for the second time – first being while they were stuck in the resort during the snow storm – and I have a feeling this little game will become something more important or cute later in the book.
BEST. NEWS. EVER. HGTV wants to showcase the new resort in 6 weeks once it’s all finished. Zoey and Ryder make a deal that they will run some errands to get some design ideas and samples and then he will go to Jason and see if he is okay with agree to this publicity. When they get in the Uber to run to get some fabric samples they are faced up close and personal with a pregnant pygmy goat. No surprise here that Ms. Disasters Seek Me Zoey would turn into a big problem with this goat. Bertha the “lovely” goat seems to love floral scents and that’s just what Zoey’s hair smells like. So after some persuasion of a granola bar, he dropped her hair. Ruining her Pinterest style hair – which trust me is not easy, because basically every cute idea you find on Pinterest usually fails or takes forever – then she finds out that she got a pretty sweet haircut also. Well it wasn’t sweet, but you get the drift.
That weekend Ryder, Zoey and Jason head up to the resort to check some things out. It was time for Jason to get some fresh air and realize that he doesn’t have to hide since the accident. Ryder and Jason went sledding down the same hill their mother used to take them before she passed and it melted Zoey’s heart to watch Ryder being so kind and wonderful to his brother.
Ryder is a little full of himself and buys some snowboarding stuff for Zoey, in hopes that she’ll let him teach her. He was right and they had a blast figuring out the rights and wrongs with Zoey’s first time snowboarding. The sexual tension was off the charts the whole time and just kept getting worse and worse until finally Zoey broke it. They were playing their favorite “would you rather game” when Zoey asked “would you rather have me now or later?” and instantly they were making out and rushing back into the resort to continue this somewhere warm. No surprise that while Zoey was getting some mind blowing oral that they were interrupted by the working crew coming back from lunch. Zoey freaks out and runs off, telling him they shouldn’t have done this. Ryder can agree that maybe the location wasn’t right, but having her again is not going to be a mistake.
After a week of Zoey ignoring his texts and only talking business, Ryder finally got Zoey to go on a date with him. Although she would call it a work thing, but it was definitely a date. A new winery opened up and Jason was thinking about selling some of the wine at the resort, that’s the only reason Zoey planned to go. Just for work, MOST DEFINITELY NOT A DATE. Keep telling yourself that, Z…
When they go out, Zoey finally changes her mind about it being a date and also finally lets whatever this is between them happen. After a few too many glasses of wine and a perfect date, Ryder takes her home. Sweet, sweet Ryder is nothing but a gentlemen and takes care of her, and even cuddles – after a mishap with her cat, lets just say he has a few battle wounds on his leg. During their cuddle session, where he told her he wouldn’t do anything when she was drunk and also thanked her for giving him a second chance. In response, zoey drunkenly said out loud “Just don’t hurt me, Ryder. I think I could fall for you.” Oh goodness, hopefully this doesn’t freak poor Ryder out.
The next morning, Zoey wakes up with cotton mouth and the feeling of regret for what she might of said to Ryder. All that worry was erased when he woke up next to her and they started making out. Which you know leads to things…. like sex! Fina-freaking-lly! The both agreed that their adults, and even though they wish they could wake up like that everyday, that they need to keep it somewhat cool at work because Zoey’s boss can not find out.
Didn’t last long for them considering later that day they were painting one of the rooms and started a paint fight, which turned into heavy flirting and Jason happening to over hear that flirting. Zoey shut it down, her nerves were pretty high up until later that night when Ryder and her texted and he was being super sweet and telling her things that would make her feel better about those nerves and acting like he knows her better than anyone ever has.
The next day, Ryder is helping out a friend from College go engagement ring shopping and he had a light bulb moment realizing that Zoey has lighted up his life. Saying
“Zoey didn’t quite light up my life—more like incinerated it with a blow torch. I’d happily walk through the flames with her.”
Zoey was trying to be all lovey and make some amazing brownies for Ryder (even though she is horrible at cooking, and her roommate Lainey has banned her from the kitchen) and once again she should of never cooked. She seemed to forget about those yummy brownies and took a shower. She was reminded just as she was getting out when the smoke alarm went off and the sprinklers in the apartment start going off. Of course this is the time Ryder happens to show up. Zoey is completely naked, screaming over the smoke alarm, sprinklers going off everywhere. Ryder helps take care of things, while she gets dressed and helps clean up. Such a good sex buddy, since they haven’t labeled what they were doing. It’s getting closer and closer to the restore for the resort being done and for pretend CEO to go back to Pro-snowboarding or at least hopefully he will make a full recovery…. Well hopefully for Ryder, and maybe not for Zoey.
Ryder hits the snow hills again and after talking to his manager he has some great news! When he shares it with Zoey and her friends at the bar, she is in shock but tries to hide it. Running off to the bathroom trying to hold back her tears because in less than a week Ryder will be off hours away from training and then after that Chili. At least he is staying for the HGTV interview for support, but what does this mean for them? She felt like he was almost a boyfriend, that she was falling for him. Which she tells him just that later that night, where he tells her first that he is falling for her. That he wants to try long distance, even though he has tried it before and it has failed, but that was with someone that was not her. No one comes close to her. After some puurfect sex Ryder tells her that he is more than falling for her and
“I’ll always be yours, no matter how far away I am.”
SWOOOOOON my heart.
Ryder and Jason’s grandmother calls saying that there is an urgent meeting about a possible buyer for the resort that they need to meet with. Of course Ryder does not want to sell, and Jason says the same thing in the meeting. Unfortunately their bitch of a grandmother has made some deal where the deed to the resort is already in the buyers hands and they will be tearing it down within the end of the week. The same day as the HGTV interview and taping. While this meeting is going on Zoey is showing the guys grandparents the resort. The grandmother – who I am just going to call the old bitch from now on – is being a mega twat and telling Zoey that the resort is already sold, that it was all Ryder’s idea all along. Zoey is in flames by the time Ryder and Jason finish their meeting, where Ryder confirms to Zoey that the old bitch is correct.. well kinda. He tries explaining that he never wanted to ruin this place, that he loves what see’s done with it, but Zoey is not having any of it and storms off. Her little scene not only affected Ryder as she tried and pushed him away while she yelled at him by her car and around his grandparents, but it also made the old bitch call her boss, Lance. This causing her time off from her job and a meeting in a week to “discuss the ramifications of this incident.”
Zoey is upset and not answering her phone, which of course is pissing Ryder off. He is actually holding his cool though and tries and visits her. Lainey shuts him down really quick and he goes home, calling his manager telling him he is not coming to spring training and doesn’t know when he will be coming back. He realizes his life and career are nothing compared to having Zoey by his side. SUPER ADORABLE!
Early next morning the girls are awoken by Ryder knocking and screaming at the door. HE BOUGHT THE RESORT. He did the one thing he told her he would never do, use his trust fund, but he did it for Zoey. He called his manager again and told him he’s done. No more Pro-Snowboarding. He wants to run the resort, and be a snowboard instructor. He wants a life with Zoey. He tells her he loves her, and she returns the words, because hello she’s probably loved him a little every moment since the first time they had sex. Oh and also the interview is still happening!
Three weeks later. They basically live together! Zoey still has a job, thankfully. Ryder has made plans for the a ski school and it offers free lessons to kids and disabled. He even got word that this school hit big and other companies want to expand it and use his name. He said on one condition if they use Zoey as their design team for the resorts and properties. Everything worked out in the end and they both landed where they belonged.. with each other forever in Seattle.