Review: Hard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones

Review:  Hard Rules by Lisa Renee JonesHard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones
Published by St. Martin's Griffin August 9th, 2016
Genres: Romance, Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Damage Control
Amazon US
Goodreads

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in the smoldering, scorching first novel in the explosively sexy new Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

How bad do you want it?

The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family's business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.

Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret that could that destroy them both.

This book.  I have so much to stay about this story and I’m not even sure where to begin.

When the ARC sign-up came across our email, I read the blurb and was immediately interested. “Wall Street meets Sons of Anarchy.”  Um… yes please!

But here’s the thing. We all know what a finicky reader I am. Due to that I don’t typically sign up for books with new-to-me authors, because I hate signing up for reviews when I end up not loving the book. Can you say awkward? It’s one thing to read it on my own time and not love it, but when I sign up for a release and I’m just not sure about an author… well, yeah. I tend to say away. 

But I couldn’t, because I was super intrigued and I wanted this story.  So I did it. I signed up.

And I am so glad I popped my Lisa Renee Jones cherry because this book was everything I want in a story. Mystery, lies, secrets, steamy sex, angst, suspense, LOL moments… you name it.

I will say, it was a bit of a rougher start for me. There was a finger-zap meeting at the very beginning, which is one of my pet peeves and DNF triggers… plus the Alpha had a lot of sly one-liners which I tend to roll my eyes at. But I’m telling you, those one-liners are smooth as fucking butter and I ended up highlighting like…twenty of them. They. Were. Hot.

Emily, the main character, is an absolute secret. We really know nothing about this chick except she loves sweet coffee, is a light weight drinker, can stand her own against the toughest mother fuckers on this planet, and she’s on the run from something or someone. She has multiple burner phones, has major secrets she keeps close to herself, and while she’s slumming it with crap jobs and a bare apartment, she obviously has expensive tastes and came from money at some point.

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Then there’s Shane. 

Okay, so, you can’t see me…but I’m grinning like a loon. I typed his name and then just stared at my laptop with the biggest shit-eating grin on my face for like 10 seconds. Shane is HOT. Super alpha.  Super dreamy. He’s this big shot lawyer from New York who’s moved back to his hometown in Colorado to join his family’s business because his Dad is dying from cancer and his dad and brother are horrible human beings who play with dirty money and have mafia connections they’re entwining with the company. Shane wants to take over and turn it back into a profitable, lucrative business… but to do this he has to play just as dirty as his own blood and push them out. In any way possible.

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Saying his family is a disaster is putting it lightly. When I thought they couldn’t get any worse, they proved me wrong. Over and over again.

All the while Emily is stuck in between all of the family’s mess while she’s trying to figure her shit out and keep her secrets secret.

It’s just a complete cluster fuck of what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen-next?! moments. All you want is to figure out all of the lies, all of the connections and see the big picture. I’m usually really good at reading between the lines and figuring out the big a-ha! moments early… but this entire story I was in the dark just begging for a glimpse of light to help me out.

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Shane and Emily have such a heated chemistry, and their pull is visceral. You can feel it. They’re constantly pushing each other away, but you know it won’t last long. They totally, 100% need each other.

And before you know it, you’re at 95% and you’re pissed the fuck off because you know the story is coming to an end and you just don’t want it to. You want more. You even consider emailing the author, begging her for more, but then you realize that’s a little weird, so instead you tell your husband all about the story and plot and your ideas about what’s going to happen next until you notice he’s just nodding his head absent-mindedly every few seconds while he watches the golf channel.

Anyways. My first LRJ book was an absolute knock out and I cannot wait until book two. Shit is about to hit the fans and I have a box of popcorn just waiting for the show. These secrets can’t stay hidden forever and oh em gee I need a front row seat for when it all starts to crumble.

ALSO! Check out our Facebook page tomorrow (the 11th) because Lisa Renee Jones is hosting a super-duper amazing giveaway. You seriously don’t want to miss it!

 

 

About Lisa Renee Jones

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.


  • Zita R

    Love this review! And I so agree can’t wait for more of the story.


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