Rules of Engagement by Mika Jolie

 

Title: Rules of Engagement
A Platonically Complicated Novel
Author: Mika Jolie
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 25, 2019

 

Blurb
Rule #1: Don’t fall in love.
As a single dad, my life revolves around my daughter. No complaints…until my ex-wife forces my hand over custody. I needed a cover story. In steps Katharine Morello. My best friend’s sister is ready and willing to be my fake fiancée. Overnight we’re engaged. A temporary arrangement.
No sex.
No strings attached.
No complications.
Easy, right?
Not quite.

The last few months, I’ve been doing dirty things to her in my imagination. But
that’s all they’ll ever be. Fantasies.
Rule #2: Don’t give in to temptation.
Neither of us is looking for a relationship. Been there. Done that. Even drank the
Kool-Aid. 
So, you see, I can resist beautiful, sexy Katharine. It doesn’t matter she’s hot as f*ck with an amazing personality to boot. All I have to do is NOT touch her.
I’ve got this.
Spoiler Alert…One night make-believe merges with reality. Sparks fly—and burn.
Now I want her. All of her.
Rule #3: See rule #1—don’t fall in love.
Man.

Hindsight’s a bitch.

 

My review:

Lucas and Kate have grown up together, Kate being the younger sister of Lucas’s childhood best friend. They are also close friends, but the past year Lucas has squelched his desire for more from her. He is divorced, and still harbors guilt over ending his marriage a few years prior. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone else like that so he avoids relationships and vows to never get married again. Kate caught her fiance and her friend together and ended her relationships with both of them in a very public way. Instead of becoming bitter, though, she does want to find The One. She’s been attracted to Lucas for a year now but knows he is dead set against falling in love so she pushes down those feelings and continues being his friend.

When Lucas’s ex-wife uses misconstrued photos to try to blackmail Lucas into losing custody of their daughter, Kate jumps in and pretends to be his fiancee to show he’s in a stable relationship. They agree to continue the charade until Lucas’s court date at the end of the week, then go back to being friends again as if nothing happened.  But can they keep the fantasy separate from the reality? Or are they the same thing?

What I liked: Kate is awesome. I really liked her personality, her levelheadedness, and how she wasn’t afraid to ask for what she wanted.  I like how Lucas and Kate are together, too. They are a good match.

What I didn’t like: “Bro code.” Seriously, is this a real thing? It’s in books all the time and it drives me crazy. Not even unpacking all the implications of bro code in regards to misogyny and “not all men” but the simple fact that adult men let some abstract rule saying they can never date their friend’s sister is ridiculous. The conflict resolution seemed a bit anticlimatic after building it up the entire book, though.

Overall:  A good read with a great couple, even though things seem to be too easy for them. It’s a feel good HEA story.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

 

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Excerpt
She moves into my space and tilts her head up, her eyes light and mischievous. “Kiss me, Lucas.”
The breath leaves my lungs in one gigantic swoosh. “Are you sure?”
“Let’s give them a show.”
I’m about to kiss Kate. This time, I’m prepared.
Clasping my hands on either side of her face, I angle my head slightly. There’s a pause. A suspended moment where our eyes meet. The swirl of emotions I see
there—apprehension, lust, desire—makes my heart trip.
We exchange breath. And then finally, my mouth dips to hers.
I try to remind myself we’re pretending, to stay calm, and in control.
My mouth is firm against hers. Her lips are sugar plum sweet and silky soft. The kiss
remains gentle, slow. We hold it for a few seconds before our lips begin to move in perfect sync, slowly, cautiously.
Curiosity nudges for more. I move my hand from her cheek to the back of her head, my fingers tangling in her hair, holding her lips to mine, silently asking for
permission. To my delight, a needy little moan echoes from her mouth to mine.
She wraps her arms around my neck and parts her lips in gentle invitation.
And our tongues hungrily say hello.
A stimulating cocktail of endorphins explodes inside me. Sparks fly in every
direction, lighting me up like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Every single nerve explodes with heat.
I’m fired up. Turned on.
From somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind, I know this is a cover, that we
aren’t real, but with Kate’s lips on mine, it’s hard to keep that thought. On a
groan, I take all she has to give and deepen the kiss, forging ahead with no
regrets. No reservations.
Many tales have been written about the Big Apple. But there’s nothing like kissing the
woman you’ve been thinking about for what feels like forever in the middle of
Manhattan.
The chaos from the street fades. The worries of the day evaporate like a summer shower falling onto a hot car, all noise instantly muting. The click-clack of heels
rushes by us. We don’t hear them. People brush against us. We don’t feel them.
We are locked in the present, kissing each other as equal partners in passion, fucking each other with our mouths like we’re drowning and we are each other’s air, as if our lips were created for this sole purpose.
Talk about heaven on earth. 
This kiss is easily the hottest, most erotic kiss of my life.
My pulse patters faster and faster. The heat pouring into my veins as if pumped in through a hypodermic needle has nothing to do with today’s summerlike temperature but with desire.
I move one arm low around her back, drawing her closer, letting her feel every inch of me, how much she affects me. And we kiss and kiss and kiss.
Author Bio
Mika Jolie
lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer
bunnies. She’s a lover of words, wonder, an old-fashioned, and the
whimsical delights of everyday living. When she’s not writing swoon-worthy,
sexy relatable romance, you can find her on a hiking adventure, beachin’ it at
the Jersey shore, apple, blueberry picking, or whatever her three men can
conjure up.
She loves
to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on BookBub, her reader group Mika
Jolie’s Wildflowers, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, Goodreads, and
BookandMainBites

 

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