Hard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones

“Overall, this is a good book with a very intricate plot that will keep you guessing and guessing on each character’s agenda. ”

by Carmela
The Deets Genre: Romantic Suspense  | Series: Dirty Money #1  | Publisher: St. Martin's Press  | Source: ARC  | GoodReads

I will be totally honest here: I was a bit lost and confused reading this book until about the halfway mark. Everything’s all mysterious and secretive in terms of the hero’s agenda from the start that I didn’t get a clearer picture of the whole scenario and of what he’s actually trying to do until more than the halfway mark. And it made my head hurt and sort of put a damper in my enjoyment of the book.

So far, here’s what I’ve gathered from the storyline. The hero, Shane Brandon, is a lawyer who has only recently came back into the fold of his family’s business, a huge conglomerate comprising of different enterprises. The father is dying of cancer so there is the angle of a power struggle between him and his brother, Derek. It seems that Derek has a problem keeping his business dealings clean. Through Shane’s ex-CIA buddy, Seth, they know that Derek is dealing with a Mafia family and is involved with a payoff of an FDA executive dealing with the approval of a drug that their pharmaceutical business is pushing for. In other words, he is shady and an asshole. Now, their father is another asshole. He is a womaniser who has kept a mistress in the same building where Shane lives. He has bullied Shane into overachieving and has bought his sons’ silence for his own indiscretions with material things. From what I’ve gathered in the story, albeit not clear to me, Shane had come back to save his father’s and brother’s asses from going to jail. Shane’s glamorous mother seems to have an agenda of her own. She knows of her hubby’s piece on the side and get this: she’s paying the mistress in exchange for info on her husband’s dealings! How fucked up is that ?!? Shane’s family takes the cake in being dysfunctional, folks!

Now, the heroine, Emily. She has the tendency to go backwards and forwards when it comes to dealing with Shane. She is running from something and/or someone that wasn’t revealed in this instalment, unfortunately. We have to find out what she is and about in the next book. The running, I surmise, has something to do from her past so I give her pass for that. I cannot judge her for not totally seeing the whole picture. But one thing I liked about her is her unwavering trust in Shane. She’s actually helping him in his power struggle against his father and brother towards the end of the book. One thing I’m looking forward into reading the next book is finding out her history and how she fits in Shane’s world.

Overall, this is a good book with a very intricate plot that will keep you guessing and guessing on each character’s agenda. Just be prepared to read on into the next book because a lot of matter in this one were left hanging. But this book is definitely not one of hearts and rainbows that will make your head, more than your heart, engaged. And it can hurt, just like mine did.


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