Journalist Jess has always followed the rules when it comes to her career:
1) Never say no! Trying to extract a tell-all interview from bad boy of the art world Xander Heaton might be her own worst nightmare, but she’s just going to have to grin and bear it!
2) Absolutely no flirting on the job –professionalism is key to a journalist’s success. Even if Xander does have her imagining the most unprofessional scenarios…
3) If resistance proves impossible, remember the golden rule – never kiss and tell!
One night with Xander and she’s broken at least one rule…and discovered it’s much more fun breaking rules than making them!
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Reviewed by Desere Steenberg, South Africa
We have all had some form of unpleasant encounter with those "always stick to the rules" kind of people in life. They are so focused on doing exactly what the rules of others say or making sure their own rules are followed, that it never makes for any fun at all
The person appears too strict and just down right boring, and for me I always want to shout out " Live a little!". We all know rules are good, in one's personal life and in a professional setting, so never think that rules are not necessary but when rules are all it's about and you start looking like that " No one wants to be around me" person it's is a sure sign you need something or someone to ruffle up your feathers.
In the new read from Christy McKellen this is the life of Jess, she always sticks to the rules, and if the rules are not followed she even goes as far as making a little add on to the rules to get the rules to work. That is until she meets "I want to strip you naked and make your body known to the whole world Xander.
Xander is a man like no other, he is not only a super talented artist but so scorching hot he makes all of Jess's rule-alarm-bells go up in smoke. His charm is endless and Jess has to fight all her natural in-stinks to not succumb to him, but the lure of an escape from all the rules in her life has her falling into his arms at a rapid pace and daring to live even if it is just for a few days. But when he starts to peel away her clothes she is not only lost to the magic of his talented hands but becomes addicted in wanting to peel away the canvas of his soul, if he'll let her is a whole other story and a stroke of artistic genius is all that might save them both.
I really loved this read, it was so deeply emotional it made me cry and ache so badly I had a constant supply of tissues with me. The author dug so extremely deep into the souls of both main characters it was as if she was stripping a piece of art into it's basic form before putting it all back together again to resemble a stunning artistic masterpiece.
The character of Xander was so amazingly written that I could feel his hurt, anger and pain. I felt him going into his mad artist genius world each and every time, and I wanted to be Jess in order to just be close enough to yell at him or hit him with paint ( yes paint , no jokes, read the book and you will see what I mean) just to see if I could draw him out from his world and into the real world. Through this character the author showed that we all have a goal in life but when we allow our goals to overshadow all the emotions in life that make us human we will at the end of the day be an empty shell, stuck in our own world, and when reality comes crashing into our lives we will have no idea how to deal with it because we are only use to our own world that we created.
The character of Jess was in one way awesome and in another way her and her rules drove me nuts! I wanted to see her shaken up to her very core and she her break her rules in order to feel the " I lived for once" feeling. Lucky for me the author did it for me! I laughed out loud with total glee , and yes most likely sounded mad to those around me, when Jess gets her feathers good and ruffled up by Xander. I shouted out " YES! That's it make her break those stupid rules!" and I absolutely loved every single minute of seeing Jess knocked from her pedestal. Through this character the author showed me that when we break the rules a little every now and then we not only learn something new about ourselves but the true person we are inside is revealed and instead of just being another person in the world we become something special to someone that can see beyond what we reveal on the outside.
I am taking away a message of life has many layers, some we prefer to keep hidden and others we let shine bright, but when the ones we share with the world are as fake as can be the hidden ones that show the true us will eventually wither and die, leaving us as nothing but a unfinished piece of art, let go, show the real you and you will find you are far more valuable than any other master creation in the world.
I highly recommend this read for all fans of romance reads combined with an artistic flare, the author created the perfect escape in to a world or passion, romance and a look into the world of art so real I could smell the paints, touch the pure emotion poured into the artist's creations and envision the end results with vivid clarity.
5/5 star review
" Life is a open canvas, you just need to add color and have the right artist to stroke you into a masterpiece"
Par for the course
A pleasant if not ground breaking story with personable characters although it was hard to empathise with Jess at times and Xander could be inrospective.
There were occasions when I found it too in your face but it was enjoyable enough.
Six out of ten
Lessons in Rule-Breaking, or What I Wish My Journalistic Career Was Like...
Christy McKellen's second novel, Lessons in Rule-Breaking, is all about developing your confidence and going after what you want - professionally as well as in the bedroom...
As a blogger and freelance web journalist, I'm incredibly jealous of Jess's job. Plus, if I met a Xander I'd be seriously tempted (though not enough to leave C) and McKellen does a fantastic job of developing her fully. Her background has left her with serious confidence issues, particularly in how she looks, and these are explored in a sensitive way. I particularly liked the way that Xander tried to accept her panic in the restaurant, even if he didn't wholly understand it.
I think that some of the key scenes come towards the end of the book. There are moments when Xander realises that he has to truly understand and accept Jess's insecurities - which can be a very difficult thing to do when you're attracted to someone so very very much. It's at that climax in the novel when everything Jess fears and dreams of collide and she's left in the midst of her own private horror film. Kind of like when a lovely dream switches midway and becomes a nightmare instead!
I loved the development of the characters, the fact that it's set (for the most part) in Italy, and the clash of two very different worlds of the characters. Plus the steamy scenes are well written and very engaging.
A great follow-up to what was a fab debut and I can't wait to read more from Christy McKellen!
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