Release Date: July 11, 2014
Taylor Valentine is a senior at Western Michigan University and is laser-focused on living a life that would honor the memory of her parents. When Dr. Stuart Morgan visits to give a four-week seminar on Civil War History, the former Marine is undeniably a draw for young Taylor. Stuart has his own rules regarding fraternizing with students—mainly that he doesn’t—that he’s unwilling to break, but he’s tempted to do so for the tantalizing Taylor. When death threats cause their paths to become entwined will Stuart compromise his rules or will Taylor turn to Joe, the hometown boy that has always loved her? [easyazon_link identifier=”1937546322″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]“Their Rigid Rules”[/easyazon_link] is the third book in the Chemical Attraction series and a prequel to the other novels.
The author gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
[easyazon_link identifier=”1937546322″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]“Their Rigid Rules”[/easyazon_link] is a well thought-out work of romantic suspense. The road to romance is not an easy one for Taylor and Stuart littered with death threats, federal agents and the rogue lovelorn childhood friend. Dr. Stuart Morgan receives death threats and Taylor is the prime suspect. When the tide turns and Taylor seems to be the target, Stuart and Joe pledge to keep her safe.
Taylor is a well-realized character. She’s been through a lot in her short life, but it has made her strong, motivated and sure of her path. Taylor is in no way a superhero. When she meets Stuart, the attraction she feels toward him manifests as a potential derailing of her set plan and that derailing is not something she’s sure she can afford. Taylor is not a character that feels she can afford to be swept away. So when she meets Stuart when her best friend, Eva, forces her to take his four-week Civil War Seminar, the idea of emotions out of her control and that might stand in the way of her plan scares Taylor more than anything. She is far overdue to learn the truth of the old saying, “Life happens when you’re busy making plans.”
Stuart is perhaps less realistic. He has a vast life experience and absolutely doesn’t believe in love at first sight until he meets Taylor. Readers know why he should be attracted to Taylor, but there’s not a real connection in the story other than that she’s young and pretty hot. Stuart has these solid rules and yet in his approach to Taylor, he’s more romantic than pragmatic. He has flashbacks that come off less as haunting and more as a vehicle to a back story. As the story progresses Thompson’s succinct writing style leads the implausibility in Stuart’s character become less prominent and less important.
Thompson imbues [easyazon_link identifier=”1937546322″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]“Their Rigid Rules”[/easyazon_link]” with a great sense of humor. The background characters have a wonderful byplay with the main characters that adds lightness to what could be a very dark work. Fans of the series will get a delicious look at the genesis of favorite characters from earlier novels in the series.
The suspense story line is well worked. Many works of romantic suspense are labeled as such but are very light on the suspense and quite heavy on the romance. [easyazon_link identifier=”1937546322″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]“Their Rigid Rules”[/easyazon_link] is well balanced and fits with the immediacy of danger in the rest of the series. Though the third book in the series, the novel can be read as a stand-alone. If you’re starting the series, it’s a good idea to start with this book, as the first novel in the Chemical Attraction series is a massive spoiler for this book. If you are reading the series in order, the spoiler will in no way interfere with your enjoyment of “Their Rigid Rules.” As avid readers will know, it’s hard to surprise us but this novel surprised me.
If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, be sure to check out [easyazon_link identifier=”1937546322″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]“Their Rigid Rules”[/easyazon_link] and pick up the rest of the Chemical Attraction series.