Review: Against the Rules

Against the Rules
Against the Rules by Linda Howard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Second Chance at Love

“I want you to stay this time.”

FINAL DECISION: An older book which shows its age in the acceptance of a sexual relationship between a 17 year old and a man of 28 but also because the heroine’s annoyingly passive actions. At the same time, I liked the well paced story and the hot romance.

THE STORY: Cathryn Ashe inherited the ranch from her father but has stayed away for years. Eight years ago, she ended up giving her innocence to Rule Jackson, the ranch foreman, and she has been running from their torrid relationship ever since. Now a widow, Cathryn intends on settling her business at the ranch quickly and returning to her life in Chicago. Rule has other ideas including a second chance with the woman that he has always wanted.

OPINION: I remembered this book fondly from when I read it years ago. Unfortunately, this book, unlike other classic Linda Howard books, has not aged gracefully. First, I was a bid appalled by the fact that Cathryn and Rule had their first sexual encounter when Cathryn was just seventeen years old and Rule was twenty-eight. I thought nothing of it years ago, but now it just feels creepy to me. But I put that aside because it was not uncommon to see such things in classic books of the time.

I really liked the intense romance between Rule and Cathryn. I thought they were always meant to be and I liked how these two finally came together. My biggest complaint about this book was Cathryn herself. She seemed incapable to acting like an adult despite her claims to now be mature. She owns the ranch and yet she refuses to act as an owner and yet is resentful about Rule’s taking charge. I wanted to scream at her “If you want to be the boss, stop acting like a wimpy child.” Her passive nature towards these things probably would not be written this way in a current book. Cathryn make so many bad choices that I can’t figure out why Rule wants her at all.

For me, this is one of those books that was better in the past.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book was original published as a category romance in the 1980s.


STAR RATING: I give this book 2 stars.

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