Sunny Shelly’s Review: 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.

 

 

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Sunny Shelly’s Review: 4 Stars

When single dad Lucas finds himself battling his crazy ex-wife for a new custody arrangement, his good friend Kate offers herself up as his fake fiancée to give him the appearance of being more settled than he is. Except Lucas has been crushing on Kate for a year, and she’s not only his childhood friend but his best bud’s sister. All kinds of forbidden. But it’s only for a week, so what the hell!

Naturally, things get a little more complicated, and lines start to blur as their expiration date (aka his court date) ticks closer. Kate’s been burned by her cheating ex-fiancé, and Lucas felt like he disappointed his ex-wife and daughter by asking for a divorce, and has no plans to marry again. They both have walls up around their hearts, but when push comes to shove — and time runs out — will one of them take a risk and fight for the other?

I really liked how this story unfolded. I appreciated that the flirtation between Lucas and Kate started a year before the book takes place. That’s when he first noticed her; he hasn’t been crushing on her since they were teenagers. It’s not clear how long Kate has been in love with Lucas, but I got the impression that its been a long time — and that’s the reason why she steps up and offers to be his fake fiancée. Perhaps as a way to get closer with him, maybe get him to see her in a different light? We never really find that out, as the entire book is from Lucas’ POV. (With the exception of a few of Kate’s blog posts sprinkled throughout.)

My only complaint about Rules Of Engagement is this: Did it not occur to Lucas that calling off the faux engagement the very same day that the custody case was settled would raise some red flags? Did he just not care about that, as long as custody of Emma went in his favor? That was just a nagging thought in my mind the entire time I was reading this story.
Mika Jolie is a new-to-me author, and I was nicely surprised by what I found in Rules Of Engagement. The story was well crafted, moved at a nice pace, and the fake relationship becoming more between Lucas and Kate felt genuine. As a Jersey girl, I also appreciated that she was correct in the distance between Alpine and Manhattan or Princeton (as opposed to a certain television hit show that got it so very wrong!)

I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.

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

 

Author Links

 

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