J. T. Geissinger - Rules of Engagement

Review :

5 and many more stars from the bottom of my heart


I LOVED this book. This was the kind of book I am used to getting from Ms. Geissinger.

Actually, after the disappointment of "Perfect Strangers", I was hesitant to try this book. Also, I am not a fan of heroines that are matchmakers. I thought it would be a cheesy book.

God, I was so wrong! It was wonderful - it was just the book I needed.

This book is Ms. Geissinger's signature work: A wonderful romance with smart and fun banter, deep emotions and super hot chemistry. As in all her books, it gives you all the feels. I wanted to read every page twice - and did that sometimes - my book is so full of highlights.

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I read the book with HEARTS in my eyes and with an enormous SMILE on my face.



Towards the end, I slowed down just because I didn't want it to end but well, as all good things, it ended in the blink of an eye. Now, I need to reread it asap yeah, asap. I started craving it as soon as I finished it.

I loved this book as much as I did "The Hating Game" or "Tangled". It has a similar vibe and a similar sweetness. If you need a sweet, funny, emotional book with awesome characterization and a non-stop fun plot line, this is the book for you.

The characters are really awesome I adored both of them. I wanted to hug both of them. I also loved the hero's agent Dick, and the heroine's aunt Waldine. They even have their own chapters.

In short, I loved everything about this book.



Now, let's talk about the book in a bit more detail.

Let me start with the SAFETY information as I know it is important for many readers. The book was totally safe for me but you should check if it is safe enough for you, too.

The hero, Mason, is a football star and we are given information that he sleeps with many women. He has casual hook-ups only. He doesn't believe in love. He has a sad and traumatic past and it has made him the bitter person he is now.

For readers who hate OW scenes, let me say that at the beginning of the book, he wakes up in his bed and there is a woman there that he slept with. Nothing happens in the morning but we just know that he slept with her the previous night and now he regrets it.

I have no problem with man-whore heroes or OW scenes; thus, neither bothered me but if you are unhappy about these things, here I am giving you a mild warning.

As for safety after they meet, it is totally safe because neither of them touches another person after meeting each other.

Thank God, there is safe sex and there is no unplanned pregnancy.

A few times, the heroine's ex causes some drama but she never feels anything for him anymore so no problem.

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CHARACTERS & PLOT

Our hero, Mason, is a grumpy as*hole at the beginning of the book. He is angry and rude.

Mason has no friends or family. He is a lonely man. The only person he cares about is his agent Dick.

Mason was living a reckless life and now his agent wants him to get married and settle down so that he can improve his image and keep his job.

Enter Maddie, the matchmaker. She has sent a few girls' information to them but Mason refused them all without even going on a date. He just talked to them on the phone and decided they were not OK.

Maddie is an interesting character. On the outside, she looks prim and proper - like a librarian, as Mason says. She wears her hair in a bun and her clothes are plain. But the colors she chooses are weird. She has an obsession with pink.

Maddie is a control freak. She needs control for reasons we later learn. When she thinks she is losing control, she freaks out and starts to tidy up the place or clean the house. She has many obsessive traits.

She is also very smart and funny. She is loving, affectionate and sincere. She is adorable. She is cute. She is beautiful. In short, she is all the good things you can think of with a bit of an obsessive and controlling side.



Mason sounds like an unlikable person at the beginning of the book but I soon changed my mind and loved him. The way he sees himself is sad. He thinks he doesn't deserve anything good. He can't let go of the things that happened in his past and therefore, they all cast a shadow on his life today. He is lonely and unhappy until he meets Maddie. Maddie shakes his whole world to the bottom of its foundation. Maddie is also shaken by both Mason's beauty and his beast.



She smiles. I feel that smile all the way down to the darkest corner of my soul, the place where light never shines and I keep all the monsters hidden under lock and key.

She smiles with her whole body.

With her whole being , like she's a conductor of light itself and all that's good and pure in the universe is being channeled through her on its way to me, where it surrounds me and bathes me in golden rays of sunshine, so warm and sweet I could almost cry.

I stand there stunned, stupidly gaping at her, until she speaks.

***

I've never had an out-of-body experience before, but today is a day of firsts. First time meeting the infamous Mason Spark. First time seeing size eighteen feet in real life. First time wanting to commit murder.

***

"Bed head" doesn't even begin to cover it. It looks like his preferred hair styling method is sticking his head into a blender and setting it to puree. That would account for his beastly attitude, too. His brains are obviously scrambled. I've met bears nicer than him.



As soon as they meet, the awesome banter between them starts and it never ends till the end of the book.

My face hurt after a while because of the non-stop big smile on my face.

"You're not blinking."
"Funny, I was just thinking the same about you."
"Really I could've sworn you were thinking about stabbing me in the neck with that letter opener on your desk."
"Don't be ridiculous." I pause for a beat. "I just had the carpet cleaned."
His lips do that twitching thing again. "You're right. A neck wound would produce a lot of blood. You could push me out the window."
"I would, but we're on the ground floor."
"Good point. Rat poisoning"
"Tempting. However, I have no interest in going to prison."



Mason doesn't believe in love. Maddie is a true believer of love. So, there begins a fight between them.

Maddie is adamant that she will find a woman he will fall in love with and Mason is sure that it won't happen.

During this sweet struggle, they fall for each other but each of them is so dense that they cannot believe the other person feels the same thing. So, many funny things happen till they come to their senses.

"Would you like me to tell you why I called now, or do you have more shouting to do If so, I can wait. Just checking."
There's a noise-a chuckle No. Impossible.
He blurts, "What's with the pink " And we're off.
"The pink what"
"All the fucking pink at your office. It's really fucking weird."

Now I understand why pious Catholics are always crossing themselves. They're praying to God to come and take them to heaven, because they've got their own Mason Spark in their lives and they're this close to sharpening that hatchet in the garage and burying it in his skull.

They are so cute while fighting that both the monologues in their heads and the dialogues between them cracked me up.

"Oh, look, we're growling again. Have you thought of taking one of those DNA tests to see if there's a bear somewhere in your family tree"



Mason and Maddie are not the only fun characters. All of them are.

The agent Dick and Auntie Waldine play an important role in the book, as well. They make plans behind their backs so that they can see that they are perfect for each other. They are so very funny.

Especially the aunt was something else. She sees people's aura, she is interested in astrology and people's chakras. She also has friends and they gather at night and have sessions, talking to the dead. Some crazy woman she is! Her interactions with Maddie were all super fun.

All characters are very-well portrayed and they each contribute to the story a great deal. Even Mason's coach was awesome, giving him wonderful advise, saying he needs to be the man Maddie deserves.

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The ex-boyfriend of Maddie causes some drama every now and then. But it was OK, some jealousy is always good at the beginning.

"Is that robot we saw at church the only man you've ever slept with"
Shocked, I pull my arm from his grip and say icily, "That's none of your business."
"He is, isn't he"
"See my previous answer."

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Maddie and Mason seem to be fighting all the time but it also shows how strong their chemistry and attraction is. In time, the emotional bond between them also grows strongly. Maddie sees the good man behind the angry fa├žade and Mason is amazed that she sees him, the real him.



If you hate Mason in the first few chapters, please go on because he will definitely win your heart. Mason's opening his heart to love and Maddie's already generous heart will make you fall in love with these characters, too.

Watching her laugh - knowing that I made her laugh - makes me want to pound my fists on my chest like Tarzan. But I only sit there beside her, drinking in the musical sound and resisting the violent need to cut it off by crushing my mouth against hers.

Christ. This is getting pathetic. I need to get away from her before I make a complete fool of myself and start spouting poetry.

***

"I suspect the way you deal with your anger is to drown it, and I hate to think of you angry and alone shooting whiskey when you could be angry and with me doing something more productive. We could go bowling. Work off some of that rage. Stop staring at me like I just landed on your lawn in my spacecraft."

He murmurs, "I can't picture you bowling, Pink."

"I don't. But I'd learn for you."



"I'm sorry for teasing you about your ego. It's not nice. And I don't want you to think that I think there's anything wrong with you, because I don't."

His face goes through several different emotions before it settles on something I can't identify. It's part pain and part pleasure, with a whole lot of ambivalence thrown in.

He says softly, "I know you don't think there's anything wrong with me. Which is what makes me assume your parents must've dropped you on your head a lot when you were a baby."



"We definitely don't work on paper. And don't forget you can't stand my manners."
"Exactly!"
"Plus, you're hell on my blood pressure."
"I'm bad for your blood pressure Ha! I've been flirting with heart failure since the day we met!"

And finally, when they started to kiss and make love, the book in my hand exploded with their sweet and hot chemistry. I admire Ms. Geissinger's talent in writing kissing/love-making scenes. Not every writer can write those scenes with all the feels. All those scenes makes you feel a lot

He straightens, takes my face between his big rough hands, and stares down at me with entire cities burning in his beautiful eyes.

***

Before I have a chance to feel self-conscious, Mason pops open the remaining buttons on my blouse, pushes aside my bra, and latches onto my nipple, drawing it into the wet heat of his mouth.

The sound I make isn't human.

He sucks a little harder. In response, I wrap my legs around his waist and start to rock my hips against him, whimpering helplessly in pleasure and pulling on his hair.

"Wow," he says, chuckling. "This really makes up for all those jabs you took at my ego."

See how hot and cute they are at the same time Just the way I like

With his face buried in my neck and his arms tight around my body, he whispers, "You can't hide. I see you. I see you, do you hear me"
"I see you, too," I whisper, fighting tears.
"I know you do." He lifts his head and gazes into my eyes with a look of wonderment. "And you can't imagine what that means to me."

***

I've never seen anything as beautiful as her, unbound. Her beauty is made all the more sharp at this moment because the rest of the time, she's always so controlled. Formal. Body contained within buttoned-up blouses and sensible skirts, hair wound tightly in businesslike buns.

But now she's unraveled
Because of me.
I did this.
I feel like a god.
And I want more.

***

She says my name over and over, chanting it like a prayer, and I can't remember ever feeling so happy. Or so terrified.
This is everything I could ever want.
This connection.
This fire.
This honesty, too, the knowledge that I'm seen and accepted, even appreciated, despite all my shit and my failings.
She's the only person who's challenged me in years.
The only one who's gotten under my skin.

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Well, as you see, I am in love with this book.

- I recommend this book highly if you need a book that is sweet, fun, emotional and hot.

- I recommend this book if you want to read one with good characterization and a meaningful plot line that is developed enough.

- I also recommend this book if you want to laugh out loud and feel all the feels that you need in a romance book.

I recommend it - period.

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Thank you, Ms Geissinger. You made it again
This is my type of book and you are one of the few writers who can do it the best. Please continue to write such books. I will be looking forward to many more like this. And please, don't upset us like you did in "Perfect Strangers", it left a bitter taste. Well, this book has already made up for it :)

And, dear Ms. Geissinger, I am sorry for your loss. May your mother rest in peace

And I really admire you more now because you lost your mother while writing this book but still you were able to continue and finish it in this cheerful tone. Thank you.


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