Book Review – Rule by Jay Crownover

by Maryse on September 10, 2014 · 18 comments

in My Book Reviews

Rule: A Marked Men Novel
An oldie but definite goodie that’s been floating around on my TBR list for a year now, and I finally read it! What took me so long… eh… who knows? Maybe it’s the cover. He looks… young. And kind of like my cousin or something. ;)

But wow, once I got over that aspect (I just re-invented him in my head), it ended up being everything I look for in a “book bad-boy”. It had all of the right touches. Steamy, slightly angsty, infuriating (oh he can be bad!!) but he’s also protective and deliciously alpha. And believable. Mind you the parents of both main characters were a bit over-the-top, but I went with it, because it helped cinch other parts of the story and emotional connection.

If you’re looking for that, and haven’t read this, I highly recommend it. But I know… LOL! So many of you HAVE read it… hence the surprised reactions from my fellow readers when they realized I still hadn’t read it yet (especially considering my penchant for this kind of character). ;)

Stephanie: Hi Maryse! I really enjoyed Rule by Jay Crownover. It’s the first book in her Marked Men series. I can’t remember if you’ve read that one yet, but it was one of my faves last year. The second and third books are out now too.. I loved them all…

Joanna: I read Rule over the weekend and have to say that I REALLY like it.

AmyD: You will love Rule by Jay Crownover.  It’s all about the bad boy, even though there is great perspective given from the the girl too.  Steamy scenes and a sweet and rocky ride of love story.  The support of the characters families and group of friends lends a lot to the love, hurt, pain and darkness.  You will so fall in love with Rule Archer, I did!

Christina: Maryse I think you should read Rule (tattoo and piercings) for your next read :)

Jean: Can’t believe you haven’t read Rule (the 1st book) yet….it is so up your alley…they basically can’t stand each other in the beginning and I KNOW you love that type of relationship!

*shamefaced* I know, Jean… I don’t get me, either. And I DO love that kind of thing. Pining is fun! Well… sorta. ;)

And so it goes, Rule would be my next:

Maryse: Why don’t we just play with the moody grumpy single guys for a while? I have two of ‘em and I bet they’ll only make us furious. Not cry. hahahahahah!!! :P Er…. I mean… I don’t “HAVE” two… I just one-clicked…. two.

MichelleS: You’re going with a moody dude Maryse? Oh please let it be Rule…. Love him so much…. It had everything. The guy (the guy!!! oh…. the guy)…. and the girl (smart, sassy, sweet, likable). The older brother. The forbidden aspect (it’s no secret, it’s in the blurb – she is his dead twin brother’s girl since high school!!)…. what else can I say to convince you? It was GOOD. Totally missing out on that one. I SWEAR you’d love it. I just know it… I read it twice… and I don’t often do that! Ooh. Hope you like it!

Jean: Love that whole series, especially Jet and Rome, but Rule will always be my favorite!!

Fabi: Is Rule in Maryse’s list above?  Been meaning to ask forever..

Amy: Aw, come on!!! I was so adamant about sticking to my list and then you guys have to get me all worked up about Rule. *sigh* And I already have it on my iPad! Yay! Okay, list has been adjusted and Rule is coming up for me in the next few days.

Maryse: okay… are we all doing Rule tonight? Who’s doing Rule? I’ll do Rule if you do Rule. Amy… shut it! But do Rule. ;) *snort*

Tessa: Hey, I have Rule and haven’t read it. Who knew?

Cheryl: Rule, huh?! As soon as I’m finished with Fan Girl I’m in!!

Amy: Oh, I am IN! I’ll do Rule with you!! That twin thing always gets me. ;) Sounds like tonight is going to be a menage a Rule. *snort* Yeah, so that was cheesy. And probably made no sense. Whatever. Sounded hot to me.

Maryse: LOL!!! We walked right into that one… ;)

Yep… *sigh*. It was very good! Right up my “bad-boy” alley, and so many of you knew it would be. Nothing over-the-top, dialogue right on par with how I think a guy like him would speak, and while he at times, proves himself to be sweet, he sure as heck messes up. Plus, he has that unapproachable, somewhat anti-social thing about him. He acts, and reacts in ways that I could totally believe.

Amy: Rule… *sigh* I went back and forth between loving Mr. Hottie with a very special piercing and wanting to rip that piercing out. With pliers. It’s okay though…he was worth it!

LOL AMY!!!! Yeah… he put the “bad” in bad boy a few times, that’s for sure!

Plus. What’s even better (for me, at least), is that she’s been pining for him for YEARS!!!

All I ever wanted in life was to affect him, to get him to feel something, anything, other than simple tolerance for me.

They’ve been “forced-friends/family?” since childhood, but he considered her his brother’s girl, and anyway, she wasn’t his type in the least.

“I like her fine.” I refused to comment on her hotness or lack thereof because it was weird. Of course I had eyes in my head so I knew logically she’s a beautiful girl, but she seemed so cold and so untouchable that I never really thought of her as attractive…

I think Michelle called her “uppity” in one of the comments, and that’s about perfectly described as how HE saw her (not necessarily who she was). His bad-ass/bad-boy attitude barely even give her a second glance as anything more than an extended family member, and an irritating one at that.

“Don’t lie. You two can’t stand each other.”

I shrugged a little. “She’s like family. You know how I feel about family.”

I LOVE that unrequited love thing, and he’s honestly been completely out of the loop when it came to how she felt about him.

“I think we need to figure out what’s going on between us.”


Let the fun begin. ;)

Everything about Rule (the characters, the friends, his brother, the interactions) felt real. A few bouts of drama here and there, and heartache (with good reason!) but nothing tooooo crazy-angsty (just angsty enough – but I’ll let you experience that part),

She leaned forward and let her forehead hit the center of my chest. “Rule, if this goes bad it’s gonna be so, so bad.” Her voice was just a husky whisper against my chest.

“True, but if it’s good, it’s going to be so very, very good.”

*swoooooon* SOOOO much of that. ;)

And!!! It was even scary at one point (and believable there, too!!!). It was pretty great.

Did it put me in a love fog? Not a full-on day-long fog or anything, but I definitely slow-motion read a few of his parts as I swooned. So Rule definitely has that effect.

4 stars! <— I loved the flow of it, and I loved “being” her. And I loved his intensity when he really started looking at her differently. I believed it. Nothing too crazy (emotion-wise/love-fog wise for me) hence the 4 star rating, but darn good!

Get Free Email Updates from me :)

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

kim September 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM

I have read the series of this book of MARKED men and have enjoyed every book-great review MARYSE!!!

fabi September 10, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Dang, look at that sleeve. He looks like a real model too. I wonder if the sleeve is real. Yup Maryse, this one sounds right up my alley.

bev September 10, 2014 at 9:03 PM

He looks like your cousin. That was funny.

Tanya September 10, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Don’t stop now Maryse. They just keep getting better and better. Rule is just the beginning. Love, love, love this series!!!

MichelleS September 10, 2014 at 9:46 PM

I totally agree – 4 stars. A good 4 stars, but not WOWZA. Didn’t love the guy on the cover. Not how I pictured him at all. Stick with putting just the torso of a guy on the cover, please. When they put faces it messes with me. Very few covers with a man’s face have “done it” for me.

I did like this story though. I haven’t read the others because everyone says Rule was the best, so why go there, you know? Oh… and I loved that he called her “Casper” – dorky side-note.

Maryse September 10, 2014 at 10:01 PM

MichelleS —> LOVED “Casper”!!!

And LOL Bev… yeah. One of my cousins, for sure. ;)

Thanks Kim & Tanya! :D

MichelleS September 10, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Did you go for the jungle man Maryse? (so so good in a so so bad way)

Lori September 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Love this whole series! Rome is my favorite so far, but they’re all great.

Maryse September 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

I’m starting it now…

Had a busy day and just getting ready to settle in with my caveman… or savage… or whatever alpha-kind he is. ;)

Amy September 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

“He looks… young. And kind of like my cousin or something.” <—— Oh, that's just weird. *snicker*

This was one of those bad boy-good girl stories with just the right amount of angst and emotion to keep it fun (at least our kind of fun ;) ) but not so much that it makes a wreck of you. Kudos and martinis to everyone who recommended it!!

Andee September 10, 2014 at 11:55 PM

I just finished Rule on Monday, and agree with the 4-star rating. I really enjoyed this one, and am trying to decide if I want to read others in the series. MichelleS – I loved the Casper reference too, so cute!! It was a great recommendation. :)

I’m reading “Don’t Let Go” now and am about 1/2 way through with some parts that have already made me quiver… I went in blind so hope it gives a HEA.

Megan Mularz September 11, 2014 at 7:43 AM

I have read Rule a couple of times and throughout the series, you just love him more. The ‘graveyard’ scene made me cry! The series is definitely worth the read. I love it!!!

Jean September 11, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Great review Maryse! The rest of the series is definitely worth reading!

Andee September 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM

I think someone was asking about “Don’t Let Go” in an earlier post. I would recommend – well written and good story (maybe 3.5 – 4 stars for me). It is a second chances book, with their story starting 26 years after they went separate ways. If you like this type of story, then you’ll like this one. For the most part, I could feel her emotional roller coaster. This book takes place over a one month period and has no epilogue, so I’m a little torn if all of what happens would really go down that quickly with all of their history. I also would have liked more of their story and not just the incident, but that’s just me.

My favorite line though…
My wise old Cajun Maw Maw used to say, “Hide your crazy, girl. Ain’t nobody wanna see that s***.” Maw Maw died of a heart attack at the age of sixty-two. My other grandmother, Nana Mae, who is neither Cajun nor known for being exceptionally wise, is still kicking at eighty-five and says it’s because she lets all her crazy out.

Ha! LOVE this!! I think I’m a mix of when the crazy comes out, although when I asked the hubby which way he agreed with, he said he loves him some crazy! ;)

Maryse September 11, 2014 at 9:50 AM

That IS a great line Andee!

Tessa September 11, 2014 at 9:58 AM

I thought it was pure sweet. It had it’s omg moments, and angsty moments. However, I had a huge smile on my face through a lot of it, so sweet.

Kandace September 11, 2014 at 2:01 PM

I really liked Rule. I remember really connecting with her. I’m always a sucker for the pinning kindv of love.

Marlene September 11, 2014 at 3:58 PM

I’ve read them all, and really liked them, especially Rome and Nash. They aren’t over the top angst, but they are easy in between reads when you don’t necessarily want to be sobbing. I’m looking forward to Rowdy’s story.

Leave a Comment


Notify me of followup comments to this post via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: