Review: Rules of Entanglement by Gina L. Maxwell

Posted April 16, 2013 by Karen in Book Reviews / 22 Comments

Rules of Entanglement Series: Fighting for Love #2
Published by Entangled on March 31, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Adult Romance 18+
Format: ARC

FTC disclaimer applies, please visit 'About' page

Seven days. And seven rules to break...

District Attorney Vanessa McGregor firmly believes that structure and order are the stuff that dreams are made of. Happiness can be planned - and it starts with seven rules she's laid out for her future. But as she's organizing her best friend's wedding in Hawaii, all of Vanessa's best-laid plans are about to meet their match in a wickedly hot MMA fighter...

Jackson "Jax" Maris is focused on surfing, training and fighting. That is, until he opens up his big mouth, and finds himself having to pretend he's engaged to his little sister's best friend, Vanessa. When they're force to share a romantic bungalow, however, their little charade suddenly takes a turn for the seriously sexy. And while Jax is definitely not part of Vanessa's long-term plan, he has seven days - and seven naughty nights - to turn her seven-rule plan upside down

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Rule #1 NEVER read the end of a book (Why would anyone seriously do this? That totally destroys the whole surprise and A-ha and OMG effect).

Rule #2 NEVER skip Chapters (I don’t care if the story is as slow as molasses, I never skip because I’m scared I’ll miss something).

Rule #3 Don’t pre-judge the characters (Because a story line can be just as complicated as life. That’s what makes it a good story! And a really, really good story will make you think one thing about a character when they are, in fact, that way for a very good reason).

Rule #4 Show some Author Love if you really enjoyed that book. (And even if you didn’t, offer them love anyway, ’cause damn! It takes a long friggin time to write a book).

We all have them, you know who you are, you book geek lovers 😉 I have more, but thought these were enough, because you, dear reader, are not allowed to sleep through this review, and I don’t want to bore you. Unlike Vanessa from Rules of Entanglement, I am glad to say I have not broken any of my Book Rules.

Give it up for Miss Gina cause she did it again.

But…I was wary.

Yes, I was. I do admit it.

Because I really did not like Vanessa in Seducing Cinderella.  I loved Lucie. The shy, introverted, completely disorganized Physical Therapist who was basically clueless in the ways of attracting a man.  I was rooting for her the entire way.

A talented author will take you on a journey, and Seducing Cinderella was a journey of transformations. We witnessed Lucie morph into this beautiful bombshell of a butterfly while still retaining her innocence and charm, all because of one Parker…oops sorry, Reid Andrews.

My apologies, I had a momentary PH fantasy going on.

Vanessa was the girl that the guys went after. Poor Lucie hardly ever got noticed.  Remember Dr. Stephen Mann aka Sports Medicine Hottie that Lucie was pining for in Seducing Cinderella?  Well as soon as the good doctor started asking about Lucie’s BFF,  I was already in a …What??? Are you really saying Lucie Miller is not good enough for you?…kind of attitude.  And I was soooo not siding with Vanessa from the very beginning.  Not that there was a side to choose, mind you.  But there was just so many endearing qualities to Lucie.  We all remember being that awkward girl staring at that one guy, who we really, really wanted to notice us. And when they don’t, and they pass you over for your gorgeous BFF. Well, dang it. That is just wrong! So I completely empathized.

Not that I speak from experience of course. (Awkward pause :-/)

So anyway…I already had some pretty well defined ideas regarding Miss Vanessa.  Strong, independent, successful, drop-dead gorgeous, red-headed lawyer Vanessa.  Yea, lawyer, like AKA Red Viper kind of lawyer who didn’t take shitzka’s from no one.  Not only would I be envious of someone like her, but I think I’d be terrified of her as well. And so stemmed my hesitation going forward with Book 2.

But remember, Rule #3!!!

There is always more than meets the eye in Miss Maxwell’s books.  People who live in her world are full of complications, hardship, and angst.  The characters are not like the black ink and white pages we read from. They are vibrant with color and have an intricate past that needs to be delved into.  The reader absorbs the emotions and anguish of the author’s characters and they no longer seem fictitious, but quite tangible. (Too bad Jax isn’t tangible, cause it would be kind of nice to touch him ;-))

Her books push the reader to read that extra chapter before going to sleep, or to re-read such and such a part over and over again. ( Particularly the sexy parts, ’cause those were the ones quite worthy of re-reads! )

Underneath that tough exterior that makes up Miss Vannessa MacGregor;  buried way, way down, is a vulnerability that will make you ache. She has rules for a reason.  And it is up to us to understand why she has them, and why they need to be broken. And Jackson “Jax” Maris is just the man to do it.

Failing to pick her up on time at the Honolulu airport, Vanessa is already steaming mad at Jaxon.  She’s there to help her BFF Lucie with wedding plans and Vanessa is stuck with what seems to be a lax, incompetent surfer/MMA fighter dude, who seems to have little concern for stability, responsibility, and dependability.  He lives life on the fly, but he lives that way for a reason.

But from the moment Jax sees Vanessa, things change.

Jaxon just can’t help but provoke her.  He loves pushing her buttons, and he finds it sexy as anything that she doesn’t react to him like most of his past conquests.  She’s indifferent to his flirting, his good looks, and his natural lure that worked with all the other women in his life thus far.  He becomes curious, intrigued, and feels challenged. And from this stems a fabricated tale that Jax conjures, in the hopes of getting closer to this tough as grit girl.  It all starts with a small lie, and Jaxon convinces Vanessa that they must pose as Lucie and Reid for the week in order to secure Lucie and Reid’s wedding plans at a very lavish and prominent resort.  Poor Lucie is stuck in the mainland sick and will not be able to be there until the day of the wedding.

So,  it is up to big brother Jaxon and Lucie’s BFF to make sure everything is planned and running smoothly. The little lie, adds up to more little lies. And Jaxon finds himself in a little bit of a dilemma as he starts to develop deeper feelings towards Vanessa.

Old friends pop up, and I was so happy to see them back.  Fritz and his lively, if not sometimes, inappropriate comments makes a few cameo appearances. But that’s what makes us love Fritz so much. He’s fun and crass, but wise.  And in his infinite wisdom he helps Vanessa during her darkest times. Kyle and Eric also pop by. Like old friends coming to visit, I was ecstatic to see them mentioned.

So stand firm. Don’t break your Reader Rules if you have them. Stand fast, and don’t give in. I’ve always found that it hasn’t failed me yet.

If you haven’t read this, you really need to. But start with Seducing Cinderella. You can find my review on Goodreads here!

If a book makes you smile, the author has done her job. And believe you me, I’m grinning from ear to ear!

Thank you for another excellent read Miss Maxwell! And this is where Rule #4 comes in 😉

Author Information


Growing up in small town Fort Atkinson, WI, Gina L. Maxwell, formerly Bisbee, could often be found onstage in the latest theatrical production, performing with her high school show choir, or holding office in her local FFA chapter. She dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps in the entertainment business, of enabling her audience to forget about life for a few hours as they enjoyed the stories she told through her love of singing, dancing, and acting. It wasn’t until her sophomore year in college when she realized she had no acting talent to speak of and her dream needed some adjusting. Another ten years would pass before she discovered a different means to accomplishing the same dream.

Within those ten years Gina married her high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children, and moved more times than she cared to count. In 2009 she started writing as a hobby while her kids were in school, and it quickly became an obsession she couldn’t stop, and then a dream to publish stories of love and passion for romance addicts just like her.

Three years later, her dream came true when she signed with Entangled Publishing for a total of seven books in two of their imprints.

Her Fighting for Love series with MMA heroes debuted July 20th, 2012 for the digital Brazen imprint with the first book, Seducing Cinderella, and reached #9 on Barnes & Noble’s best seller list in just seven days.

The first book in her paranormal romance trilogy, Desires of the Soul, is set to release both digitally and in mass trade paperback in Summer 2013 for the Entangled Select imprint.

When she’s not writing or wrangling plot bunnies, Gina keeps busy with her wonderful family and their ever-growing extra-curricular schedules. Thanks to their immense patience and support, she’s able to do The Thing She Was Meant To Do and live her dream of bringing a little romantic fantasy to the world, even if only in the pages of a good book.

 Gina’s Website/Twitter/Goodreads/Facebook

 Tour Wide Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire HD or a $200 Amazon Gift Card. Click on the link below be transferred to the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Click on the Picture to Enter Giveaway. 1 winner will get our grand prize of a Kindle Fire and 4 winners will get a signed set of Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance Series: Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider & Rogue Rider!

Literati Literature Lovers Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a Seducing Cinderella book autographed by Gina Maxwell and Parker Hurley! Winner to be randomly chosen by Gina herself!

Three winners will be randomly chosen to win Seducing Cinderella and Rules of Entanglement Swag! Click on the link below to enter and win!

Click on the Picture to Enter Giveaway. 1 winner will get our grand prize of a Kindle Fire and 4 winners will get a signed set of Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance Series: Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider & Rogue Rider!

22 responses to “Review: Rules of Entanglement by Gina L. Maxwell

  1. Mindy Jarreau

    I love Gina Maxwell’s work, especially Seducing Cinderella! Can’t wait to read Rules of Entanglement!

  2. Jenny Dauksa Schaber

    You deserve your own day, Gina! Thanks for the hard work & great characters/stories. I look forward to a lot more in the future.

    • ginamaxwell

      Thank you, Jenny! I don’t know about deserving my own day, but you’re very sweet to say so. 😉

  3. kgagnon2013

    Did you ever perform at Fireside Theatre? I’m happy your life took this direction cuz I really enjoyed Seducing Cinderella and am looking forward to reading ‘Rules of Entanglement’ and the rest of your Fighting For Love series!

    • ginamaxwell

      OMG, you the Fireside! No, I didn’t perform there, but my youngest sister was in two of their shows when she was young (a Christmas show and Gypsy). Plus, my parents met there when my dad performed in the lounge as a singer/drummer and my mom was a cocktail waitress. And of course I know the Klopcic family because it’s a small town and we went to school with the grandchildren. I’m actually moving back home with my family this summer so I’m excited to be able to see the shows again. 🙂 *end tangent*

      Thank you so much for your support. I hope you enjoy RoE as much as you did SC!

      • kgagnon2013

        How cool that you and your family are so artistic/creative! I am a huge fan of live theatre/performances as well as books. Good Luck with your move.

  4. Hobbitgirl

    This really is a must read book, it is fun, sassy and sexy. Loved feisty V and Jax a hunk not to be missed. Bravo Gina!

  5. I stumbled upon Gina’s “Seducing Cinderella,” almost by accident. Oh boy!!!! Reid is my new book boyfriend. Good boy wrapped in a delicious bad boy package. Can’t wait to read “Rules of Entanglement.”

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