by Kimberly Lauren
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The most valuable lesson Emerson Moore ever learned was from her parents: Never get too attached to someone else. That’s why this hard-partying college student plays by her own code of bedroom conduct, refusing to stay with the same guy for too long. She gets all the pleasure of having a good time without the messiness of a relationship.. So what if frat house–hopping has earned her a certain reputation around campus? At least no one gets hurt this way—especially her.
When ridiculously gorgeous Jaxon Riley moves in next door, Emerson’s not sure how long her vow against emotional intimacy can last. Jaxon’s tattoo, muscles, and sexy voice make him tempting, but he also seems to really understand her…until his jealous ex-girlfriend and Emerson’s life-changing discovery about her parents get thrown into the mix. After everything she’s been through, can Emerson handle a real relationship? Or will breaking her rules just lead to a broken heart?
Hmm…you know that feeling you get when you reflect back over a book that you loved and you keep replaying all of your favorite scenes in your head because you aren’t ready to give up that world? Yeah, well, actually I am doing the opposite. You see, I had so much fun reading Beautiful Broken Rules YET there were two events that took place that bothered me. A lot. One seemed so out of character and in the other one, a truth was withheld to only cause drama, in my eyes. So now I’m struggling, because I cherished these characters. They were entertaining and I loved watching the dynamics of their group friendship play out. Listening to their banter and everyday life interactions was so much fun! But I can’t forget those two instances, and the more I look back on the them, the more I can’t lose that sour taste in my mouth. Ugh.
“Please stop running from me,” he whispered.
“Please stop trying to catch me,” I said, getting up to leave.
I’m surprised to say, I adored Emerson. She is a self-proclaimed slut and I was weary about whether I would like or connect with her. But it was so easy! She had such a fun voice to follow since she was witty and sarcastic. She kept a smile on my face more times than I could count. Just read the first chapter, oh my gosh, she was hilarious! And while yes, she definitely fulfilled her reputation of being the campus slut, she had rules in place so she’s not just one of “those” girls. She stays away from guys that her friends like and ones that are dating someone else. So her hearts in the right place, even when she’s sleeping around the campus. She has a reason for her actions, and it helps her keep guys at a distance. But then Jaxon swaggers into her life, things slowly start to change.
“I don’t need a protector, okay?” I breathed.
“I’m trying my fucking hardest here, Beautiful.”
Jaxon is the most dangerous of guys, because not only is cocky and sexy as hell, but he portrays this essence of sex appeal. And Emerson is in for a treat, because he’s going to be living right next door to her! Emerson lives with her bestfriend/step-sister Quinn, but their best friend Cole just moved in next door. And he’s having his best friends from home, Jaxon and his brother Jace, move in with him. Trouble and laughter is ensured! It was so easy to fall under Jaxon’s spell! He was funny, quick-witted and oh so sweet. He would remember the tinniest of things that she would say. The things that were truly important to Emerson, but she would never portray them that way. So when he would act out and help her, he easily wiggled a little bit further into her heart and mine. As if that wasn’t enough, he called her beautiful. It stood out to me every time he used that term, but then he had to go and ruin it at times by also calling her babe. Why would he do that? If felt so lackluster compared to beautiful. But all was quickly forgiven, because he was Jaxon and it was impossible not to love him!
So that’s why I really, really struggled with two events. Don’t worry, they won’t be spoiled since I won’t diverge details. In the first one, truths were hidden. I get that that can happen at times, but this felt contrived. Forced. And the words that were spoken out loud felt manipulated so that we and Emerson would think it was something else entirely. And that made me mad. Because the sole purpose of it was to cause conflict between them. There was no reason to play it that way. It upset me, but it was characters I adored, so I quickly forgave them and pushed it out of my head so I could move on. But then another scene happened in the latter half of the book where I felt as though a character’s words and actions were manipulated again. It just didn’t ring true. And again I felt as though it was forced for the sake of drama. And after two strikes I was done. I finished the rest of the book and while I did enjoy it, I definitely wasn’t as connected or as invested to the characters as I was before.
So now you can see why I’m so conflicted because on one end I love these characters. I loved watching all of their friendships and dynamics unfold. I started to truly care for them but then the story took two twists that I couldn’t believe. I felt as though the characters were manipulated and it definitely put my love for this book on pause. So sadly even though the story-line and characters were amazing, I won’t be finishing the two remaining books in this series.
*ARC kindly provided by Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review*