Saturday, August 1, 2009
Title: Bending the Rules
Author: Susan Andersen
Publishing Date: July 2009
Poppy Calloway is a free spirited artist with impulse issues and has the tenacity of a bulldog. She has the brilliant idea to have the three teens clean up their mess when they are caught vandalizing local businesses with graffiti. Being a local community volunteer, she agrees to work on this project with the teenagers. Detective Jason de Sanges has been assigned to oversee the project, as well. He is the exact opposite of Poppy with his surely disposition and dour countenance. His and Poppy's personalities clash as they struggle with their physical attraction. Meanwhile, there has been a string of robberies and one of Poppy's teenagers accidentally witnessed it.
Bending the Rules was just an average read for me. I thought the set up had true promise, as I really enjoy the opposites attract theme. I did like Poppy's spirited personality and I loved that she drove a battered station wagon, but she did have some TSTL (too stupid to live) moments. At one point Poppy even refers to what she is doing as "too stupid to live". Just because she admits to it, doesn't make it any less stupid. As a matter of fact, it makes it even dumber because she knows she shouldn't be doing it! On a positive note, I did enjoy Poppy's interaction with the teenagers and her two girlfriends Jane and Ava (who each will have their own books).
Jason was stuffy and he kept harping on his family's background in which all the de Sanges men seem destined for a life of crime. Even though Jason has led an exemplary life, keeping to a strict code of conduct he still thinks that he is one step away from slipping up. This means that Poppy, who he deems a "good girl", is not for the likes of him. The whole book he tries to keep Poppy at arm’s length. He tries to keep emotionally distant from her and continually lies about his feelings for her. Only external conflicts keep him moving his relationship forward with Poppy. This bordered on the annoying side. I wish he could have come to the conclusion of his feelings for Poppy on his own terms instead of forcing them on him as a result of the danger Poppy faces. As it currently stands, I found the ending trite and unconvincing. To make matters worse the ending/epilogue was super sappy.
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This book can be purchased in print or kindle format by Amazon.