Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Against the Rules” as Want to Read:
Against the Rules
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Against the Rules

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,515 ratings  ·  42 reviews

At seventeen Cathryn Ashe had fought Rule Jackson and lost her innocence, then fled to the anonymity of the city. At twenty-five she was back, sure of herself and her newfound independence and ready to challenge him again.

But Rule had raised the stakes, and if she lost now the penalty would be high: her heart, the heart that she fin
Mass Market Paperback, 251 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Mira Books (first published October 1st 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Against the Rules, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Against the Rules

Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O'ConnellTexas Destiny by Lorraine HeathThe Texan's Wager by Jodi ThomasDark Warrior by Lenore WolfeSing My Name by Ellen O'Connell
Favorite Western/Cowboy Romance Novels
69th out of 493 books — 468 voters
Playing for Keeps by R.L. MathewsonPerfection by R.L. MathewsonTall, Dark & Lonely by R.L. MathewsonWithout Regret by R.L. MathewsonA Reclusive Heart by R.L. Mathewson
The Best in Contemporary Romance
119th out of 301 books — 375 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,203)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I can't believe I never read this book before. I really enjoyed it. I love the feel of a modern western. I'm addicted to this theme. I thought Rule was such an intense, rugged, sexy, appealing hero. He was raw and dominant, like many of Linda Howard's heroes. But he never stepped over the edge to domineering bully, for me. He had a vulnerability and a need for Cat that made my heart flutter. Cat is a heroine that I could sympathize with. She spent so many years running scared from her overwhelmi ...more
Jan 04, 2008 Rhapsody rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: romance readers who like hardcore alpha males
Another one of Howard's over-the-top alpha males. Sometimes I complain about how other authors' male leads are a little too nice and sensitive, but Howard's extreme doesn't quite work for me either. Rule is probably the scariest alpha male I've encountered in any of the romance novels I've read. He went to Vietnam when he was a young man and came back traumatized, alienating everyone in his small hometown with his bad behavior and drinking heavily until Cathryn's father gave him a job on the ran ...more
Of all the chauvinistic pigs in the world, this guy takes the cake. I know the story was written years and years ago, but still...ewwww.
I like romantic jerks and assholes as much as the next dumb masochistic bitch but I can't stomach either hero or heroine in this story. There is no redeeming quality about the hero. He pretty much ×rapes× a seventeen year old girl and the only thing he has to say years later is "you wanted it". Sure the stupid girl may have been asking for it but does that make him faultless? No! She was seventeen for Pete's sake! I saw no remorse in him. And then we have the heroine. Usually I can tolerate the ...more
I love Linda Howard's books. She's really great. This book was awful, but I read it (okay, skimmed it) anyway, because I almost had to. It was that bad. Horrible main characters, ridiculous plot, and lots of steamy sex.

Let me just give you a few highlights:

""You don't own me, and you never will!"

"Do you feel secure in that little dream world you've built?" he asked with silky menace, and the tone of his voice was a warning. "


"She saw his jaw tighten, and he snapped, "You may not have my ring o
Sometimes there is nothing like reading an older romance, things were simpler in the 80's or at least they seem like it in romancelandia

Catheryn/Cat (h) had ran the first chance she had, ran from her home on the ranch, ran from her feelings and ran from Rule. Now she's home for the first time in years, but only for the holiday weekend.

Rule (H) has had it rough, if it wasn't for Cat's father bringing him to the ranch when he was younger he didn't think he would be alive rough now. He is indebte
Pam H
Cathryn Ashe has returned to her ranch in Texas which is managed by Rule Jackson, the man who took her innocence. Having lost her husband 2 years before she is still hiding in Chicago afraid of the hold Rule has over her.
Rule is a VietNam vet who came home severely damaged. Thanks to Cat's father, he found a purpose in ranching and became an expert at breeding and raising horses and a successful rancher. The one thing he doesn't have is Cat. He wants her back to stay.

Cat is completely annoying
I wish I had paid attention to the reviews I read before I bought this book. It was awful. The hero was a real jerk. He was rude, self-serving, and over the top sadistic. The whole Vietnam excuse was crap. The heroine was strange. She was basically raped at seventeen by above creep, she ran away, married another guy who later died. And then sashayed back into Rule's arms. Yes, the creep's name was Rule.

Linda Howard has fallen off my 'can do no wrong list.' And once more, I promise to stay away
Judy Goodnight
2.5 stars

One of the early Linda Howard books. Uber-alpha male, heroine who has loved him since she was 18 but can't deal with her feelings so she runs away. This book is full of women making emotional scenes - it got quite tiresome.
I hate those books with the most annoying characters!!!

image: description

But I hate to say it, but without annoying characters the book would not be fun or thrilling. For that character gives the heroine purpose to fight for her man! Such as the heroine in this book who also got on my nerves, I wanted to yell 'stop being a welcoming mat and fight for what's belongs to you.'

This is a really good book, I would enjoy rereading in the future when I can't find a good book to read.
AGAINST THE RULES was originally published in 1983, by Harlequin or Silhouette. I kept expecting some suspense, as we see in Howard's more recent publications, but no. (view spoiler) Just nothing but melodrama, sex, horses, and a bitchy step-sister. Drama city.

Still, I liked the last fourth of the book, from the broken leg to the end. Rule was just so
Lizeth Gonzalez
wowww... I loved it!!!... it heads my list of favorite... that history so phenomenal!!..
Rule and Cat: These two idiots deserved each other.

She was always whinning about "I hate him but can't help but let him seduce me because hot duh".
Also, yes the bratty princess she's the owner of the ranch and bad wolf Rule was running like it was his, but did she even try to learn everything he knew about ranch life to be able do dismiss his help as she so wanted to? No! She complained and went all "You're not the owner, I am. See, I put my feet down for emphasys, I don't need you....even thou
At this point, I've read almost all of Linda Howard's books, and I've really enjoyed most of them. Needless to say then, when I found a copy of this one at my local library, I was pretty excited to read it. The verdict: it's not bad. Unfortunately, it's also not great.

As other reviewers have stated, this is one of her older works and it shows given how dated some of the references are. It is also typical Linda Howard, in that the hero is alpha to the core. Rule is not a bad guy; he just knows wh

What I've always like with LH's works are her characters. They were flawed, yes, but they have strength. Here, I was captivated by Rule Jackson. He seemed a simple man, who knows what he wants, and gets what he wants. I also loved that he has a weakness. Her name is Cat. Cat on the other hand, is a headstrong woman on her own,and I liked the fact the she's not stupid. Oh, she have her insecurities and weak moments, but she always think things through, gives benefit of the doubt b
I can't help but think that all the drama would have been foregone had Rule and Cathryn just talked. I might be simplifying things but a lot of their heartache could've been saved -- and if Cathryn had stayed at the Ranch instead of running away.

All the same, Rule's not the worst alpha male I've read and truthfully, he's the first that got me interested in cowboys. It just never worked for me before. Might have to look into others now!
It was kind of nice to read an older romance (1983) with one of those strong, silent men as a change of pace, but the heroine's inner conflict got a bit too repetitive for me: "Does he care more about me or my ranch? Is he just using me to get control of the ranch?"

It also reminded me of how surprised I was when I first read a romance that actually let the reader in on what the hero was thinking as the story progressed without just waiting for the big confession at the end ("But, honey, I've bee
Mishma Khan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I liked the word play on the tittle and the hero's name. It makes his character dark, dangerous, and a formidable force to be reckon with. There's not such heavy angst or it's not as deep as it could have been. His devotion to her was endearing. Every breathless kiss was filled with longing that you felt how meaningful it was on his part. It was largely and acquisition type seduction, but at the same time you felt that it was his every reason to live.
cathryn ran away from her heritage years ago when rule broke her heart. now her father has died and left her the ranch, so she's returned. unfortunately, rule is there, but cathryn is the boss now, and she won't let rule walk all over her again.

what i liked: that cathryn grew up. she didn't let the past rule her present. (pun NOT intended)

what i didn't like: it was formulaic.
Solid story, built around a lack of communication between the leads, sometimes frustrating to read, but at least the guy wasn't a total asshole, as some are in Howard's early books. Still pretty damn overbearing and controlling, but there's some reason given for it at least.
ส่วนตัวแล้ว ชอบเรื่องนี้ค่ะ
นางเอกก็ดีนะ ถึงแม้จะชอบคิดไปเองก็เหอะ แต่เมื่อตัดสินใจแล้วก็ไม่ถอยค่ะ

ชอบอ่ะ ไม่มีเหตุผล 555
มันโดนใจอ่ะ ทั้งๆที่ พล็อตเรื่องมันก็ไม่ได้มีอะไรมากมายเลยนะ (ไม่มีจริงๆ)
เรื่อยๆมาเรียงๆ แต่อ่านเพลินๆ
I absolutely loved Rule (I have a soft spot for tortured heroes) and I really liked Cat. There was nothing particularly special about the storyline but it was so romantic that I couldn't help but love it.

The plot isn't terribly complex. I felt Rule's behavior at the end made up for his more bruttish actions.
This was another great book by Linda Howard in modern day Texas. She has such a way with stories of love and the passion between a man, a woman and the love of a ranch.
Really wanted to like this--I tend to like ranch settings and hot cowboys. It just turned out too old school for me, and Cathryn and Rule's relationship frustrated me.
This was okay, could have been better. Too much describtion, not enough dialog for me. Overall, it was a fine book, just a little too long and drawn out.
This is one of Howard's early category romances. It was a light, entertaining read, but lacked the suspenseful plot contained in her later books.
Miss Echa
ceritanya agak membosankan...
I hate the heroine playing hard to get...
Apalagi chapter2 akhir.... banyak aq skip2 juga saking bosannya...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 73 74 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Missing Page 1 18 Mar 11, 2010 01:29PM  
  • Dark Illusion
  • The Sicilian's Mistress
  • The Reluctant Fiancee
  • Bought with His Name
  • House of Glass
  • Temptation
  • The Golden Chance
  • Romancing the Stone
  • The Spaniard's Marriage Bargain (The Marriage Bargain, #1)
  • Glass Houses
  • The Bride Thief
  • Lady Gallant (European Renaissance Duo, #1) (Ladies, #1)
  • A Devil In Disguise
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Linda S. Howington was born on August 3, 1950 in Alabama, United States. She began to write at nine years old, and wrote for twenty years for her own enjoyment. She worked at a trucking company where she met her husband, and then decided to try and get her work published in 1980. [1:] Her first work was publishe
More about Linda Howard...
Mr. Perfect After the Night Dream Man Open Season Mackenzie's Mountain (Mackenzie Family, #1)

Share This Book

“Love! Who ever said that love
made the world go round? Love was a killing pain, an addiction that had to be fed; yet even in her pain she
knew that she wouldn't have it any other way.”
More quotes…