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The Casual Rule

(The Casual Rule #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Julia Conti is living the dream in New York City. She has a job she loves in publishing and shares an apartment in the Village with her lifelong best friend, Allie. Following a bad break-up, Julia swears off of men and relationships, until she meets Ben Martin, an up and coming author who is smart, sexy and very easy on the eyes. Fueled by their mutual attraction, close wo ...more
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Amazon Digital Services
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  684 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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"Who said anything about a relationship? We can keep it casual. See each other when we want. No expectations. No strings. I have friends who were in committed relationships. They came out of it hating each other. It doesn’t have to be that way. When we’re done, we stay friends. No hard feelings. We’ll just have a good time, on our own terms, make our own rules."

This book was a complete surprise. It's funny without being over the top silly, steamy without taking anything away from the actual st
Duchess Nicole
4.5 Stars

I've been so lucky lately to stumble across new-ish self pubbed authors that end up blowing me away. This is a full length novel. It's funny, it's emotional, it's super sexy, and it was completely unexpected. It's a little angsty, a little dramatic, a little sad, a lot of happy, and really fantastic all the way around.

We go from a zany and unexpected first meeting to a last minute surprise dinner to loads of sexual tension at the office to meeting the goofy and/or neurotic family. Ther
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 - 4.5 sweet and romantic stars.

This was such a great surprise. A really sweet, romantic and witty story sizzling with great chemistry and some really hot smut.

A fuck buddies to lovers story, their romance felt genuine and gave me happy tingles. This would be a perfect book to lift you out of a book funk. It's easy to read, with likeable characters who feel 'real', just the right amount of angst and not too much drama. I curled up to read this on a rainy Saturday afternoon and I was enjoying i
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Okay I am admittedly biased because I have absolutely adored this author since I read her FSOG Fan Fiction. With that being said this was an AMAZING debut novel. Laugh out loud funny, smart and well written with characters that I connected with right from the start. Julia is a smart, feisty witty female character and Ben is the perfect blend of alpha male and sensitive soul. I loved this book and I can't wait to see what the author has in store next!
Gwen ~the Book Diva
Wow! This ended up in a different place than I expected. I thought I could predict the direction and I love that the author mixed it up a little at the end. Well done and I caught myself actually crying in certain parts. Like I said not at all what I was expecting. It was a solid 4 star until about 80% and that's when the story hit its stride for me. Great story!
A.C. Netzel
Oct 20, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books

5***** Review: Funny, sweet, sexy, and totally captivating with characters you could feel. There are hordes of hopeless romantics who will love the way this story unfolds.

The Casual Rule by AC Netzel
(Can be read as a standalone)
Amazon link:

Jo Ann
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*4.5 This debut novel was a fantastic surprise! The author used humor (I was literally snorting with laughter at times) and a believable story line to put a fresh spin on the "friends with benefits" trope. I'm usually frustrated when given only one POV but I adored Julia and loved being in her head - she's snarky, sensitive and smart. I love me some great banter between characters and this book has it in spades!! The chemistry between Julia and Ben - wow!!! Also enjoyed the NYC/NJ setting - who ...more
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Julia has sworn off men after a horrible breakup until she meets Ben. She decides that she wants something different this time around. Like is never easy and love can be messy. What is constant is friends...and cupcakes. I have been a fan of AC Netzel when she wrote FSOG. She writes sexy and angst well along with cute clumsiness. I laughed, was hot n bothered and teared up before it ended. This is her first published book and I feel so proud that she's following her passion.
Shanoff Reads
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Casual Rule is witty, funny, snarky, sexy, heartbreaking and oh so heartwarming.

I fell in love with Julia in the first chapter. I loved the witty and snarky comments that she and her best friend Allie exchanged. I loved the silly and just downright dirty things that they say to each other and I love that they went "sight seeing" in Central Park. I love that they are such good friends that they can be openly honest with each other even when it hurt.

"Ah, excuse me. Do you have the time?"

Kathy Ann
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, rc, humor
The Casual Rule by AC Netzel

Julia Conti has sworn off men. Her last relationship ended badly and she isn't interested in finding a new one. She has a great job as an assistant editor for a publishing house and an awesome apartment in the Village that she shares with her best friend, Allie. She definitely doesn't need a man to make her happy.

"I know BOB would never betray my heart. He seems quite taken with me; he's hard for me all the time after all, and he lives rent free in my nightstand drawe
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY!!! steamy sex. The story left me feeling happy. I laughed,..cried...mostly laughed. and have I mentioned the hot sex???

There's mirror sex. I love~love~love mirror sex...
(~“Open your eyes, watch us.” I open my eyes and look into the mirror, our eyes meet, and I’m lost in his intense gaze. I feel like a voyeur in my own hedonistic life. “Do you like to watch us, Julia?” he growls through his clenched teeth.~)

Great story line, believable characters, even wac
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I really felt connected to Julia. This book had everything and I'm so very proud of AC. I cried and laughed and truly felt my heart on edge. Can not wait until the next!
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

"No strings. No expectations. No hurt feelings. This is so crazy; I think it just might work."

This book totally worked! From the very first page to the last it was pure gold. Adorable, witty, heartwarming, sweet, sexy .... I had such a fun time reading.

Julia has sworn off men after a horrible breakup but true to any good book she has a funny and supportive BFF who wont let her wallow in misery and coerces her to approach a random, very HOT stranger in Central Park.

Ben isn't looking fo
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a book with a little bit of smut, a little comedy and a ride on an emotional roller coaster, then pick up this book today. You will love Julia. She is incredible and I think she's one of my new favorite female characters this year. At first you'll think of her as a man hater, but you'll see her grow and change into a woman who becomes comfortable in her own skin. I love that she has depth to her and has courage to do what needs to be done to protect herself. I also really l ...more
Maria's Book Blog
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So how do you know when a book is good? Like really, really good? When you start and finish it in the same day. Yep, that totally happened! Which says a lot, considering it’s literally been months since I’ve done that. Once I got hooked into the story I just couldn’t put it down! Lately, very few books have captured my undivided attention, so it was a pleasant surprise when I started reading and was immediately drawn in.

This book had everything I could possibly want. Humor that had me laughing
I really enjoyed this book. A lot more than I anticipated from the blurb. I would give this book 4-4.5 stars. It is a standalone book. Julia has been burned by her cheating ex. It took her so long to get over him that she has now sworn off love & relationships because she never wants to feel that pain again. Ben is a commitment phone who doesn't believe in love & only does casual relationships. Sex & fun only no feelings. When Ben & Julia find themselves meeting several times und ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The was the perfect book to pull me out of this rut I've been in. It was funny, sweet, steamy, and just overall perfection.

Julia's heart was broken by her asshole ex. She was determined not to do the boyfriend thing again. Not worth having her heart ripped out of her chest again. Then she meets Ben. Sweet, sexy Ben. He doesn't do commitment. But Julia and Ben have an undeniable attraction and decide to give a casual non-relationship a try. The sex is off-the-charts-amazing! But it's more than j
Sweets Books
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just loved reading this book. It kept me intrigued and had to know what Ben and Julia would do next. I laughed, cried and smirked at how they toyed with each other. Sometimes the way Julia teased Ben was so funny. I just loved the fact that is is a full length novel. Well worth the money. Not really a dark romance but light and funny!
I recommend this book to anyone who likes romance.

Till next time - Sweets Books
(Written by Colleen - SBAH)
Henrika Fanfiction
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. What else is there to say, true love derived from lust. The 'I'm not looking for anyone right now' card always trumped by the queen of hearts hiding up someone's sleeve.

The book was fresh, easily read and impossible to put down. Excellent job A.C.Netzel!

I kept thinking that this is just the kind of story that would play out excellently on the big screen. Romance <3
J.C. Mells
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemp-romance
Absolutely loved this book. Beautifully written, this book had me laughing out loud one minute, then tearing up the next. Loved the characters, loved the writing - especially the snarky bits. Highly recommend.
W.R. Kimble
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From beginning to end, the author had me hanging off every word to find out what would happen with Ben and Julia, and I wasn't disappointed. It had everything a great story needs: humor, chemistry, romance, contention, and most importantly, a happy ending.
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book to read. Couldn't put it down
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was the perfect combination of snarky, smutty and funny.

I'm really looking forward to more of Ben and Julia. Hopefully a little of Allie and Vince as well.
Dana Dickinson Naylor
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It made me laugh. It made me cry. I didn't put it down until I finished it. Loved it!
Brynette Turner
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Funny, sweet, sexy, and totally captivating. It really drew me in and I know that anyone who has ever had love sneak up on them will love this book as much as I did.
Maria Hasenbuhler
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great book this was! Julia is a real, believable and damn funny! I loved her thoughts, especially when it came to Ben's family. Loved Allie too; we all need a friend like her!
Lisa Hebert
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fun quick read. The author does a great job with adding in the quirky - sarcasm and wit make this a fun read!! Ben is just delicious!!! Will it be happily ever after??!!!
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
What would you do if you had a friendly bootie call arrangement, and unintentionally fell in love? Great characters, some drama and angst, a hot guy who has a "V", and some really good sex scenes. Enjoy the ride.
Jun 22, 2014 added it
Totally enjoyed this book.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved it. Ben Martin, be still my heart. Onto the next one!
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Some Like It Hot!: FREE The Casual Rule through 10/24/17 1 13 Oct 21, 2017 08:14AM  

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I'm an accidental writer, a wife and mother. I found that writing a book was a great way to get out of housework, so I ran with it.

I write about smart women with a little snark, their relationships with the men they love and the friends they keep. I like books that are fun, a little smutty, a little sarcastic, a little sweet,romantic, and will make you swoon... so I wrote two and I'm writing a thi

Other books in the series

The Casual Rule (3 books)
  • The New Rule (The Casual Rule #2)
  • The Only Rule (The Casual Rule 3)
“Can I interest you in a dinner cupcake?” “A dinner cupcake?” he scoffs. “Yes, I accidentally bought five.” No one needs to know about the cupcake I’ve already inhaled. “How does one accidently buy five cupcakes?” His eyes sparkle with amusement. “Don’t know.” I shrug. “Chalk it up to one of life’s many mysteries.” “So the cupcakes replace dinner?” “Yes, they cover all the important food groups. Eggs for protein, milk for dairy, flour for the starch.” “What about a vegetable?” “I’m sure there’s vegetable shortening in the batter or the frosting.” 2 likes
“Okay, you found a good one.” I play it cool while on the inside I’m fanning myself. “Good one? Are you out of your mind? Look at him, that’s what a great fuck looks like.” “How could you possibly know that?” “Look at him, everything about him screams sex. Go. Talk to him.” She nudges my shoulder with her hand.” 1 likes
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