Let me begin this review by saying that if I could give this book all the stars in the world, I would. It blew me away with its magnificently developed characters possessing some pretty distinctive personalities, its upbeat and highly engaging story, and the fact that it had more southern charm than you can shake a stick at.
Rules of Protection had everything that makes a book exceptional, and Alison Bliss hit it out of the park with her debut novel. I couldn’t get enough of it, and even after finishing it, I can’t get the story or its seriously charming, authentic, and hysterical characters out of my head.
Something tells me they’re going to stick around with me for a while too! And I LOVE that because they’re all out of this world awesome.
Emily is as snarky and sassy as they come. She puts the out in outspoken, and I freaking loved that I never knew what would come out of her mouth! That girl likes to ruffle some feathers, and she definitely has a pretty tough defense mechanism when it comes to her “word vomit”, but I heart that girl something fierce! I especially loved that no matter what situation Emily was in, she was still her. It didn’t matter if she was in a moment of pure pain or pure passion, she was still her tried and true spitfire self all the way.
Jake is my kind of male character. Jake had buckets of personality, and I loved that about him. He was charming and he could be stubborn as all get out, yet he was definitely a true southern gentleman with a little bit of a twist. He’s also just a seriously good guy who just melted my heart. There were time when his character had such a rough exterior, and he could be one helluva hard ass about things, but when he felt, he felt hard. There isn’t one thing I didn’t like about him. Did I also mention he’s good looking as all get out, and knows how to woo your pants off? Literally.
I couldn’t get enough of reading how these two attempt to come together. They face a crap ton of obstacles between their pasts and presents, and they are both stubborn as all get out, but reading the building of their relationship was just extraordinary. The doubts they had, the hesitancy that happened every time they got close to one another, and the emotional pushing and pulling they both did in the building of their relationship was utterly authentic and so enthralling to read. Reading these two get close to that edge over and over again made me love them more, and their banter was fanfreakingtastic.
You can also cut the sexual tension between these 2 with a knife. The sexual tension and chemistry between Jake and Emily sparks off the page, and builds and builds until it explodes. If you thought fireworks were fantastic, you haven’t read this book and felt that connection and tension between Emily and Jake. (Oh, and I’ve never been jealous of a deer stand until I read this book…)
The vivacious supporting characters in this book glued themselves to my heart. I absolutely freaking adored every single supporting character. I want to read a book about each one of their distinctive and remarkable little selves. I want to know the story behind Ox, Judd, Junior, Bobbie Jo, Gina, Dale, Hank, Floss, and most of all, COWBOY! They were all utterly fantastic, and so well developed. I felt like I knew each and every one of them personally, and I connected with them in such a way that made them all seem so real to me. All of these glorious characters make up one helluva family that I just adored spending time with.
Rules of Protection had me laughing and smirking more times than I could count. The humor and banter was right up my alley, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the hysterical things these characters were saying and doing. The one liners in this book were simply the best, and I don’t think I’ve laughed this much while reading in a very long time. I especially loved the unique humor each character had, as it added a distinct piece of wit to the already fun filled story.
This book is also bursting with southern charm, and I ate up every single bit of it. The country living, the sayings, the twang, the lovely animals, and everything else in between had me loving all of the southern aspects. It brought a smile to my face, and the world of this book to life from the page. I felt like I was there and could wholly imagine and feel the characters and southern setting so well, and that was just remarkable and so enjoyable to experience.
This book will make you feel every emotion under the sun. You will feel the love, the passion, the pain, the emotion, the vulnerability, the sass, and everything else these characters and story feel. You feel it all, and even when it sometimes sucks because the characters are going through so much, you will love it because you will feel and understand everything they feel. There were also so many instances that sped my heart up. Some were from the love going on or the action and suspense I was reading or just from the lovable craziness, but I loved it all. That excitement and vivaciousness just thrilled me and engaged me fully within this story. It also had me dying to know how it would all come together.
Bottom line: this book will just blow you away with how outstanding it is.
It has everything going for it. The main characters are absolutely wonderful in every way, the family that makes up the supporting characters will have you feeling the love, humor, and the southern awesomeness, and the story itself will hook you in from the first word to the very last. It’s also magnificently balanced with the love story and suspense, and you’ll want to fight for Emily and Jake and what they have together throughout the entirety of the book.
I honestly couldn’t recommend this book to you more if I tried. It was exceptional in every way, and every aspect of this phenomenal book made me love it whole heartedly more. Alison Bliss wrote an outstanding book, and her thoughtfully crafted and beautiful writing will make you a fan of hers for life.
Rules of Protection will suck you in in the best possible way, and it won’t let you go until long after you’ve finished. That doesn’t happen every time you read a book, so relish in that because that’s rarer than you think.
And when in doubt, just think of what Cowboy would do, because that gem will never steer you wrong. :)