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Romeo's Rules

(Mike Romeo #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  839 ratings  ·  88 reviews
If you want to stay alive, you better know the rules . . .
Natalia Mayne said, “What's the first rule?”
“Fear nothing,” I said.
“You have any more?”
“Do unto them before they do unto you.”
”And you don’t owe the truth to people who lie."
“I’ve never met anybody like you.”
“I’ve heard that before.”

Mike Romeo is an ex-cage fighter living off the grid in Los Angel
Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published September 21st 2015 by Compendium Press
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  839 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Eve Gaddy
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the first fiction I've read by James Scott Bell and it sure won't be the last! I was sucked in from the time I read the "look inside" on Amazon. I really liked the characters, especially Mike Romeo. I liked his smart-ass attitude and the bits of his history that we learned were fascinating. I did not see the ending coming! I've already ordered the other books in this series.:)
Jonathan Jeffrey
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A bibliophile's thriller

Mike Romeo (not his real name) should be a knockoff Jack Reacher, a vagabond wandering the American highways and byways kicking ass and serving justice... He turns out to be more than that.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Short take: enjoyed the narrative. Story was not great.
Art Redding
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Romeo Wiseacre

This is a short book with a decent twist at the end. But the most enjoyable part is the wise cracking Romeo and his philosophy. Recommended.
Janet Sketchley
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mike Romeo is an former cage fighter trying to stay off the radar in Los Angeles—until he comes to the rescue of an attractive woman whose children are missing after a church bombing. Helping Natalia gains him some powerful—and violent—enemies, but Mike is not one to back down.

This is a noir-feel thriller, fairly clean but so violent in a couple of places that I skipped some pages. That said, it’s written with a pleasing dry humour. And Mike and his wheelchair-bound Rabbi friend Ira (a former Mo
C.J. Darlington
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: secular-suspense
Mike Romeo is an ex cage fighter on the run from his past. All he wants is to escape and maybe, finally, make peace with life. But then the church explodes, and he discovers someone's covering up a murder.

"To survive means to fight. There is never any rest. You've either got enemies outside, inside, or both."

Rule #1: Fear Nothing.
Mike has nothing to lose, which is his downfall and his strength, and he digs deep to find the men responsible not only for the murder but the vicious attempts on his
Dennis Ricci
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
James Scott Bell's signature writing voice and storytelling mastery hit a new high watermark for me with this first book in his new Mike Romeo thriller series. A masterful blend of action, suspense, wry humor in just the right moments, and...I will say nothing about the ending, because I don't want to give any hints to spoil it in the least. I'm starting book two, Romeo's Way, tonight, and can't wait for more stories featuring Bell's compelling character Romeo. If there were six stars, that'd be ...more
Patricia Bradley
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved Romeo's Rules and the hero, Mike Romeo and I love the nod to John D. MacDonald and Travis McGee. Bell has created a flawed hero who is fighting his own demons at the same time he gets pulled into others' messes. I look forward to more stories about Mike Romeo!
Tony Parsons
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Los Angeles, CA. Our Lady of Church.
Natalia jog by this church all the time. BOOM!
Officer Huck (LAPD) arrived on the scene on long the LAFD.
Natalia Mayne (wealthy business woman) informed him there was a body in the church & it wasn’t from the arson.

Detective John Davis (40+, LAPD) was on the scene also.
Natalia 2 kids: Brianna (girl), & Sam (boy) are nowhere to be found.
Mike Romeo (PI, ex-cage fighter, Yale) offers to help find them.
Stephen (Nurse) was looking at Phil’s vitals,
Randy Tramp
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want to stay alive, you better know the rules . . .

What a beginning. Church blows up. Romeo stops to help a mother whose children are missing. Someone puts a target on Romeo's back.

Romeo has rules that he's going to make stick. A cage fighter who fights for the underdog. If I had to guess, Mike was a type "A" personality. Maybe the oldest in his family felt responsible to take care of people, the less fortunate.

Killing a man does something to your soul. Romeo never wanted to be a killer.
Amelia Autin
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

Loved this story by new-to-me author James Scott Bell. ROMEO'S RULES is the first book in a new series featuring former cage fighter Mike Romeo, and I'm optimistically looking forward to the next two books in the series (not to mention other books by this author).

Where do I begin? I adore Romeo's odd mixture of erudite scholarship and cage fighting abilities. And of course I adore his fierce championing of the underdog, not to mention his "rules." I tried several times to put this book
Phil Lemons
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but it seemed to be more about the main character than the story. Bell takes a first person approach and it felt like he did a lot of telling in lieu of dialogue. I appreciate that in conveying what an antagonist would say in truth rather than veggie swears. I also recognize that it keeps the story moving rather than getting bogged down in dialogue. So this is in part stylistic taste.

The main character is a person struggling with knowing himself and his place in the world. I
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I finished this read on the plane heading for my western visit with family. It is an easy read and keeps the reader intrigued as Bell develops the plot. Writing mirrors the character's outlook on his life and work - plain-spoken, direct, and to the point. I would pick up another Romeo just to see where the author takes him.

Mike Romeo is hiding out from his past when he witnesses a church bombing. Drawn to one of the victims when she asks him to locate her children, Romeo finds himself doing jus
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this. Romeo is quirky and I loved his Latin tags and philosophy. I also loved his comments about modern films. I walked out of The Towering Inferno as I didn’t see how watching people burn to death was entertainment. And in more recent films the ‘collateral damage’ of a zillion ordinary people being wiped out as the ‘heroes’ battle is never addressed, but it just makes me smile ruefully nowadays. I feel Romeo would have cottoned on to my point of view. I shall certainly read another, a ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so much fun to read. Another free book from BookBub. Worked again. Mike Romeo is an unbelievably funny and made me think of Sherlock Holmes. He observes everything and his response to questions asked shows how intelligent he really is. He went to Yale at 14. He was bullied a lot while growing up. Tragedy hit him at a young age and his response is central to why his like he is. This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. I have put the next 2 books in series on my ...more
Carol Martin
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Fairly good story, a lot of "self defense killings" by main character

Convoluted story of man who killed someone in self-defense as a teenager & then seems to be a character that accidentally finds himself in more situations as an adult that leads to several more self defense killings. I thought the writing was ok but I didn't like the character much. He's a Jack Reacher want to be. Somehow, it just didn't work for me.
Douglas Osgood
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun Ride

Mike Romeo isn't your typical retired cage fighter--he reads philosophy and the classics. And he has a dark secret he would like to keep secret. On a run he happens on a church bombing and someone tries to run him over. And that's just for starters. Hang on because the action doesn't slow down except for Mike to occasionally quote Hamlet or Greek mythology or one of the great classics of yesteryear. An engaging and fun quick read.
Martin Colvill
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Thought Provoking Thriller

Romeo's Rules was a shot in the dark for me. I needed a break from my usual diet of SciFi, Apocalyptic, Postapocalyptic fare and went looking for something new. I certainly found it.
Mr. Bell's characters have good depth, the story moves right along and a philosophical ex-MMA Cage fighter genius must be read to be believed.
I loved this book. Give it a chance. I think you will too.
Terry Parker
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Literature, philosophy and a guy that wants to make things right

Mike Romeo is a guy, big guy, former cage fighting guy. Parents were Yale professors. So there’s a bit of a disconnect in looks and brains.

He knows his literature, philosophy and Latin, and not afraid to use it. He also knows his body, his fists and his personal ethos and beliefs. And he’s not afraid to use them either.
D. Jane Akins
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting read

It could be a 5 or it could be a 3. I think I'm interested in reading the sequel. This book definitely has some unusual twists and turns that keep you reading. The main character, Romeo, is too much in lots of ways, but you only get a glimpse into his background to really make up your mind. If you like a very different mystery/thriller that will keep you guessing, then by all means read this book. You won't be able to out it down once you start.
Kenneth Bloomfield
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fast paced thriller. I had no idea how it was going to end until the last few pages and that almost never happens. Romeo sounds like a guy I could fall in love with.

I had no idea how it was going to end until the last few pages and that almost never happens. Romeo sounds like a guy I could fall in love with. I can't wait until the next book.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Unusual character

Really odd, unusual character. Reads in short choppy, sometimes terse dialog. Easy enough to read, pretty full of action and intrigue. The mystery of his past seemed a little overplayed, but since I didn't get the entire story, perhaps I've assumed too much.
Tham Hoffman
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eccentric hero attempts to untangle mysteries.

The protagonist in this story is a genius eccentric. His personality is as unique as all the mysteries he tries to solve. Every page has a new twist. The excitement is palpable. I plan to read many more books in this series. Highly recommended.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent start to a TOUGH Guy Series

Romeo is a major league TOUGH guy who just wanted to help the victims. But he can't seem to get out of everyone's way, mob heavies, police, and beautiful.... Well, you know the story. Actually, I don't think you DO know this one. Read it yourself. Great characters, story, mystery, and wrap up. OK, I gotta go get the next Romeo cage fight.
Jim A
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Plenty of action. Serious twists

Protagonist, Mike Romeo, on the run from his own demons gets involved in a child custody battle. Romeo's character is usually found waxing philosophically about this and that. A lot of Latin and Greek philosophy. Interesting character for the type of novel Bell has written.
Kate Joekel
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Non-stop thriller

I'm not sure if you would call this a thriller or not, but it is nonstop. Mike Romeo is an enigmatic man who can deal in death and philosophy equally, except he prefers philosophy. His friend Is a is ex missed and a wheelchair bound rabbi.
This sets up a series that keeps me reading way too late into the night.
May 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Mike Romeo is on the run and staying with a friend. Then a church blows up and he's pulled into a mystery helping a woman find her children.

Romeo is a weird individual. I don't really like him and the writing wasn't the best. There's a lot of fighting and taking hostage. There are decent twists.
Barry Edstene
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How have I missed this. James Scott Bell knocks this one out of the park. A protagonist that actually thinks. He is smart, understands what he is about and has many layers. The action is superb, the story well constructed. The intrigue and mystery work. All in all a great read, loved turning every page.
Randall W. Perkins
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty Complicated

This is, at least IMO, a complicated book, jumping hither and yon, but it's technically very well written. You'll need to keep track of a number of characters to even try to make sense of the plot, and you'll wonder, every now and then, why the hero is going through all of this. But the book is better than most.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Romeo's Rules is the 1st book in a great new series,
introduces Mike Romeo. Mike is a man of mystery
and he has Rules. If he meets you -- There's only
one thing I need to know: Whose side are you on?

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Jim is a former trial lawyer who now writes and speaks full time. He is the bestselling author of Try Dying, No Legal Grounds, Presumed Guilty, Glimpses of Paradise, Breach of Promise and several other thrillers. He is a winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Inspirational Fiction, and was a fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine. He has written two books in the Writers' Digest serie ...more

Other books in the series

Mike Romeo (4 books)
  • Romeo's Way (Mike Romeo #2)
  • Romeo's Hammer (Mike Romeo Thrillers #3)
  • Romeo's Fight  (Mike Romeo Thrillers #4)