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Rules of Engagement

(Rules of Engagement #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,485 ratings  ·  235 reviews
Dustin Walker is still finding his footing after a long overdue divorce when he challenges a pool shark to a game in a bar. Enter Brandon Stewart—funny, friendly… and flirty? And Dustin is… flirting back?

Forget finding his footing—Dustin is swept right off his feet by this sweet, gorgeous man. Suddenly he’s exploring a whole new side of himself and his sexuality, and for
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published September 2nd 2019 (first published November 28th 2009)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,485 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
3.5--Terrible Ending--Stars!!

The first 80% of the book was a solid 4/5 star read for me. I'm a sucker for the whole GFY trope. And yeah, the majority of the first 80% were a lot of this...

And a lot of this...

But I really liked Dustin and Brandon. Brandon is bi and Dustin thought he was straight. He's recently divorced and his ex and mom are super controlling. So imagine his surprise when Dustin find3.5--Terrible
Re-read Oct 2015 I said I wouldn't read this again because I was afraid it wouldn't hold up to my old enjoyment, but screw it. I'm re-reading for the lover's quarrel angst. And, wow, there is a LOT of sex in this one! Gay virgin sex! Absolutely loved it and the HFN ending. Book two wraps it all up!

Original review

This is a book I ABSOLUTELY loved when I read it many years ago. I have a nagging feeling it won't stand up to my current scrutiny so I have decided to let my 5 stars stand and not re-r/>Original
Nichole (DirrtyH)
Apr 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, m-m
I struggled to rate this because on one hand, I really enjoyed this book, but on the other hand I hated the ending. I hated the end so much I almost gave the book 3 stars, but I don't want to punish 280 pages of "had me completely hooked" just because of 5 pages of "What? Really?!" So there you go. But this probably would have been 4.5, maybe even 5 stars if not for the ending. So I guess it did get punished a little...

This book was pretty hit-or-miss with my Goodreads friends. I noticed a
3,5 frustrating stars !

I really enjoyed this one. A nice gfy...very hot and sexy. I figured I had hit the jackpot...then came the 75 % mark.

So Dustin and Brandon meet over a game of pool in a bar. Dustin is going through a divorce..he has been seperated from his wife of ten years, for 6 months.
There is instant chemistry between these two...which confuses the hell out of Dustun because he is supposed to be straight. Brandon is out and bi.

This one was heavy on the in
Jun 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been a 4 star book except for the crappy 10% ending where it really came off as Dustin cheating on Brandon with 2 people (a woman and then a man the next night).

Dustin was so hurt by his ex-wife cheating but then he goes and hooks up with other people while he and Brandon were on a break in an attempt to ‘find himself’ if he is really bi, gay, straight.. also, his half-assed grovel was not appreciated by this reader at all. I really pitied Brandon towards the end.

I e
This was just an ok read. I can only give it two stars because there were quite a few things that annoyed me in this and detracted from the storytelling. First of all, lord knows I don't mind sex scenes but there were way too many and not enough character or plot development until way too far into the story. Also this story contain one of my biggest pet peeves- no prep before the guys got it on with no mention of pain or discomfort, in fact quite the opposite. And lastly, small details here and ...more
BWT (Belen)
Belens Audio Book Review

Nick J. Russo has a smooth voice, a cool style, and the ability to make panties burst afire when he starts on L.A. Witt's steamy sex scenes - all of which lends itself to a wildly entertaining listening experience.

Dustin Walker just got out of a ten year marriage to a manipulative, habitually chronic cheating harridan who was basically hand picked by his true harpy of a mother. When he goes to the local bar and pool hall he ends up meeting Brandon Stewart, who's proudly bisexual.

Dustin and Brandon get together and Brandon is e
I enjoyed this story. I liked the friendship between Dustin Walker and Brandon Stewart which allowed both characters to grow as men.

Dustin had been married but it was to please his mother. So when Dustin walked in on his wife and one of her lovers, Dustin had to admit that this marriage wasn't working at all. When Dustin goes to hustle pool, he meets another pool shark Brandon. A tentative friendship begins and soon they have a sexual encounter.
This new relationship is everythi
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica, m-m
This is a very interesting book... Not only the characters, Dustin and Brandon, are amazing, sexy, hot and have lots and lots steamy sex, but the story is surprisingly captivating by the reality that transmits. Dustin is suffering from a difficult divorce with a controller and evil woman, and he rediscovers his sexuality on Brandon's side. He struggles but it's hard for him to realize that he actually loves a man.

Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Thanks so much mystery Secret Santa for the gift!
This is a wonderful smexy read with the added dimension of seeing Dustin grow into his skin after years of subjugating himself to controlling women.

It is a story of coming out, sweet fetishes, teasing, loving and having the balls to be honest about yourself and your desires. The angst is well balanced and isn't pushes the story forward...this is a well crafted book with realistic, easy to like characters.
Kaje Harper
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
This is a definite Gay-for-you romance, with Dustin, a guy who has no past attraction to men, falling hot and heavy for Brandon, who is out and bi. There is a somewhat refreshing lack of dithering about the sex - Dustin's attraction is immediate, hot and enthusiastic. There is a lot of sex in this one, and it's pretty well written. I did wish the guys spent more time doing other things. I completely bought their attraction, but the personal and emotional side of the relationship got a bit of a shor ...more
Rissa (an M/M kinda Girl!!)
I really liked the playing pool and how they met but I woulda LOVED to see these guys become friends first. Maybe become some pool sharks or something. lol
But they fell into bed and that's mostly where they stayed. (not that it wasn't hott or anything!) I coulda done without all the girl stuff..I get that he was Bi but it pulled me out..oh well, at least I didn't have to hear wet/drippy/creamy etc...
The ending KILLED me!! Seriously that's how you want the last 11% of the book to go..and
I did love the 25% of the book, all those tiny islands of actual plot in the sea of sex.
The plot bits - 5 stars. The sheer amount of sex ...I can't even rate it adequately :(
2.5 stars and rounding down.
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what great surprise, I totally loved this book. Haven't read a book in the first person for such a long time and it was really well done - great characters, perfect pacing, and an interesting plot.
Dec 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rules of Engagement is likely to appeal to those fans who love a lot of angst to their men and don’t mind the weak ending, which is barely a happy ending at all. The book starts off with Dustin out for a night in a bar and happens to find something incredibly intriguing at the pool table. Although the source of his newfound desire is a man, Dustin is overwhelmed by his attraction to the other man and can’t help acting on it. Thus begins a rather passionate affair which hits a bump when Dustin re ...more
This book could've been 4 or more stars, but the ending just knocked the stars right out of me.

Dustin Walker is about 6 months out of a nasty divorce. He has had some one-night stands to ease his memories, but it's too soon to start anything serious. Until he meets Brandon Stewart playing pool. Dustin has never been interested in, or even attracted to men. But being near Brandon definitely lights his fuse. I really enjoyed their initial interactions. Dustin did not seem to have any angst and ju
Jun 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
I've been putting off writing this review because I knew it would degenerate into a rant about what I don' t like to see in romance novels. It's still going to, don't get me wrong, but at least now it won't contain as many swear words. So, if you want to see my rant feel free to read the spoiler. Otherwise, know that this book didn't do it for me for personal reasons - those reasons are things that I can't stand to see in a romance novel and really don't reflect on the writing style of this book ...more
3.5 star.
The story has a good start and definitely lots of chemistry between the two protags. But there are just so many things not right in the story. From the characterisation to the plot and it just kind of falls apart from the latter part of the story and then has a very rushed ending. Kind of WTF when I finished it...

Apart from Brandon, who is lovely and witty, all the other characters in the story are quite "extreme" and stereotypical... I'd call them: daytime soap characters. Not convin
L.A. Witt
Sep 16, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Re-released Sept 3, 2019 -- newly polished/edited, plus a 1,400 word extended ending!
Emma Sea
I completely adored the beginning of the book, and the chemistry between Dustin and Brandon was absolutely smoking hot, but I thought the author failed to explore Dustin's self-discovery, and his relationship with his family.

(view spoiler) ...more
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 2.5 stars

So gay-for-you type of stories are one of my favorites. It reaches for my inner romantic and makes me think that real life doesn't truly suck.

Unfortunately, Rules of Engagement didn't make my inner romantic sing for joy. It kind of made me cringe. I think the biggest issue I had was Dustin. While I understand he had a painful ten year relationship with a psycho-bitch of an ex-wife, it felt like some of the problems were due to the fact that he was a pusho
Aug 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, done, 2010, gay, ebook, romance, 2011
4.5 stars. Very good m/m romance (that I had a hard time putting down, even rereading it) about a recently divorced guy who finds himself powerfully drawn to a guy he meets playing pool in a bar. Yes, I got sniffly, so you know there was some angst. I think my only complaint was the abruptness of the ending. I really liked this quote from one of the other characters: “If I knew how a lot of my relationships would have turned out, I never would have gotten involved in them…. And I would have miss ...more
You can put me in the "what the hell just happened here" camp for this book. It was like I read two different stories, the first significant portion of the book and then the ending bit, although in all honesty, even the first bit was thin on anything other than sex. And even cheesy in parts. (The number of times they scratched their faces while flipping each other off, etc.). I have nothing to add that isn't covered by other reviews. I've read other books by this author that I adored so I'm thin ...more
Valerie ❈M/M Romance Junkie❈
Read 8/8/2013
Re-read 3/7/2014 still one of my favorite books. I've read this multiple times, and I still love it.
Re-read 8/8/2015 I won't change my original rating, but my tastes have definitely changed. I was pissed at his family's drama. I was pissed at his ex. (view spoiler) ...more
4.75 Stars

I really liked this one. You got to see Dustin's process of discovering he has feelings for another guy. He has a family that is split on his choice. Dustin does not always make the right decision and the ending is more a happy for now (HFN), but a good one. I would love a follow up book maybe even with other characters but just so we can see where Dustin and Brandon end up.
Jun 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-mm
Great writing that kept me (electronically) turning the pages, but the ending sort of ruined it for me. Loved the characters, but the ending felt so rushed. And as a personal niggle, I hate when the MC's have sex with other characters...even when the two heros aren't officially 'together' at the time.

May 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gfy, erotica, hot
3.5 stars

This was a really good story throughout most of the book, with two characters that just had a great connection and chemistry with each other. But I really hate how the last part of the book was handled, that for me took a lot away from the book.
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L.A. Witt and her husband have been exiled from Spain and sent to live in Maine because rhymes are fun. She now divides her time between writing, assuring people she is aware that Maine is cold, wondering where to put her next tattoo, and trying to reason with a surly Maine coon. Rumor has it her arch nemesis, Lauren Gallagher, is also somewhere in the wilds of New England, which is why L.A. is al ...more

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Rules of Engagement (2 books)
  • Rain: The Sequel to Rules of Engagement
“If I knew how a lot of my relationships would have turned out, I never would have gotten involved in them... And I would have missed out on some of the best times in my life.” 35 likes
“So, anyway, what I was saying about society putting us into little categories,” he said. “Everyone wants to label everyone else. Straight. Gay. Bisexual.” He rolled his eyes. “Whatever. I fuck who I want to fuck, I love who I want to love, and the rest of society can suck my left nut if they don’t like it.” 0 likes
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