A sexy, brother's best friend sports romance from # 1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely!
Let me make a few things clear. I didn’t go to the wedding intending to dance with the best man, to dare him to show me a very sexy pic on his phone, or to accidentally kiss him in the hotel elevator after the reception ended.
But you know how it goes. Things just happen at weddings...
The next day, Crosby and I agree to put all those shenanigans behind us. The fun-loving, stupidly gorgeous, all-star baseball player might be my brother’s best friend, but he’s my friend too and has been for years, so it’s easy to move on, especially because I have a high-profile business to run.
But since he’s newly single and I’m always single, it turns out we both desperately need plus ones. We agree to “publicly date” over the next two weeks of galas, parties and events before his baseball season begins.
The only trouble is the more time I spend with Crosby, the more I keep imagining how much I want him to take my V-card.
And when I broach the possibility with Crosby, his answer surprises the hell out of me.
A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's sweet, sexy and witty. Her heroines are strong and smart and her heroes have hearts of gold and fantastic funny bones. She'd love to give you a free book today! Check out her web site to grab your free read: https://laurenblakely.com/one-free-book/
I really picked the wrong time to read this book. But in my defence, I didn't realise that until I was about 30% in and by then I had to finish it. Because if I put a book down, even if it is a good book, I can't come back to it, I don't know why my brain just won't let me. So, I pushed on and read the book, in the middle of school holidays, with a house full of kids. And I was entirely distracted the whole time.
I have this issue where I know the book was good, I enjoyed the book. I liked the characters, but I feel like I didn't connect with it like I ordinarily would have. I kind of hate myself, but I also know it would have been the same no matter what I read. And at least with this story it was relatively drama free and just a fun, happy read. So, I didn't miss out on all the emotions, I just feel like I would have enjoyed it better next week.
Nadia and Crosby were both great characters who, although I couldn’t really relate to them, I liked. They had their own quirks that made them interesting, and I had a good laugh at their banter. The chemistry was so hot and there were a few scenes in there that I was fanning my face so the kids wouldn’t notice my blush. I liked the secondary characters and I love knowing that there are a heap of stories there, both told and still to come, that I can read when the mood hits me for a hot, drama free read.
the more i read, I start to notice that I love mutual pining. I don't like it when one has always been in love with the other, and out of nowhere, the other person decides they love him too. in this one, he's her brother's best friend (me rolling my eyes to this trope), but the age gap is just 2y, and even when they were younger he also had a thing for her. Now, they are both on a ''dating break'', and decide to do the 'friends with benefits', and you know how that goes...
When in the mood for a light, low angst, sexy romance, Lauren Blakely's stories are always a good choice. I've read quite a few of her books over the years.
Tropes in this book: - childhood friends to lovers - brother's best friend - virgin heroine - strong and sassy female lead - sports romance
Nadia has been friends with Crosby since they were kids. She is now the owner of a football team and he is a star baseball player. Neither of them had much luck in their dating life. She only finds men that are affraid of her success and he makes the worst choices when it comes to women. They meet after a long time apart at her brother's wedding and things ensue from there.
What I liked most: - the positive message about discovering your sexuality - Nadia is a virgin by choice. She is by no means a damsel in distress. She is strong, courageous and sassy. - the non-issue of Crosby being Nadia's brother's best-friend - there is no taboo here and it was really refresing for a change - the fun moments - the side characters
This story was short, fun, easy to read. I'm sure a lot of you will enjoy it.
***ARC generously provided by author in exchange for an honest review***
LISTEN, I’ve had the time of my life reading these last couple of weeks and this book is part of the reason! There’s no one out there that can read the synopsis to this book and just walk away. I mean … right? Just me? okay … lol Well, I loved every word of it and as soon as I read shenanigans, I was a goner. The story did not disappoint!
Crosby and Nadia have a spark that just got me in the heart from the very beginning. Their friendship and knowledge of each other made their connection that much more heartfelt and when they added a little sexy-sexy to it it blasted to the heavens and made for a ridiculously fun story to read. Every plot point and turn this story took just did it for me. I was happy and on cloud nine reading it and I cannot wait to devour this audio over the weekend! WELL DONE!
I have to tell you guys something … in the last 5 or 6 weeks, I have found a love for audio books that I never had before and that is 100% due because of Lauren. In this time period I have listened to 17 of her books on audio and I can tell you guys with 100% certainty that Lauren Blakely is the queen of audio and she needs some sort of award!! That’s it. That’s my 2 cents off topic comment on my review LOL Carry on …
From #1 New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes an all-new sports romance series that will feature virgins, athletes, and weddings—OH MY!!
THE VIRGIN RULE BOOK, a sexy, friends-to-lovers standalone sports romance from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely, is AVAILABLE NOW! Grab your copy TODAY!
Another fantastic love story from Lauren Blakely. She never disappoints books to give me a book that reminds me why I love the the Romance genre. Our couple hit a few of my favorite tropes Friends to Lovers and Bestfriends Little Sister and a Sports romance. It was a sweet story with characters I really liked. We met our heroine in other books but now we get her story and I am so glad. They were a cute couple that steamed up my Kindle when they connected. We also meet the characters and get sneek peeks at up coming books and I can't wait.
The Virgin Rule Book is the first book in Lauren Blakely’s new series, Rules of Love and what a start to the series it was! It has amazing characters, sexy, flirty banter, laugh out loud antics and just the right amount of romance and steam.
Nadia is the owner of a football team that she recently inherited from her father. She is a powerhouse of a woman. Wealthy, sexy and confident. After a series of unsuccessful dates she vows to herself to give up men and dating and focus on her career and the success of the team since making the decision to move the team from Las Vegas to San Francisco.
Crosby is a pro baseball player for the San Francisco Cougars and he is also Nadia’s brothers best friend. He has just made a promise to himself to take a break from women and dating as he is just about to start training camp for 7 weeks. All of that changes when Nadia and Crosby decide to be each other's plus one at Nadia’s brothers wedding and she ends up confessing that she is a virgin and wants Crosby to be the one she gives her virginity to. This is where they decide to enter a friends with benefits situation but neither can stick to their agreement for long, as they realize fairly quickly that there is much more than friendship between them.
Crosby and Nadia have fantastic chemistry. The build up between them was so addicting between their flirty text messages, accidental touches to so much more. Once they stop fighting their attraction and let their guards down it was pure magic between them.
I loved the moments with Nadia’s best friend, Scarlet (from My One Week Husband) she is that supportive, encouraging best friend that I love.
This is going to be a fantastic series. LB dropped just enough hints to keep us guessing and wanting more of the rest of the characters in the book. I am particularly excited for Holden’s story after that little teaser at the end!
If you love a good romantic comedy, sport romance, or friends to lovers story this is the one for you! Highly recommend.
*Advanced reader copy received in exchange of an honest review.
Don’t let the title fool you if you’re not into virgins, I usually steer clear of virgin’s myself because it just doesn’t seem real.
But wow Lauren sure smashes any preconceived notions that a virgin can’t know their own body. I loved that about Nadia. She isn’t a virgin by chance it was by choice if the men she was with couldn’t do more than talk about themselves then why should she give that part of herself.
This book is lust filled, steamy, fire, and smoken’ hot. Crosby and Nadia light your ears on fire no joke. It is a brother’s friend to lovers but it is also a friends to lovers because Crosby and Nadia were friends too. I just took a little longer for them to see the spark that others saw a long time ago.
The way this book plays out I swear it’s like old school Lauren I loved it and I want more. The extras at the end are going to blow your mind. More please!
I am going to get all gushy here with the narrators, these two are my favorite separate and together they make listening so fun. Erin and Teddy are fabulous!
The Virgin Rule Book (Rules of Love Book 1) by Lauren Blakely< Narrated by Erin Mallon & Teddy Hamilton Sports Romance. Can Stand Alone.
I’m not a huge sports romance fan, but I am certainly a Lauren Blakely fan. She never fails to deliver an entertaining story where I love all the characters, they are all smart, sexy and successful, and they have a great group of friends.
Nadia owns an NFL team, how cool is that? This came before Ted Lasso, so it was really nice to see a strong woman in charge of a sports team. She is also a virgin. Men are so intimidated by her that she just never found the right guy to give it up to. Honestly, I usually hate the virgin trope, but it worked here. She wasn’t immature at all, Nadia has had plenty of sexy times, she just never developed enough feelings to share that much of herself.
Crosby is Nadia’s brother’s best friend. He is a pro baseball player who has dated a bunch of crazies and has sworn off women.
"Are you checking out my butt?"
Nadia and Crosby always had a little thing for each other, but never went there. So when Nadia’s brother’s wedding came up, they decided to go together as friends. The flirting-but-not-flirting was so endearing, and I loved the way they developed from there.
The two embark on a fun fake dating relationship, being a plus one for events. I don’t usually like stories where the couple already knew and liked each other as much as others because there is no meet-cute, but of course, Lauren Blakely can change my mind any time.
I am going to forego my likes and dislikes here, because I just loved it all.
The Down & Dirty: Once again Lauren delivered a low-angst, happy-making romance that is feminist, inclusive, smart, funny, sexy, and romantic. Teddy Hamilton and Erin Mallon were perfect actors for the characters (of course, what else do you expect from LB?), and I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
Rating: 4.25 Stars, 4.5 heat, 5 narration
Purchase The Virgin Rule Book by Lauren Blakely
[image error][image error][image error][image error][image error]The Rules of Friends with Benefits is a FREE prequel novella. The audio is included at the end of My One Week Husband.
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Sigh. This just wasn’t what I was hoping it was going to be based on the blurb. Brother’s best friend? LOVE. Friends with benefits? HATE. Honestly, it felt like your typical, cookie cutter, “friends with benefits” romance where the couple is clearly already in love when they make those ill-fated plans. It’s one of the tropes I like the least, so when you add in the fact that she still has her v-card while he’s a serial dater (and they’ve clearly been harboring feelings for awhile)… this just didn’t work for me. The writing is still solid, and it’s a light, sexy, easy kind of read, but it definitely didn’t win me over.
The story follows Crosby and Nadia, two longtime friends who have been close for years. While they haven’t spent much time together recently, that changes when Crosby decides to take a dating hiatus. He always seems to choose the wrong girls, so he’s committed to taking a break from dating for a few months. When Crosby needs a plus-one for a wedding, he asks his best friend’s sister, Nadia. She’s perpetually single because men find her wealth, power, and strong personality to be intimidating. But it’s a turn-on for Crosby, so that means it’s not long before he’s seeing his gal pal in a different light.
I don’t really have a lot to say about this; I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t poorly written. If you like friends with benefits storylines or steamy, easy reads, then this might work better for you. It’s got Blakely’s classic style, and it’s the kind of low angst book that can be read in one sitting. I did like Crosby – he’s a sweet, caring guy, and it was easy to see how much he cares about Nadia. Their chemistry is one of the best parts of the book, and I enjoyed the playful tone. I just feel like I’ve read this book 100 times before. There’s a definite predictability to the storyline, and it felt pretty basic to me. Not one of my favorites from the author, that’s for sure. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this brother’s best friend romance.
This is a fun brother's best friend, friends with benefits story. Crosby is a pro baseball player who is taking a break from women. He has told all of his friends to make sure he doesn't date or pursue anyone until after he is done with spring training. Nadia, the sister of Crosby's best friend, is always single. They both need a date to her brother's wedding, so they decide to go together. They are already friends, and it will keep him from trying tp pick up any of the single women. They have a ton of fun together and decide to continue being each other's plus one buddy for events in the upcoming weeks.
Their friendship turns flirty, and leads to a friends with benefits situation. Nadia is a virgin, but I don't know that the book needed to be titled that. While Crosby is great with her and understanding, the virginity thing is not made a huge deal in the book (thankfully!).
The only real conflict in the book is that they both said it would just be friends with benefits, but they both have real feelings involved. While cliche, it was still sweet, but this book felt way too long for what it was.
3 stars I received this book for free in return for an honest review.
5 Star review The Virgin Rule Book (Rules of Love #1) by Lauren Blakely This is one of my favourite books from Lauren Blakely and that is saying something. I was excited when I learnt that Ms. Blakely was starting a new series and if The Virgin Rule Book is anything to go by then she has another winning series on her hands. When I first read the blurb for this one I knew that this was going to be a fun, entertaining story and it was exactly what I got. Both the main characters of Nadia and Crosby were engaging, likeable and easy to relate too along with a cast of secondary characters who were also fun and interesting. Nadia is a strong, focused business women who is determined to make a success of the team she is the owner of. I just loved Crosby, he is totally soon worthy and in fact I would love to have a Crosby in my life. Ti is is a friends to lovers story that ticked all the boxes for me. This book was a feel good book for me and I was left with a smile on my face although I was disappointed when it ended. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
Se trata de una autora de romántica erótica que me gusta bastante, he leído varias de sus historias, pero, en este caso, la verdad es que me ha parecido todo muy predecible... (sin contar que alguna cosa ha sido poco creíble, pero eso lo dejo en algo necesario para la historia).
DNF. I didn't hate this book nor do I think it is badly written. I personally can't stand romances where there are no real reasons for the couple not to be together, but they still don't get together. One 10 minute conversation at any point in the last decade would have made the rest of the book irrelevant. Others seem to love this, and I truly thought the banter was well written. However, I rolled my eyes way too many times in the first 50 pages to read further.
i always love the "brother's best friend" trope in contemporary romances. for nadia and crosby's romance it worked for me. though they've known each other for ages, nothing ever happened because of crosby is nadia's brother's best friend and she doesn't live nearby.
i liked that they communicated their emotions so well even when they were falling for one another, both of them didn't shy away from what they were truly feeling. just as crosby made a decision to stay away from women, nadia's back in his life again when she moved back. unable to resist this charming and sexy woman, crosby's promise to stay away is in danger of crumbling into dust. independent and strong-willed nadia always had some attraction towards crosby. they had such amazing chemistry right from the start, there was no question whether they would end up together or not.
the conflict at the end wasn't dramatic or over-the-top which i appreciated. the thing between them resolved quickly.
This is exactly what I expected from a Lauren Blakely. Short, sweet, formulaic, but good. The characters in all her books read the same. The tropes are well-worn but cute. Overall, you go in knowing what you're going to get, and you come out with exactly that. And I'm out.
Oh my… 💖 Ever since I read my first Lauren Blakely book ( #MyOneWeekHusband ) I wanted to read more by that author and now I finally did with #TheVirginRuleBook and it was wonderful!😍 And actually The Virgin Rule Book is - in a way - the “continuation” of My One Week Husband. Because remember that very good friend Scarlett had? The one that lived in the US? Yes? Well, that is Nadia and throughout this book she actually talks to Scarlett every now and then. Now, I had no idea. I didn’t go into this book expecting to get Nadia’s story. I was actually surprised when all that clicked in my mind - but it was a great surprised and made me even more invested in the story.
This book was just pure and lovely and full of mushy romantic goodness. It is pure romance, no drama, no big plot twist. From the beginning you know exactly where this story will lead. Of course the plot is very predictable, but that’s what I love about those types of books. You know what you’re getting into and you can simply lean back and enjoy the show.
We have a very romcom setting where these 2 friends decide on a #friendswithbenefits type situations and OBVIOUSLY they break all the rules they set up in the beginning and that was really funny to witness. What I loved most about this book was the chemistry though. From the first interaction I could see the chemistry Nadia and Crosby had. I could feel the spark. Their conversations were funny and witty and sassy and made me smile and on more than one occasion I found myself reading with a big grin on my face. Thank God, I don’t need to commute to work, because people would’ve looked at me and probably thought I was crazy.😂
The chapters in this book are really short, which makes the story really fast paced and gives you that “Just one more chapter” feel. Because how could you resist when the next chapter is only 6 minutes long, right?! I flew through this story and I am already excited about the next book as we already got a little teaser about who it is about and about what exactly is happening in the next book #TheVirginGamePlan in one of the epilogues - I have a feeling it’s going to be good!💖 And yes you read correctly “one of the epilogues”, because we didn’t get one epilogue. We didn’t even get 2. We got 3! And Lauren, if you read this: I love you for all the epilogues. These are exactly the things I need to hear to be satisfied with a #happilyeverafter 😂😍🥰
EDITED TO ADD: There is a prequel novella that gives you more of an insight with this couple. It is best read beforehand but if you’re as forgetful as I am, afterwards, still was great as I wanted more from them.
There are three things you need to know about a LB novel, it's going to be fun and flirty with great intimacy, the storyline will keep you intrigued with amazing characters that all connect up somehow, and they are great easy reads with little angst. Oh wait.. I miss counted.. there's four things and the most important one for me is that when reading any LB book, you will have a huge smile on your face and probably snorting out loud with her humor. The banter between the couple or secondary characters is very witty.
This being the first book in a new series, we are getting some brand new characters to get to know and I feel they will all be connected to baseball in some degree. Crosby and Nadia have been friends for some time, he is her brother's best friend and has been around the family since high school. After a series of bad dates and girlfriends, Crosby has taken himself out of the dating league to focus on the next season. Nadia is back in San Francisco and owner of the football team, she's a smart and business savvy woman but has little experience with men, so she too is not dating to concentrate on getting the team to the next Super Bowl. These two make a pact to be each others Plus One to the next few events that they need to attend but the more time they spend together, getting to know the adult version of themselves, the harder it is to keep it hands free and not 'accidentally' feel the other one up. But who needs rules when the chemistry is so strong and feelings now come into play.
One thing that shined so bright for me in this book was the way the sexuality of all the characters weren't or didn't need to be stated. They are a bunch of people, living their best lives, and no labels need to be attached to who they love. I loved that Crosby didn't have to communicate that he had a gay friend, Grant was his friend, full stop. And I think a line from Crosby is so potent....."I try to operate under the assumption that I don't assume anyone's orientation at all - it's not up to me to try to glean who people love." This is something we all should follow. Once you get to the end of this book, we get a little glimpse to who and what is to follow with the next books. I am very captivated and can't wait for more!
The Virgin Rule Book is the first book in a new series, Rules of Love, by my favorite author, Lauren Blakely. I've read every word she's written and nothing makes me happier than when she starts a new series. This series is going to be epic! We're getting three sexy baseball players and the strong, independent women who they fall for. Nadia is Crosby's best friend's little sister. Crosby always had a little thing for her when they were younger, but she was young and he didn't think his best friend would like that. They've kept in touch over the years and now that she's moving back to town, he's excited to see more of her. But he just swore off women so there's no chance of anything real with her. When they both need dates to so upcoming parties, this is the perfect solution. Have fun with Nadia and not have to worry about getting involved. Until she has a proposition for him and then it's game on! Spend more time with Nadia? Take her V card? Yes, please! Turns out, they like each other more than a little, but it's complicated. There have to be rules to follow so no one gets hurts. But you know what they say, rules are meant to be broken! Oh Crosby! I love you so much! You're sexy, sweet, talented and you have such a big heart. Nadia is independent, funny and even though she's a virgin she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to ask for it! Overall, I laughed, smiled, got tingles and couldn't get enough of Crosby and Nadia! I'm in love with this new series and these characters and I can't wait for more.
Audio: As Always Teddy and Erin are fantastic. I don't think anyone else could be Crosby and Nadia! Perfect narration, perfect casting!
The Virgin Rule Book is the first in a new series by Lauren Blakely. There is a prequel to this one but not necessary to read beforehand. It’s a brother’s best friend and virgin trope. In a refreshing change, Nadia is a sports team owner and all around boss babe. Crosby is a major league baseball player and her brother’s best friend, who is also friends with her. Just FYI, Nadia is not Crosby’s boss. They aren’t even part of the same team or sport. Nadia has been wanting to date and find her person but unfortunately, she keeps finding a bunch of duds; men who are intimidated by her success. Crosby and Nadia agree to be each other’s dates for various events in the near future. Lines become blurred and soon they become friends with benefits, which leads to something else that neither were prepared for.
I really enjoyed both of these main characters. The banter, chemistry and steamy scenes between these two was incredible. Secondary characters, especially Crosby’s friends, brought so much to the story and it looks like we will be getting books on many of them. This was a highly entertaining, brother’s best friend, friends to lovers, virgin trope and I would recommend it. I can’t wait for the next books in the series.
*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
*** I received an advanced copy and chose to review it *** ** 100% spoiler-free review ** * 5 stars *
Lauren Blakely's latest book, The Virgin Rule Book has everything you've come to expect from this fabulous author. It's funny, sexy, has amazing characters and it will engage you from start to finish. I'm so excited to have a new series coming from Blakely and it's off to a great start!
Nadia is a strong, independent, successful and sexy woman. She works hard and knows exactly what she wants in life and in her men. She isn't afraid to reach out and grab what she wants and she does just that when she takes her chance with Crosby, her brother's best friend. Crosby is a single, sizzling hot professional baseball player. He and Nadia have a great relationship as friends and their banter is easy and fun. While both have sworn off dating after recent disasters, they can't help but enjoy each other's company and take their friendship to the next level. I loved the heat these two generated. Their story was sexy as Blakely always knows how to turn up the heat. I loved how Nadia opened herself up to new experiences and found her missing piece in Crosby. And I loved watching Crosby fall hopelessly in love with Nadia. Their story was perfectly written and I definitely swooned throughout! I cannot wait to read the next story in this series because Ms. Blakely NEVER disappoints! 5 stars
Sometimes you just need a good old fashioned romance, and guess what? Lauren Blakey has nailed it with this fun, friends to lovers, angst free, sexy read. When Crosby Cash (sexy baseball player extraordinaire), swears off relationships and women, his best friends back him up 100%. That was before he realised that maybe his best friend’s sister, Nadia Harlow (who just so happens to be the owner of a pro football team), just might be interested in ‘more’ with him. Nadia and Crosby are just perfect together, they’re sweet, they’re funny, and they’re combustible in the bedroom (FYI, not just the bedroom). Most of Lauren Blakely’s books are interconnecting standalones, so if you’re a hardened fan like myself, you’ll recognise more than a few characters in this book, even though this is the start of a brand new series. The audio version, narrated perfectly by Teddy Hamilton and Erin Mallon, with an added bonus of James Joseph narrating an epilogue, and of course Lauren leaves us wanting for more when she gives us a couple of sneak peaks of her future audios, which of course, always have my most favourite narrators. Not surprisingly I loved it all, totally enjoyable, and totally addictive.
Lauren Blakely has written another amazing book! The Virgin Rule Book was a fabulous start to the new series, Rules of Love. This book had great characters with sweet and undeniable chemistry, that made my heart feel good! I loved every bit of it!
I loved that Nadia was a woman on a mission and a powerful lady boss. Even though she didn't have much luck with men, it didn't stop her from owning her own professional football team in a man's world. I loved her confidence! Crosby might just be my new favorite book boyfriend! I loved how his character evolved from playboy to Mr. Charming indeed! Nadia and Crosby's chemistry was off the charts, and I just adored how their relationship evolved from friends to lovers.
Overall, I adored this book! I loved the story, and the memorable characters with their witty and fun dialogue. The lucky socks and the Corgi butts may have been my favorite. If you are wanting a story that just makes your heart swoon and super happy (plus some delicious steamy scenes), read this book! I'm looking forward to many more characters in this series getting their HEAs soon!
A really enjoyable friends to lovers/brothers best friend romance. Crosby and Nadia have been friends since they were young. When Crosby decides he’s off women and Nadia decides that she’s going to remain single, both decide to partner up for upcoming events they need to attend including Nadia’s brothers wedding where Crosby is the best man. Thinks start to heat up from there with a lot of flirty talk and behaviour. Soon both of them realise that they are not just friends or friends with benefits but there are feelings attached. I liked Crosby and Nadia. Neither of them did anything particularly annoying or bad to each other which is usually what happens in these types of stories before they realise that they were meant to be.
The quick witted banter between Crosby and Nadia kept me engaged beginning to end, these two had me rooting for them. I loved how corky Crosby was and the traditions he had in place made me laugh. The pact these two had to get them out of a bind comes to head when they get a little to close and I enjoyed how flustered it made them both. Such a cute story
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads, so here is my review. 4.5 stars Nadia and Crosby have been friends forever, well he has been her brother's friend forever. She has really liked him forever. But they have been close, could talk about anything and everything. When he called asking for her to be his plus-one at her brother's wedding, she couldn't refuse. Crosby is trying to focus on his baseball career and lay off women and bad relationships, so he asks Nadia to be his plus-one to all up-and-coming functions. That way it would be safe, with no distractions. Or so they thought. Seems they both have had feels for the other for years. What will happen when she tells him she wants him to take her "V" card? They come up with a set of rules, can they follow them without falling in love? This story was great, it was filled with a couple that was fun, flirty, loving, sexy, and all-around perfect. I can not wait for book 2.
How do I love The Virgin Rule book and the incomparable Lauren Blakely? Let me count the ways:
~ The way she takes care of her loyal listeners by making us feel like we're in a special world just for us as each story unfolds. Like how she just build a luxe hotel in San Francisco area real quick like for this book. Like how Dr. Insomnia's Tea & Coffee Emporium has a new San Fran location that serves wonderful organic black tea. See also, Nadia's favorite artist & the song she jams to getting ready for her first date with Crosby that neatly ties into that picture of Crosby's she asked to see.
~ I'm pretty sure she uses "climb him like a tree" in every book, and I'm here for it.
~ The number of different names for Dick Pic is just one of the MANY, MANY witty turns of phrase that either make you giggle or paint just a clear picture you can't help but feel like you've fallen into the story. (Phallus photo was a missed opportunity there, though.)
~ Feminism. All the Feminism. I found the broader romance genre after stumbling into the romantic suspense sub-genre, but I stayed for the feminism, and few people bring it as well as Lauren. The Virgin Rulebook has a female NFL team owner, a female lead sports network anchor, a female NFL general manager, and a shopping trip for books about powerful women for an 8 year old.
~ Inclusive romance the way the world should be. Lauren writes people who are real and who love in all the real ways people love. The worlds she creates where all the experiences of love and of sexual orientations are NORMAL is such a wonderful place to be. Gay pro athletes? Check. Pansexual parent finding second-chance love with the opposite sex of their first marriage? Check. And it all just flows through the story like it's an average Tuesday. As it should be.
~ No one knows their core audience better. Casting Teddy Hamilton as a pro athlete. It's the best Teddy there is. Dropping in a few uses of "dope" because IYKYK.
~ She puts her heroes in henleys. I appreciate her picking my fave color of navy this go-round.
~ The foreshadowing! Lauren's followers know what's coming, but even if you don't the drops and hints and tidbits that become full-blown stories are the greatest little breadcrumbs. I'm looking at you Holden, Declan and Grant.
~ Her audiobook casting is second to none. Teddy Hamilton saying “sweetheart” the way he does is why fainting couches exist. Erin Mallon voicing a bad-ass boss lady is the only way to do bad-ass boss lady in audio.
The Virgin Rule Book is a fun and heartwarming romance. Somehow Lauren once again makes you feel like you're listening to your bestie's new friend tell you how she met the one and not listening to a tale of true fiction. Lauren hits all the notes you need in stellar contemporary romance: love, lust, insecurity, friendship with fidelity, conflict that doesn't make you want to throw the book, and a happily ever after. The bonus short story epilogue is icing on the cake as are the sweet teasers of books to come from these various Bay Area ballers and their hive. Yet another 4.5 stars for an author and narrators who consistently deliver without becoming candidates for the same-old-same-old file.
From the eye catching cover to the intriguing synopsis, The Virgin Rule Book by Lauren Blakely had me intrigued from beginning to end. This steamy brother’s best friend sports romance was steamy, emotional and swoon worthy.
At the beginning we are introduced to Nadia Harlowe, a twenty-four-year old football team owner of the Hawks. The sport runs in her blood and now that her dad’s passing left her a majority stake in the team, Nadia is finally turning her dream of running a football team into a reality. But the team was never based in Las Vegas where she resides, but in San Francisco where it was originated. As the owner of the team, she has huge responsibilities of making her family and fans proud. So when her best friend and baseball star, Crosby Cash, suggests for her to move the team back to San Francisco, Nadia makes the leap knowing that she’ll be closer to him as well.
They’ve known each other since they were kids and she has always had a connection with him. Although she tried dating, it wasn’t as successful as she wanted it to be and she is ready to embrace single hood in San Francisco. But when Crosby asks her to be his plus one at events, things start to shift between them. It would take crossing the line with a kiss to make her see that she might just be falling for her best friend. Yet, there is something that she has to tell Crosby before crossing the line of no return and she isn’t sure how he is going to react.
As a baseball star, Crosby Cash is used to having women around him all the time and it’s that accessibility that often gets him to attract the wrong women for him. So he decides to not date for a while and instead get his friend, Nadia Harlowe to be his plus one at events. Seeing and having her close again has completely changed his view of her. He loves the fire in her and that she knows what she wants, making it hard to him to stop having thoughts about turning their friendship into a friends with benefits one. It’s the closer they get closer that it’s hard to not be with her that makes Crosby begin to fall for the one that should be off-limits. Now he has to decide if it’s worth putting their friendship on the line for an actual relationship or not.
Lauren Blakely knows how to deliver romantic stories filled emotions and depth. Once I started reading the book I couldn’t stop, the dynamic between the characters was sizzling and full of chemistry. They are comfortable with each other and they are able to lean on one another when they need a plus one. He understands that Nadia wants to focus on the team and not let the fans down. Meanwhile, Crosby wants to learn not to move too fast when it comes to relationships. Once they crossed the line everything completely changed between them and they have to figure out if they are willing to giving in to their feelings or remain friends. I loved the ending, it was cute and romantic. It fit the story very well and I would highly recommend checking out the prequel novella, The Rules of Friends with Benefits to get an insight look into what happens before Nadia moves to San Francisco. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series!
**I received an advanced copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.**
Nadia doesn’t have time for relationships- her focus is business and reestablishing her football team in her hometown of San Francisco. She didn’t mean to ramp up the banter with her brother’s best friend, but it just happened. She also didn’t mean to hold on to her V-card for this long, but without letting too many people close, she just hasn’t found anyone that she connected with enough to share that level of intimacy with. She is driven, career focused, and confident in her abilities. Settling the team in their new hometown is something she wanted to do to honor her father's legacy, and for now that's all she needs.
Crosby has decided to take some time off from dating after several disastrous relationships. He wants his focus to be on his game, not on fixing mishaps with a date gone wrong. His friends are behind his vow, serving as judges towards his vow to remain unattached, including Nadia’s brother. Though he has promised to avoid entanglements, he needs a date for several upcoming functions, and what better person than his best friend’s sister, who is also not looking for anything beyond company at events.
I loved these two together. From the “buddy” stage to more, their banter and friendship are at the core of everything they do. These are not brand new acquaintances, these are two people who have a platonic history testing the waters of close quarters. Though they are trying to avoid feelings, the angst level is low - for the most part they are great at communicating their thoughts and needs.
This was a fun read from start to finish. A brother’s best friend with a twist. A virgin who knows what she wants and isn’t shy about asking. There was so much to love about this story. I enjoyed getting a glimpse at a few new characters with this new series centering around a baseball team. Crosby’s friends were a great support for him and I can’t wait for more of their backstories.