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It Happened in Nashville #1

The Off Limits Rule

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Breaking a rule has never been so enticing.

I have found rock bottom. It’s here, moving in with my older brother because I’m too broke to afford to live on my own. It’s okay though, because we’ve always been close and I think I’m going to have fun living with him again.

That is until I meet Cooper…

Turns out, my brother has very strong opinions on the idea of me dating his best friend and is dead set against it. According to him, Cooper is everything I should stay away from: flirtatious, adventurous, non-committal, and freaking hot. (I added that last part because I feel like you need the whole picture.) My brother is right—I should stay away from Cooper James and his pretty blue eyes. He’s the opposite of what I need right now.

Nah—who am I kidding? I’m going for it.

282 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 13, 2020

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Sarah Adams

11 books8,056 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,036 reviews
Profile Image for jagodasbooks .
475 reviews49 followers
March 3, 2022
*I died of second hand embarrassment*

Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,892 reviews1,500 followers
January 18, 2021
At a third in, I stopped caring about this couple. Lucy was a tough sell to start. She's such a cringy whiner baby that I wanted her to just stop talking. The jury was out with Cooper, and I almost had sympathy for the guy who has been living outside his norm and is paying the price for the impression he has given of being a player when he's really not. Only then he goes into a jag about how he can't pursue Lucy before getting permission from her brother and I'm all, "is she or is she not an adult?!?" Only she's so busy shutting down his attempts to explain his reasoning that I'm all, "okay, maybe she's not one."

So I gave it a third before crashing out. It's not for me. It wasn't as slapstick as I feared it'd be from some scenes in the start. But I still don't get these emotional infants or their antics.
Profile Image for Madita.
495 reviews17.4k followers
August 24, 2022
*sighs "here we go again"

Just before I start ranting I would like to say that this is my last Sarah Adams book. I have finally read all this books I bought because of people saying they were so good and I could not be more happy to be done with this.

Before I even start, let me remind all of you that this woman is indeed a mother and a grown adult. Yeah I know, shocking with how she acts throughout this entire book.

Lucy acted like a 5 year old that is hungry throughout the entire book. Not only was she super whiny from the start but extremely cringe worthy. I know she was supposed to be this quirky awkward girl but no. She was the opposite and just downright annoying, especially when you remember that she is again, a grown adult.
First she nicknames Cooper (the love interest) Cooper Pooper... I have some nicknames to this day for people but nothing is that weird.

Second, she blurts, randomly a her awkward trait but it is just weird. some things are for example: "I did not shave my legs", "I am wearing hideous underwear"... Why why why.

Then this is a brother's best friend book right? Okay but who are you, as a grown adult trying to tell your sister and your best friend, who are both over the age of 25 who they can date? They are both almost thirty. Calm down...

Overall these characters acted majorly immature, the so called third act confrontation scene with the brother was anticlimactic and unnecessary and let's not forget the fact that her son Levi acted more mature than the mother.

It was supposed to be funny but it felt like fingers running down a chalkboard... Why? BECAUSE OF THE AGE!!!!!
Profile Image for Inna.
1,369 reviews172 followers
December 10, 2021
1 star. WAS THIS BOOK WRITTEN BY A TEENAGER? Because the sheer immaturity displayed by all of the characters was extremely random and off-putting. I literally could not believe how idiotic the H&h were being, and somehow they kept getting worse and worse as the story progressed.

So, this is the typical brother's best friend romance in many ways... except the heroine has a child. As per usual, the heroine's brother is VERY against the two MCs being together. He only met the hero a year before this story started, lived with the hero during that time, and saw him being a non-committal asshole with a revolving door of women. So sexy... 🤮 In some ways, the brother has a point. However, the heroine's brother is incapable of a normal conversation and never once just sits either of the two MCs down and explains himself or acknowledges that they are also adults. Instead he shuts down, and has a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way.

The heroine is a single mother, and apparently, because of her one bad decision, she is totally hopeless when it comes to men and relationships. She is negative about everything...her body, her job, her decision making, everything. And a man like the hero COULD NEVER WANT HERRRRR. Ofc, in this fantasy book world, the hero takes one look at her and is instantly spouting lines about how she's SO DIFFERENT. I swear. I nearly barfed. What's worse, is that she at one point spouts some BS line about not needing a man. BUT the hero corrects her, and tells her that...yes, yes she does, because she has no self-esteem. 🤣😂🤣😂🤣 THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I COULDN'T BELIEVE THE SHIT IN THIS BOOK.

So, the brother tells the hero that he will not allow a relationship to happen with his sister... and the hero.... just listens. LOL. He literally just decides, "ok, I guess I'll back off". Hero has a long internal monologue about what he can tell his friend... how he can explain that his actions were out of character in the last year, etc. But instead, he decides that he's not going to make excuses and stays silent!!! 😂😂😂

One other thing that really stood out to me in this book was how random the mentions of the heroine's child were at times. He was conveniently missing from the story when necessary, there was always a babysitter available, etc. On top of that, the father of the child, who apparently was still in his son's life and was frequently referred to as a "good dad"... was weirdly missing until his portion of the storyline. The kid even goes to the hospital and the "good dad" is nowhere to be seen. However, when the heroine and hero start dating, all of the sudden, the dad is all about wanting to get with the heroine. He suddenly realized that he shouldn't have strung her along all those years and that all of the other women were just nothing in comparison to the woman he had a ONS with (and never even bothered to be nice to). This book is written like a total pie-in-the-sky fantasy for sad flabby moms everywhere. As one of the sad, flabby moms of the world, I can def. say that this book took shit too far even for me.

I SWEAR TO GOD, YA'LL... This book is just a goldmine of WTF moments. I could go on and on and on about the sheer stupidity displayed by the MCs and the side characters. I'll stop though, because whose got that kind of time, right?

Safety info: No sex at all 👎🏻👎🏻 but prob the best decision for this train-wreck of a book. The hero was a manwhore for the past year because his last g/f dumped him while he was proposing. So, he decided to just move and open his room to all who wanted some of his d. Makes sense. Ofc, the heroine, who HAD A BOYFRIEND in the city where she was living, hadn't actually had sex since that time she got pregnant. This made perfect sense to me, because as we all know, a woman always has to be nearly virginal to be worthy of the hot guy. EVEN IF she did some slutty thing in her past, she has now redeemed herself with years of celibacy. Praise Be 🙌🏻🙌🏻. Anyways, she's a born again virgin, he's a man whore. It's the match that was made in romance book heaven. Ofc, no romance book is complete without running into her ONS baby daddy, and a couple of his fuck buddies. But, there's no blatant cheating, so there's that. However, so much of the book's timeline just skipped forward, so there's no telling what the hero was actually doing. Do I have much faith in him? Na.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Katie T.
947 reviews75 followers
May 17, 2021
I am absolutely SHOCKED this book did not have any sex scenes in it. Shocked and appreciative bc (say it with me friends), sex in books is sooooo cringe!

This was cute enough, not remarkable, but fun. Bonus points that it was wholesome, that's probably a deal breaker for some romance fans, so you've been warned.
Profile Image for jordane.
608 reviews236 followers
January 5, 2021
“I think it’s probably unhealthy, but since the day I met you, you’re all I think about, and I’m helpless to do anything about it.”

A bit too insta-love, but it was a cute and sweet rom-com. Lucy and Cooper had great chemistry and were adorable together. I liked the single parent trope too because I'm always a sucker for kids in books. Next book with Jessie and Drew sounds interesting so I'm curious to see what will happen between those two!
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,946 reviews244 followers
January 3, 2021
Yes, I am starting this new year off right by reading Sarah Adam's new book, The Off Limits Rule. Seeing that ARC land in my inbox made me feel like one lucky girl. I absolutely adored this book- loved it, devoured it. It was so, SO good. Book hangover good. Sigh. I want to go back and read it again right now.

I am drawn to books told in the first person. Getting to know Lucy and Cooper was so fun. Emotions were all over the place but the attraction between Lucy and Cooper was the one steady thing! There were so many swoon worthy moments and so many humorous moments. I love when a book entertains me while providing those needed moments of depth and growth. And swoon. There was loads of chemistry and tension in this one, friends.

Sarah Adams is one of my favorite authors. I've loved every single one of her books. This one should definitely go on the top of everyone's list. This book might be my favorite and yes, I say that every time. Carve out some uninterrupted time and read this book.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited if you have that!

Content: some innuendo, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,515 reviews
July 27, 2021
Do you ever get second hand embarrassment from a book character? That's what happened to me while reading this. Lucy kept making a fool of herself in front of Cooper and I was dying, poor woman. Luckily Copper seems endeared by Lucy and they click right away. Unluckily, Cooper is the best friend of Lucy's older brother. The two try to keep their relationship platonic, but their chemistry is strong and they keep drifting together.

The story was entertaining, if not original. We mainly read from Lucy's point of view, but occasionally get Cooper's side and I always enjoy having more than one narrator. Lucy's son is a cutie and watching Cooper bond with him was heart melting. They make an adorable family!

It seems like the ending leads us into the sequel, in which Lucy's friend Jessie needs a fake fiancé and Lucy's older brother Drew steps in to help. I'll be jumping into that one shortly.
Profile Image for alicia.
104 reviews2 followers
March 22, 2021
The best thing about this book is it’s cover. Also I felt VERY betrayed that no where in the description did it say that main character was a single mom. Sorry I just don’t fuck w storylines with pregnancy or kids. Not for me and I woulda never considered this book if I knew that. Anyways, I actually started this book at the end of 2020 but it was so nothing that it was hard to get into. I finally just forced myself to finish it. All around blah for both the characters and the romance.
Profile Image for rach⭑.
467 reviews163 followers
February 10, 2022

brothers best friend
reformed playboy
single mum

This was a cute read but nothing special. Honestly I loved the female main character, she was so funny and had a great personality but I didn’t really care all that much about the romance.

Even though the couple first kiss at the 60% mark of the book, this still managed to feel very insta love? It wasn’t my favourite romance but it was a lighthearted and funny read.
Profile Image for Irmak ☾.
228 reviews49 followers
June 11, 2022
sooooo fucking bad. it felt like i was reading a young adult romance because the main character was not only acting like a 14-year-old, but she was also quite clearly a "pick me" girl and it was hard to ignore.
Profile Image for niki ☾.
160 reviews94 followers
June 4, 2021
✨✨ 5 Adorable Stars ✨✨

Okay so there’s cute, then there’s adorable and then there’s Sarah Adam’s book.

I didn’t even realise that I was smiling throughout the book until my mum came up to me and told me this is the max she’s seen me smile in days. I’ll cry, pls. This book was so darn cute, my ovaries are dancing right now.

Also, let’s not forget how obsessed they both were with each other? Sure, I love boy obsessed trope but when both of them are crazy over each other? HELL YEAH

I loved Lucy’s character. She’s honestly such a breath of fresh air. She’s awkward but she’s not ditzy, she’s confident but not that sleek, smooth kind of way ugh she’s perfect. Not to mention the way she’s so candid with everything and how realistic she felt. I honestly thought she’s real like yes most character are real for me but she felt real because of how realistic her flaws were. Well, not exactly flaws but she did things that even I could do so yeah she’s real people.

Cooper is so?? ugh?? so?? adorable?? it was so cute watching him fall deeper and deeper for Lucy and the way he was practically obsessed with her. If my man isn’t like that, I don’t want him. The way he was with Lucy was so perfect.

The bi panic was real. That’s it.

All in all, if someone says anything negative about this book it’s purely because they hate love. That’s it.

I honestly feel so good after reading it, it’s like reading happiness and all things sweet.
Profile Image for CassDamm.
306 reviews36 followers
June 7, 2022
3 ✨

Honestly it was fine.
That’s it.
It was slow but fast, it’s hard to explain.
Basically it felt like there was no romance at all, which made it feel slow but they were jumping the gun to I love you, I need you, let’s move in together real quick.

Also, the characters were 29-31, but acted like high schoolers personality wise.

I already started the second one and it’s basically the same thing, so I think I just don’t mesh with this authors writing.
Profile Image for Sofi (sofi.bookshelf).
525 reviews492 followers
June 10, 2021
4.5 ⭐️

Si no fuese por mi bloqueo lector hubiese terminado este libro en un día. No solo por lo corto que es, sino porque es muy adictivo, cuando lo tomaba no podía parar.

Los personajes principales fueron sin duda alguna una joya para la historia. Hablaré de cada uno:

• Cooper: Es el hombre perfecto con el cuál estaría perfectamente en la vida real. Tiene sentido de humor, es romántico, a la antigua (pero sin caer en la mente conservadora), muy tierno, entre otras cosas. Algo que hizo la autora con este personaje fue que no era siempre seguro de sí mismo, se ponía nervioso cuando estaba con Lucy y encontré eso muy tierno porque pasa en la vida real, no todos los hombres son extremadamente seguros de lo que hacen todo el tiempo, pueden ponerse nerviosos si les gusta mucho alguien. Otra cosa que amé de él: aunque era un mujeriego no tenía problemas en aceptar que quería una relación seria con familia y todo, eso fue algo que adoré ya que siempre vemos al mujeriego que se niega a estar con alguien por miedo al compromiso.

• Lucy: me encanta que este personaje tenga inseguridades que todas tenemos en algún momento y más aún luego de dar a luz, estoy segura que más de una mujer luego de tener a su bebé no queda con el cuerpo igual que antes (en los libros siempre quedan como diosas luego del embarazo), lo cual me gustó mucho como lo llevó la autora. Es súper tierna, torpe, madura cuando debe, impulsiva y apasionada; una mujer increíble, en otras palabras. Me gusta que sea madre soltera (el padre es un hdp que no merece ser nombrado) y que no lo romanticen, ella al principio estaba segura que iba a odiar a su pequeño pero luego de conocerlo simplemente lo amó.

Bonus: Ambos protagonistas son mayores de 20 años, de echo la chica tiene unos 29 y Connor debe tener más de 30, pero nunca lo dicen.

En cuanto a la trama: Me gusta mucho el cliché de "la hermanita de mi mejor amigo", es prohibido y muy tenso cuando se encuentran en lugares solos por lo que estoy siempre esperando el momento en el colapsan dejándose llevar por sus sentimientos.

No tiene las 5 estrellas porque me faltó más de ellos como pareja, siento que el final fue muy apresurado, necesitaba los detalles de todo lo qué pasa. No pido detalles de ellos en el futuro porque vamos a verlos en el siguiente libro (el de Drew, el hermano de Lucy) así que estoy emocionada de ya verlos como una relación más seria y casados.
Profile Image for Katie (Hiding in the Pages).
2,868 reviews209 followers
December 28, 2020
I want to live in this story

What's better than laughing and swooning throughout an adorably cute book? Not much! Lucy is down on her luck and when her older brother rescues her and she meets his best friend, interesting sparks and chemistry ignite. When a meet cute has you squirming, cringing, and blushing, you know it's good. And honestly, this forbidden relationship had me feeling like a sneaky teen, with all the awkwardness and emotion.

Lucy is a very relatable character who is full of quirks and a big heart. Although she wallows for a time in her bad situations, she latches on to hope. Cooper is the most adorable, sweet, and perfect protagonist ever! I love the way their relationship evolved throughout the story and showcased their awesome personalities.

Adams is spot on with the swoon, banter, and humor, and I just couldn't get enough. I was plopped right smack in the middle of an ultimate escape and cherished every single page of it.

Content: mild romance

*I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.*
Profile Image for Iya.
172 reviews12 followers
July 17, 2022
The Off-Limits Rule was light and fluffy read. It follows the story of Lucy, a single mother who has recently returned home and is now living with her brother Drew. She meets Drew's new best friend, Cooper, who recently moved to the city from Charleston. He was also in a bad breakup and needed a fresh start and has been living the bachelor lifestyle ever since. Cooper and Lucy have an instant connection and interest in each other from the moment they meet, but they cannot pursue this because Drew disapproves of their relationship.

The Off-Limits Rule was fantastic. It was a story about a brother's best friend with a twist, and it was enjoyable. The connection between the characters was great. Unsurprisingly, Lucy and Cooper had stolen my heart. I was rooting for these two characters from the beginning because they had such chemistry. They were cute, and I always smiled no matter what they did or said. Lucy was my favorite character because she was so fiercely independent. I enjoy reading Sarah Adams' books because her writing is simple, and everything flows well together without requiring too much concentration. The over-the-top humor and fast-paced rom-com story work for me. I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a light read.

Profile Image for Oceana.
606 reviews767 followers
January 1, 2023
Quick read!

Super cheesy and cringey, but VERY funny in my opinion.

Very light language and closed door romance. Sarah Adams has certainly improved her writing since this one! (Read The Cheat Sheet).
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
295 reviews1,466 followers
December 20, 2021
This was cute, but if it weren't for my TikTok picks my December TBR thing, I wouldn't have read it. Closed door romance is definitely not my thing. I'll likely read the next book because I'm curious about their story, but it's not high on my priority list.

The lack of communication is also not my thing, and if they had just been upfront from the beginning this would've worked as a novella.
Profile Image for BOOKWH0RE ☃️.
105 reviews8 followers
July 29, 2022
(1⭐️) If you want to get second hand embarrassment every second, have your brain rot and fall out of your head, this is the perfect read for you 😍😍😍

But seriously what the fuck was that and I won’t even try being nice in this review because I can’t hold back 😭

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fmc this bad and embarrassing. I already hated the cheat sheet but thought I’d give this author a second chance, but now I’ll never read anything from her ever again (I actually hated this book for the same reasons I hated the cheat sheet). I know I will never like her books.

It’s as if a 13 year old wrote this. Scratch that a 13 year old can write better than this EVEN WATTPAD BOOKS ARE MORE ENJOYABLE THAN THIS

Lucy: the worst character ever I refuse to believe that is a 29 year old grown ass MOTHER she is so embarrassing and cringy I died of second hand embarrassment. She was so pick me and dumbass. I want to say she acts like a teenager but even a teenager doesn’t act like this 😭😭

Cooper: literally boring. Where’s the flavor 😟😟 and the way he kept saying sHeS sO diFfErEnT fRoM oThEr girlS. There was no connection between these two. I have nothing positive to say about this book.

The writing: the worst part. It’s what made this book so atrocious. If the writing was better my rating for this book would’ve definitely been higher. Just super cringy and embarrassing. And don’t get me started on the insta love

In conclusion: this was a waste of my time and I promise you there’s better romcoms out there
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,046 reviews573 followers
January 7, 2021

Like many of you, I was very excited for the release of this book! While, overall, I enjoyed the book, I didn't love it quite like I was hoping. I was doing a fun buddy-read with this one and we were having a great time swapping fun quotes we enjoyed.

Cooper and Lucy have an instant attraction and fun chemistry. I did kind of feel that their romance was more superficial, a lot of focus on their mutual attraction and sex. I also thought her brothers reaction to everything was over-the-top, especially considering Lucy's age and the fact that she is a mom.

I've really bounced around on what to rate this one. It is well-written, has some great moments and fun romance. I just didn't quite connect to the characters like I was hoping. I'm sure I'll be the odd one out, I've already seen all the raving reviews coming in and I know most people will gobble this up!

Content rated PG13 for sexual content
Romance: Kissing-making out, innuendo, premarital sex - closed door
Language: None that I remember
Violence: None
Other: Casual drinking, getting drunk

Nominated for a 2021 Swoony Award, to vote click here: https://tinyurl.com/y593ce67
Profile Image for Kristina.
96 reviews24 followers
April 27, 2021
It feels and looks like a really cute book, but somehow I found it annoying at times... even so much I decided to use my e-reader notes to underline and comment all the things that got on my nerves. They went something like this (warning! No context included):
* Like in old times. Girls don’t get a say.
* Controlling a-hole
* A real independent woman, sigh
* Objectifying much
* No control what so ever and impulsive
* Patronizing a-hole

So the book is about a single mother, who meets her brother’s friend (who basically looks like a god and she can’t control herself around him at all) and then they start liking each other and don’t hook up because, get this - her brother doesn’t approve. And then it just goes on from there. She’s quirky, he’s devilishly handsome and wonderful with her son. She’s a cute insecure girl and he’s a womaniser (but not really, because women throw herself to him, because he’s so handsome you know 🙄).

I mean I like reading romance novels, so I’m not hating the genre, I just didn’t like parts ot characters of this book. I know some people enjoyed this book a lot and at some parts I see why, but for me it just didn’t do it.
Profile Image for Melissa.
2,179 reviews205 followers
January 6, 2021
I needed this book!!! This was just my cup of tea, my bread and butter, just a joy to read. I laughed so many times. Adams really let lose with Lucy's character that girl has no filter and is so awkward and it just worked for me. Cooper was just yummy and the chemistry was Amazing!!! I can't wait for her brothers story!!
This is clean with steamy kisses and talk of sex.
Profile Image for Misha Ahuja.
101 reviews
June 7, 2022
i love this book, it’s a light fluffy read and just a perfect breather. i’m not usually a fan of brothers best friend but this book executed it so well. the way the characters were developed and how the next book was introduced was perfect. this is definitely one of my top books!
Profile Image for MerLuni.
125 reviews5 followers
November 25, 2022
It’s definitely not for everyone but I really liked it! I‘m a big lover of communication, in books just as in life so it gets annoying sometimes how often book characters don‘t really communicate and that is something I didn’t like about Cooper in the beginning.
But then again he at least tried talking to Drew and I think it didn’t take too long for him to actually communicate with Lucy so I don’t care about his thoughts before.

In the end I absolutely adored Cooper and if my standards were high before.. oh boy he pushed them even more up!
I loved every scene with Cooper and Levi so so much!!

(Sorry if names are spelled wrong - I listened to an audiobook!)
Profile Image for Yvonne (It's All About Books).
1,983 reviews249 followers
April 11, 2021

Finished reading: April 11th 2021

"But when a slow smile starts to spread over her mouth, warm blood rushes through my veins, pumping and reviving my old familiar heart until it's three sizes bigger. No more stealing Christmas for me."

P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
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