I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rules of the Game (Stardust, Texas, #2) by Lori Wilde
Also in this series: Back in the Game, Love of the Game
Series: Stardust Texas, #2
Published by Avon on May 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
A jilted bride meets a superstar baseball player in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde...
Just uttering the word "wedding" makes Jodi Carlyle break out into a cold sweat. So a year after she'd been dumped at the altar, and two days after turning the big 3-0, she decides to break some rules—by dressing to the nines, hiring a limo,and crashing a swanky wedding...
...Where she catches the eye of the Dallas Gunslingers' new star hitter Jake Coronnado. He's hot. He's sexy. He sticks by her side all evening. He's the perfect fling. After a wild weekend, where they do everything and then some, Jodi thinks she'll never have to see him again...hey, she's even told him her name is Gwendolyn! But she thinks wrong.
Because guess who's the best man at Jodi's sister's wedding? And guess who's still as seductive as ever? And guess who's determined to turn their one-night fling into happily-ever-after?
Jodi knows that crashing a wedding is just what she needs, its been over a year since she was left at the altar, and she still struggles with the pain of that moment. So she takes her therapists advice, she crashes a wedding, but then she meets Jake, a sexy man who saves her from being found out as a “wedding crasher” and they are connected, and she can’t seem to say no to him, and after sharing a dance and a sensual night in his hotel room, she knows that this beautiful night will always be in her memory but she realizes that she can never have anything “normal” with him and for the first time in her life she wonders if her life would have been different if she had taken his offer for more than a one night stand. While getting ready for her sister’s wedding, working at her bedroom and breakfast she owns and manages, she runs into Jake again, and soon Jake and Jodi are entering into a sexual relationship, but a relationship that turns into something stronger and more binding…a bond that blows them both over with passion and love and trust…
Jake Coronnado is the star hitter for the Dallas Gunslinger’s, and he has been asked to be the best man, which surprises him, but he accepts and gladly. But coming back to Stardust, is also a way for him to face his demons. While away on a game, he lost his wife when she was gunned down in a store, and its been three years and he still hasn’t come to full terms with his wife’s death. Her death almost destroyed him, and he doesn’t know if he is ready for something more, but Jodi is like a breath of sunshine to him, a healing balm, a way for him to find peace and find something more with her, he doesn’t know where this relationship will take him, but he knows he can’t stop craving her. Jake is a hoot of a character, he is not your typical sports hero, despite his athletic talents, he isn’t what he appears to be, he is still hurting, and is quite tormented. But what I also loved seeing what how playful and carefree his character is.
Jodi Carlyle, has unresolved issues and not just from her ex fiancee…but she was adopted, and her life before was bleak and lonely and she had no one who loved her before her adopted family came into her life. She would do anything for her siblings and her parents. She has tried to move on from the past and build a new life for herself, she likes being in charge and in control, and has a hard time trusting others. She still suffers from being dumped at the altar for a stripper, but she knows that she needs adventure and to let go…but isn’t sure if she can. Control is her saving grace and is all that she knows to function. What I loved about Jodi was how she knows that she has a past, struggles, and is trying to face them. She makes mistakes…plenty, but she also knows herself and is true to that. She doesn’t hide from it, and I loved seeing her spunkiness and seeing her come out of her shell that she has built around herself. She was quite lively and entertaining. Even though there were moments I wanted to shake her…she also is the type of character that become real to the reader.
Plot and Story Line
Rules of the Game is the second book in this latest series, and unlike her other books…this has a different take…its a sports romance, but with a small town feel to it. What I love about Lori Wilde is being able to create a story that I just fall right into. She is an auto author for me now, every story I have read from her has been fun and entertaining and sexy…and this holds true for Rules of the Game. What is great about this story was the emotional development we see in the characters. Both of the main characters are struggling with a past trauma. We also see a form of “magic”–kinda. This is the theme for the series, about sisters who find a box, and each holds a special item, an item that what you wish for you get…and only your soul mate can connect with that item. For Jodi the item is perfume, and no one can smell the scent except for one man…Jake and her wish…to have a sexual adventure…well every time Jake gets a whiff of her perfume he wants to take her clothes off. Quite entertaining really…seeing this arrogant ball player being humbled a bit at times. He does have to work for Jodi and boy does she make him work for it. I love how sassy she is, and the way she has to have her own way…but she gets humbled too. Another great aspect to the story is seeing characters from the first book…since the setting is around their “wedding” but it’s quite fun to see other members of the team…and I sure hope their stories are next. Especially cocky Talbot.
You know I like the cover…with her green dress and the backdrop…very romantic and fun.
Rules of the Game is a story of redemption, healing, learning to trust in love, and fated soul mates. It’s a warm and sweet romance, with loveable characters, Lori Wilde accomplishes a home run with this charming tale that is guaranteed to make you cheer….sensational in every way!! A MUST READ FOR ROMANCE LOVERS!!