Author Spotlight Review: Bending the Rules by Susan Andersen

Posted November 11, 2009 by Holly in Features, Reviews | 7 Comments

Author Spotlight Review: Bending the Rules by Susan AndersenReviewer: Holly
Bending the Rules by Susan Andersen
Series: Sisterhood Diaries #2
Also in this series: Cutting Loose, Playing Dirty
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: July 1st 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 384
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four-stars

Tall, dark and intense, Detective Jason de Sanges excites all kinds of fantasies in Poppy Calloway. But when she suggests the three teens caught spray-painting a Seattle neighborhood be given art-related community service and he just wants to see them pay—all bets are off.
With the men in his family always in and out of the slammer, Jase was raised in foster care. He knows what it takes to walk the line. And his number one self-imposed rule? Avoid his hunger for sexy, irresistible Poppy, who challenges him on everything. But it's a vow that's getting harder and harder to keep.…

 

 

I really enjoyed this book overall, but the hero annoyed me quite a bit in the beginning.

Because his father and brother are “bad guys” who’ve spent more time in jail than out of it, he figures he’s a bad seed too. At first I understood he had bad impulses, but as the story progressed I became increasingly annoyed with him. For more than 15 years he’d been on the straight and narrow. Seems like he should have given up on being an idiot long before he did.

I real…more The premise of the trilogy: Poppy, Ava and Jane are best friends. When they were young girls they befriended Agnes Wolcott, a rich old eccentric widow. When she passed away she left her mansion and all her collections (of which there were many) to the girls, with instructions on which ones to sell, which ones to keep and what to do with the mansion in the meantime. Each keeps a diary and the beginning of each chapter features an excerpt from them. I really liked that.

I wasn’t sure what I would think of this novel going into it, because I didn’t love Poppy in the previous book. I didn’t dislike her, I just didn’t love her. As it happens, she turned out to be a wonderful heroine. I really enjoyed this book overall, but the hero annoyed me quite a bit in the beginning.

Because his father and brother are “bad guys” who’ve spent more time in jail than out of it, Jase figures he’s a bad seed too. Especially based on some things he did in his misspent youth and the thoughts he often has now. At first I understood he had bad impulses, but as the story progressed I became increasingly annoyed with him. For more than 15 years he’d been on the straight and narrow. Seems like he should have given it up and stopped being an idiot long before he did.

I really liked Poppy. Her overall attitude was a good one and I like that though she tended toward being flighty, she wasn’t really. Although she was what many would consider a do-gooder, it wasn’t annoying in the least. She truly cared about the kids in her programs, and though her profession is an unconventional one, she made it work. Often characters who are artistic are written in an over-the-top way, but Poppy wasn’t. She was just a down-home girl who was passionate about her work. Her character was well written.

I liked Jase and Poppy together. Because Jase never experienced any kind of family life growing up, he really cherished the little things about his time with Poppy. Even though I was annoyed with him for most of the book, I couldn’t deny his appeal, or the attraction he and Poppy shared. They just clicked.

I loved the relationship between Poppy and her girlfriends. That was once again my favorite part of the novel. They acted like true friends do, calling each other out over silly things, supporting one another, and generally just being there – whether it be with tough love or understanding. Too often I think female relationships are talked about rather than shown, but that wasn’t the case here. We saw what great friends they were, we weren’t just told.

I also enjoyed the other secondary characters, especially the kids Jase and Poppy were working with. Andersen really excels at writing young characters, IMO. She seems to find the perfect balance between youth and maturity, especially considering their backgrounds.

It must be mentioned (again) how pissed I am that we won’t getting Ava’s book. So infuriating.

4 out of 5

The Series:

Cutting Loose
Bending the Rules
Playing Dirty

Book CoverBook Cover

This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars

7 responses to “Author Spotlight Review: Bending the Rules by Susan Andersen

  1. I read this book last week and really enjoyed it. I didn’t realize there was another book before it so I haven’t read that one yet…too bad they’re not doing book 3 – I like the characters.

  2. Anonymous

    I’ve never read anything by Susan Andersen, but I bought this book recently. Looking forward to checking it out.

    Diana

  3. I enjoyed this book too. How can they not give Ava her story? There was a teaser in BTR about who her hero would be and it makes me so curious. I want to read her book, demmit.

    Even with the release of a new single title doesn’t make up for taking away the third book. Now I’m mad all over again.

  4. teenyann

    Susan Andersen has a book entitled ‘Burning Up’ due to be released on August 31, 2010. Could this be the long-awaited Ava’s book?

    I read ‘Cutting Loose’, Jane and Devlin’s story, and the first book in the Sisterhood Diaries (almost)trilogy. I really liked it a lot…it is on my keeper shelf. I did not enjoy ‘Bending The Rules’. I did not like Poppy’s personality in ‘Cutting Loose’ and it did not improve in her story, in my humble opinion.

    It would be great if Susan could finish this series. She is a wonderful writer…I hope she will take another shot at romantic suspense, a la ‘Shadow Dance’, ‘Present Danger’ and ‘Obsessed’.

    Keep up the excellent reviews, ladies.

  5. Teenyann,

    Burning Up isn’t connected to this series at all, but Susan did announce recently that she got the go-ahead to write Ava’s story.

    It’s funny, but I believe my reaction to these two books was the opposite. I liked this one a lot better than I liked Cutting Loose. I think Jane’s character just didn’t work for me.

  6. teenyann

    Holly,

    Thank you for the news concerning Susan Andersen’s upcoming books. Do you have any idea what ‘Burning Up’ is about? And, hooray, we are going to get Ava’s book…finally.

    Take care.

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