HARD RULES  by Lisa Renee Jones


From the "Dirty Money" series, volume 1
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First in a new contemporary romance series that brings together two powerful families on opposing sides of the law.

Shane Brandon thought he could build a respectable life as an attorney, far from his rich but ruthless family. But when his father becomes ill, Shane agrees to return to Denver to help run Brandon Enterprises. He’s determined to root out the corrupt deals his brother and father have struck and save the company without sacrificing its moral core. Shane “doesn’t do relationships,” but when he meets Emily Stevens in a coffee bar, he can’t resist her sexual and emotional allure. Emily is on the run from her own troubled family, especially her brother Adrian, who runs the Martina drug cartel with terror and violence. Shane needs a lover he can trust, and Emily is full of secrets, but their connection is intense and irresistible. In a refreshing departure from the usual controlling billionaire boyfriend, Jones (Demand, 2016, etc.) has written a complex hero who struggles to maintain difficult family relationships while making moral compromises that he hopes will lead them out of the dark. He unselfishly cares for Emily, and while he makes the usual alpha gestures at control, she holds her own, resulting in a fairly egalitarian, and very romantic, relationship. Emily is less well-developed, in part because her history and background are mostly withheld in this installment, the first in the Dirty Money series. Sometimes the pace drags, the result of too much of the tortuous internal monologue to which an alternating first-person point of view is prone. But breaking up Shane and Emily’s love story into multiple books allows Jones the space to create interesting antagonistic secondary characters instead of flat foils.

Angst-y, sexy contemporary romance with big emotional and financial stakes set against the backdrop of two dynamic families. Sure to leave readers desperate for the next installment.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-08382-1
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2016


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