Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Tropes: insta-attraction; opposites attract; intelligent strong FMC; cinnamon roll MMC; single dad; found family
There is a predictability to Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland’s romances. It isn’t what you think, though. There is a guarantee that you will love their stories as they craft engaging characters, stories that take turns into the unexpected, and happy endings that make you either swoon or tear up in happiness. Over and over again, their stories are successful based solely on reader reviews and interest.
What is most predictable about their stories, about a book such as their newest one, The Rules of Dating, is to expect the unexpected. Time and time again, you will read the blurb and think you have the story figured out before you enter it. What you find out quickly is the blurb is their hook, their means to grab your attention and entice you to buy their story. And it works every time. It isn’t until you enter their romance that you realize nothing is as it truly seems. You start down a guaranteed path and quickly find yourself reading a different journey than you expected. It’s my favorite part of their storytelling. There’s a feeling of surprise in every book.
There are two key truths about The Rules of Dating that make it appealing for romance readers:
- Billie, the FMC, is worthy of worship.
- Colby is a simp for Billie and rightfully so
I love an independent, intelligent, emotionally insightful FMC. The moment noted in the blurb for Ward and Keeland’s story comes to fruition, and it makes you chuckle as Billie stands against cheating men. However, there is depth and gravity to Billie’s characterization, and you simply can’t help but adore her.
As such, from the moment they meet, Colby is sold on her. What transpires is a game of cat-and-mouse in which Colby does everything to be near or with Billie. His ingenuity in wooing her creates some of the best moments of the story. He’s everything a romance reader adores about an MMC: driven, compassionate, and a caring, loving father. And he absolutely beyond any doubt adores Billie. This eventually turns Billie’s heart toward him.
And then, Ward and Keeland hit their readers with a one-two punch from the game of life, leveling up the angst of the story. Honestly, the inciting moment of The Rules of Dating is a bit of a surprise which is part of the predictability of Ward and Keeland’s storytelling.
Add to all of this a found family group on both Billie’s and Colby’s sides that adds humor, advice, and support to Billie and Colby’s story.
Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland’s The Rules of Dating is an emotional, enticing book. There were times when I stepped away from it because I was set on Billie and Colby’s happy ending. When that finally comes in this book, it will make you tear up. Quite frankly, this is a book you don’t want to miss.
In love and romance,