Tuesday, August 24, 2021

✱✱Audio Book Review✱✱ Rules of Play Audio Blitz

Title: Rules of Play

Series: The Script Club #2

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Alexander Cendese

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: July 16, 2021

Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins

Genre: Romance, Brother's Best Friend, Geek/Jock, Friends to Lovers, Bisexual-awakening, Contemporary MM Romance

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Synopsis


The genius, the mechanic, and a new playbook…

George-

My brother’s friend is hot. If you’re into flannel-wearing lumbersexual former jocks who eat donuts for dinner and still scribble to-do lists on their palms. I’m not. I’m a serious scientist in my final of grad school. Okay, I admit I have few quirks of my own. I also have a broken truck and a boss who thinks I can help him find love. I’m in over my head. Help!

Aiden-

A few quirks? Really? George the weirdest dude I know. He wears capes in public, brings a book everywhere he goes, and loves all thing spooky. He’s also the smartest person on the planet—who somehow thinks I can help him write a How-To-Get-A-Date playbook for his boss. Yeah, that sounds suspicious. I know baseball; I don’t know anything about love. But I can’t say no. I’ve always had a soft spot for George. I just didn’t count on falling for my best friend’s nerdy brother. This is against the rules, isn’t it?

Rules of Play is an MM bisexual awakening story where opposites attract and shenanigans ensue!

Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

These guys are so much fun! Aiden and George are opposites, but they've known each other since they were kids. Those fuzzy feelings between them have been brewing for a lot of that time, so it's easy to see them falling into something more. Like the first in the series, this book is a feel-good romance with very little angst. And that's just what I needed this week = something I could fall into and enjoy, a bit of escapism in this stressful world. Alexander Cendese narrates this opposites-attract love story, and he does it very well. I love that he keeps the voices distinct, and he keeps an energetic pace that's perfect for this book. This is the second in The Script Club series, but it can be read or listened to as a standalone. Characters from the first book do come and go, but the author gives us enough to follow the secondary characters easily. This series is my first experience with Lane Hayes, and I don't know if all of her books have this feel-good theme, but I love these characters, and I'm definitely interested to meet some of her other characters and learn their stories. 

Excerpt

“The Script Club?”

I grimaced. “Well, yeah. That name came later.”

“You really are a little weirdo, aren’t you?”

The twinkle in Aiden's eyes and his affectionate tone paired with an unlikely term of endearment were exactly what I needed to pull me from my infatuation-induced awkwardness.

I smacked his biceps playfully, then leaned against his side, staring up at the crescent moon in the twilight sky. “I am weird and I am proud.”

Aiden chuckled. “I like that about you. I like your idea too. It’s a good one. I should get in on that and collect a few new experiences before I quit the garage and move on to my next venture.”

“What would you do? I mean, what would you want to try?”

“I don’t know. Maybe something will come to me.” He set the half-eaten container of meatballs down and reached for his beer. “As for your boss…he needs a rule book.”

I shifted to face him. “What kind of rule book?”

“A dating rule book. It would be the equivalent of a sports playbook…a list of strategies and a backup plan if things go awry.”

“Okay, that makes sense. Step one, ask for a date.”

Aiden shook his head. “No. Don’t go in hot. Gotta practice a little finesse. It’s better to get to know someone—ask about their interests, share yours, and see if there’s anything there. Theoretically, that’s how I think it should work.”

“You’re right. They have to build a rapport.” I squinted. “He’s going to need an icebreaker.”

“Yeah, that makes sense. Hit me with your best shot.”

“Uh…what do you mean?” I stammered.

“Pretend you’re into me and you want to get to know me.” Aiden quirked a brow and wiggled his fingers. “Ask me something.”

“What are your interests?”

He made an obnoxious buzzer noise and rolled his eyes. “Wrong. That’s a date question. A lame one, too. Would you really walk up to someone and ask them what they’re into?”

“No, of course not.”

“Redo. You’re trying to get to know me, but you can’t be too forward, and you can’t make assumptions. Got it?” He waited for my nod of agreement and continued. “Pretend we’re standing at the coffee machine at work on a Monday morning. And…action.”

“O-kay…what did you do last weekend?”

Aiden smiled. “Good one. And my answer…not much. I went to that college ball game I told you about last week, watched a lot of basketball, made arrangements to schlep your Bronco here, and played pool with Kenny and a couple of high school buddies. You?”

“I studied and hung out with my friends.”

He stared at me long enough for me to wonder if I had meatball between my teeth.

“If that’s all you have to say, you just killed this conversation,” he deadpanned.

I chuckled. “I did not. It was your turn to ask me something. That’s how it works in real life. I’m not that big of a dork!”

“But what about your boss?”

Good point. “Newton is a big dork. Very big.”

“Right, so this is where rules come into play. You have to pay attention and take hints and clues to heart. Almost everything I mentioned about my weekend had a theme…sports. I told you what I’m interested in without announcing, ‘I like sports.’ If you really wanted to get in my pants, you’d ask me a sports-related question.”

I shot to my feet, whirling my cape like a true badass. “Who said anything about getting in your pants?”

Yes, I was entirely in favor of the idea, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t said it aloud.

“Isn’t that the end game?” Aiden flashed a devilish grin my way.

“No! I mean, maybe for you, but not for Newton. I don’t think he’s hoping for sex.”

“Then what’s the point?”

“Love!”

Aiden widened his eyes comically. “What’s that?”

“I don’t know,” I sighed in defeat, reclaiming my spot on the stoop next to him. “That’s why this is complicated.”

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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Bookbub

 

Did you miss book 1 in the series? Get Following the Rules at Amazon

The geek, the jock, and a new set of rules…

 

Also available in Audio


Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you're looking for a feel-good male/male romance, Following the Rules would be a good place to start. The story is a geek and jock romance, but it doesn't get all angsty and dramatic. There is a bit of angst - we do need that pivotal moment, right? - but for the most part, this one is just an entertaining and engaging listen. Speaking of, this is my first time listening to Alexander Cendese. Well, I've heard him before on some WEB Griffin books my husband listened to, but this is the first time he's narrated something in my wheelhouse. Anyway, I like the upbeat style, and his timing for the wit and humor is really good. I also appreciate that he gave the characters distinct voices and tone, so it was easy to follow who was talking. I also liked that we don't get a lot of angst with Simon realizing he's bi. There is some discussion and thought about it, but I like that he kind of takes things as they come. Topher is a great character, and he's just totally lovable. This may be an opposites-attract romance, but these two fit together like 2 pieces of a puzzle. 

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