Playing by the Rules by Imelda Evans: Review

October 8, 2013 Reviews 0

Playing by the RulesKate Adams expected to return home from Paris with a ring on her finger. Instead, her French boyfriend, Alain, breaks up with her right before she leaves for Australia.

Unwilling to show up at her high school reunion desperate and dateless, Kate asks her best friend’s brother, handsome Josh Marchant, to pretend to be her fiancé.

Josh has always had a soft spot for his sister’s friend and happily takes on the role. And as they spend time together, the lines between fact and fiction blur and they’re soon struggling to remember it’s all just an act.  But will the arrival of an unexpected visitor shatter the illusion they’ve created?

Playing by the Rules is such a gorgeous, fun romance. I love that it is set in my adopted home town of Melbourne, and that it is unabashedly Australian in tone. That being said, the story is one that is universal in its theme, so readers from other parts of the world should have no problems at all understanding it.

Kate’s really not looking forward to her high school reunion. Always on the periphery, Kate was a serious girl, studious and smart. There were those who made her high school experience rather unpleasant. Encountering them once more is not high on her list of priorities. She has also just been dumped by her boyfriend for her close friend, just as she thought he was going to propose. Now the Paris-based academic not only has to face the nasties, she has to face them without the fiancé she had fully expected to have with her.

Thanks to her best friend (and eternal champion), Jo, Kate’s reunion experience may just be back on track. Jo’s brother Josh is also back in the country and somehow Jo fixes it so that Josh is willing to act as Kate’s other half for the evening. Things quickly get out of hand – the attraction between them that had bubbled under the surface when they were teenagers roars back to life, and what started with an expiry date is beginning to look like something that could last forever. But with lives on opposite sides of the world, will these two ever find their way to each other?

Gee, I loved these two. Kate is wonderful – she’s real and smart, and totally relatable to planners like myself. I totally get that whole “I need to plan” aspect of her personality. Josh is just adorable – he is funny and sweet, and cares deeply. I found myself cheering them on throughout the course of the story. You can just see that they are so beautifully matched, and it would have near broken my heart if they couldn’t have worked it out.

This takes place in a world prior to Rules are for Breaking, where Kate’s wonderful best friend Jo is the heroine of that book. Despite this being the case, I think you should read them in the order they were published.

Imelda was one of the first authors I had the chance to review when I started My Written Romance, and I was super-excited to get the chance to meet her at RWA this year. When she mentioned that this story was on its way, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I was wondering how Imelda would be able to top the sexiness of Declan, the man who irons from Rules Are for Breaking. She has definitely managed it with the gorgeous Josh in Playing by the Rules.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Release Date: 16 September 2013

Purchase Links: Amazon – Destiny Romance – Kobo – iBookstore

Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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