Review & Excerpt: Rules of Entanglement by Gina L. Maxwell

Rules of Entanglement
(Fighting for Love, #2)
By: Gina L. Maxwell
Publisher: Brazen
Published: March 31, 2013
Genre: Erotic Romance

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Seven days. And seven rules to break…

District Attorney Vanessa McGregor firmly believes that structure and order are the stuff that dreams are made of. Happiness can be planned – and it starts with seven rules she’s laid out for her future. But as she’s organizing her best friend’s wedding in Hawaii, all of Vanessa’s best-laid plans are about to meet their match in a wickedly hot MMA fighter…

Jackson “Jax” Maris is focused on surfing, training and fighting. That is, until he opens up his big mouth, and finds himself having to pretend he’s engaged to his little sister’s best friend, Vanessa. When they’re force to share a romantic bungalow, however, their little charade suddenly takes a turn for the seriously sexy. And while Jax is definitely not part of Vanessa’s long-term plan, he has seven days – and seven naughty nights – to turn her seven-rule plan upside down.

Seven days. And seven rules to break… and boy do they ever!

I never got a chance to read Seducing Cinderella. Hold up, let me explain. I’ve been a bit bogged down with review books but it is on my want list of books to read. So since I didn’t read the first book I want to let everyone know that if this book sounds good to you, you can jump right in without needing to read the first book. Yes, you get the sense that Jax’s little sister, Lucie, was the leading lady in the first book but in this book, Lucie’s barely even in the book at all. It’s whole focus is on Vanessa and Jackson.

Vanessa is Lucie’s best friend. When Lucie develops a case of food poisoning a week before her island wedding, Vanessa flies out to Hawaii to make sure everything goes off without a hitch when her friend arrives. Lucie’s brother, Jax, lives on the island and is suppose to pick her up from the airport. Where he shows up over an hour late and breaks one of Vanessa’s rules, never take your responsibilities lightly. Then the lucky guy moves straight to rule #6 Never indulge in the poison of lies, when he tells Vanessa that they must stay in the bungalow together and pretend to be Reid and Lucie so that the wedding planner doesn’t know that the bride and groom to be aren’t on the island yet like planned.

Jax is a laid back kind of guy. He wasn’t always this way. He raised his sister when their parents died and had a lot put on his shoulders at a young age. However, he up and moved to Hawaii and has been living without a watch or rules since he stepped foot on the island. Yeah, he was a little late picking up Vanessa at the airport but he lost track of time while surfing. It’s really not that big of a deal but things go from bad to worse before he can even figure out what happened and Vanessa’s ready to hop in a taxi and drive off. He’s not ready to let this firecracker go which is why he comes up with the harebrained idea to tell Vanessa that they must stay in Lucie and Reid’s bungalow together and pretend to be the couple until the real bride and groom to be gets to the island. So when Vanessa proposes that since she has to pretend to be Lucie, she can’t go off and find herself a local fling, that her and Jax hook up, he’s pretty darn happy but there’s a catch, rule #5: Never let a fling last more than three days. Yeah, that doesn’t really fly with Jax since there’s still a week after those three days but he’s got 3 days to convince her to break that rule.

“He made a decision then and there that his goal for the next few days would be to figure out that list of rules and make her break as many of them as possible. She was strung too damn tight, and he was taking it upon himself to chill her the fuck out.”

I thought this would be a cute romance and even though it is, it is spicy! Heck, the first night when Vanessa see’s Jax sleeping out on the patio in the hammock in nothing but his boxer briefs sporting a very glorious boner, I thought she was going to jump his bones right then and there but they keep their interactions pg13 until they agree on the 3 day fling. Then, the second the click strikes twelve, Jackson is jumping in Vanessa’s bed to start the festivities.

“He bit back a groan and forced his hips to remain still. Not an easy task when his dick wanted to play Heat-Seeking Missile and the hottest thing for miles was in the deepest recess of a redheaded beauty, mere fractions of an inch away.”

Of course, the whole story was predictable but I still enjoyed the ride. Gina has a great way of telling a story and sucking the reader into the book. The characters were lovable and those sex scenes were, well let’s just say, you need a cold shower after reading the book. I loved that throughout the entire book, Jackson gives Vanessa this Hawaiian nickname which she views as an endearment, and I guess it sort of is, but it’s funny to find out what it really means at the end. That part had me laughing because you think back to all the times he said it to her, and it makes sense.

I really need to get Seducing Cinderella and read it. I have a feeling that even though I know how their story ends, I will still enjoy every second of the book. On another thought, there is a part in the book where we meet Jax’s other MMA friends during their training session. There’s this young kid, Danny, who seems to be very hot headed with a chip on his shoulder. He whispers something Jax’s ear that sets Jax off into a rage. I’m curious what it was and if/when we will get Danny’s story.

“Listen wahine, I don’t strut. I simply walk in a manly way.” -Jackson


Closing the trunk after extracting her bags, the driver accepted her money and hurriedly returned to his cab without so much as an “Aloha” before peeling away. She coughed from the exhaust and picked up her things to move onto the curb. Weren’t the island people supposed to be friendly and accommodating? Although, she supposed after making him wait for her at the airport and then stop at a little café so she could get a quick bite to eat, the guy had a right to be a little agitated. Still, it’s not like he hadn’t been duly compensated for his time.What a day. Stranded at the airport, informed she needed to change identities, and stuck with the only surly cabbie in all of Oahu. Not exactly how she imagined her first few hours in one of the most beautiful, carefree places on Earth.

But, she amended, those had been things she couldn’t control. What she could control was how she dealt with her current situation and—

“Hello, sweetheart.”


Taking a deep breath, Vanessa turned and regarded the thorn in her side. He’d changed out of his surfer duds into something more appropriate for a man who’d supposedly just flown over from the continental forty-eight. His khaki cargo shorts paired with a lightweight white button-up and sandals said casual-and-understated.

So why the hell was she hearing sexy-and-overdressed?

Vanessa’s pulse jumped and goose bumps broke out over her skin despite the balmy weather. Standing as close as he was, he towered over her. The man was simply massive. How in the world did someone so big share the same DNA as her tiny friend?

Getting off to a rocky start with the man didn’t make her blind. He was easily one of the most gorgeous men she’d ever seen. Too bad he so obviously broke several of her rules. Hell, if she were being honest, she’d bet he broke almost all of them.

Jackson bent down to pick up her duffel bag, and on the way back up, leaned in to press a warm kiss to her cheek. At the unexpected intimacy, she sucked in a breath and almost pulled away, but his soft words of warning held her in place. “Remember who we are here. If you accuse me of sexual harassment, there’s a good chance it’ll blow our cover.”

His low chuckle both liquefied her insides and made her blood boil. His infectious smile tempted the corners of her mouth to lift up the slightest bit, though she ordered them to hold firm. To save face, she went with it, widening her grin and telling him in the sweetest voice she could muster, “Don’t worry about me, darling, I have stellar acting skills. But if I were you, I’d worry about how thick you lay it on, because if you take advantage of this situation, you’ll have to worry about what I’ll do to your manhood once we’re behind closed doors instead.”

He raised his left eyebrow, which had a jagged white scar running diagonally through it, giving his good looks a rakish edge. Though she knew her appearance was nothing short of atrocious at this point, his eyes skimmed over her body like she’d been dipped in his favorite candy. Maybe the aloof Prince of Tides wasn’t as unaffected by her as he’d like her to think.

“Looking forward to it, princess,” he said, smirking in amusement and giving her a wink before walking into the lobby.

What was wrong with this guy? He should be backing down, talking her down, or at the very least, toning it down. One of those downs. That’s what any normal male would do when his junk was threatened. Maybe he was into masochism. That thought perked her up. A closet masochist would effectively douse any sparks of desire that may or may not be going off somewhere deep inside her every time he turned those light eyes on her.

Feeling better already, Vanessa grabbed the handle of her suitcase and wheeled it behind her along the tiled entrance of the lobby. Jackson stood at the front desk speaking with an exotically pretty woman who handed him an envelope of paperwork and two key cards with a smile that probably won her customer service awards.

“There’s my lovely bride,” Jackson announced as he put an arm around her waist and pulled her into his side.

“Bride-to-be, dear,” she said with a fake look of happiness frozen on her face. “I’m not officially your bride yet.” Then, before she could stop herself, she added, “And anything can happen between now and then.”


Gina is a shameless romance addict with no intentions of ever kicking the habit. Growing up she dreamed of entertaining people and taking them on fantastical journeys with her acting abilities, until she came to the realization as a college sophomore that she had none to speak of. Another ten years would pass before she discovered a different means to accomplishing the same dream: writing stories of love and passion for addicts just like her.


3 Thoughts on “Review & Excerpt: Rules of Entanglement by Gina L. Maxwell

  1. Ahhh I so loved this one too. And yes. You need to read Seducing Cinderella. I liked that one even more than Rules of Engagement. Gah both are just so good!

    And omg that was one of my favorite quotes too. I busted out laughing with his walking in a manly way.

  2. I can’t wait to read this book! I am really loving Entangled’s line 🙂

  3. Seducing Cinderella! I read it too. It’s very predictable but a good light read.

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