Book Review: The Ground Rules by Roya Carmen

25 Jun 2015

Book Title: The Ground Rules
Author: Roya Carmen
Series: The Ground Rules #1
Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Genres: Erotica Romance, Taboo
1. Don’t sleep around.
2. Don’t kiss and tell.
3. Be nice.
4. Don’t text or call.
5. Don’t fall in love.

The rules were simple...until they weren't.

I have everything I ever thought I could want: a nice home, a job I love, two beautiful girls, and my husband, Gabe - my high school sweetheart who still rocks my world. If you ask anyone to describe me they would say, "Oh, Mirella? She's such a nice girl." And that’s true...until a mysterious, peculiar man and his beautiful wife enter our lives.

Weston and Bridget Hanson are no ordinary couple—they’re stunning, enigmatic, and sexy as hell. During the course of one unexpected evening, my ordinary world is turned upside down. How could it not be when Weston and Bridget propose the unthinkable? And when the unthinkable is so very tempting, giving in becomes inevitable

It sounds so logical and simple. Just five rules and we can all have what we desire. But the heart doesn't follow rules, and now passion, jealousy, and confusion threaten to tear everything apart.

Two beautiful couples. Five simple rules. One hot mess.


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 When a close friend on Goodreads was reading this book a few days ago, the blurb caught my interest immediately. Only when she texted me how awesome it was, did I stop and drop everything to read it. Sometimes I just can't wait! And this book did NOT disappoint. Thanks, Jen babe...fist bump! Oh, my kids say I'm not supposed to SAY fist bump. But I digress...

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  The Ground Rules was just different.. Refreshingly different. When we read some 100+ romance novels a year, it takes different to set a book apart from the rest. This one succeeded in spades! 

 Gabe and Mirella are a happily married (almost 20 years) couple in Chicago. Both career people with two sweet daughters. When their reservation on a special date night got screwed up, they instead find themselves dining with a very wealthy, astute, GORGEOUS couple...Weston and Bridgett. They graciously offered their table of four to share and hit if off right away. Strangely enough, both couples also have a crazy attraction for one another. And so the swinging story begins...

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 When Weston and Bridget contact Gabe and Mirella with a proposition, they're both thrown back. It's so unusual yet they both find themselves surprisingly intrigued and up for it. Gabe and Mirella are very happily married but mixing things up a bit can stir up the excitement, right? Not to mention the strict rules to keep everything clear... Pre-planned dates. No communication outside of such dates. Meaningless sex. No strings attached. Weston is very clear regarding their proposition. Almost clinical...but Mirella can't resist her attraction to the gorgeous, serious, suited man.
The Rules- “One is monogamy, the second is discretion, the third is respect, the fourth is appropriate contact, and finally, we have emotional detachment.”
The Ground Rules was completely in Mirella's point of view and I really wished we could've gotten her husband Gabe's POV also. I felt 100% engrossed in her and Weston's story, their growing attachment, yet I felt Gabe and Bridgett were off somewhere in the distance. I was dying to know how his dates were going.


 This book was seriously an angsty tug of war with emotions versus physical draw- an intense desire to be with with another person from deep within your bones yet knowing your heart MUST stay detached. Knowing you have permission to do the deed yet not fall emotionally attached. Is it possible? 

 I do have to admit, I was often thinking to myself who was watching their two sets of children while each couple is out gallivanting with each other. It's a lifestyle I'm not familiar with yet I find fascinating in a taboo kind of way. Because of that, I found myself devouring the book when I really really have a million other things I need to be sleep. But sleep be damned, this was a damn good book! And a hawt book, I might add!

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 I'd highly recommend The Ground Rules for fans of a bit of unconventional freakiness in their love stories. I mean, the subject of couple swapping is a bit...taboo, don't-cha think? It's not a swoontastically romantic book, but more so a book about finding that person your body craves to it's core yet your bound to another...even when you have permission to embrace the physical. Can you avoid the emotional? Can your heart stay detached when your heart is promised to your husband you DO truly love? 

 Read it and find out... 

The Ground Rules is book one in a duet. 
 It doesn't end in a true cliffy yet leaves the reader anxious for more...

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