The Rule Maker by Gina Azzi
Once close childhood friends, Austin and Chloe find themselves reunited after over 10 years apart. Chloe has moved back home with her parents after heartbreak, and Austin is coming off a big cup win. The pari fall quickly into old banter and friendship with ease. So when Chloe is in desperate need of a date for summer wedding festivities where her ex will be there….Austin steps in to help. Because Austin thrives with rules, there are rules to their arrangement.
I loved Chloe from the start, and it was clear that her ex did a big number on her self esteem. She gave herself and put aside her hopes and dreams to ensure his dreams were accomplished. Austin see’s the girl he once knew and encourages her to find her passion.
Sweet sweet Austin. He is the guy that shoulders so much responsibility, wants those around him to be happy but doesn’t feel it is possible for him. He is set that he can only focus on hockey and making his team the strongest team yet. Although he is serious he also has a very fun side that he lets shine when Chloe is around.
Together these two are magic. There is an ease in their relationship that comes with true friendship. I really loved to watch these two fall in love. Austin encouraged Chloe to be herself without judgement. Chloe also supported Austin in the way he needed. The dynamics not only with the characters was stellar but the side characters and their families added to the story’s interest and humor. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Chloe’s Mimi. We all need a Mimi in our lives, she was so so funny, loved the characters, and encouraged them without being shy! There was not a scene that Mimi was in that didn’t leave me smiling! Truth be told, it made me long for my late Grandmother.
This friends to lovers sort of fake relationship is a bit of a slow burn. I am generally a reader that enjoys my spice, but I will say that I didn’t miss it much with this book. These two took their time, but when they jumped in they jumped in and it was steamy and so hot. If you enjoy a friends to lovers, a sports romance with a lot of fun family dynamics then you need to check this book out. To get the full experience I would encourage you to read the whole series….I promise you will not be disappointed! Another fabulous read by the lovely Gina Azzi!