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Rules of the Game [Kindle Edition]

Sandy James
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2013 HOLT Medallion Winner
2013 Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Awards Finalist ~ Best Mainstream Romance
2013 Aspen Gold Readers' Choice Winner ~ Best Contemporary Romance
2013 Golden Quill Finalist ~ Best Single Title Romance

Voted #1 Class Reunion Book on GoodReads!

Kathryn West has it all--she's a confident, bestselling author living it up in New York City. Too bad she doesn't actually exist, and is only timid Maddie Sawyer's pseudonym. Determined to attend her high school reunion with a man right out of one of her racy romance novels, she plots to find a sexy bad boy who's up to Kathryn's standards.

She finds Mr. Perfect shooting pool in a biker bar. He's a blue-collar hunk who just happens to look great in leather. But the mysterious Scott Brady has some rules of his own: he won't agree to her deal unless she poses as his girlfriend in front of his family and friends first.

As the reunion nears, Maddie tries to maintain her carefree façade, knowing she'll soon face some old ghosts. She's torn between her growing attraction to Scott and the nagging feeling that he's hiding something important. Will she still want him when she finds out his secret? What about when he discovers hers?

76,000 words

Editorial Reviews


Night Owl Reviews ~ 5 stars ~ Reviewer Top Pick! ~ This is one author I love reading and I know once you've tried one of her stories, you'll be just as hooked as I am.

Author Sandy James has put together a book that is funny, sexy, and heart breaking but with the main goal of love standing strong. ~ Fresh Fiction

All About Romance ~ Rules of the Game is a well written, emotional book and I recommend it.

Book Binge ~ It's on my "to be read again" pile as well as on my favorites list. I give it a 5 out of 5 and would give it more if I could.

TBR Pile ~ Recommended Read ~
It's been a while since I enjoyed a contemporary so much. Ms. James not only earned a wonderful rating, she earned a fan.

Romance Book Forum ~
Ridiculously funny, surprisingly tender, extremely cute, so achingly romantic, and just a surprise.

Tracy's Place
(Ms. James) has a great way with words and her characters - main and secondary - and makes them come to life.

Book That Thing ~I was fully invested, I laughed, I hit my head on the table (repeatedly), and I was entertained.

Revolving Bookcase~ Sandy James impressively takes some not-so-pleasant subjects and uses them to add depth to what would have been an otherwise run-of-the-mill love story.

Romancing the Book ~ Rules of the Game had tears, laughter, heartache, tension, family and friends along with lots of romance and ultimately love.

Product Details

  • File Size: 602 KB
  • Print Length: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (April 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0070Y03FG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,926 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Romance built around the 5 Stages of Grief April 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
3-1/2 Stars

I'm really starting to get annoyed with books that are marketed as one thing (i.e. light fluffy romance) and turn out to be something completely different (i.e. deep-seated trauma finally seeing the light of day.) This is the 3rd book within the last few months that Carina Press has mismarketed, in my opinion. I had just come off reading a very heavy book (not weight-wise, subject-wise) and needed something light and fun and thought this story would fit the bill. Even though I DID enjoy this story, it wasn't the fun, light contemporary romance I thought I was getting into.

Maddie Sawyer just received an invitation to her High School reunion and she wants to "show them" by showing up with a sexy bad boy just like she writes about in her racy romance novels. She finds the right hottie shooting pool in a biker bar: He's built, looks great in leather, has a tattoo and he has a counter offer to her hiring him as her arm candy. Scott Brady wants her to pose as his girlfriend for his family and friends first. After a few dates they realize they have something real here and date in earnest. Maddie takes Scott back to Indiana to her reunion where she meets up with her past in harsh way making it very apparent she has a LOT of skeletons in her closet she needs to deal with. Through all this, Scott is by her side. But Scott is keeping secrets of his own.

This book is a bit bipolar. It started off a bit raunchy has Maddie is trolling the bars looking for a biker to pick-up. Everything seems to be a bit glossed over and summarized. Suddenly, the pace slows a bit to watch Scott and Maddie interact. Then the story turns into trudging up Maddie's past--ALL of it.

First of all, I am never a fan of the "pretend lovers" plotline.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a roller coaster of a ride! April 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Wow! What a roller coaster of a ride. So much emotion in one story. It was so good!! I truly loved Scott, what a perfect male character. I could not put this book down and read in one seating. The story was so good. Kept me interested. I liked the way Scott and Maddie got to know each other before taking the final leap to bed. Loved how he knew her so well.

Will look forward to reading more books from this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG! March 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I finished the book in one sitting -- it is wonderful! I enjoyed reading the romance between Maddie and Scott and liked the well-thought-out secondaries like Maddie's sister, Terri, and Eli's character. Thw book is a cross between Lolly Winston's "Good Grief" and L.M. Montgomery's "The Blue Castle." The author explores serious subjects and does a good job taking them on. In "The Blue Castle," Montgomery's hero is ashamed of his past because his father made a fortune by maufacturing patent medicines and when he dies, Barney inherits the fortune. In "Rules of the Game," Scott is also afraid to tell Maddie what he does for a living. Both heroes are "nice guys"--and I'm a sucker for a nice hero. My real-life hero, my late husband, was also a nice guy and Scott had a lot of his qualities.

If I could give more than five stars, I would!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Autumn Review for Rules of the Game June 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm not really sure what I expected when I got this book, but how the story actually developed surprised me a bit. I thought it was going to be a light hearted love story, but it turned out that the story went deeper than that. It is a love story, but Maddie's past plays a bit part in how the story develops.

I loved that Maddie had an alter ego. Her writing allowed her to open a part of herself that I think she suppressed. The real Maddie was vulnerable and a bit insecure at times. The writer was less inhibited. I liked the combination of both personalities. I think Scott helped her open up a bit more too. Maddie had a major trauma as a teenager and she needed someone like Scott to help her heal. The relationship they developed was mature and loving. I liked that they took time to get to know each other before jumping into the physical connection that they clearly had.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. I think this a good contemporary romance for the summer. If you're looking for a romance that has a bit of a deeper story, this is a great pick for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! June 7, 2012
By Quiggs
Format:Kindle Edition
From the description of the book, this sounds like a light-hearted romance with a twist. You have the boring, shy heroine, Maddie, who decides to pick up the bad boy hero, Scott, at a bar of all places, and hires him to be her date for high school reunion. I figured it would turn out like most other romances with this type of plot. The two have a bunch of strange and slightly embarrassing situations happen to them, but fall in love in the end. Right?

Wrong. That wasn't the story at all.

Scott isn't much of bad boy to be honest. He has manners and morals and scruples - you know, those things you don't expect bad boys to have. There is also a lot more to him than a motorcycle and a leather jacket. Maddie does seem a tad boring, but once you read about her history and background, you find she is not.

The romance happens pretty quickly. At first I thought this would make the rest of the book boring. Once they fall in love, then what? Sandy James does a great job of keeping you in suspense. The book is filled with twists and turns that you don't expect. These twists change the tone of the book from light-hearted to more serious, but this made me appreciate the whole thing even more. Just when I thought the couple had sort of reached a happy ending, something else would happen to complicate the relationship. In the end, love does prevail. You see all the loose ends get tied up, and the book ends with the same light-hearted quality it starts with.

I won't go into to details, but I was amazed at how this author was able to take very deep topics and handle them with grace. She addressed things that aren't usually spoken of in romance novels. I was very impressed. The story had depth and the characters were likable because of this.

I have to honestly say that I thought this would be one of those books you read and like, but set aside and never read again. It turns out that I loved it. I will definitely be reading it again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Great Storyline
I enjoyed this story so much! The author did an outstanding job of developing the story and the characters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Rules of the game
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were great and the story line was good. I couldn't put this book down until I finished it.
Published 4 months ago by L. Linder
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, fast paced romance with a very touching story
This book is written in first person which is not my usual preference but thought I would give it a try since I have loved other books by this same author. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christina L. Stevens
3.0 out of 5 stars cute story line
Cute story line, but I tired of some of the repetitive descriptions of details (like clothing, furnishings, etc). Some of the facts of the story were not consistent.
Published 9 months ago by JIG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This is a great book also. I haven't found a book by Sandy James that I didn't fall in love with. She is such a talented author.
Published 10 months ago by Barbara Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars All Men Should Be Like Scott!!
Scott is probably the most awesome male romance character I've ever read and I've read more romances than I can count! Read more
Published 13 months ago by GMS
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome read
Great story! I couldn't stop reading! Believable and wonderful characters. What a fun story! Wish I could meet a hero like Scott!
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Rules of the Game
Reviewed by: JoAnne
Book provided by: Author
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Rules of the Game was an unexpectedly quick read that kept me... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Romancing the Book
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet romance!
I truly loved this book! Great story line and great characters. A sweet, romantic love story and definitely worth the read! :)
Published 22 months ago by Tracie M. Sellew
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story even though it wasn't what I expected
This book is not about Scott and Maddy falling in love. They do that pretty quickly. It's about Maddy's past catching up with her. Read more
Published 23 months ago by IHaveCleanHands
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More About the Author

Sandy lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband of thirty years and is a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses and enjoy spending time at the two Indiana racetracks.

She is published through Forever Yours, Carina Press, and BookStrand, as well as indie-published. She has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller multiple times and has won numerous awards including two HOLT Medallions.

Please visit her website at for more information or find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest as "sandyjamesbooks."

Represented by Browne & Miller Literary.

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