Hard Rules (Dirty Money #1) by Lisa Renee Jones #mf #review @lisareneejones @SMPRomance


Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in the smoldering, scorching first novel in the explosively sexy new Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

How bad do you want it?

The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family’s business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.

Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret that could that destroy them both. addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14Tbird_s ThoughtsTAG

Hard Rules is a very intricately weaved plot, one that you really need to pay attention to because with Shane’s family there is always a pile of crap being thrown at the fan.  Shane tried to isolate himself from his diabolical family but when trouble comes to his father, he is forced to go back and see if he can help.  What he learns will redirect his future because his dad is dying, his mother is up to no good it appears and that brother of his will do anything in his power to sabotage Shane’s attempt to put the family business back on a legal track. To be honest there was more than one time I wanted to scream at Shane to just pack his bag and go back to his life.  Leave this family to their own demise, but he didn’t.  Maybe what kept him there was his new love interest Emily.

She was a mass of confusion for me.  She had a secret to hide, had changed her name and wasn’t really that forthcoming with her past, but she was loyal to Shane.  Yes they have a chemistry and passion with each other and she was working with his father so she had access to getting information to Shane, but I am not sure how this romance stood a chance with the different arrows coming at Shane throughout the whole store.  In other words, if you take his family drama out of the picture I might have been able to really see their relationship evolve, but everything in this book was overshadowed by his family.

I would like to be able to give more about the book, but the dots didn’t connect with me, maybe it was too much packed among the pages, maybe I never really connected with Emily, I am not sure but I don’t want to influence another reader who will get it right off the bat.  I wanted to be invested in this couple because I do believe they each deserved to find happiness after what they went through, but Shane was too involved in keeping the business and family out of trouble and Emily was too guarded protecting her secret that I never felt I was connected to them. So you may be asking why I gave it four stars if I didn’t feel the story.  The simple answer is I have to give great praise to the author that I continue to ask questions and keep reading to find them.  Even if they didn’t all make sense to me in the end, the author had me caring enough about the secrets and plot to keep reading with a passion.

This is a great book and it will make some readers have a hangover for days I am sure, but for me it wasn’t a book I would rave about, yet it did make me want to read more of her books to see what else she has to offer because I believe I will love her style, just this plot didn’t do it for me.


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