Review: Breaking the Rules by Ember Leigh (Breaking #1)


Note: A review copy was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR.

Breaking the Rules is the first novel in the Breaking series and it's my first read from Ember Leigh. This series starter takes on the falling-for-your-sibling's-best-friend trope with an MMA romance twist to it, although it has more of the romance than the actual MMA going on. Twenty-six-year-old Amara Valenzuela makes the decision to return to her hometown after learning of her mother's cancer diagnosis. She and her older brother Eduardo intended to be by her side, hoping for the best as their mama underwent treatment to battle breast cancer. Once her mother was better, Amara had every intention of leaving once again. What she didn't plan for, however, was to start falling for Eddie's best friend, Travis Holt. Three years older than her, Travis was someone that Amara has known for years, but in the time that she's been away, he's clearly done his own bit of growing up. He's hot and he's obviously successful, owning a gym while also working hard at his MMA career. They're both attracted to one another, but how can they consider becoming seriously involved when Amara has no plans of staying for very long?

I hate to say this, but I was not a fan of Amara's at all. The girl never managed to fully win me over. Yes, she deserves kudos for being as passionate about her work with battered women, and yes, I'm all for being a vocal advocate, but it got to a point very early one--and continued all throughout--where Amara was very holier-than-thou in her attitude and overly preachy. She steamrolled Travis into helping out her cause by making him feel guilty rather than allowing him to empathize with the plight that battered women are faced with on a daily basis. Instead of making her come off as this warrior for women, Amara just became the sort of person that would have had people tuning her out because she talked AT them rather than engaged in conversation with them. To be honest, I wished Travis had fallen for someone else--anyone else!--because he came off as a really good guy who deserved to have a happy ending. I was also hoping for a tad more MMA than was present here because the sport really became more of a backdrop than an essential part of the story. Breaking the Rules was an okay, three-starred read. ♥

Date Read: 21 October 2018

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