Thursday, July 21, 2016

Six Month Rule (Kingston Ale House #2) by A.J. Pine

* * * *

She created the game, but the rules are about to change.

Taurus: Hold fast to your single-minded nature today—no matter how long her legs or how lush her red lips. 

Gemini: You were a shining star last night, but reality can be a real—well, you get the picture. Just remember: Tall, dark, and British equals no corner office for you. 

Will Evans never wanted a reason to stay. 

Holly Chandler wants nothing more than for him to go.

But neither one is prepared for what can happen in six months. Because it doesn't matter what you want when what you need walks out the door.

Holly’s been busting her butt to make partner at Trousseau and there’s no way she’s going to let some stuck-up British arsehole get in her way—no matter how drop-dead gorgeous he is. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have a little fun in the process. She has a six-month rule: date just long enough for the honeymoon phase to wear off, then walk away before anyone gets hurt. If they both know the rules up front, walking away will be a piece of cake. Or maybe not…

*SIX MONTH RULE is a stand alone book in a connected series.

Source: advance e-galley provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Holly Chandler is a whip-smart, go-getter with her sights on making partner at Trousseau. Before that can happen her company lands as a client, Tallulah Chan, an up and coming British fashion designer who's making her US debut. If done right, this could launch both Holly and Trousseau into a new stratosphere. Normally Holly thrives under these circumstances but she's about to be tested when she's assigned to work alongside Chan's publicist, Will. Will insists on formality and his singular focus is to make his client's debut a smashing success before he can pack it in to focus on other aspects of his life. Holly and Will have one thing in common: no distractions, which is why Holly never puts in more than six months into any relationship and why Will doesn't get into any. You can imagine what happens. Throwing these two together is going to test the boundaries and their discipline. When it becomes too much to bear they reconsider Holly's six-month rule as a viable course of action. 

Just as with The One That Got Away, I can easily see myself hanging with this lot. Can Kingston Ale House be an actual thing because I want to hang out there and have truffle fries? And I love that Chicago is the setting (yes, I'm biased since I live here). It's such a fantastic city with so much going so I was happy when Pine mentioned Chicago institutions like Lou Malnati's. Aside from that, I also noticed the little details such as Will's colloquialisms - "lift" instead of elevator and my personal favourite, "aluminium" instead of aluminum. They were sweet reminders of my home (a former British colony). No joke, my family gets a kick out of my stubbornness in holding on to those words as part of my vernacular. Needless to say, Pine keeping true to Will's speech was a win for me. It's also nice that he isn't this overbearing, alpha male who walks into a room and expects everyone to kowtow to him. The initial friction between him and Holly works. Their relationship evolves somewhat smoothly despite them blurring the lines between work and pleasure every so often. Sometimes their shenanigans left me nervous! I had assumptions about where the trouble with their arrangement would pop up but it didn't unfold as I expected. Overall what I like best about SMR is that it doesn't introduce over the top or unnecessary elements to distract you from what is simply a fun read.

If you ask me to pick which of the two books I like more, I'd say SMR has a slight edge thanks to the charming characters (ahem, Will). If you're one for an opposites attract/office romance adventure then this story is an irresistible, delicious treat! 

~ Bel

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