Saucy bartender/author Allie McAllister spends her free time mentoring aspiring authors and boasts a strict set of rules when it come to romance with her protégés. The first and most important being that the relationship ends after six months.
This suits rising young attorney Adam Carlton just fine. He doesn't have time for, nor does he want a full-time relationship. So he has to feign interest in the creative process and pretend he's writing a novel. The time he spends with Allie is worth putting forth a little extra effort.
The days turn into weeks and Adam is surprised to discover himself enjoying Allie’s “lessons.” While he struggles to reconcile the little white lie he told to gain her attention, Allie finds herself dangerously close to BREAKING ALL THE RULES for a shot at what might be true love.
Complex, multifaceted characters are the heart and soul of Monica Robinson's compelling novel. From the moment Adam is drawn into a heady infatuation by Allie's outrageous, energetic barroom antics, so too is the reader carried along by the rip tide of honesty and emotional depth Robinson portrays.
With Allie, Ms. Robinson creates a heroine who is as captivatingly extroverted as she is fundamentally insecure, yet she never allows the character to fall into the trap of self-victimization. Allie's plight is that of many intelligent, capable young women seeking to make their own way in a world that's kicked them to the curb more than a few times. I found myself rooting for her over and over because of she's a character of renewable strength and dogged individuality.
Adam is a fantastic counter part to Allie with his easy charm, formidable will, and natural ability to read other people. Ms. Robinson humanizes Adam in the same fashion by showing the mistakes he's made before and during the course of the novel, proving no one is immune to the effects of outside pressures and expectations.
In addition to these compelling protagonists, Monica Robinson also presents a wonderful array of secondary characters who prove to be far more diverse and interesting than present in most novels. I was especially impressed with the depth and lack of stereotypical actions with regards to Adam's father and older brother. Even the "villain" of the novel had a shades of deeper characterization which left me pleasantly surprised and enormously satisfied.
Originally posted at TwoLipsReviews.com