Erryn reviews Rule Breaker (Mixed Messages book 1) by Lily Morton. Published August 17, 2017, 286 pages. The audiobook was released April 15, 2019, is 9 hrs and 32 mins and is narrated by Joel Leslie.
Why I read it: I had heard great things so had to try for myself.
Is it really wrong to want to murder your boss?
Dylan has worked for Gabe for two years. Two long years of sarcastic comments. Two long years of insults, and having to redo the coffee pot four times in the mornings to meet his exacting standards.
Not surprisingly he has devoted a lot of time to increasingly inventive ways to murder Gabe. From stabbing him with a cake fork, to garrotting him with his expensive tie, Dylan has thought of everything.
However, a chance encounter opens his eyes to the attraction that has always lain between them, concealed by the layers of antipathy. There are only two problems – Gabe is still a bastard, and he makes wedding planners look like hardened pessimists.
But what happens when Dylan starts to see the real Gabe? What happens when he starts to fall in love with the warm, wary man that he sees glimpses of as the days pass?
Because Gabe is still the same commitment shy, cold man that he’s always been, or is he? Has Dylan had the same effect on Gabe, and has his solid gold rule of no commitment finally been broken? With his heart taken Dylan desperately needs to know, but will he get hurt trying to find the answers?
From the author of The Summer of Us comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy, showing what happens between two men when rules get broken.
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I want to kill my boss. It has become an absolute truth that a small portion of my time every day is now taken over with creating increasingly inventive ways to murder him slowly.
Thus begins one of the funniest audios I’ve ever listened to. And I listen to a lot, so that’s saying something. Dylan Mitchell’s problem is his impossible-to-please boss. Of course he does his best, but he’s also snarky, talks back, and generally refuses to be cowed by the man who has felled many people in the office. Other co-workers are terrified of Gabe’s wrath. Dylan treats it like a temper tantrum and moves on. They are actually a good team. Until a trip away reveals to Dylan a whole new side to Gabe.
Now, the book is written almost entirely in Dylan’s perspective, which works because, of the two, he’s the one with the true sense of humor. He’s also the one with family and friends to support him. Gabe is alone in this world. He has his friend Henry, to be sure, and his boyfriend Fletcher. Dylan has his own opinion of Fletcher and it’s quickly apparent why. Vapid is an understatement. Or, as Dylan puts it, “Little Lord Lubeship”. Gabe and Fletcher also have a fairly adventurous sex life and although Dylan is worldly, he’s not fond of sharing. So when he and Gabe finally do get together, that’s a hard limit for him.
There are reasons why Gabe is the way he is and they are certainly tragic. He’s done well for himself professionally, but he’s avoided real entanglements emotionally. Until Dylan. Seems two years of working in close quarters has had quite an impact. But it’s when Dylan brings Gabe into his inner circle that Gabe truly learns what family, friends, and love are. Dylan is a nurturer. He sees the wounded man that Gabe is and he wants to help. Wants to love. Gabe is terrified of being hurt (aren’t we all?), so he keeps himself apart, aloof. Henry is the only person whom he’s let in. Who knows everything.
The dark moment in this book is pretty dark, especially contrasting with all the happy and funny moments. Of course I knew somehow the men would get back together – this is a romance after all – but I did wonder how. Well, loving someone does count, finding the way home matters, and Charlie Hunnam helps.
Joel Leslie narrated the book and, as always, he did a fabulous job. He differentiates the many characters and, as always, handles the female characters with ease. His Rebecca was a treat. He also does well when he put on his officious voice and read emails such as this:
To Dylan Mitchell
From Gabe Foster
When I was a small boy, I liked to eat soil. My mother was worried but she needn’t have been concerned. Unbeknownst to both of us, I was actually just preparing myself to drink your coffee.
Each chapter starts with an email between the two men – going back and forth. A moment of levity and I might have giggle-snorted through a few of them. Or most of them. Or all of them. Ms. Morton’s mind has depths of creativity that I love in authors and between the banter and the snark, the book went by so quickly.
Which is why I was glad the second book was at hand. Onward to the next adventure.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she got her Kindle.
She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams, and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing because how else would she get to spend her time with hot, funny men?
And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.