Author ~ Nellie Christine
Published ~ 14th February 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Rules are made to be broken.
That’s what NYC musician, Elijah Dawson, is told constantly upon informing people of his Rule Book, but he disagrees. Rules help upkeep society, prevent chaos, and they help keep him from getting involved in meaningless relationships. Elijah learned the hard way that he’s terrible at being a boyfriend – people only end up getting hurt. To keep things simple, he lives his life by the Playboy Commandments:
1. No Repeats.
2. No Staying the night.
3. NO Kissing.
4. No Pet Names. Seriously. Don't.
5. The drunker the sex, the better.
Things change when he steps on an iPhone en route to his dead-end job. After connecting with the phone’s owner, he finds that the man is Grayson Paul – the son of one of the most powerful men in all of New York City. Grayson is so much more than the guys Elijah finds himself taking home from bars – he’s gorgeous, passionate, and completely uninterested in a relationship. This must be fate, right?
Only Grayson isn’t all that interested…
Being hired at the billion-dollar record label owned by his very own father was supposed to be the highlight of Grayson’s life. Instead, he spends his first couple years out of college as a professional fetcher of chai lattes. Buying beverages and making copies wasn’t exactly what Grayson wanted to do in the family business. His best friends want him to stop obsessing over work and get laid, or in the very least date a couple guys, but love and meaningless sex are nothing but distractions. What Grayson really needs is an artist of his own.
It seems that his prayers are answered when he realizes the stupidly charming guy who found his iPhone is an incredible musician. Talented isn’t powerful enough a word to describe Elijah – he has a voice like no other and looks capable of making girls and boys swoon.
Elijah doesn’t need to be told that he has potential as a performer – he knows he’s good. But no amount of money is worth having his privacy invaded. Unfortunately for Grayson, Elijah would rather work paycheck-to-paycheck than see his business on a gossip blog.
Maybe agreeing to compromise will help both men realize that what they really needed was right there all along.
What happens when you can’t even play by your own rules anymore? Elijah Dawson has a set of rules he abides by to stop him getting involved in relationships. He knows others get hurt too, he’s not boyfriend material he’s proved that, so to prevent it happening again, he has his rulebook. No repeats, no staying over, no kissing, no pet names and drunk sex. He’s been sticking to these rules, working his dead end job in the mail room, playing and singing in a local restaurant a few nights a week and he’s just fine thank you very much. That is until he meets Grayson Paul. Grayson works for his father’s record company and has spent the last couple of years basically being the office gofer, but is desperate to work with artists of his own and to prove himself to his father.
Elijah and Grayson initially meet for Elijah to return Grayson’s lost iPhone. A very likely scenario in this day and age, but an original one I’ve not read about yet. The beginning of their friendship was quite organic and I liked how it wasn’t forced but allowed to develop further naturally. We can see Elijah struggle with the idea that he wants to see Grayson again, he’s thinking about him much more than he’s ever thought about anyone else and it unnerves him. Likewise, Grayson realises he likes Elijah and would like to see him again, but he’s a bit more intent on protecting his heart as he’s been badly hurt in the past and these days has become a bit of a loner. Grayson wants to stick to the rules just as Elijah seems to want to chuck them all out of the window. Add in the fact that Grayson has heard Elijah play and sing and wants him to be his artist at Millennium Records and the whole thing is starting to skew.
Their friends try to help out getting them together but this backfires spectacularly in the main drama of the story with Elijah’s best friend showing her true colours. I had my suspicions about her intentions from the get go and she proved me right. However, Grayson’s best friend Oscar and his girlfriend Eleanor, I liked a great deal. Elijah’s family feature quite a bit in the story with him having some lovely time with his little niece and helping his sister out a lot. His parents were a bit of a conundrum. His dad seemingly not too bothered and thinking Elijah was a bit flaky but then actually turning up to support him. I think they just weren’t on the same wavelength as Elijah, maybe a generational thing.
The drama does resolve, but maybe a little too quickly, at the end. I think both Elijah and Grayson do think about what they want and they realise compromises need to be made if they want to pursue something real. I liked where this was heading for them both in respect of the artist and the record label and their respective careers as well as in their relationship and so that leaves the door open for potentially more to come from these two in the future. I would definitely be interested in what comes next for them as I really enjoyed the more original tone of this book and I’d love to see more of them together.