Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Lessons in Rule-Breaking, or What I Wish My Journalistic Career Was Like...

Journalist Jess has always followed the rules when it comes to her career: 
1) Never say no! Trying to extract a tell-all interview from bad boy of the art world Xander Heaton might be her own worst nightmare, but she's just going to have to grin and bear it!
2) Absolutely no flirting on the job -professionalism is key to a journalist's success. Even if Xander does have her imagining the most unprofessional scenarios…
3) If resistance proves impossible, remember the golden rule - never kiss and tell! One night with Xander and she's broken at least one rule...and discovered it's much more fun breaking rules than making them!
Christy McKellen's second novel, Lessons in Rule-Breaking, is all about developing your confidence and going after what you want - professionally as well as in the bedroom...

As a blogger and freelance web journalist, I'm incredibly jealous of Jess's job.  Plus, if I met a Xander I'd be seriously tempted (though not enough to leave C) and McKellen does a fantastic job of developing her fully. Her background has left her with serious confidence issues, particularly in how she looks, and these are explored in a sensitive way.  I particularly liked the way that Xander tried to accept her panic in the restaurant, even if he didn't wholly understand it.

I think that some of the key scenes come towards the end of the book.  There are moments when Xander realises that he has to truly understand and accept Jess's insecurities - which can be a very difficult thing to do when you're attracted to someone so very very much.  It's at that climax in the novel when everything Jess fears and dreams of collide and she's left in the midst of her own private horror film.  Kind of like when a lovely dream switches midway and becomes a nightmare instead!

I loved the development of the characters, the fact that it's set (for the most part) in Italy, and the clash of two very different worlds of the characters.  Plus the steamy scenes are well written and very engaging.

A great follow-up to what was a fab debut and I can't wait to read more from Christy McKellen!

And Mills & Boon boy Steve seemed similarly impressed...

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