Rules Are Meant To Be Broken (Lines of Marsden #1)
by NJ Nielsen
Published by MLR Press
Word Count: 77.000
The lines of Marsden were born into existence for a reason: to right the wrongs that had once taken place. Destiny fated that they must destroy the Eldren before Evil wins.
Michael Marsden wants to die - for real this time. He wasn't meant to lead the half-life that he does. He chooses to let it go and let death take what it had already claimed.
But Christian Risely isn't about to let that happen. He is drawn to Michael and will do anything to ensure that he lives, even if that means keeping him alive against his will.
This is going to be hard to review. I liked almost everything about this book, but there was one thing that kept niggling at me throughout. I'll get to that later. This is a very long series (18 books in three parts - first part is 6 books), so a lot of questions are still blaring at the end of the book, but I thought it ended in a good place. The author is Australian, so this is not US English, but I had no trouble reading it and it felt charming.
I'll start with the writing. I liked the little italicized lines at the beginning of each chapter. The writing was great and this didn't read like most other m/m books I've read. It was...new. The writing style and the voice. I don't think I can compliment it enough.
The beginning of the book was very intriguing. The head hopping was a little confusing, but it wasn't enough to make me want to stop. I couldn't stop. I've read a lot of m/m books, but not many have kept my attention from the very beginning quite like this one. Every time there was a chapter break I kept muttering "Oh my god!" with a big grin on my face.
The characters were fantastic. I loved Christian right away. He's funny, lively, and sweet. Him feeding Michael in the park that first night was HOT. The same goes for their every sexual encounter between them. This author really knows how to write hot guys and hot scenes. That's not to say that Chris and Michael jumped into sex right away - it developed nicely and slowly and I liked that. It felt realistic. The love in this story is so beautiful it makes me want to fall in love myself.
Chris made me laugh out loud more than once. Here's a quote of Chris being adorable and funny. It happens just after their first encounter: "...some part of him wanted to rub himself all over Michael just so the others knew to keep their hands off of what was his. Christian froze at the thought; it was enough to make him stop and go woah!"
Even more funny was Michael and his interaction with his sister, Gypsy. Both of them felt alive and although Gypsy was treated like a kid at twenty-two, it didn't feel unrealistic (it just felt right with this family). Michael himself is a great character. There's not much about him that I didn't like. He's a smartass, but still mature. He's also funny and he felt real.
The other characters were Kerr, whom I didn't like at first but who developed into a very nice character. Charm was a little bit weird, but that's her charm. Doyle I didn't get to know at all as he sat on the sidelines, but that's okay because I have a very bad feeling about him (more on that later). I even liked Michael's mom and dad. Every character had their unique...character.
I liked this line: "Who said at twenty-two you had to be all grown up and act as though nothing affected you?"
I liked it because I've read a lot of reviews and some readers expect people who've just come out of their teens to behave like forty year olds (who can also be pretty immature). Kudos for including that line. There was emotional drama in this story, but it never felt over the top.
I'm very curious about all the unanswered questions about the creator and the grand plan, the Eldren, the beast and "the Boy". I want to know it all, but... (about to reveal a SPOILER, so don't read on if you don't want any)...
This is written early in the story: "You will have three great loves within you life span and two of them will be within our family. Your first true love will be family...As will be your last."
It was also said that Chris wouldn't be Michael greatest love. I can't believe the author is going to pull Michael and Chris permantly apart. No, no, no. You don't create something so beautiful and then ruin it. That's just wrong. Why mess with something that feels so right? They're perfect for each other. I hope the prophecy is wrong. Please let it be wrong...
Having that prophecy right there in the first book really spoiled things for me. I read the romance with great sadness in my heart, not enjoying it to the fullest as I could have, because if the prophecy is true Michael and Chris won't be together forever (despite their declarations). It just broke my heart. For that reason, I'm reluctant to read the rest of the books. It was hinted throughout that Doyle would be one of Michael's great loves, but I don't want that. I just want Michael to be with Chris. It's the authors own fault, because she wrote their romance so beautifully in this book. No, I think I'll wait for reviews before each book and then stop reading as soon as one mentions that Michael and Chris are breaking apart. Sorry, I won't be one of the reviewers to warn off other readers. I just can't.
But please, don't let the spoiler above stop you from reading this book. This book was wonderful and one I will read again. It's the first to receive full marks on Gayrotic Reviews:
Heat: 5 (Perfect, just the right amount)
Heat: 5 (Perfect, just the right amount)