Against the Rules by A.R. Barley
June 6, 2016
Kelly O’Connell’s out of control
An RA at Halton University, he spends his off nights at a club, hoping to find what he’s looking for in rough sex with strangers.
Until one night the play gets a little too rough. An isolated room, a dangerous situation…and an unexpected rescue.
Ian Rankin knows what Kelly wants—a true Dom, someone who will protect him instead of using him, someone who can take him to the edge without pushing him into unsafe territory.
Ian knows just what Kelly needs, and he’s the only man who can give it to him.
There’s only one problem: Kelly is a student, and Ian is a teacher.
I was provided an ARC of this book by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The story I read wasn’t quite what I was expecting based on the book description. I was expecting Ian to discover and help Kelly through his issues. Help him deal with it, by giving him the safe outlet he needed. But that’s not really what happened.
Kelly wasn’t coping very well with the death of his mom. He craved something to help him forget. So he would turn to alcohol and rough sex and/or abuse to escape. Ian rescues him from a bar before things go very bad and the two connect. There is a lot of relationship stuff, and Kelly dealing (or not dealing) with family stuff.
Then finally, after an incident leads to Ian and Kelly breaking up, Kelly sort of comes to his own “awakening” per say, at the words of someone else not really involved in whole mess. It’s like he has a sort of “Aha” moment, when he realizes he should have stepped up and spoken up and not let everyone run over him. So it wasn’t necessarily Ian that helped him through it all. Ian was just there to keep him from getting beaten to a pulp or getting injured some other way.
And the whole student/professor thing barely came up. Just a bit at the beginning and a minor issue at the end that didn’t really seem to fit the story, like it was thrown in to satisfy the bit in the description. But for the most part it was a non-issue.
I think it would have worked better if I’d gone into it with different expectations than what I had.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars