Brenda Jackson has shared the tales of the Westmoreland crew and now she returns to tell Bailey’s story with Breaking Bailey’s Rules—OUT TODAY!
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Heat Factor: Some upper lip sweat might occur!
New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson with Breaking Bailey’s Rules now tells the love story for the baby of the Denver Westmorelands, Bailey.
Bailey Westmoreland left her rebellious ways behind and has been recently promoted to features editor of her sister-in-law’s magazine, Simply Irresistible. On the day of her promotion her life is turned upside down when Bailey meets Alaskan, bison rancher Walker Rafferty.
Walker Rafferty is sent to Denver as a representative for the Outlaw family. He has been tasked with helping his friends see how factual the Westmorelands claim that the Outlaws are related to them via an undocumented adoption. His mission was simple…establish if the Westmorelands claims were true.
Little did Bailey or Walker know they would end up meeting their soulmates within each other.
Rule number one for Bailey Westmoreland: Never fall for a man who would take her away from her tight-knit family’s Colorado home. So why is she following rancher Walker Rafferty all the way to Alaska? Bailey tells herself she owes the sexy loner an apology, and once she gets there, it’s only right to stay and help him when he’s injured…isn’t it? Before long, Bailey realizes home might be where you make it—if Walker is ready to take all she has to offer.
Breaking Bailey’s Rules is the 25th book within the Westmoreland series. When I came across the cover in a Harlequin newsletter, I immediately remembered the first romance novel I read, Until There Was You by Francis Ray in 1999. Even though I grew up reading V.C. Andrews novels (well before I should have ever done so) I’d never, or did anyone I know, classify her works as official romance novels; they were always listed as gothic horror or young adult. When I was introduced to Francis Ray, this was the first-time I had seen mass marketed romantic leads that were individuals of color. I made my way through many of Ray’s novels, then read a few of Rochelle Alers, but moved on to titles that fell into the genres of historical fiction, science fiction, young adult, or mystery, and I began to heavily read fanfiction again. However, Breaking Bailey’s Rules has pulled me back in the romance novel fold and now I’m in the process of devouring every book within the Westmoreland series.
From the first paragraph of Breaking Bailey’s Rules I needed and wanted to learn everything I could about Bailey Westmoreland, the Outlaws, the Westmorelands, and Walker Rafferty. And I didn’t let up until I finished reading the book within a few hours of swiping the first page within my Kindle app. From the moment I read Bailey’s reaction after seeing Walker for the first time, I was hooked:
He was tall, but that wasn’t the reason her brain cells had suddenly turned to mush; she was used to tall men. Her brothers and cousins were tall. It was the man’s features. Too handsome for words. She quickly surmised it had to be his eyes that made her pulse quicken to a degree that ignited shivers in her stomach.
And then there was his skin tone—a smooth mahogany. He had a firm jaw and a pair of luscious-looking lips. His hair was cut low and gave him a rugged, sexy look.
Well that description of Walker Rafferty had my immediate attention. Just like Bailey, I was smitten. Thankfully, the immediate attraction wasn’t one-sided. Walker researched the Denver Westmoreland crew and was aware that Bailey was beautiful because of her picture.
But he hadn’t expected that beauty to affect him with such mind-blogging intensity. It had been a while—years—since he’d been so aware of a woman. And her scent didn’t help. It had such an alluring effect…Her cocoacolored face was perfect—all of her features, including a full pair of lips, were holding his attention. The long brown hair that hung around her shoulders made her eyes appear a dark chocolate.
Even though the characters are attracted to each other and I had a feeling that their couplings would be steamy, seeing how they would end up falling in love was such a pleasure to read. Bailey loves Denver and set rules for herself that will not allow her to ever leave her town or family, and Walker has spent the last 10 years of his life rebuilding his families livestock ranch “Hemlock Row” on Kodiak Island, and he is set on staying put. Walker made concessions in his past for love, and it left him with a broken heart and spirit, so he is in no rush to attempt to do so again.
However, life has other plans. Even though Bailey and Walker are extremely attracted to one another from the beginning, they fight this attraction like school children with bickering and unintentional insults. This all lead to very steamy apologies and acceptances.
“Okay, what’s the right idea?” he asked, leaning in even closer. “Why did you bring me out here?”
“Nervously, she licked her lips. He was still rubbing a finger across her check. “To apologize.”
“Apology accepted.” Then he lowered his head and took possession of her mouth.
Walker deepened the kiss, even while trying to convince himself that he should not be kissing Bailey. No way should his tongue be tangling with hers or hers with his.
But she tasted so damn good. And he didn’t want to stop. Truth be told, he’d been anxiously waiting for this minute. He would even admit he’d waited ever since that day at the airport when he’d first thought her lips were a luscious pair. A pair he wanted to taste. Now he was getting his chance…
“That was some acceptance,” she whispered hotly against his lips.
He leaned forward and nibbled around her chin. “Acceptance of what?”
“My apology. Maybe I should apologize more often.”
Brenda Jackson’s Breaking Bailey’s Rules takes the reader from Westmoreland County in Denver to Hemlock Row in Kodiak Island, Alaska to see Bailey break her rules and open her heart to Walker. And along the way we see the walls that Walker erected, when his her heart was betrayed and broken, fall down to let Bailey into his soul, was amazing to witness.
Breaking Bailey’s Rules is a solid 4 STARS, and I enjoyed the fact that safe-sex was brought up in this romance novel. I will admit that it wasn’t always mentioned with each sexual encounter, but seeing a couple discuss protection from not only pregnancy, but sexually transmitted infections makes this reader quite happy. If you are looking for a great standalone romance, Breaking Bailey’s Rules is a great read, not only is your male lead a strong character, but so is the heroine. Bailey is smart, talented, and fearless, just like her counterpart Walker. Bailey and Walker rescue each other, and this is one of the rare moments as a reader, where I got to read the “damsel” being the one who saves the lead male in distress.
If you are like me, Breaking Bailey’s Rules might have you running to get the preceding books in the Brenda Jackson’s Westmoreland series.
Series: The Westmorelands
Formats: eBook; Mass Market Paperback
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Retails: $3.99 and up