Title: Changing the Rules
Author: Catherine Bybee
Release Date: March 23, 2021
As an employee of MacBain Security and Solutions, Claire Kelly can certainly hold her own. Armed with an impressive set of covert skills, she’s more than prepared to tackle any job that comes her way…except one involving Cooper Lockman.
Cooper and Claire used to work together before his feelings for her sent him packing to Europe for six long years. But now he’s back and determined to ignore the still-smoldering heat that lingers between them.
Their current mission: go undercover together at a California high school to root out the mastermind behind a prostitution ring targeting young girls. The closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, however, the deadlier their task becomes. As Claire and Cooper risk their lives to bring down their target, will their hearts be the final casualties?
Changing the Rules is one of those books that is likely to have you turning the pages when you know darn well you have other things you’re supposed to be doing, like sleeping 😉 Claire and Cooper are great characters, and once their undercover mission gets started the story will absolutely sweep you away.
Apparently if you were a fan of the 21 Jump Street television series, then this book will likely be your jam–one of the secondary characters even mentions it at one point. Since I barely know more about the series than Claire does (I’ve at least heard of it) I can’t say how much it is or isn’t like it for certain, but from my coworker’s description (once she got past the “I don’t know if we can still be friends” part of her lecture) it sounds pretty similar.
At least Claire wasn’t nearly as bored with her job at the end of the book as she was at the beginning–plus now she has Cooper, so bonus 😉
To be honest, I felt a little lost for the first few chapters of this book–it’s been several years since I’ve read anything from Catherine Bybee, and though this is the first book in her new series, Claire, whose POV is dominant in the beginning of the book, references back to a lot of people and incidents that apparently happened in another series (mainly Say It Again though her boss Neil has apparently appeared in three different series) without much explanation, and I kept thinking, wait, should I know who these people are? Once the main plot of this book really got underway it drew me in, but Claire’s old school (Richter, where this series gets its name) and the things that happened there come up a lot throughout this entire book, so reading that one at least before this wouldn’t be a bad idea.
I really did enjoy this book–the characters are great, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat (and up too late), for sure!–but I did feel left out of the backstory loop quite a bit. So if you have the time and means, I definitely suggest reading Say It Again before this one, if you haven’t already. If you don’t, just keep reading through the barrage of other characters and past references Claire hits you with, the story’s about to suck you in really soon 😉
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the Author:
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than five million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite Series, the Weekday Brides Series, the Most Likely To Series, and the First Wives Series.
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