Title: Rules of Play
Series: The Script Club #2
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: July 16, 2021
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Genre: Romance, Brother’s Best Friend, Geek/Jock, Friends to Lovers, Bisexual-awakening, Contemporary MM Romance
The genius, the mechanic, and a new playbook…
My brother’s friend is hot. If you’re into flannel-wearing lumbersexual former jocks who eat donuts for dinner and still scribble to-do lists on their palms. I’m not. I’m a serious scientist in my final of grad school. Okay, I admit I have few quirks of my own. I also have a broken truck and a boss who thinks I can help him find love. I’m in over my head. Help!
A few quirks? Really? George the weirdest dude I know. He wears capes in public, brings a book everywhere he goes, and loves all thing spooky. He’s also the smartest person on the planet—who somehow thinks I can help him write a How-To-Get-A-Date playbook for his boss. Yeah, that sounds suspicious. I know baseball; I don’t know anything about love. But I can’t say no. I’ve always had a soft spot for George. I just didn’t count on falling for my best friend’s nerdy brother. This is against the rules, isn’t it?
Rules of Play is an MM bisexual awakening story where opposites attract and shenanigans ensue!
“The Script Club?”
I grimaced. “Well, yeah. That name came later.”
“You really are a little weirdo, aren’t you?”
The twinkle in Aiden’s eyes and his affectionate tone paired with an unlikely term of endearment were exactly what I needed to pull me from my infatuation-induced awkwardness.
I smacked his biceps playfully, then leaned against his side, staring up at the crescent moon in the twilight sky. “I am weird and I am proud.”
Aiden chuckled. “I like that about you. I like your idea too. It’s a good one. I should get in on that and collect a few new experiences before I quit the garage and move on to my next venture.”
“What would you do? I mean, what would you want to try?”
“I don’t know. Maybe something will come to me.” He set the half-eaten container of meatballs down and reached for his beer. “As for your boss…he needs a rule book.”
I shifted to face him. “What kind of rule book?”
“A dating rule book. It would be the equivalent of a sports playbook…a list of strategies and a backup plan if things go awry.”
“Okay, that makes sense. Step one, ask for a date.”
Aiden shook his head. “No. Don’t go in hot. Gotta practice a little finesse. It’s better to get to know someone—ask about their interests, share yours, and see if there’s anything there. Theoretically, that’s how I think it should work.”
“You’re right. They have to build a rapport.” I squinted. “He’s going to need an icebreaker.”
“Yeah, that makes sense. Hit me with your best shot.”
“Uh…what do you mean?” I stammered.
“Pretend you’re into me and you want to get to know me.” Aiden quirked a brow and wiggled his fingers. “Ask me something.”
“What are your interests?”
He made an obnoxious buzzer noise and rolled his eyes. “Wrong. That’s a date question. A lame one, too. Would you really walk up to someone and ask them what they’re into?”
“No, of course not.”
“Redo. You’re trying to get to know me, but you can’t be too forward, and you can’t make assumptions. Got it?” He waited for my nod of agreement and continued. “Pretend we’re standing at the coffee machine at work on a Monday morning. And…action.”
“O-kay…what did you do last weekend?”
Aiden smiled. “Good one. And my answer…not much. I went to that college ball game I told you about last week, watched a lot of basketball, made arrangements to schlep your Bronco here, and played pool with Kenny and a couple of high school buddies. You?”
“I studied and hung out with my friends.”
He stared at me long enough for me to wonder if I had meatball between my teeth.
“If that’s all you have to say, you just killed this conversation,” he deadpanned.
I chuckled. “I did not. It was your turn to ask <em>me</em> something. That’s how it works in real life. I’m not that big of a dork!”
“But what about your boss?”
Good point. “Newton is a big dork. Very big.”
“Right, so this is where rules come into play. You have to pay attention and take hints and clues to heart. Almost everything I mentioned about my weekend had a theme…sports. I told you what I’m interested in without announcing, ‘I like sports.’ If you really wanted to get in my pants, you’d ask me a sports-related question.”
I shot to my feet, whirling my cape like a true badass. “Who said anything about getting in your pants?”
Yes, I was entirely in favor of the idea, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t said it aloud.
“Isn’t that the end game?” Aiden flashed a devilish grin my way.
“No! I mean, maybe for you, but not for Newton. I don’t think he’s hoping for sex.”
“Then what’s the point?”
Aiden widened his eyes comically. “What’s that?”
“I don’t know,” I sighed in defeat, reclaiming my spot on the stoop next to him. “That’s why this is complicated.”
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~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
~ * ~ Jamie‘s Review ~ * ~
Rules of Play is a light-hearted, low angst, brother’s best friend, sexual awakening romance. It’s filled with lovable characters that suck you in in the first few pages. This is book two in Lane Hayes The Script Club series and I think this fits perfectly.George and Aiden were super sexy and cute as heck. I really enjoyed the nerd/jock trope and the acceptance of each other’s interests and quirks. A great example of opposites really do attract and balance each other out. The sweetness and romance here were so well thought out.
There was some decent world-building happening in this book. Great side characters to build on in the later books. I’m looking forward to the next book.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Meet the Author
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.