Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I’m tired of not being enough.”
Carman Dane is a powerful Domme who has knelt for no man, except her ex-lover to whom she gave her all and he responded with accusations and betrayal. Now he’s back and wants a second chance but Carman isn’t falling for his pretty words and sexy body this time around.
Master Thomas Regala wants Carman back. He knows he royally screwed up by listening to his family rather than his heart but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her back. Even give up some of his own power for her pleasure.
As Thomas attempts to convince Carman to forgive the past and work towards a future, a face from the past decides to punish Carman once and for all for her father’s misdeeds. As Thomas races to find the culprit and save his lover, he learns that sometimes the only way to win is to change the rules.
I have been waiting for this couple’s story since Rule Master, #2. We were given a brief glimpse into their problems and the secret Carman was hiding. Now, 1 year later, Thomas has discovered Carman’s little secret. Or rather her two little secrets-twin boys. And he’s come to collect his family. Only Carman is far from even close to forgiving him and really, no one can blame her. Carman and Max-Rule Changer, #1-have had to deal most of their lives with the rumours and fall out from their scandalous father who embezzled funds and was murdered by his lover-Thomas’ aunt. Thomas uses Carman’s secrets against her, accusing her of deception, betrayal, and cheating on him. None of which she did. She leaves the country and refuses any contact with him despite his repeated attempts. It’s only when she returns to the states and the tabloids run pictures of her and the boys does Thomas override her refusals and demand to see his children.
“I am here for my sons.”
Heavily character driven, Rule Changer is an erotic second chance romance between two dominants. Thick with tension and sticky with emotions, Snow digs deep into this relationship to show us where it went wrong and what it might take to fix it. Told from Carman’s point of view, the storyline stays predominantly hers though we are privy to Thomas’ feelings through dialogue. The ongoing suspense-filled arc intertwines with the romance thou the romance definitely is the weightier of the two. Snow does very little recap so it’s best to have read books one and two beforehand to understand the characters and situation at hand.
Carmen and Thomas are so much alike personality wise. Both are products of traumatic childhoods and dominants to boot. Submitting does not come easy to either of them yet they have found that the rules are not are not set in stone-especially with the one you love. Carman is a blending of Ari and Milla. The perfect mixture of strength and vulnerability. She learned early on to hide her feelings and project only calm and quiet confidence because the vultures are always circling, looking for a way in to destroy you. Her father went off the deep end after her mother died and she and Max suffered for that. Now a mother herself, she vows never to allow her sons to be anyone’s pawn. Her feelings for Thomas are just as intense as when they were dating but she is tired of never being first in someone’s life.
“Look, I can’t handle being second best anymore. First my father, then Andrew, and now Thomas. I’m done with men who view me as lacking and disposable. I won’t keep putting myself in the same situation.”
Thomas was raised by his grandfather after his parents were in a fatal car accident. His mother was disowned after marrying his father, and Thomas’ grandfather was the only person who has never abandoned him. Thomas feels much love and loyalty to his grandfather and it’s those emotions that fueled his rejection of Carman though he immediately realises his mistake and attempts to reconcile with little luck.
I was wrong […] I promise to spend the rest of my life making it up to you.”
The romance is intense and sensual with this couple’s chemistry scorches the pages. Carman resents the fact that she responds to his dominance like a submissive and that he uses it as a way back into her life. Readers will enjoy the multiple D/s love scenes that drip with heat, dominance, and antagonism as this couple attempts to find a way for them to work as lovers and as a family.
“Why do you call me Mistress when you want to be my Master?”
“One does not negate the other. Until you admit the truth, you’ll never experience the freedom and exhilaration you’re known for pulling from your submissions.”
The ending is a mixture of action and surprises as Carman, Thomas, and the rest of the group work towards discovering the connection between Christoff and her father. The easy resolution of the arc was disappointing though. Three books of intrigue and suspense and it’s over in a nanosecond with little fanfare. Some readers will find the lack of violence that permeated books one and two a nice change.
I also had some qualms with the romance. Thomas does a full court press to get Carman back but everything he did was geared towards what he wanted. I also felt her friends weren’t as supportive towards her as they should have been. Everyone kept making excuses for him and there was a lot of manipulation on everyone’s part to push Carman back into Thomas’ arms. It made the romance feel a little less mutually accepted.
Regardless, Rule Changer is a hot and suspenseful erotic (BDSM) romance that ends the main storyline on a positive note and leaves all our couples secure in their happily ever after.
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