Rule Breaker, Kat Bastion with Stone Bastion
Genre: New Adult, Romance
I love Kat and Stone’s stories. full of fabulous characters so real I could ( and in my mind do ) talk to them, they feel like friends. Mix them up with some very real tales, things that happen, snippets from real lives and they’re books I can’t resist. Oh – and the HEA, thats essential for me 😉 I’m a sap!
I couldn’t remember much about Mase at first, he’s in the others books but very much a secondary character. It took a while for me to mentally place him in the pic I have of all these folks.
He’s a gem, feels far more mature than his years, been through a lot, is very self reliant. I love his ethos on the environment, the phrase “leave nothing but footprints” was really made for him, and as someone who’s also concerned and at times angry about what we are doing to the planet I found myself nodding when he was talking about issues.
Its interesting, I know nothing of Hawaii, but felt after reading this that I’d absorbed a bit of their culture, the island and islanders and their history along with the story being told. Subtle education but something I love when it happens, and it feels very well researched unlike many novels where “facts” get thrown at the reader, pronouncements about morality and legality are made without searching for the truth or the wider picture.
He’s surfing, happy in his own little world when his peace is shattered by a gorgeous girl, but we can see from the way he reacts to her just how tired, how jaded by everything he’s become.
Leilani (Lani) brings him to life though. there’s something about her, they way she’s so uncompromising, doesn’t do the fan/adoration thing he’s used to, but makes it clear she really doesn’t want to be there…Mase is intrigued.
So starts a beautiful, slow burn romance, full of tensions, snippets of humour, some very real issues about race, culture, history and the environment, but done in such a perfect way that I didn’t feel Preached at, just made me think, and wonder at how thoughtless humans can be, how we take gifts of nature as our right. Aannd sorry, I’m almost off on another rant 🙂
Lani is a lovely girl but its clear from very early on she’s got secrets, that she’s very cautious, that she doesn’t want to be attracted to Mase.
Tough luck though as she’s no way to hold out from the gentle, thoughtful steamroller he is.
She’s the only girl as mum died young and only she’s her dad and four brothers left. I did feel the about face from them needed a bit more looking into – given how strong their feelings were I didn’t feel that events that occurred were enough to bring forward this sudden volte-face. Small niggle though and its the only one I can think of.
BTW I wish I’d looked at the back first, there’s a really handy glossary of not just the Hawaiian and Pidgin words but surfing terms too….I worked out most from the context but it would have been handy to refer to 😉
We catch up briefly with characters from the other books, and I really enjoyed seeing them, bringing together that peaceful, quiet, gentle island life with the fast moving, anything-goes, cutthroat, immoral and power hungry world of politics. Really does show two extremes.
Its a lovely story, not in-your-face- sex but a very sensual slow burn romance, where we can appreciate how thoughtful Mase is, how he’s taking his time not to scare off Lani, he knows she’s worth the effort.
I loved the bigotry ( well, loved in that it was so real, not loved for the sake of). Sometimes I think all the bars we put on love, gender, race, religions, class etc its a wonder anyone ever finds someone to suit.
Its very sensual but its not IMO an erotic read, just one that’s so perfectly balanced. For me its got a very different feel to the other stories, less intense on the romance/sex side, not but more complex on the personalities, on what they share and how they can be together. It got sex in it, just in a more subtle way that the other books, and it fits Mase and Lani, the characters they are.
Its a beautiful story that made me think: about our world and the environment, history and its impact on the planet, bias and bigotry, politics and morality – yeah, I know, that’s sounds like an oxymoron, but I have to believe at least Some politicians are there for what they believe, not what they can get. Am I an optimist or just gullible?
Mase says at one point “We can’t even begin to fix everything happening around us, let alone political issues happening globally. But we can be the best selves we were meant to be. We can be pure and good. Forgiving and relentless.”
That’s such a wonderful statement and is how I try to live my life, doing what feel right for me, pushing for change trying to lead by example and one tiny step at a time.
Stars: Five, lovely sensual story full of real romance.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and publisher
NB: A portion of the proceeds from all Kat and Stone’s stories go to charities who support victims of human trafficking. Horrible to think its still happens in this century but it does, too much. You can find out more on their website and blog