Book Review – Rules, Schmules! by Becca Seymour

Fast Break #1
Publisher: Rainbow Tree Publishing
Pages: 296
Characters: Kieran/Dean
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Series

The first Zone Defense series spin-off with a rule-following basketball player and an unimpressed twink who thinks rules are made to be obliterated.

It’s not my milkshake that brings Kieran Kendall to my yard. Okay, maybe it’s a little bit my milkshake. But I also like to think it’s my dazzling personality and my magical… uhm… you get the idea.

Since meeting Kieran, my first, second, and admittedly third impressions of him have changed radically. Not surprising, since he was a prize D during at least two of those encounters. What I should be doing is running from the college basketball star who checks so many of my dream-guy boxes. But do you know how hard it is to find a hot guy who’s as smart as he is talented?

And I’m not just talking about his talent on the basketball court. Heck no.

It’s easy to get distracted by him, because of him, yet as far as he’s concerned, I’m the one who’s a distraction and throwing his carefully constructed plans out of whack.

I should be sorry. I should also be better at guarding my heart.

But Kieran Kendall is under my skin, and getting him to break his rules is far too much fun.

Rules, Schmules! is an 82k stand-alone MM romance featuring characters first introduced in No Take Backs. It contains ridiculous antics by college basketball players, a basketball mascot who likes to twerk, and lots of sweet and sexy times.

Buy Link


This author is one of my go-tos for sweet romance, and never disappoints. I enjoyed Kieran and Dean’s opposites attract sweet romance story. One of its strengths is the strong themes of family and friendship. The banter between the team is a lot of fun, and I loved how they all have each other’s backs.

I loved the way Kieran’s concern about coming out as a pro player shifts from worrying about himself to fear for Dean. I enjoyed the literary discussion and part of the story too, and can relate to Kieran’s view of the Bard. Dean is wonderful, especially his sass and snark, and I loved reading about his and Kieran’s first rocky encounter, then them becoming reluctant study partners and slowly so much more. The progression of their relationship and their realisation of how much they mean to each other felt realistic. Their scenes together are sweet and sexy.

The way Kieran’s rules end up way more than bent is fun, especially with that reflected in the chapter headings. The antics of a certain bear mascot are a lot of fun.

Dean’s relationship with his brother and mother is strong and heartfelt. I love their easy acceptance of each other, and the way they support each other. I liked Kieran’s family too but especially his grams. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and has a heart of gold.

The friendship and family vibe between the team is wonderful. I loved their almost sibling vibe, and I hope they all get their own HEAs. I love how Kieran is supported by couples in the wider sports world, and I need to play catch up and read their stories now.

The epilogue is perfect, and I loved Kieran and Dean’s HEA.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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