ARC Review + Giveaway: The Ground Rules Undone by Roya Carmen

Posted February 26, 2016 by Francesca in Reviews / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review + Giveaway: The Ground Rules Undone by Roya Carmen
The Ground Rules Undone
by Roya Carmen

3.5 Stars


Released: February 23rd 2016
Series: The Ground Rules Trilogy #3
Published by Omnific Publishing
Pages: 273
Format: eARC

“I definitely was captivated by her characters, flaws and all…”
~ Under the Covers

I’ve been anticipating the end of this trilogy since I read the first book.  How will it all end?!?!  I think my favorite thing about this series has been the thoughts it can evoke.  It makes you question, what would you do?  And, granted, I often disagree with our heroine and want to clobber her over the head.  But there is something very human in all her flaws that you can’t help but forgive her for a lot of it.

In this final installment we pick up where we left off in the previous one.  And just to keep  things spoiler free I won’t mention the big thing that we were left with in that book.  So Mirella, as always, deals with the situation in a bad way.  A bad way for all involved, I think.  Which in turn makes things even messier than they had to be.  My heart was breaking right along with her and both men.

I can totally see how it was hard to be in love with two great guys but I for one have always had my favorite.  The right choice.  The only choice.  And to see her destroy him the way she was doing was breaking my heart.  I guess it’s a testament to the fact the author created great characters that it got to me.

This is by no means an easy subject.  It is cheating, even if it stemmed from an open relationship that all parties agreed to.  Because this is not my favorite subject, it was frustrating to read at times.  Once feelings get involved, and as the series name states, the ground rules are broken, then it’s cheating and it’s painful and there are so many repercussions that this particular book explored.  That was my favorite aspect of it all.  How will she face her kids when they find out?  How are they suffering because of her choices?  How is her husband reacting, hurting, from all this?  How does that make her feel?  And yes, she does a good job at staying afloat but inside she is breaking down.

I wish we would’ve seen more of Bridget in this book.  I was hoping to get a bit of her side, even if it was just a chapter maybe through the POV of one of the men.  I feel like throughout this story she has been the unknown and the fact that we weren’t able to get a good feel for her almost made me disregard the fact she was involved in this whole mess a lot of the time.

But then I have to mention the ending.  Was I happy?  Yes.  Is there a final decision (and I mean actual decision) on who she will choose to be with?  Yes!  I can’t tell you how happy I was about that because my biggest fear was that circumstances would just be the determining factor instead of Mirella growing a pair of balls and making a choice.  Facing both men, choosing one, telling the other it’s over.  And she did that.  That’s it.  I’m happy.  BUT.  And here’s where I was disappointed with the ending.  The author does a little extra something there in the end that I just wasn’t happy about.  At all.  To me, it diminishes the effectiveness of my previous point of making a decision and sticking to it.  So as much as I liked the ending, it also left me disappointed in that regard.

This was a great story by this new author  and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.  I definitely was captivated by her characters, flaws and all, and I’ll be on the look out for what she does next.

Favorite quotes:

“You have no idea how much I hate you, Mirella,” he breathes against my collarbone. “I hate you right now… But fucking God… I want to be inside you. I want to rip you apart… to taste you.”

“My life was simple and beautiful.
Only, at the time, I didn’t quite realize just how wonderful it was.”



Gabe buries his empty bottle of beer in the sand. And he studies me. His gaze lingers on me for what seems like an eternity. “Where have you been this weekend, Ella?”

I look up at him, not able to say a word.

“You seem distracted…distant. Are you not having a good time?”

I smile at him. “I am. It’s been the best trip.”

“It’s been great,” he agrees, looking up at the dark sky. And then he turns to me with a playful smile. “But I think it’s been missing a little something.”

I can’t help but smile. I know exactly what he’s saying.

He sits up and pulls off his fleece throw. “You think you have room on that chair of yours?”

I smile at him. “I don’t know…you’re a pretty big guy.”

He laughs. “I think you can make room,” he says with a wicked smile. “I think you want to make room.”

“Oh do I, now?”

He bites his lip. “Oh, you do,” he says as he stands and joins me under the purple blanket. The warmth of his body against mine feels amazing. I hadn’t realized how cold I was.

“Much better,” he says, his eyes glued to mine.

“Much better.”

Suddenly I find myself speechless. It’s so wonderful being close to him like this again. I try to forget about everything else. I just want to enjoy being next to him. He shoots me a playful grin – the kind of smile that says it all. Unsuspecting, he’s so carefree, so happy and it absolutely tears me apart. Maybe just tonight, I can pretend it’s just us two, like it used to be. I can let go of everything else and give him the fun wife he’s known forever. I don’t need to drag him down with me just yet.

I want him to kiss me. We haven’t kissed in ages. We haven’t touched each other in forever. I crave him, and I’m sure he craves me just as much.

He leans in and presses his mouth against mine. His kiss is soft and warm, and perfect. I trail my finger along the rough scruff on his face. I relish the feel of his tongue on mine. This is the kind of kiss which is really hard to stop. I get lost in it and savor it a little longer.

And when the sensation of his kiss travels to my sex, I finally manage to pull away. “You…better be careful…kissing me like that,” I warn him, the words caught between ragged breaths. “That kind of kiss usually leads places.”

His smile is playful. “That’s exactly the point.”

I smile a nervous grin. “We can’t…here…they can see us. Everyone can see us.”

“It’s pitch dark,” he whispers against my ear. “No one can see.”

The feel of his warm hand on the inside of my thigh is very distracting. “I don’t think…” I can’t really see us having sex here and now. Because I know the way I feel. Despite the crushing guilt, my body desperately wants him, craves his familiar touch. I’d lose control – I just know it. And people might definitely see that.




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About Roya Carmen

Romance writer, mom, book junkie. I have been writing for over ten years, finding my passion for romance in 2008. When I'm not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting, and writing - there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up my own stories - and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!


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I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
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Thanks for the review Francesca

Amy R
Amy R

Thanks for the review, I love the cover.


Thanks but no triangles for me

Nancy Jones
Nancy Jones

Love the cover and the review. Thanks