ARC Review: The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther

Title: The Summer of Broken Rules
Author: K.L. Walther
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 386 Pages
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Summary: Meredith Fox has been going to Martha's Vineyard for the summer as long as she can remember. But this summer is the first one back since the death of Meredith's sister. It will all be overwhelming, but even more since since the entire extended family will be together for her cousin's big wedding. Unfortunately, Meredith's longtime boyfriend unexpectedly dumped her two weeks before the wedding, leaving her dateless. Luckily, she has the perfect distraction. Her family has a tradition of playing the ultimate game of Assassin every summer, and this year it will take place during the week of wedding festivities. But her target just happens to be a very cute groomsman. She's determined to not let herself get distracted, not let herself be lost in another doomed relationship. But as the week progresses, she can't help falling for him, which may cost her not only the game, but also her heart.

I received an advanced copy of THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES from the author in exchange for an honest review, and I'm honestly so glad that I did, because I truly ended up loving this book! I seriously cannot gush enough about it. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, Meredith Fox's family tradition is to return to their family camp on Martha's Vineyard every summer, but after the tragic death of her sister, she doesn't go back for a few years. But she finally returns right in time for her cousin's wedding, and while she's happy to see her family again, things just don't feel right without her sister there with her. But then Mer meets Wit, one of the sarcastic, hilarious, attractive groomsmen, and she ends up falling into a week-long whirlwind summer wedding romance for the ages...with a few little twists!

You guys, I seriously loved this book. I'm a sucker for beach romances and stories set around weddings, so I already knew that this book was going to be great. And I was pleasantly surprised by how much of a home run it was for me! I've been so busy and in such a bad reading slump lately, but as soon as I dove into this book, I couldn't put it down -- it was actually the first time in a long time that I ended up staying up super late to keep reading just because I wanted to read one more chapter and couldn't tear myself away from the story! It has been a very long time since that happened to me, and that's how I knew that I had finally broken out of my reading slump and got to dive into a sweet, hilarious romance that I just truly couldn't tear my eyes away from. I also loved seeing the camp-wide game of Assassin going on, and it sounds like the perfect family reunion idea. The entire setting of The Farm was just so sweet and funny and exciting, and I loved it. I truly just want to gush about this book for AGES. Watching the wedding prep unfold amid the family game of Assassin and Wit and Mer's budding romance while also remembering was just hilarious sweetness all around!

Something else that I really loved was the fact that this is a story set in a small beach community over the summer, since that's actually what my current novel that I'm writing is also about! So it was really awesome to dig deeper both as a reader and a writer to explore the parts of a beachy romance that I love and even emulated in my own novel. Not only did I enjoy this story so much, but I also got to feel extra productive while reading because I kept telling myself (and my thesis advisor) that it was for "research." :-)

My favorite character in this book was definitely Wit. I thought he was so sarcastic and sweet and funny, and I thought his dynamic with Meredith was also really interesting and sweet. At times, I was a bit concerned (the same way Mer's friends were) about the way she seemed to be all-in with a guy that she only met less than a week ago, but as the story went on, I really started to fall for Wit right alongside Mer and realized just how quickly things can progress when you know that you've truly found your person. I definitely shipped them hard and loved seeing all of the antics, trials, and tribulations that they got into throughout the story! 

Overall, I absolutely loved THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet read to dive into poolside or while digging their feet into the sand. K.L. Walther is such a spectacular writer, and I really enjoyed the hilarious, swoon-worthy journey that she took my heart on when I curled up with her book, hardly able to do anything else because I couldn't put it down. If beachy contemporary romances are your jam, then trust me -- you do NOT want to miss this book! 

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