Against the Rules (Boundaries #2) by A.R. Barley
Released June 6, 2016
Publisher: Carina Press
Page count: 169 pages
Categories: MM Romance, Contemporary, BDSM
Sales link: Amazon
Kelly O’Connell’s out of control
An RA at Halston University, he spends his off nights at a club, hoping to find what he’s looking for in rough sex with strangers.
Until one night the play gets a little too rough. An isolated room, a dangerous situation…and an unexpected rescue.
Ian Rankin knows what Kelly wants—a true Dom, someone who will protect him instead of using him, someone who can take him to the edge without pushing him into unsafe territory.
Ian knows just what Kelly needs, and he’s the only man who can give it to him.
There’s only one problem: Kelly is a student, and Ian is a teacher.
I’m thoroughly enjoying the world at Halston University that AR Barley has created for the Boundaries series. Nick and Jesse were a treat in the first book, now we have their friend and Nick’s ex boyfriend, Kelly.
Kelly O’Connor is a Resident Aid at the university. He’s the guy that sat with Jesse at the hospital after he was attacked by his roommate. Kelly stuck Jesse with Nick because he knew Jesse would be safe there. Kelly is damn good at his job. He upholds the rules (sometimes creatively), is a handyman, shoulder to cry on, and more. He’s always in control and is a take charge kind of guy. He’s a few months from graduation but he feels less in control of his personal life every day. He’s drifting about, still grieving over losing both parents within a few months of each other and not that long ago.
Kelly’s become a bit self-destructive and one such encounter brings him to the attention of Ian. At the time, Ian appears to be a leather daddy at the club with impeccable timing. He saves Kelly and gets him home safely. Neither one expected to feel any connections or desire to seek out more from each other, but that’s exactly what happens.
Ian’s an economics professor at Halston. He’s apprehensive to start a relationship with Kelly because Kelly is still a student, also because Ian has baggage from a past relationship gone bad. However, Kelly needs someone to deliver an escape from reality and Ian is sure he can make him fly. Kelly goes all in and decides to dabble in some light BDSM with Ian.
I liked these two together. Kelly was his snarky self from book one, but Ian was strong enough to take the zingers and throw back. He also was able to set Kelly straight without demeaning him or breaking him. Ian was there for him. A body to snuggle up to, someone to share and connect with. A protector. All the things Kelly needs and wants. Problem is, Kelly isn’t sure who he is or want he wants in his life. He’s approaching everything with a short-term attitude and his emotional state is still unbalanced. He needs parents to be his sounding board but all he has are overbearing aunts and a few friends that don’t understand how he’s fallen. It takes quite awhile for Kelly to see that it’s been all wrong and he really has to step up. In the interim, Ian and Kelly’s relationship is almost destroyed.
Don’t give up on this story. If Kelly’s choice to dabble in kink seems odd, it’s really not! He needs a break from being the one in control all the time. He needs to decompress and soar. He just does the typical ‘jump in full speed ahead’ like always and has to pick up the pieces after everything shatters. Against the Rules was a superb addition to the series and I look forward to the third book set to release in the near future.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!