Release Date: Mar 23, 2021
Heat Level: Warm/Sensual
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Changing the Rules is the first book in the Richter series by Catherine Bybee. The book is about a group of private investigators brought in to work on a case of missing teenage girls. The team must infiltrate the local high schools to find out the players in the plot to kidnap and prostitute vulnerable teenagers. The team sends in two female members pretending to be high school seniors and one male member pretending to be a teacher.
The lead female character, Claire Kelly, is a competent, lethal, trained assassin, who happens to be petite and young looking. Six years prior, at the age of eighteen, she is rescued from a military style training academy pretending to be a strict boarding school. When she started her employment with MacBain Securities and Solutions, she started a friendship with co-worker, Cooper Lockman. He fell for her, hard, but was discouraged from pursuing a relationship with her due to her age and recent experiences. So, Cooper took a post in the company’s Europe office. Now that he is back, he can no longer resist his pull towards Claire.
I found the book to be disjointed with many plots and sub plots. The writing was not particularly descriptive outside of the basics. I had a difficult time understanding the back story of the characters. There are two couples that have joined up in other stories. There is the back story of the military style boarding school, which is touched upon several times throughout this book, but I felt it lacked enough explanation to fully understand Claire’s background. The characters from the private investigator group are interesting but are not believable as high school students. For instance, one of women goes out for track. Supposedly, she has never run track yet she is the best on the team. Right, not believable. There are some positives. The story progressed at a fairly good pace. Once the investigation kicked up a notch the story was more enjoyable. If you are looking for a love story this one has one but its rather basic. There is a great deal of angst about Cooper not wanting to appear to be a teacher lusting after a student, so they must sneak around to hide their relationship. There is one sex scene, and again it is pretty basic.