• Following the Rules

  • Nerd/Jock MM Romance (The Script Club, Book 1)
  • By: Lane Hayes
  • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
  • Series: The Script Club, Book 1
  • Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The geek, the jock, and a new set of rules....

Topher - My friend’s brother needs an academic assistant, and I need a job. Problem.... Jocks are my weakness. Seriously. I lose my ability to speak coherently around muscle-bound hotties. Oh yeah, I lose my inhibitions, too - not a good look for a guy with a genius IQ. So what am I going to do about Simon? 

Simon - Finishing college isn’t high on my list of priorities, but my future in professional football is looking bleak. I need a plan B or C, and I could use some help navigating life as an undergrad. Topher is perfect. He’s also a little strange...but in a good way. And I like how I feel when I’m around him - as though anything is possible. Maybe if we follow our hearts, we’ll find what we’re looking for. But that means changing the rules....

Following the Rules is a MM, bisexual awakening romance starring a lovable nerd, a cool jock, and some extracurricular fun.

©2021 Lane Hayes (P)2021 Lane Hayes

What listeners say about Following the Rules

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Made my breath catch

At the beginning of this book, we are first introduced to Christopher, or Topher, to his friends. He and his fellow geeks are about to be moving in together and are brainstorming ways for them to partner up and earn money for their rent and college loans. After discussing a few options they come up with a venture called the Script Club. Seeing how that is the name of the series I can guess that the following books will feature the rest of the roommates.

One of Topher’s Script Club buddies happens to have a brother in need of tutoring. Topher is especially in need of money since his internship fell through, so he decides to give it a try. It’s not that he can’t tutor, but Simon is a professional athlete and jocks are Topher’s weakness. He gets tongue tied and falls apart when trying to talk to them, not to mention he is insanely attracted to them. Simon is a football player who’s suffered more than one concussion on the field and is currently unemployed. He wants to get back to playing, but until then he has decided to take some college courses and make a Plan B.

Topher’s nervousness definitely makes it difficult for them to gel at first, even though Simon seems to be a really nice guy. Their initial conversations are awkward and a little funny. Things change when Simon figures out that Topher might feel more comfortable playing a role and the two begin texting each other character names and scenarios to act out during their tutoring sessions. For me this story was sweet and funny, with both of the characters being likable. I don’t think the story is really unique, with many other jock/nerd romances out there, but there was something that set this story apart for me. Besides being sweet and funny, it was HOT! The chemistry between Topher and Simon would just explode at times, like when they were just talking and Topher would grab Simon and kiss him passionately. At times, my breath would catch. I could feel the intensity and it added to the story.

I always enjoy stories by Lane Hayes and this one was no exception. I’m a fan of Alexander Cendese’s and I hope he does more in world of mm romance. I would definitely recommend this book and I look forward to reading/listening to the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Escapism

A delightful low-angst romance with a great balance of heat and character development. Both characters were well crafted and such fabulous opposites that together, they made so much sense and reached adorable levels.
A superb audio narration too.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My first jock and nerd story

I admit I don’t read a lot of what used to be termed “New Adult” romance. Although I loved my university years, I don’t have much interest in repeating them. I’m looking for more mature characters who have some years on them. That being said, I really liked Ms. Hayes’ Starting From series and this is a spin-off, so I was willing to give it a shot. In truth? I’ll listen to just about anything, and Ms. Hayes books are right up there on my list.

Simon’s been cut from the NFL, and is waiting for the call to go back. Three concussions haven’t deterred him. He wants to play in the big leagues. In the meantime, he realizes he has to have a life beyond football. So college, right? Something to do. A way to pass the time. Except academics were never his strong suit. Solution? Hire someone to help him. He didn’t see Topher coming from a mile away, but now that they’re up close? Suddenly Simon is very interested in exploring his hither unknown bisexual side. Suddenly women aren’t doing it for him, and all he wants is his tutor.

I could completely relate to Topher. Somewhat nerdy. Somewhat socially awkward – except with his friends. His weakness is jocks – and he’s been burned before. So when Simon hires him to help him academically, Topher puts up walls. Tall ones. Because Simon is straight, and Topher is so not going down that road again.

Simon’s awakening felt legitimate. I think some people can be straight until they meet the right person and suddenly they’re not as tied to social conventions. Suddenly, for the right person, they’re willing to risk everything.

I also liked the acknowledgement that there needs to be life beyond professional sports. Very few players make big bucks, and if they money isn’t invested wisely, they can be in trouble in their later years. Simon is planning ahead, and that holds him in good stead.

This is an opposites attract romance – what could be more different than the jock and the nerd? It’s the first book in the Script Club series and I’m intrigued to see where this goes next. The narrator for this book is Alexander Cendese. I haven’t heard him often, but I do enjoy his voice, and if he’s narrating the rest of the series, I’m excited for that.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story with a great narrator! 4.5 stars!

Following the Rules is the first audiobook in the new Script Club series from Lane Hayes, and she's got one of my favorite narrators, Alexander Cendese, bringing it to life. This is an openly gay geek grad student and a seemingly straight but could very possibly be bisexual pro football player on the mend falling for each other. Topher Thornton has a bad habit of falling for jocks who use him to satisfy their bi curiosity, and he's simply done with it. So naturally, when his friend suggests it would be a good idea for Topher to tutor said friend's older brother, saying "no" would have been the best thing to do. After all,. Simon Murphy has always been hot, but now, he's also a professional athlete and could very well not be as straight as everyone thought he was. Falling for each other would be a mistake, but maybe if they truly gave this a chance, it could be the start of something amazing.

While this may not have been my favorite story from Lane Hayes, it was still one that provided a fair amount of enjoyment. I was just missing the amount of romance that I've come to expect from this author. That aside, I did like getting to know Topher and Simon and their journey towards their happily-ever-after was fairly lighthearted and one that ultimately did leave me smiling and satisfied. With Alexander Cendese's narration, the whole experience was brought up a few notches. There's something about his narration style that makes me feel as if I truly am listening to the main characters sharing the story of how they met again and fell in love. Following the Rules was a good start to this new series, and I look forward to listening to even more. I'm giving the story four stars out of five stars, and the narration nabs five stars out of five stars, averaging to a total of 4.5 stars.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story and audio

I thoroughly enjoyed the audio by Mr. Cendese. His timbre is so expressive. The narration had great pacing and a wide range of easily distinguishable voices. I was rapidly pulled into the story and never lost interest. The production was professional and incredibly enjoyable. I absolutely adored how Mr. Cendese interpreted Simon’s voice. I loved the football player and really felt he came to life. The banter between Simon and Topher was so entertaining and the audio was just perfect. I highly recommend this appealing listening experience.

Storyline: Nothing beats a Lane Hayes novel for putting you in a good mood. Her characters are always so much fun to get to know, and I appreciate how realistic and authentic they are. Lane creates men that are people you would want to hang out with. There is a comfort level with her stories, and they always leave me feeling positive. This story is no exception.

The classic geek and jock attraction was beautifully, and realistically, portrayed. Topher is a science nerd, and loves to spew facts. Any facts actually, and he seems unable to control this quirky impulse. Socially, he is awkward but ironically, he can make his needs known about physical attractions and desires. Topher comes without a filter, and this just added to his overall character. Simon is a displaced jock who at the moment is just coasting with his life. An injury has sidelined him, and he is desperately waiting for a football team to pick him up. At the ripe old age of 27, and with numerous injuries, this may not happen. He is encouraged to try some college courses while he waits to see if his career can be salvaged. It doesn’t take long to know he is out of his element and requires help. Requesting a tutor, his brother suggests Topher, who needs a new job.

At first, I couldn’t see them as a couple but with time it was evident the MCs were perfect for each other. They have a strong pulsing connection, and their growing relationship becomes solid. Topher is attracted to athletes, but his past with them has only been filled with heartache. Simon has never felt a strong, lasting pull towards anyone before. It doesn’t appear that either man will be around for the future, unless they are willing to take some big risks. This tale had the right mixture of angst, and strong characters that showcased Lane’s strong writing.

An amazing story of opposites attract that will leave you smiling long after it’s over. Happy listening!

 

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the book, loved the audio, too!

I read Following the Rules earlier this month and loved the story. I was pretty sure that Lane Hayes would release it as an audiobook but I wasn’t sure who she would choose to perform it. Alexander Cendese performed another book of hers, A Way With, and did a great job so I wasn’t surprised to find out that she chose him for Following the Rules. He did another great job with this story.

Since I don’t really have anything more that I could add to my original review of the ebook a copy of it is shown below.

I seem to have a thing for New Adult/college stories and Lane Hayes has written many fantastic ones. Following the Rules begins a new series – The Script Club – but we also get a glimpse of a few characters from her other recent series and that was fun for this fan.

Topher is a super smart grad student who lost his academic job due to budget cuts. Simon is his friend’s pro-football player brother who was recently cut from his team after his third concussion. Simon has decided to return to college while he waits to hear from his agent about his prospects for signing with a new team.

This isn’t a real long book but it grabbed me right from the beginning and didn’t let go. Topher has had a crush on Simon for several years so he knows that it’s a bad idea to accept a job tutoring him. Simon is straight and Topher is just asking for heartache if he hangs around Simon and becomes attached; he never imagined that Simon might actually be bi-sexual and have feelings for him.

I really loved this book. Topher is quirky and bashful about a lot of ordinary things but he isn’t shy at all when it comes to discussing sex or anatomy. He fires off some really interesting and funny facts when he first meets up with Simon to discuss working for him.

After Simon finally convinces Topher to work for him things begin to heat up between them and there are some really hot and sexy times. It doesn’t take Simon long to admit to himself that he is bi-sexual but he’s not sure he’s ready to come out to everyone just yet. He’s going to have some hard decisions to make about his long-term career goals.

I think this is going to be a great series and I’m looking forward to reading the next book!

A copy of this audiobook was provided to me at my request but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another great Lane Hayes story!

This is my first experience with this vocal performer. I like him…he had a distinction between characters, his voice for Topher’s grandmother was so good.

This is a spinoff from the ‘Starting From’ series…Topher was Cody’s roommate (Johnny’s boyfriend). It is not necessary to read that series to read this one. This is a quick, low angst, sweet read.

Topher and his friends, Cody included, are all super-geniuses. They’re all a little awkward, a lot geeky, and pretty adorable. And those quiet, shy, awkward guys are the ones you need to watch out for! I liked Topher’s confidence when he forgets to be nervous.

Simon is a jock and Topher’s exact opposite and Topher’s roomate’s/friend’s brother. He is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life, but he needs help studying for his college degree which he thinks he needs for his backup plan.

Topher changes the game for Simon. With Topher’s help, Simon figure’s out his future path.

There are several interesting characters – Topher’s roommates/group of friends – and this sounds like it will be a great series!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved reading it, yet listening was even better

Alexander Cendese narration of Following the Rules was outstanding.

His smooth, sexy , engaging voice kept me enthralled and entertained while listening to this sweet, steamy , fun romance story.

I enjoyed listening to this feel good story. It gave me joy and helped me relax .

Yes , I recommend it .
Yes , I will be re-listening it.
Yes, it's worth the credit.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love sports romance

Great start to a new series.
Playful and fun.
the jock and the nerd. A sweet tutor Romance.
Love the Narrating of Alexander Cendese, a nice change from Lane's regular narrator.
Hoping for a few more great listening hours in this series..
Well worth the credit and your time to listen..

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great mix of characters

I look forward to more books in this world all the characters were fun and funny and pretty sexy sounding! the nerd jock trope never gets old it was easy to differentiate between the characters speaking since the narration there really is no downside to this book except that I finished it praying its a series!! want an easy funny sexy listen, look no further.