Born in Brighton England, USA Today bestselling author Stina Lindenblatt has lived in a number of countries, including England, the US, Finland, and Canada. This would explain her mixed up accent. She has a kinesiology degree and a MSc in sports biological sciences. In addition to writing fiction, she loves photography, and currently lives in Calgary, Canada, with her husband and three kids.
4 Rules Made To Be Broken Stars * * * * Spoiler Free- Holy Moly, It's FREE!!! We all have so many relationships... and many of them have nothing to do with love partners. You have your very best friend from grade school...Then there is the guy who always had your back during high school....And don't forget those other people who were part of your inner circle...the sisters and brothers of best friends, too...
And that is the crux of so many complications... because best friends are best friends and they are able to love you despite of all the things they know you messed up...They see you, warts and all and are ok with it...
Except when it comes to one thing...Sisters and Brothers...
For somehow...long, long ago, The "Best Friend Rules" were created for this type of thing...Rules which were never to be broken...Where guys were not allowed to be enamored with little sisters of said friends...or girls should never ever fall for their bestie's older brothers...
Well, someone failed miserably to tell that to the inner workings of Trent Salway and Kelsey Quaid.
Oh, they both knew each was off limits... and had known it for years...But like little baby birds imprinting to the mother bird from the moment they cracked their shells...These two were meant to be...They just didn't know it yet...
And Neither Did Their Brother or Sister...
This is a very chatty and fun book... we have both POV's, very distinct situations, lots of comedic moments and a lust/love scenario to keep us on our toes. The blurb gives a strong sense of what this is all about...and it follows that path.
We have a lot of heart, strong sexy dialogue and actions (YUM) and a continual sense of things could go very wrong at any moment...but are rewarded time and time again by all sorts of wonderful moments. Secondary characters were also introduced so we could imagine having other books focused just on them. This was fast paced with not too much angst...when one of the characters acts like a fool, it was fixed quickly.
This was my first experience with Stina Lindenblatt but won't be my last.
~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~ Oh, this starting out with a very forbidden bent... We have Best Friend Rules... Which we know will be broken.... And I Cannot Wait... Will be going in and taking notes, hahahahaha ●•●•●•●•●•●•● So, you know those string hand games you use to play when you were a kid... You know the ones... You crossed one strand over another and then pulled through and before you knew it... You either had a beautiful pattern or a jumbled mess...
Well, Trent Salway, all time playboy, workaholic, finanical wonderkind... And Kelsey Quaid, accomplished physical therapist, looker herself, and highly sceptical, recently dumped... Are about to become tied up in all sorts of twists and turns... Will it end up a jumbled mess or could it be woven into a happy ending...
Decidedly Off Limits-November 7th 2016
A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
'Decidedly Off Limits' by Stina Lindenblatt is a decidedly good read, the kind of lovable, yet saucy romance you'd love to watch on your TV as much as you'd enjoy reading it, and i'm not ashamed to say that it stole some tears from me by the end.
And a note from the author that i have to include: "To the readers who fall passionately in love with their favourite book boyfriends."
I quit not because of the main plot you can’t date your friend’s sister, as if the brother has terrible taste in friends…; and not because I really found it cool and refreshing, that the h didn’t put her life on hold waiting till the H grows some balls to approach her; but because . Why?! It was an easy way to bring the MC’s together! You know, the same thing as when the ex is a b*tch/jerk etc. Why only the H can be good in bed? Why it’s ok to give him the satisfying sex life in the past, and all the sex the h had was bad? It’s nothing wrong with the book. I just didn’t like the lack of choice for the h…
I really enjoyed this book. I like the older brother's best friend falling for the younger sister trope and have read many books that centre around that scenario. Some authors do it well, this author does it beautifully. I was sucked in from the very first page and the story held my attention solidly .....good job I had a day off work.
Kelsey and Trent have known each since childhood. She has crushed on him for years but certain factors kept her from ever acting on it. Likewise, the one time Trent thought he would test out his feelings for Kels, it wasn't to be. Kelsey's big brother , Liam, is a Navy SEAL and prior to leaving for overseas service he asks Trent to look out for Kelsey. He agrees and before long Trent is playing interference in her dating life- this results in some laugh out loud situations.
The path to true love is bumpy. Neither one wants a relationship & despite being exclusive to each other they keep their connection / friends with benefits arrangement a secret from family and friends. I felt sorry for Holly , who would love to be Trent' s girlfriend but she is friend zoned by him. He is oblivious to any other female once his heart falls for Kels.
The secondary characters are beautifully written and add depth and interesting dynamics to the story. (Chloe and Lindsey were absolutely hilarious- chocolate milk will never be the same!) I'm curious to read more about this group of friends. I loved how Kelsey, in particular, developed as a character. The only thing I wanted more of was some grovelling from Trent when he says something harsh to Kelsey. I get why he did it but I wanted him to have to work harder to redeem himself to our heroine.
So there is humour, warmth, sweet moments, romance, not too much angst and a really entertaining story. Just to say there is also some serious heat in this book. Crikey....the chemistry between these two is simmering just below the surface and when the spark is lit.....WOW! I'm seriously seeing hobbies in a whole new light.
HEA? Yes- probably more HFN- if you sign up to the author's newsletter you can read an extra epilogue which is gorgeous.
Standalone first in a series told in dual pov.
Recommend over 18's only due to sexual content and swearing.
Well. Puh. Hard to describe why it is receiving 3 stars. i just expected more frome the big ending. Dunno. But all in all a lovely romance for in between.
Kels has not been blessed in the romance department, and frankly, she is counting the days since she last had sex, like any sex at all, with others, or herself. (Which is the first part, I thought awkward - she is like 20+ and has NEVER touched herself, but has no religious or other prude/sex-oppressing background.) It is not helping, that all of a sudden she has continually increasing contact with her crush from teenager years, Tremt. Not knowing, that Trent feels similar, she tries everything to escape her wet dreams, including trying to set him up with gorgeous Holly. Because, obviously, you don't date your best friend's brother.
Trent has had a thing for Kels ever since. When his feelings developed in a decidedly sexual/romantic direction, he put a lit on dem. Because there is this rule, everyone knows about, that goes without saying: Don't do your best friend's little sister. ever.
This was read during Smutathon Round 3's attempt in June 2019!
This involved the romance trope of a friend of the main character's older brother, having a hard crush on the older brother's sister (aka the main character). I've read lots of stories with the similar plotline to this in the past. It was steamy but also samey samey for me. I did struggle to connect with the characters. I don't read steamy romances very often, so my reviewing for books in this genre isn't as detailed as for YA and Middle-Grade!
New author to me alert! This was a good read, not overwhelmingly good by any means, but it hit the spot where it counted. I liked the whole forbidden aspect of not being able to stay away from your best friend's little sister. It upped the angst factor a bit. Then you have the angle on the other side with the heroine staying away from her best friend's big brother. So tons of forbidden all the way around. If I had to complain about anything it would be the fact that there were parts that were WAY too rushed. We spend most of the time biting our nails because of the sexual tension. Then when they finally get together they spend so much time hiding it from everyone else. And THEN when the siblings find out, there was a tiny burst of anger, and then all was well! I needed more of a fight from the other characters...this made the forbidden seem a little less forbidden.
In the end, it was good read that got my motor running and kept me interested. It was entertaining, sexy, and sweet at times. It could have used more depth with the characters, but if you are looking for a quick and sexy read with not a lot of angst, I would recommend this book to you.
Best friend's sister Reasons for not trying for a relationship as usual with this trope was just dumb First few chapters is the h trying to date and her eventually having sex with om They both have feelings for each other but done ever cross the line They both have sex with op in the years they've been friends Eventually they pull it together Eh, due to my own personal preference it didn't work for me
I've loved Stina Lindenblatt's work in the past so it was a no brainer for me to pick up Decidedly Off Limits to read and I'm so glad I did. This features the older brother's best friend/ little sister troupe as well as the little sister's best friend/older brother troupe which is one of my favorites and seems to have had resurgence in the last couple of months. This book was fun, it was a bit crazy, it was so very, very sexy and it was also impossible for me to put down.
Workaholic Trent Salway is happy with his life; he loves his job, he's good at his job and he never has a hard time finding a willing woman to warm his bed for a night or two. After a couple of bad relationship experiences Trent is very happy with the way his life is going until his best friend asks him to watch out for his little sister while he's on deployment. Trent knows it's not wise given his attraction to Kelsey Quaid, but his devotion to his best friend wins out.
Breaking off her engagement was the right thing for Kelsey to do, but she misses companionship and if she's being honest she misses sex. She has a fulfilling job as a children's physical therapist, but she feels like life is passing her by while she sits home alone on her sofa watching television.
Whew, the sparks coming off of Trent and Kelsey were strong and I loved every minute of watching these two fight their attraction and then finally giving into it. It was fun watching them spend time together both platonically and when Trent was trying to keep her from dating, well to be honest anyone. I had to snicker at their jealousy even before they were together. While their sexy times made for some very intense reading, it was the quiet times they shared, the trust between them and the growing admiration for one another that I enjoyed the most.
A feel good, sensual, intoxicating and sexy love story; if you love contemporary romance you do not want to miss Decidedly Off Limits.
Blurb: Best Friend Rule #1: never want the guy’s sister. Oops.
Trent Salway is one of San Francisco’s hot up-and-coming-under-thirty bachelors. A highly successful mutual fund portfolio manager, a workaholic, and a ladies’ man, he’s got everything he could possibly want…except one thing.
Physical therapist Kelsey Quaid dumped her ex-fiancé six months ago because she was tired of not even being a distant second to his career. Which is why despite secretly crushing on her big brother’s best friend for as long as she can remember, there’s no way Kelsey can go there. One workaholic in her life is more than enough, thank you very much.
Before Kelsey’s brother leaves on his Navy SEAL mission, he asks Trent one simple request: make sure Kelsey isn’t dating any assholes while he’s away. As Trent does his best to do just this, he and Kelsey spend more and more time together. Sparks fly, as do a few items of clothing, and the next thing they know things are getting physical between them. Now, Trent has to decide what to do about the woman he’s falling for—the one whose brother would take him down faster than he takes down the enemy. And Kelsey will have to decide if Trent is just another workaholic or if he’s decidedly off limits.
I thought this was a good story and I enjoyed reading it but I did have a few issues. It was fast paced, light, and entertaining. There was a nice intro and I thought it had a good progression throughout. I wasn't initially getting the main characters chemistry but around 40% things started to click for me. It wasn't super in depth, just enough details and character development to keep things moving along nicely. There were lots of funny situations mixed in and I really liked those parts.
Here's the deal, it was all just good for me. I liked it, it was cute, it was fun, there was a nice amount of heat but I never felt completely drawn in. I liked the secondary characters for the most part but there was one I just didn’t get at all. I did like the ending, it was sweet and heartfelt but it felt rather rushed.
I enjoyed it for the most part and was curious how it would turn out so I kept right on reading, I did like it, there were just some things that didn't work for me but overall I did enjoy the storyline. So, a good, fun read it is.
This author is a first time read for me. So having never read any of her books. I didn't know what to expect.
I knew right from the start that this book wasn't going to be for me. I just wasn't feeling the writing style. I think this book was meant to be funny and for me it wasn't. I found the humorous parts in this book to be kind of dry. And the constant comparison of everything to Trent was hard to read. I tried to read on. But I just wasn't feeling it. And rather than push myself to read it. I decided to just stop at the 60% mark.
Such a disappointing book! Everything felt so stupid and so superficial...
1,5 stars rounded up to 2
Two adults who are supposed to be mature are acting like stupid teenagers.
She is in love with her best friend's brother, who happens to be the best friend of her brother at the same time. He also has always wanted her. They've all known one another since their childhood. And because both the sister and the brother would be furious with them dating, they hid their feelings for years from each other and everyone else. Cowards!
Now, when her brother goes on a secret mission, he tells him to check on his sister every now and then to make sure she is OK. First, he c*ckblocks her, ruining her dates, and then he grows some balls and makes a move. But all he can manage is to offer to be "f-ck-buddies" with her! She agrees, thinking it is impossible to be more with him. Huh, what a disappointing "come-together" after years and years of longing!
And they start to hook up but they hide it from friends and family.
Can you imagine two adults hiring a married couple to act as their girlfriend/boyfriend in the holiday home their friends invited them to so that they can act as if they are dating others but at night they could swap rooms to be together? What are you? 16?
I have never thought of a sillier solution to their problem. Either you tell the truth or...well you tell the truth, that's my way. They were too stupid for their own good.
The way everything evolved was just too silly. So I skimmed, scanned and got to the end, seeing that it even got more stupid until everything was settled...
And now the writer wants me to subscribe to her newsletters so that I can read The Epilogue... Dear writers, this trick is not cool, no not cool at all!
I love romances between best friends' siblings and this was both a best friend's older brother and best friend's little sister book. I understood the reasons why Erin didn't want Kelsey to date her brother after he dated another of her friends and it ended badly. But the reasons for Liam not wanting Trent to date Kelsey were more based on "bro code" -- something I see in these types of books a lot but never really buy into. I thought the way Trent (and Liam by extension) treated Kelsey with regards to whom she dates was really out of line given she's a grown woman. It went beyond sibling/friend protectiveness and made out Kelsey to be a child who can't make her own decisions. I also thought it was really odd that Kelsey, a sexually active woman who wasn't satisfied with the sex in her previous relationship and really wanted to have sex again as a single woman, had NEVER masturbated. In fact, she says she's never "touched herself." I'm not saying all women own vibrators but I find it almost impossible to believe that a sexually frustrated woman would never do this! Also, a few times Trent does things and thinks about his "man card" -- like he cooks an omelet and then has a beer with it so he doesn't lose his man card. Wtf is that? Because you watch Food Network and make yourself something to eat you're less masculine? Even if it's tongue in cheek it's off-putting to me when characters have these kinds of attitudes in books.
This was a fun sexy read and I simply couldn't put it down. Trent and Kelsey were such great characters and I loved the push/pull of their relationship. Trent tries and fails to stay away from Kelsey but the attraction is just too strong. Now he has to figure out how to deal with her brother. You know, the Navy SEAL who's been trained to kill and who asked Trent to keep her out of trouble while he was out on deployment. Kelsey just got out of a relationship six months ago with one workaholic, why in the world would she want to start something up with another. Trent is all work all the time so just NO! Well, maybe. OK maybe just a fling, but when the fling starts feeling like more Kelsey will need to decide if Trent is worth it or if he's off limits!
This is a very well done book and it's one I highly recommend.
Friends-to-lovers romances are one of my favorite genres, and this one was no slouch.
I loved the characters, but I would have liked it better if Trent wasn't such a "ladies man." Three or more women a week is encroaching on sex addict status. Gross. I'm not sure why authors think man whores are sexy. News flash... they're not.
I also would love to see more romance in my romances, not just people who fall in love because of all the sex they're having.
That said, this was quite entertaining as the rom-com it is intended to be.
This was a really fun read for me. It's been ages since I read a romance. It was just the right mix of cute and hot - I suppose just like most female protagonists are. It probably could have taken a bit more character development outside the relationship but that's not really the point. I also had to deduct a point for the cringey use of 'girly parts'.
3.75 stars! I listened the audiobook, and really loved the narrators. The story in it self was pretty enjoyable, i liked the chemistry between the main charecters and the group of friends. Although there were a few things that annoyed me regarding assumptions from part of the heroine intead of talking. The writing was good and easy to fly through. Made me want to pick the next one in the series right after i finished it.
The case for "rules are meant to be broken" can be formed from this fun, tender and extremely sexy romance. Decidedly Off Limits combines a "slightly forbidden" notion of "don't date your BFF's brother/sister " with the added aspect of unrequited love - it's a perfect fit, done incredibly well and it captivated me from the very beginning.
Kelsey and Trent have known each other most of their lives but in the most recent years, they've only been on each others periphery. Trent's a busy exec who has sworn of relationships, not necessarily a player but he really has no interest in falling in love. He has harbored a bit of a crush on his best friends little sister Kelsey but he's been warned of by brother Liam ( Kelsey's brother) and his sister Erin ( Kelsey's best friend). Kelsey, a kind, funny and loyal friend has also been crushing on Trent from as far back and she can remember. When fate makes Trent Kelsey's perfect romance novel hero (rescuing her after her car stalls out ~ a hilarious opening scene), they find themselves suddenly very much in each others lives and the magic begins.
I adored both characters and their unique voices. I love that we get their story from both of their POV's with Trents' male swagger oozing from the pages, and Kelsey's young lady's romantic hopefulness twisted up in the quest to burn off some sexual frustration coming through loud and clear. They fight the chemistry between them but the thread is stretched so tightly it is bound to unravel- and when it does, well there is that magic I mentioned. Lindenblatt places some additional obstacles in the way and pre-conceived notions and assumptions very nearly derail them. There are moments of anxiety, but it's not a super angsty read. The promise of them is just so sweet and their history and new found connection eclipses the negative.
Decidedly Off Limits is a fresh take on this age old illicit romance trope. Trent and Kelsey have that spark from the beginning and the more I got to know them the further in love I fell. Decided Off Limits is the kind of read that made my heart feel happy and left me with a smile on my face. I can't recommend it enough! 5 Stars!!
*I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review*
This romantic comedy takes the best friend’s sibling trope to new heights with a double dose of ‘he/she is off limits’. Liam and Trent are best friends, as are Liam’s younger sister Kelsey and Trent’s younger sister Erin. Unbeknownst to all involved, Trent has crushed on Kelsey for probably the same amount of time as Kelsey has crushed on Trent. But a friend of Erin’s dated Trent in high school and that ended in disaster so Erin has made it clear that she doesn’t want any of more of her friends dating her brother. And Liam is fully aware of Trent’s player reputation and has made it clear that Kelsey is hands off, especially with him being gone a lot of the time with his military career. Tasked to keep an eye on Kelsey for Liam while he’s off on his latest assignment, Trent is ready to do that, doing his best to interfere with the annoying amount of blind dates that his sister Erin keeps setting up for Kelsey in an effort to end her dating dry spell. It’s a comedy of errors as these two circle each other before finally succumbing to the attraction between them. But while keeping their affair under wraps might work for a while, what will happen when the truth comes out?
I enjoyed this comedic romp through the ins and outs of a long term friendship that is finally evolving into the relationship it’s meant to be. The first half of the story is like a parade of people meant to drive home the fact that Trent and Kelsey keep making the wrong choices, while the second half is where they succumb to temptation (finally!) in some super sexy scenes, all while trying to throw their siblings off the scent by putting in some decoy partners. I liked the two of them together and it was a relief when they finally admitted the same! Convincing their siblings is another story but we do get there and get a happy ending for the couple. There are lots of secondary characters and potential for new books in the series (I know of at least one in the works). It’s a fun and lighthearted read. 3.5 stars.
Note: a copy of this story was provided by the author for review.
I liked the chemistry between the characters, but I felt like this could novel could have been made into a romantic comedy movie. There's a running gag of the main female character, Kelsey, getting set up on dates by her friends and every random dude hitting on her to the crazy charade of bringing fake partners to a weekend getaway. The auction scene at the end also felt right out of something you see on the big screen.
Now I know romance novels aren't the most realistic sort of books and they have some crazy scenarios sometimes to get the characters together but I felt like this one really had too many moments like that. For me it was a little over the top.
Kelsey is in love with her best friend Erin's brother. Trent is in love with his best friends Liam's sister. There's one more notable fact. Trent is Erin's brother and Liam is Kelsey's brother. The idea behind the book is that Erin and Liam make Trent and Kelsey promise to never become involved. Kelsey and Trent hide their feelings from each other out of loyalty and low self esteem. Trent of course becoming a emotionless man whore after he is tricked and used by a couple women he believed he loved wraps himself up in his work. Kelsey just recovering from her break up with her fiance 9 months prior to the beginning wants to move on.
I found few mistakes and the author does a great job at painting her scenes as well as giving us POV's from both leading characters. The problem I had was getting past the original idea. Both struggle with their fantasies of the other but are afraid of what their best friend would think. I could not grasp that idea. It's someone that you can relate to easily and if not that is not a best friend IMO. I could swallow that perhaps a brother would be protective over his sister. I could maybe buy that a friend would hate to get trapped in the middle of a lovers quarrel with the people she loved but through most of the book it felt hypocritical to me. What makes you love your best friend. It is built on trust, respect, honesty. The idea that our H and Kelsey's navy seal brother were not understanding enough to know and trust the other became an issue after some time. Kelsey should have been able to trust her friend Erin.
My opinion was that the two find each other they know they are good together that they should have put themselves out there and stood together on a united front, come what may. Trust their friendships instead of sneaking around. That was one of my biggest hang up for me. The other was Kelsey is actually intimate with another guy for like two seconds but even for me it almost made me stop reading. Even with that I still finished the book with a few surprises throughout and a HEA. I also found this on the freebie list. Enjoy!
This was a short hot and sweaty rom com. Plus it was a forbidden brother’s best friends romance, so of course it was good. While I liked this book, there were a few things that really got on my nerves.
1. For being a “sexy kitten” all of the guys Kelsey met wanted to sleep with her right then and now. Seriously. Every. Single. Guy. It got old really fast.
2. The breakup was anticlimactic. Trent broke up with her out of nowhere on a chance meeting at a coffee shop. I was wondering if I skipped a chapter or two. And Kelsey didn’t try to stop Trent, she literally just walked away like nothing happened! I was so confused.
3. Holly was a completely unnecessary character. She was just a coworker of Trent’s with a crush, and yet she became this big character.
4. Kelsey and Trent weren’t really worried about Liam, who is risking his life as a Navy SEAL. Trent was annoyed that Liam, his best friend, texted him!
Plot While I loved the forbidden brother’s best friend plot, I didn’t like the friends with benefits. It was obvious they loved eachtoher, but of course neither of them noticed. If they would have just talked about their feelings and worries then they would have been in a real relationship from the start. But nope! They have to avoid all of that and then whine to themes,was about how this is only temporary and how the love is one-sided.
After a reading streak of thriller/action-adventure type stories, I was craving fluff so bad! And this book was the perfect balm to soothe my romance withdrawals.
Just a simple, straightforward story of two people who are best friends with each other's siblings falling in love, you get a "two for one" trope here (guy falling in love with BFF little sister & girl falling in love with BFF older brother). But that doesn't mean the book didn't have its fair share of sexual tension. It was the perfect blend of cute and hot.
There's a strong possibility I'll come back to the rest of the series when my inner hopeless romantic finds herself in need of a fix of love and sexiness.