Changing the Rules by Catherine Bybee

Posted April 23, 2021 by Marsha in Contemporary Romance, NetGalley, Romantic Suspense, Series / 0 Comments

As an employee of MacBain Security and Solutions, Claire Kelly can certainly hold her own. Armed with an impressive set of covert skills, she’s more than prepared to tackle any job that comes her way…except one involving Cooper Lockman.

Cooper and Claire used to work together before his feelings for her sent him packing to Europe for six long years. But now he’s back and determined to ignore the still-smoldering heat that lingers between them.

Their current mission: go undercover together at a California high school to root out the mastermind behind a prostitution ring targeting young girls. The closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, however, the deadlier their task becomes. As Claire and Cooper risk their lives to bring down their target, will their hearts be the final casualties?

Titles in the Richter series include – Changing the Rules – A Thin Disguise –



Title:  Changing the Rules
Series:  Richter #1
Author:  Catherine Bybee
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Published:  March 23, 2021
Publisher:  Montlake
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Changing the Rules is the first title in the Richter series and it sets everything off with intensity.  I expected that, after all, we are returning in some ways to a world we (long-time readers of this author) have been before.  If you’ve read the First Wives series, particularly the fifth title, Say It Again then you’ll know that Claire has a connection and abilities that are far from normal for a teenager, as she was in Say It Again as a secondary character.  Claire is all grown up now – but she hasn’t lost those abilities which come in extremely handy in her position with MacBain Security and Solutions… again, there are connections.  If you are a reader who truly needs to know the backstory then I’d suggest reading at least Say It Again – but you don’t really have to for anything that needs to be known is given to us in narrative or dialogue.  The First Wives series is gripping, engaging, and completely enjoyable so I would not hesitate to recommend it – the choice is yours as to how much you need to know before starting the Richter series.

I was easily and quickly drawn into Claire and Cooper’s story in Changing the Rules.  It’s a story that isn’t overly long on romance (but then this couple has known each other previously), but what is there is certainly sizzling with chemistry, possibilities, as well as past and present emotions.  It is strong in detective work, in action-packed scenes, and emotions ranging from terror to rage.

As Claire and Cooper reunite for this particular mission his feelings toward Claire haven’t changed one bit in the six years apart… and now those years don’t separate them as much as they once did.  This mission is a chance for two people to reconnect, to test their feelings for each other under intense circumstances.  The trust that should grow naturally has to be given in some ways immediately for the enemy is vile, their prey innocent, and the stakes couldn’t get much higher.

Without giving away what I feel are vital details of Changing the Rules, this story is gripping, will keep you flipping pages, and engaged throughout.  The secondary characters bring this story to life and I’m hoping to discover their stories as the series moves forward.  I enjoyed this world, loved the characters, loathed the villains, and was swept up in this mission.  If you love to feel that way about Romantic Suspense then the Richter series and Changing the Rules is a perfect match for you.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in a variety of formats including the Kindle.


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