“Life doesn’t come with a blueprint, which makes it hard to have any plans.”
The Rules of Regret was a sweet, beautifully innocent story with a wonderful message about learning to follow your heart, to live in the moment and to be true to yourself. This book was a pleasant change of pace from my usual read. I hadn’t read a more YA-style book in quite a while and when I saw this book mentioned on Colleen Hoover’s wall where she said that the hero reminded her a little of Will, I immediately one-clicked. Sometimes it’s just nice to read about a ‘good boy’ hero 🙂
The story follows 19-year-old Darby who is left behind after her long-time boyfriend, Lance, goes off on 6-week internship in a different city. So much of her world is centered around him that when he leaves, she feels a little lost and decides to spend the time working at a summer camp – despite the fact that the job puts her totally out of her element. There she meets Torin Westbrook, a charming, quirky, totally endearing councillor who immediately sees right through her. From the very beginning he challenges and pushes her, showing her a new side of life – one that centers around taking risks, building trust and living life for her. And slowly but surely, she finds herself falling in love…
I have to admit that from the first time Torin made an appearance, he had me smiling and his heart-melting charm won me over. In a romance world largely dominated by bad boys and Alpha males, it was refreshing to read about a ‘good boy’. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my bad boys, but there was something about Torin that just made my heart happy.
“Butterflies?” he smiled.
“Do I give you butterflies?”
“No, Torin,” I lied through my teeth. “You don’t give me butterflies.”
Well, he gave me butterflies, that’s for sure!! See, one of the things that I just love about YA books is that it’s all the little things that make your heart race — the fleeting glances, the gentle touches, the little smirks and innuendos… and just how much can go into something as sweet and innocent as a first kiss.
The book was full of little beautiful moments that kept me smiling as Darby and Torin genuinely connected more on a deeper level first before they actually let anything get serious relationship-wise between them. It was like they fell in love before they actually allowed themselves to be in love.
The thing about this story though was that Darby technically had a boyfriend for the first half but (and this is a big “but”), it did not really feel too much like a real love triangle to me because, from very early on in the story, it was made quite clear who was right for her and I could just tell that it was only a matter of time before she realized it too.
I liked that all the drama in this made sense to me — the hesitations, the decisions, everything. I felt like I could understand the mistakes that were made and I also commended the way they dealt with them.
“I think the noble thing for me to do would be to step back and let you have your space, but I don’t want to give you space… I want to be in that space with you.”
I know I’m repeating myself a little here but I just really loved Torin! There was just this open honesty to him that melted me. He was perceptive, caring, quirky and totally loveable. Such a sweet hero!
Torin embodied the sensitive, emotional side that all women inherently desires, yet at the same time he was wholly masculine, to the point of cliff jumping and killing and cooking his own food. He was a complete conundrum.
“This is what you do to me, Darby.” Scooping up my free hand, he placed the flat palm of it onto his chest. “That kiss may have been my “I love you,” but this is my, ‘Holy crap, if that was just a kiss, sex might kill me.'”
If you’re looking for a non-explicit romance that kind of rides the line between YA and NA, this is one to try. It wasn’t really what I’d call a page-turner though and there were a few parts I found to be a bit slow and almost a little preachy at times and in an ideal world, I would have preferred a little more steam throughout the book but I loved Torin from start to finish, I enjoyed watching Darby find herself and I was left with a smile on my face.