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Writing the Rules

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Poppy Anderson was nailing her sophomore year at Brighton University. She liked her classes, had the greatest best friend, and was finally ready to start dating again. Or she was … until her ex, Mike, transferred to Brighton and started exchanging long stares and inside jokes that Poppy thought he’d forgotten. Paxton Lawson was long ago labeled ‘The Golden Boy.’ Starting qu Poppy Anderson was nailing her sophomore year at Brighton University. She liked her classes, had the greatest best friend, and was finally ready to start dating again. Or she was … until her ex, Mike, transferred to Brighton and started exchanging long stares and inside jokes that Poppy thought he’d forgotten. Paxton Lawson was long ago labeled ‘The Golden Boy.’ Starting quarterback and team captain at Brighton University, his future was brighter than the sun until a short path of indiscretions tarnished his name and potentially his future. When he learns that his sister’s best friend, Poppy, has backed herself into a corner and is facing as many doubts and uncertainties as he is, Paxton suggests the biggest ruse of the year: a fake relationship. Writing the rules was supposed to make things clear, defined, and definite. Only, their relationship becomes increasingly complex as the lines are blurred, days become weeks, and kisses for show begin to feel like confessions. Can lies lead to truths? And what happens when the rules they wrote begin to expire? One lie, Two hearts, And fifteen years of friendship are about to be put to the ultimate test. Writing the Rules is a complete standalone and can be read independently, but is book 6 in The Dating Playbook series.


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Poppy Anderson was nailing her sophomore year at Brighton University. She liked her classes, had the greatest best friend, and was finally ready to start dating again. Or she was … until her ex, Mike, transferred to Brighton and started exchanging long stares and inside jokes that Poppy thought he’d forgotten. Paxton Lawson was long ago labeled ‘The Golden Boy.’ Starting qu Poppy Anderson was nailing her sophomore year at Brighton University. She liked her classes, had the greatest best friend, and was finally ready to start dating again. Or she was … until her ex, Mike, transferred to Brighton and started exchanging long stares and inside jokes that Poppy thought he’d forgotten. Paxton Lawson was long ago labeled ‘The Golden Boy.’ Starting quarterback and team captain at Brighton University, his future was brighter than the sun until a short path of indiscretions tarnished his name and potentially his future. When he learns that his sister’s best friend, Poppy, has backed herself into a corner and is facing as many doubts and uncertainties as he is, Paxton suggests the biggest ruse of the year: a fake relationship. Writing the rules was supposed to make things clear, defined, and definite. Only, their relationship becomes increasingly complex as the lines are blurred, days become weeks, and kisses for show begin to feel like confessions. Can lies lead to truths? And what happens when the rules they wrote begin to expire? One lie, Two hearts, And fifteen years of friendship are about to be put to the ultimate test. Writing the Rules is a complete standalone and can be read independently, but is book 6 in The Dating Playbook series.

30 review for Writing the Rules

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christy Davisson

    Best's friends older brother friends to lovers trope. This book was a very slow burn romance that follows Paxton and Poppy's journey from sorta friends to fake relationship turns to real feelings. These characters had a history but neither ever truly noticed how intertwined they were from a young age. Poppy's character was sweet but not a push over and although she is an introvert she decides to push herself out of her comfort zone and agrees to fake date her best friend Reagan's brother Paxton. Best's friends older brother friends to lovers trope. This book was a very slow burn romance that follows Paxton and Poppy's journey from sorta friends to fake relationship turns to real feelings. These characters had a history but neither ever truly noticed how intertwined they were from a young age. Poppy's character was sweet but not a push over and although she is an introvert she decides to push herself out of her comfort zone and agrees to fake date her best friend Reagan's brother Paxton. They both have their reasons for this fake relationship but of course they never thought it would become more. Paxton's character has a ton of pressure to be everything for everyone and slips this last year of college and starts to use alcohol as his crutch with his problems. Crazy ex and football coming to an end with draft coming up puts immense pressure on him, so he comes up with an idea after helping Poppy with her ex. The fake relationship is born and both seem to follow their rules at first till one thing leads to more breaking the rules. This book is the perfect mix of slow burn and angst build up between two genuinely good people. This story delves into them forming a friendship that ends up taking a sharp turn to way more and a few obstacles get thrown in their way to a HEA. This author did a great job mixing their past and present feelings to give you those anxious feelings when you start to fall in love. The epilogue was a great way to end the story with a glimpse at the rest of the gang and their lives. Highly recommend it if you want a slow burn romance that makes you remember when you finally fell in love with your soul mate. I was given an ARC for an honest review. Definitely won't be disappointed if you like a sweet love story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    BooksRAGirlsBF

    The Dating Playbook series by Mariah Dietz is one of my favorite collage sport romance standalone series. Each books pulls you in and Writing the Rules was the perfect ending. Paxton had my heart a few books ago. I ached for the obvious pain he was going through and it seemed nothing or no one could pull him out of his funk. When he finally decides to cut ties with his toxic girlfriend, he needs a plan to help him stay the course. As Reagan’s (Paxton’s sister) best friend, Poppy has been part of The Dating Playbook series by Mariah Dietz is one of my favorite collage sport romance standalone series. Each books pulls you in and Writing the Rules was the perfect ending. Paxton had my heart a few books ago. I ached for the obvious pain he was going through and it seemed nothing or no one could pull him out of his funk. When he finally decides to cut ties with his toxic girlfriend, he needs a plan to help him stay the course. As Reagan’s (Paxton’s sister) best friend, Poppy has been part of Paxton’s life for years. But where Reagan is outgoing, Poppy is a wallflower. When Poppy’s ex shows up with his new girlfriend, Poppy finally decides she needs to live a little. But she needs someone to help push her, and show her ex she’s moved on. Paxton and Poppy create a plan outlined with simple rules. But when they spend more time one on one lines become blurred and the rules are thrown out the window. This book was everything I needed and more. And the epilogue is perfect. It’s sad to see all these characters move on but I can’t wait to see what Mariah Dietz writes next. You don’t want to miss out so be sure to one click this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    AnnaPs BookNook

    I thorougly enjoyed this. Fake romance tropes are not usually my thing but Mariah wrote this so well. I loved Paxton and Poppys story, helping each other to develop character wise. The slow burn and attraction of the two characters was hot! This can be read as a standalone but is part of a series which ive not read yet.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Krystal Dixon

    This can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading the series in order. Paxton took over my heart with this one, with his confidence, his passion, his vulnerability, his desire to be perfect. Watching him spiral in the previous books was heartbreaking. I loved seeing him and Poppy together, them slowly realizing there's always been something more buried in their friendship. They complement each other so well, her keeping him focused, and him helping her shine just a little brighter. This can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading the series in order. Paxton took over my heart with this one, with his confidence, his passion, his vulnerability, his desire to be perfect. Watching him spiral in the previous books was heartbreaking. I loved seeing him and Poppy together, them slowly realizing there's always been something more buried in their friendship. They complement each other so well, her keeping him focused, and him helping her shine just a little brighter. The epilogue was absolutely perfect ❤ I'm so sad this series is over but I can't wait to see Mariah has planned for us next!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Grenz Winckler

    O MY GOSH!! This was the couple I have been waiting for, I’ve been dying for Pax’s story since Rae and Lincoln, and I always hoped Poppy would find love to!! This story was so good!! I seriously want to cry, because that epilogue was everything. Poppy and Paxton have always been in each others lives, but have never been close. Poppy has always put Pax in the best friend’s older brother box, and Pax has never really thought about Poppy as anything other then Rae’s best friend. After going through O MY GOSH!! This was the couple I have been waiting for, I’ve been dying for Pax’s story since Rae and Lincoln, and I always hoped Poppy would find love to!! This story was so good!! I seriously want to cry, because that epilogue was everything. Poppy and Paxton have always been in each others lives, but have never been close. Poppy has always put Pax in the best friend’s older brother box, and Pax has never really thought about Poppy as anything other then Rae’s best friend. After going through some stuff, Pax is looking to make up for what’s gone down, and finally get rid of Candace (ugh finally!). Poppy is tired of being a shy, quiet, forever in her shell kind of girl. She’s trying to figure out how to break out, especially when her high school sweetheart comes back into her life with his new girlfriend. After Poppy helps bail Pax out of a tough situation with his coach, Pax suggests the craziest idea...let’s Fake Date. He promises to help take her to parties and make Mike jealous, while she is going to help clean up his image by being the wholesome good, drama free girlfriend. They have a rocky start, with Lincoln and Rae not wholly on board. Poppy and Pax come up with their own rules, and define exactly what they are going to be to each other. Like they always do, eyes begin to open and feelings begin to develop. Poppy can’t help but wonder about Pax’s actions, is he just trying to make Candace jealous, or does he really like Poppy? Pax self sabotages when things go good, and he’s trying to remain friends with everyone, including Candace, because he doesn’t want anyone to hate him. But, Candace doesn’t deserve that friendship, and Paxton doesn’t see how she’s ruining the very real relationship ship that Poppy and Paxton have formed. When push comes to shove, Pax steps up, but so does Poppy. They both get their heads on straight and realize the most important thing is right in front of them, and when it’s real, you fight for it. I seriously have loved this series. This book felt extra special, because these two have been in all the books. I fell in love with Poppy and Paxton in the first two books, and I knew their story was going to be so special when the blurb came out! Paxton and Poppy both do some serious growing up, Poppy getting out of her comfort zone and becoming confident. Paxton growing up and getting his life back on track, but also recognizing that he isn’t his dad, and he doesn’t need to make everyone happy, just those that matter. I can’t recommend this book enough, but especially this whole series of stand-alones, each story and main characters are so unique, and so well written, I feel like I know them. I’m so sad that this seemed like the end (I mean that epilogue...tears, seriously), but they’re all amazing, and definitely worth reading!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dali

    With Writing the Rules, Mariah Dietz crafts a sweet, slow burn romance that follows a blossoming friends to lovers relationship between Brighton’s star quarterback and his younger sister’s best friend. I seem to be reading a lot of fake relationship stories lately and while they all have their own distinctiveness, the emotion of new adult romance has its own appeal. Both Paxton and Poppy were appealing characters. Paxton was caring and considerate while Poppy was a why shy but strong type who With Writing the Rules, Mariah Dietz crafts a sweet, slow burn romance that follows a blossoming friends to lovers relationship between Brighton’s star quarterback and his younger sister’s best friend. I seem to be reading a lot of fake relationship stories lately and while they all have their own distinctiveness, the emotion of new adult romance has its own appeal. Both Paxton and Poppy were appealing characters. Paxton was caring and considerate while Poppy was a why shy but strong type who, with the gentle coaxing of Pax, beautifully comes into her own. The chemistry between the two explodes once they decide to act on it, and I enjoyed how much they helped each other out and become better people. Writing the Rules is a standalone new adult romance by author Mariah Dietz. It’s told from both points of view with a happy ending. Genres: New Adult Romance. Tropes: sports | fake relationship | younger sister’s best friend Amazon -> https://amzn.to/3aOKMZT ★ I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via Candi Kane. The excerpts are from that copy. I am voluntarily reviewing this title. ★ See all my book edits on Instagram ★ FaceBook ★

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kiana

    This book was so good! Loved the chemistry or Pax and Poppy. Pax who who is a great football player has been going down the wrong path. With family troubles, girlfriend and trying to be the best player. Poppy who is best friends with Pax’s sister. Both has decided to fake date. As they spend more time together they learn more about each other. I saw a different side of Pax that was just amazing. Reading this book gave me a better idea of each person and characters. By far my favourite! I need a This book was so good! Loved the chemistry or Pax and Poppy. Pax who who is a great football player has been going down the wrong path. With family troubles, girlfriend and trying to be the best player. Poppy who is best friends with Pax’s sister. Both has decided to fake date. As they spend more time together they learn more about each other. I saw a different side of Pax that was just amazing. Reading this book gave me a better idea of each person and characters. By far my favourite! I need a Pax!!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Krystel

    I was given an advance readers copy of this book and have decided to write a voluntary honest review. This was first book by Mariah now I have 5 other books to read from this series. I love Pax hes such a good friend and leader. I also love Poppy she's such a sweetheart with a good heart. Pax is way to forgivable in my eyes. You may feel the same way after you all about his story. I can't wait to jump into rae and Lincoln. I was given an advance readers copy of this book and have decided to write a voluntary honest review. This was first book by Mariah now I have 5 other books to read from this series. I love Pax hes such a good friend and leader. I also love Poppy she's such a sweetheart with a good heart. Pax is way to forgivable in my eyes. You may feel the same way after you all about his story. I can't wait to jump into rae and Lincoln.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karie Gibson

    This is the last book in this series and man am I sad about it!! I’ve been waiting for Paxton’s book for what feels like forever. I’ve loved him from the beginning and I loved him even more with Poppy! This book felt like a journey I never wanted to end. This author continues to amaze me with her talent. Make sure you grab this one it’s the best!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    Writing The Rules, is the final story in The Dating Playbook Book Series, and I have to say it was well worth the wait. Poppy and Paxton's slow turn from friends to lovers is so well written, that I felt like I was there with them. They build you up, crash you down, and then turn on the sun. I can't recommend this story enough. So many more than 5 Stars. Writing The Rules, is the final story in The Dating Playbook Book Series, and I have to say it was well worth the wait. Poppy and Paxton's slow turn from friends to lovers is so well written, that I felt like I was there with them. They build you up, crash you down, and then turn on the sun. I can't recommend this story enough. So many more than 5 Stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephannie Tolitsky- Swoonworthybooks/EnticingJourney

    Stephannie's 5 Star Review This is the 6th book in the "The Dating Playbook" series by Mariah Dietz. This is the first book I have read from the author and the first in this series. So there is no reason why this one can't be read as a stand-alone.  Paxton and Poppy have been in each others' circle forever.  Poppy is best friends with Paxton's little sister.  These two get mixed up in a fake relationship that is both beneficial to the pair. Paxton needs to focus on football and not any drama cause Stephannie's 5 Star Review This is the 6th book in the "The Dating Playbook" series by Mariah Dietz. This is the first book I have read from the author and the first in this series. So there is no reason why this one can't be read as a stand-alone.  Paxton and Poppy have been in each others' circle forever.  Poppy is best friends with Paxton's little sister.  These two get mixed up in a fake relationship that is both beneficial to the pair. Paxton needs to focus on football and not any drama caused by his ex-girlfriend and Poppy wants to seem attached because her ex is transferred to her college with a new girlfriend.  Paxton is every girl's dream; hot, sexy, Star QB and Poppy is the girl who is clueless that she is beautiful but also shy, smart with rules and lists.  I love a fake relationship that grows into something more. I love to see both of the characters grow as people. They come to realize some things about themselves and how they feel about each other. They start as friends doing each other a favor. But it grows into more. They have chemistry and a spark. You are rooting for them from the very beginning.  It is a really great book that I read cover to cover. It is just like many sports, fake romance novels so if that is your type you will love this one.  🥰

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicol Olivares

    This is the fifth book by Mariah Dietz that I’ve read, and I can say that it’s my favorite. I absolutely loved Pax and Poppy’s story so much. Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes when done right, and Dietz truly knows how to make pretending hot. Did I mention that it’s a Dating-My-Best-Friend’s Brother novel? Pax is such a sweetheart, his actions spoke to my heart. Poppy is someone I could see myself being best friends with. This was honestly so beautiful, and the epilogue made me shed happy This is the fifth book by Mariah Dietz that I’ve read, and I can say that it’s my favorite. I absolutely loved Pax and Poppy’s story so much. Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes when done right, and Dietz truly knows how to make pretending hot. Did I mention that it’s a Dating-My-Best-Friend’s Brother novel? Pax is such a sweetheart, his actions spoke to my heart. Poppy is someone I could see myself being best friends with. This was honestly so beautiful, and the epilogue made me shed happy tears. It was able to get me out of my reading slump. 4.5/5 stars. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review

  13. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Review

    Paxton and Poppy’s story was everything I wanted! I’ve been not so patiently waiting for Pax’s story. ❤️ Perfect ending to an amazing series! Do yourself a favor and binge this entire series of standalones. HEAT. HEART. HEA. SPORTS ROMANCE. FAKE DATING. FRIENDS TO LOVERS.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kyra

     „Writing the Rules“ is book 6 in „The Dating Playbook“ series written by Mariah Dietz, which can be read as a stand-alone. It’s about Poppy and Paxton who we know from the previous five books, especially book 1 & 2. Since Paxton’s sister Raegan is Poppy’s best friend, the two of them have known each other for 15 years. During those years, they built a friendship which will develop and transform throughout their story. While reading the whole „The Dating Playbook“ series, I waited for Paxton’s s  „Writing the Rules“ is book 6 in „The Dating Playbook“ series written by Mariah Dietz, which can be read as a stand-alone. It’s about Poppy and Paxton who we know from the previous five books, especially book 1 & 2. Since Paxton’s sister Raegan is Poppy’s best friend, the two of them have known each other for 15 years. During those years, they built a friendship which will develop and transform throughout their story. While reading the whole „The Dating Playbook“ series, I waited for Paxton’s story. I was so curious, and I always thought that he simply cannot end up with his devilish on-again/off-again girlfriend. So that’s why I was SO anticipating this story! Also, Mariah Dietz did well with preparing us for the release with teasers and playlists and all. (Listen to it: "Writing the rules"-Playlist )  What can I say, where do I start? This story has EVERYTHING a good story needs. For me, it’s simply perfect. From the college setting, the sports theme (QB, of course ;) and the fact that friends become lovers, it’s great! From reaching the 40% mark, I dreaded the end because I wanted this story to go on forever! I didn’t want to read on, just because I did not want to reach the end of this story (and the series, of course :(). However, I wanted to read on because I wanted to know what happened. Had to force myself to go to bed at some point! :D I am going to point out a few reasons why I loved this book so much, in addition to the setting and topic in general. The characters: As in all the previous books by Mariah Dietz, Poppy and Paxton are great. Mariah was able to portray these two so well, they are so well developed. They are not perfect, they have their flaws, but at the same time, they are so lovely. Paxton is so great with Poppy, even with all this chaos in his life. He works hard to be the man she deserves and even when I struggles a bit, he never quits and fights for her. Also, he can be so sweet and courteous with Poppy. Love him! “’I want you.’ He untangles one hand and places it over my heart. ’You already have me.’“ - Paxton Lawson in „Writing the rules“ Poppy, however, was my personal highlight. I cannot exactly tell you why, but maybe it’s because I could relate to her in so many situations. She’s a little bit like me, or I am like her, so I simply loved her! The relationship the two main characters build from their friendship is just lovely and sometimes, I wanted to climb into this book and live this story. :D The friendship: In all books of this series, we focus on different characters of a group of friends. They have been close and great friends all the time. However, the friendship part became more important to me in this book. Since Paxton has his problems and struggles, they all support him, never let him down and drag him with them when he isn’t able to do it himself. „I am not going to let you fail. You can hate me, you can hit me, you can reach for that goddamn bottle, and guess what? I’m going to be here, pushing you, carrying you if I have to. You’re not giving up. Not when you’re this f***ing close.“ -Lincoln Beckett in „Writing the Rules“ I had goosebumps reading this! Especially Lincoln, who usually is the silent, grumpy type is such a good friend and gives the best advices in this book. :) It’s simply great how all of them are with each other and I wish I could be part of their group! The epilogue: The epilogue gives us readers a view of the future, and I don’t want to tell and spoiler anything, but it’s great that we get to know what they are all up to, and that they still hold onto their friendship and still share that bond. Thank you, Mariah, for that. It’s a small consolation since the series has come to an end. The author: All six books in this series are great and Mariah Dietz did an amazing job with all of them. However, I personally think she developed throughout the stories. „Writing the rules“ was so well written, so great to read.. she ended this series with an amazing book regarding style, development of characters and of course, the plot. I don’t think I have ever written a longer review, so I am going to end it now with saying: I recommend it to everyone who is interested in a great college sports romance which will definitely capture your heart and bring joy to you. Thank you for this story, Mariah, which will without a doubt be one of my all-time favorites! *** I received an Advanced Reader Copy and am voluntary and honestly reviewing this book. ***

  15. 5 out of 5

    Books, Booze & Bon Voyage

    The sixth and final book in The Dating Playbook series. A fake relationship, friends to lovers, best friend’s brother, college and sport romance about Paxton Lawson and Poppy Anderson. This can be read as a standalone but all the characters from the five previous books are part of this story. Lincoln and Raegan’s story is told in books #1 & #2, Arlo and Olivia’s #3, Tyler and Chloe with Cooper and Vanessa #4, Ian and Rose #5. Everyone is attending Brighton University in Seattle and the guys all The sixth and final book in The Dating Playbook series. A fake relationship, friends to lovers, best friend’s brother, college and sport romance about Paxton Lawson and Poppy Anderson. This can be read as a standalone but all the characters from the five previous books are part of this story. Lincoln and Raegan’s story is told in books #1 & #2, Arlo and Olivia’s #3, Tyler and Chloe with Cooper and Vanessa #4, Ian and Rose #5. Everyone is attending Brighton University in Seattle and the guys all play for the college football team. They are in their senior year and are hoping to get drafted to the NFL at the end of the season. Paxton lives with fellow teammates Lincoln, Arlo and Caleb. Poppy lives with her best friend of fifteen years Reagan and they are in their second year. Rae is also Paxton’s little sister and is dating Lincoln, who is Paxton’s best friend. “You’ll always be my favourite rule.” The story begins with an intervention on Pax by his friends because he in the process of throwing away all his hard work by drinking and doing stupid antics. He is the best QB in the league and captain of the team but his reputation is being damaged and his grades slipping. To add insult to injury he has just broken up again with his long term on - off girlfriend Candace. Poppy is sweet and well liked amongst her small circle of friends. She sees her life as simple but boring, she is very independent and loves following the rules. She has been keeping a journal since she was seven and we get to read some of her thoughts and memories. Out of the blue her first love Mike texts her to meet up. She is confused over her lingering feelings for Mike because she was heart broken when he left. She is shocked to find out he has not only transferred to Brighton but has been joined by his girlfriend. Totally blindsided when he introduces her as a friend to Maddie, she lies and says she has a boyfriend. The girls hold a Halloween party and not only does Mike turn up with Maddie but also her ex boyfriend Chase. Poppy is so upset she ends up hiding away with Pax in his room and telling him all about her lie. The following morning Pax plays along and pretends to be her boyfriend. Then Poppy returns the favour when Candace starts to cause problems. This is the start of their fake relationship and they make a list of rules to abide by to help them navigate the unusual circumstances they find themselves in. They both agree that it has to be more than just fake dating and trying to get back at Candace or to make Mike jealous. “Sometimes the goal isn’t the dream that’s right for us.” Poppy is introverted and wants to gain her confidence, break out of her shell and have some fun so being with Pax provides that while she helps him by being a stable influence. He finds being with Poppy makes him feel motivated and happy. It all started with him proving to everyone he was good enough and now he wants to be good enough for her. Once they give into their chemistry it does become quite steamy and we see a lovely caring side to Paxton. I loved Lincoln throughout the book with his wise and helpful advice. He’d experienced it all with Rae so understands what the couple are going through. It is a very slow burn romance as two friends slowly accept they have both liked each other for longer than either realised. We see them cope with their residual feelings and constant interference from both Candace and Mike. I thought they were going to cause much more trouble than they actually did so it’s not an angst ridden story. For a fake start their relationship was a very honest and refreshing one. Overall a sweet, lighthearted read about a lovely couple who totally deserve each other. The author gives us a wonderful epilogue and finishes the series well as we catch up with everyone ten years later. We find out what they are all doing now and hear about the football team of children they have created between them !!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Krista Webster

    The sixth and final book in The Dating Playbook series. A fake relationship, friends to lovers, best friend’s brother, college and sport romance about Paxton Lawson and Poppy Anderson. This can be read as a standalone but all the characters from the five previous books are part of this story. Lincoln and Raegan’s story is told in books #1 & #2, Arlo and Olivia’s #3, Tyler, Chloe, Cooper and Vanessa #4, Ian and Rose #5. Everyone is attending Brighton University in Seattle and the guys all play fo The sixth and final book in The Dating Playbook series. A fake relationship, friends to lovers, best friend’s brother, college and sport romance about Paxton Lawson and Poppy Anderson. This can be read as a standalone but all the characters from the five previous books are part of this story. Lincoln and Raegan’s story is told in books #1 & #2, Arlo and Olivia’s #3, Tyler, Chloe, Cooper and Vanessa #4, Ian and Rose #5. Everyone is attending Brighton University in Seattle and the guys all play for the college football team. They are in their senior year and are hoping to get drafted to the NFL at the end of the season. Paxton lives with fellow teammates Lincoln, Arlo and Caleb. Poppy lives with her best friend of fifteen years Reagan and they are in their second year. Rae is also Paxton’s little sister and is dating Lincoln, who is Paxton’s best friend. The story begins with an intervention on Pax by his friends because he in the process of throwing away all his hard work by drinking and doing stupid antics. He is the best QB in the league and captain of the team but his reputation is being damaged and his grades slipping. To add insult to injury he has just broken up again with his long term on - off girlfriend Candace. Poppy is sweet and well liked amongst her small circle of friends. She sees her life as simple but boring, she is very independent and loves following the rules. She has been keeping a journal since she was seven and we get to read some of her thoughts and memories. Out of the blue her first love Mike texts her to meet up. She is confused over her lingering feelings for Mike because she was heart broken when he left. She is shocked to find out he has not only transferred to Brighton but has been joined by his girlfriend. Totally blindsided when he introduces her as a friend to Maddie, she lies and says she has a boyfriend. The girls hold a Halloween party and not only does Mike turn up with Maddie but also her ex boyfriend Chase. Poppy is so upset she ends up hiding away with Pax in his room and telling him all about her lie. The following morning Pax plays along and pretends to be her boyfriend. Then Poppy returns the favour when Candace starts to cause problems. This is the start of their fake relationship and they make a list of rules to abide by to help them navigate the unusual circumstances they find themselves in. They both agree that it has to be more than just fake dating and trying to get back at Candace or to make Mike jealous. Poppy is introverted and wants to gain her confidence, break out of her shell and have some fun so being with Pax provides that while she helps him by being a stable influence. He finds being with Poppy makes him feel motivated and happy. It all started with him proving to everyone he was good enough and now he wants to be good enough for her. Once they give into their chemistry it does become quite steamy and we see a lovely caring side to Paxton. I loved Lincoln throughout the book with his wise and helpful advice. He’d experienced it all with Rae so understands what the couple are going through. It is a very slow burn romance as two friends slowly accept they have both liked each other for longer than either realised. We see them cope with their residual feelings and constant interference from both Candace and Mike. I thought they were going to cause much more trouble than they actually did so it’s not an angst ridden story. For a fake start their relationship was a very honest and refreshing one. Overall a sweet, lighthearted read about a lovely couple who totally deserve each other. The author gives us a wonderful epilogue and finishes the series well as we catch up with everyone ten years later. We find out what they are all doing now and hear about the football team of children they have created between them !!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maddie (Bookaholic_Dreamer)

    3.85 ⭐️ Since the author Mariah Dietz is new to me, I didn’t know Writing the Rules was apart of a series The Dating Playbook. I just knew when I signed up for this book I was definitely excited to read it, especially when I read the blurb and found out it was a fake relationship trope. However, this book was not like anything I expected. And I don’t know if that is a good thing. Especially seeing as I definitely had a love/hate relationship when it came to reading Writing The Rules. Poppy 3.85 ⭐️ Since the author Mariah Dietz is new to me, I didn’t know Writing the Rules was apart of a series The Dating Playbook. I just knew when I signed up for this book I was definitely excited to read it, especially when I read the blurb and found out it was a fake relationship trope. However, this book was not like anything I expected. And I don’t know if that is a good thing. Especially seeing as I definitely had a love/hate relationship when it came to reading Writing The Rules. Poppy Anderson and Paxton Lawson have known each other most of their lives, seeing as Poppy is best friends with Paxton’s little sister Reagan. When Poppy’s ex-boyfriend transfers to Brighton University, the University that she, Raegan and Paxton are currently attending. She doesn’t know what to think, feel or how to deal with it. As for Paxton, he wants and needs to distance himself from his ex, which leads him to the idea of having a fake relationship between himself and Poppy that will be ideal and beneficial to both. However the further the relationship goes, the more the rules are blurring leading to something neither expected. From the get go I knew that Poppy and Paxton’s story was going to be a slow burn since the trope called for it. But what I didn’t expect was it to be a really long super slow burn. I understand that it was needed because it helped to make it more realistic, as opposed to jumping right in and racing through everything which would create a lack of a strong narrative. But with Writing The Rules, it was just a little too slow, long and drying at times IMO, that I would either choose to stop reading by taking a break or I would distract myself mid-reading by doing other things. And then try to go back into it again in hopes of connecting with it and being able to try and enjoy it. Mostly since I don’t like to leave books as DNF, no matter how much I either dislike it or have a hard time reading it. However with that said, I still enjoyed the story somewhat with certain parts. Like watching Poppy and Paxton’s relationship grow and blossom into something more at certain parts. I don’t know how to explain it, but there was just something about them two… Though it may have been and started off as a fake relationship, but the fact that they were both willing to go along with it in order to help each other out seemed kind of sweet. Especially with how Paxton always seemed to treat Poppy with a lot of care and respect when trying to help bring her out of her shell. While still always making sure she was comfortable too. Plus when they would have their moments of affection, I liked that Paxton did take his time with Poppy and always asked her beforehand. Especially after a few mistakes in the beginning. There were a few things I was unclear on while reading, that left me confused throughout. Given that even by the end I still didn't seem to have the answers to them. But even with that, I can honestly say around the 60% mark, Michelle definitely still managed to reel me back in and have me diving into the book until the very end. Making me glad I didn’t quit and finished the book, (despite the unanswered confusions) especially because of that adorable epilogue. Something I definitely didn’t expect. It was the cherry on top of the cake. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandy S

    4.25 stars-WRITING THE RULES is the sixth instalment in Mariah Dietz’s contemporary, new adult THE DATING PLAYBOOK romance series focusing on a group of friends at Brighton University. This is twenty-two year old senior, team captain and star quarterback Paxton Lawson, and twenty-year old Poppy Anderson’s story line. WRITING THE RULES can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Told from dual first perso 4.25 stars-WRITING THE RULES is the sixth instalment in Mariah Dietz’s contemporary, new adult THE DATING PLAYBOOK romance series focusing on a group of friends at Brighton University. This is twenty-two year old senior, team captain and star quarterback Paxton Lawson, and twenty-year old Poppy Anderson’s story line. WRITING THE RULES can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Told from dual first person perspectives (Paxton and Poppy) WRITING THE RULES follows the best friend’s brother/fake relationship between twenty-two year old senior and star quarterback Paxton Lawson, and twenty-year old Poppy Anderson. Poppy Anderson was surprised when her ex-boyfriend Mike announced he was returning home to attend Brighton University but blindsided when Mike introduced her to his new girlfriend. Struggling with old feelings and emotions, Poppy kept her distance but battled between head and heart for the man she once loved. Meanwhile Brighton University quarterback, and Poppy’s best friend’s brother Paxton Lawson had finally kicked his girlfriend of three years out of his life but said girlfriend refused to take the hint. In a mutual attempt to forget about their past loves, Poppy and Paxton agreed to a fake relationship but a relationship that quickly grew into something more. What ensues is the fake but building romance and relationship between Paxton and Poppy, and the potential fall-out as secrets, lies and betrayal threaten the new found romance between our leading couple. Paxton Lawson has a reputation at Brighton University but in fear of losing his future career, Paxton asks Poppy to keep him on the straight and narrow, never expecting to fall for his sister’s best friend but as the football season comes to a close, secrets lies and betrayal are about to expose the truth about their rules for a fake arrangement. The relationship between Paxton and Poppy is a best friend’s brother/fake arrangement with only a few people aware of the truth. As both Paxton and Poppy’s exes continue to push for a second chance, it is Poppy’s heart that will break once the truth is revealed. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. There is a large ensemble cast of colorful and energetic secondary and supporting characters including Lincoln Beckett and Raegan Lawson (Bending the Rules #1 / Breaking the Rules #2); Arlo and Olivia (Defining the Rules #3) ,Tyler and Chloe ( Exploring the Rules #4), Ian and Rose (Forgetting the Rules #5), Arlo, Caleb, Luis Garcia; Olivia’s father Coach Harris; Poppy’s ex Mike and his girlfriend Maddie; Paxton’s ex Candace, as well as Poppy’s parents at home. WRITING THE RULES is a story of friendships and relationships, betrayal and trust, secrets, lies, acceptance and love. The premise is entertaining and captivating; the romance is tender and seductive; the characters are dynamic, lively and animated but at times the story line read more like YA with mean-girl persona of our hero’s ex. WRITING THE RULES is a marvellous addition to author’s THE DATING PLAYBOOK. www.thereadingcafe.com

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    “When I think about my life, you’ve always been there as a bright spot.” Writing the Rules was a slow burn, sports romance at its finest. It’s a story of love, friendship, and redemption. Poppy and Paxton had known each other their whole lives, but had never realized what was right in front of them. For life’s big moments, they were always present for each other without them even realizing it. Once the blinders are off, it’s a shock to them that the love of a lifetime had been right in front of “When I think about my life, you’ve always been there as a bright spot.” Writing the Rules was a slow burn, sports romance at its finest. It’s a story of love, friendship, and redemption. Poppy and Paxton had known each other their whole lives, but had never realized what was right in front of them. For life’s big moments, they were always present for each other without them even realizing it. Once the blinders are off, it’s a shock to them that the love of a lifetime had been right in front of them their entire lives, but are they brave enough to take the risk and embrace it. “You see me and believe in me in ways that make me know that if this were to all end tomorrow, you wouldn’t care.” I had been waiting for Paxton’s story because I knew that he was going to be a character that would break me and I was right. Paxton showed so much growth this book. He started out as a bit of a self-involved yet caring guy who self-sabotages himself every time he gets close to having everything he wants and by the end, he’s totally swoonworthy. He recognized the behaviors that had been holding him back and took steps to make changes. He realized what was truly important in his life and fought to hold on to it. “This thing between us started to prove to everyone else that I was good enough, and somewhere over a short period, that motivation became about being good enough for her.” I loved Poppy, too. She felt like she was always living at the fringes of everyone else’s life and nobody truly saw her. She wanted to find love, but she thought she was unlovable. She had romanticized an ex and she doesn’t know how to deal with her conflicting feelings regarding her ex and Paxton. Faking a relationship with Paxton allows Poppy to blossom and come into her own. She comes to realize her own self-worth and to finally discover who she is. “You’re my favorite rule. You always have been, and you always will be.” The chemistry between these two is lava hot and when they finally act on their feelings, it’s FIRE. I loved the slow burn of their relationship and how they really got to know each other. The heat simmered just below the surface and it was explosive once they recognized and admitted their attraction. They helped each other grow and become better people and were truly a perfect match. The epilogue was perfection and the entire gang has come full circle. I’m sad to leave them behind, but I’m excited to see what deliciousness Mariah Dietz has for us next.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Ricci-Mayronne

    Writing The Rules is my first read by Mariah Dietz and is part of her interconnected stand-alone The Dating Playbook Series. I did not feel like I couldn’t really enjoy the book having not read any of the others. Mariah subtly gives us insight on the other’s, as they are all friends. But, I have definitely added them to my TBR. This is a friends to lovers, brothers best friend romance and I loved every moment. Paxton and Poppy have know each other for years, spent countless hours together, but he Writing The Rules is my first read by Mariah Dietz and is part of her interconnected stand-alone The Dating Playbook Series. I did not feel like I couldn’t really enjoy the book having not read any of the others. Mariah subtly gives us insight on the other’s, as they are all friends. But, I have definitely added them to my TBR. This is a friends to lovers, brothers best friend romance and I loved every moment. Paxton and Poppy have know each other for years, spent countless hours together, but held each other at arms length because of her relationship with Rae, Paxton’s sister. Paxton needs to get his life together, he is throwing his chance at football and his college career away and his ex- Candace and their toxic relationship isn’t helping. Poppy is barely living her life. Stuck in a dating rut, no major to declare and hardly a social life to talk about. When her high school ex, shows back up in town with his new girlfriend, Poppy is thrown. When Poppy steps in to “save” Paxton with the claims of them dating to diffuse a situation it gives him ideas. Ideas of how mutually beneficial pretend dating each other would be. So, in an effort to keep themselves in check, they lay out the ground rules. So, begins the public outings, study dates, and being Paxton sober companion and having them spending all the time together. Both realizing just how natural and seem less they fit into each other’s lives. Just how interwoven all their memories are. And, when it all stopped being fake neither one knows. “... yet her expression is new-a look of longing that consumes me until all I can think about is feeling her, kissing her, consuming her. She leans forward, her fingers balling in my shirt, and it’s all I need to know before my mouth crashes against hers. We’re all hands and lips as we work to translate weeks- potentially years- of attraction into this single kiss that feels more significant than any football game I’ve ever played.” And, when they open the flood gates, and begin to embrace the new side of their relationship, they each have to put their pasts to rest. Those are some sexy flood gates too. Phew, Paxton dialed up to ten is HOT. Paxton... oh boy. He is literally the best book boyfriend. He isn’t trying to play games or cash in on all the hero worship happening around him. He sees Poppy, listens to her, has all his focus on her and can read her so well. Poppy brings out the best in Paxton without any effort just by being her. And, can we talk about the epilogue.... 🥰

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ann Mihailovic

    Writing the Rules is book VI in The Dating Playbook series by Mariah Dietz. This is a fake relationship, college, sports, friends to lovers slow burn romance. I adored reading Poppy and Pax's story and how their journey evolved from friends to a fake relationship to the real deal. Poppy and Pax have known each other since childhood as Poppy is best friends with Pax's sister Raegan. Meaning they both know each other well and have been there for every milestone achieved. Poppy has just learnt that Writing the Rules is book VI in The Dating Playbook series by Mariah Dietz. This is a fake relationship, college, sports, friends to lovers slow burn romance. I adored reading Poppy and Pax's story and how their journey evolved from friends to a fake relationship to the real deal. Poppy and Pax have known each other since childhood as Poppy is best friends with Pax's sister Raegan. Meaning they both know each other well and have been there for every milestone achieved. Poppy has just learnt that her ex is back in town and is attending the same college as her. When she finds out that he has a new girlfriend, Poppy blurts out that she too is in a relationship which has her freaking out and explaining the situation to Paxton. A situation arises which has Pax pretending to be Poppy's boyfriend to save her from embarrassment. Paxton has been spiraling. His drinking and the constant on-off relationship with his now ex has his friends worried enough to stage an intervention. He promises to behave and stop drinking and is committed to staying broken up with his ex. As the captain and QB1, his coaches haven't been happy with all the drama surrounding him and when Poppy comes to his rescue after getting chewed up by his coach, Pax comes up with the idea that they should fake date as they could both benefit from it. Poppy agrees to this and rules are written down as to how they will proceed. After a while, spending so much time together, the subtle touches and kisses turns into something more and lines are blurred. Are Poppy and Pax ready to admit their feelings for one another? Would they be crossing a line if they went from fake to real? How will their friends take the news? I absolutely adored this story. It was such a sweet and feel-good romance read. I loved how comfortable these two were with each other. For an introvert, I loved how strong, fierce and confident Poppy was. Pax was such a great guy too. Yeah, he seemed abit lost at first but I loved how supportive his friends were and how they helped him get on the right track. We finally got to hear about Paxton and Poppy and the story turned out amazing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma Louise Elks

    Calling all sports romance lovers! If you're looking for your next read then here you go! This is book 6 in the dating playbook series but can be read as a standalone. I did actually read this as a standalone but now I need to read the others because I felt so invested in every character and their stories and not just our main couple, Poppy and Paxton. So consider the rest of the series bumped up the tbr! Paxton Lawson, Sexy AF, Star QB who oozes confidence, owns every room he enters and every f Calling all sports romance lovers! If you're looking for your next read then here you go! This is book 6 in the dating playbook series but can be read as a standalone. I did actually read this as a standalone but now I need to read the others because I felt so invested in every character and their stories and not just our main couple, Poppy and Paxton. So consider the rest of the series bumped up the tbr! Paxton Lawson, Sexy AF, Star QB who oozes confidence, owns every room he enters and every football pitch he walks on to. What I loved about him though was that he was such a sweetheart, he wasn't the typical jock at all! He was genuine, kind, funny and sweet, and it was so refreshing to read. But life has dealt him a few crappy cards that have built up to a stage where he isn't sure how he can claw it all back to how it should be after years of hard work. So, enter Poppy and a fake dating arrangement. Poppy is a girl after my own heart, she's just precious! She's a girl who is so unsure and unconfident in herself. She loves the simple things in life, bed, snacks, her diary, rules and lists. But she's stuck in a comfort zone that she wants to break out of and Pax is the perfect guy for the job! They've known each other for 15 years, they know so much about each other but neither of them realise how monumental this is! "Our lives are made up of millions of tiny moments - details. They're the threads of the tapestry that makes up our lives, and Paxton keeps reminding me of how many of my threads he represents" I loved seeing them slowly start to piece things together and grow closer in a much less platonic way through their deal. Those moments where everyone one knows its more than fake are just everything! 🥰 This really is a college sports romance done right, it gets you up in your feels, you have a laugh along the way, makes you go all googly eyed for the star QB of the team who's just so damn dreamy, and has you rooting for the introverted girl who's trying to change herself. It's the perfect blend of slow burn but with a huge amount of chemisty and tension!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nathathida Atirekasâra

    This is best friend's brother and sister's best friend romance but I feel like it is friends to lovers romance because Poppy and Paxton have known each other for 15 years and with their only 2 years apart, even if Poppy think they are not close, but with they seem to be easily cosy toward each other, I think they are definitely close. Their relationship is more like friends to lovers too because it starts with the reason that they want to help each other and then their feelings develop when they This is best friend's brother and sister's best friend romance but I feel like it is friends to lovers romance because Poppy and Paxton have known each other for 15 years and with their only 2 years apart, even if Poppy think they are not close, but with they seem to be easily cosy toward each other, I think they are definitely close. Their relationship is more like friends to lovers too because it starts with the reason that they want to help each other and then their feelings develop when they fakes their relationship to convince people to believe in their loves so be prepared for a slow burn the author creates. It is worth the wait because when they are finally together, their chemistry sizzle and their first love scene is sweet and hot at the same time. I haven't had a chance to read another books in the series before even if I have 4 of them on my kindle for a while so when I start reading this book, I don't know that it is the last one of the series until I read the epilogue but rest assured you that, I am going to go back to my kindle and read the rest of the series ASAP because I enjoy reading this book a lot. Like I said before, the story is slow burn but it has a bit of angst from both Paxton and Poppy. Their friendships are so beautiful. They care about each other and Poppy helps Paxton to be a better man after he was spiraled downward with his problems. Aside from that it also has a little bit of their exes' drama from both of them. And it makes me want to smack Paxton's head so hard because his ex is a psycho. I don't even want to talk about Poppy's ex because he is that bad and I am so glad that she finally tell him in his face. And even if everything seem to be easily predictable, I still enjoy reading it so I must give the credit to the author for writing it so good that I don't feel boring at all while I am reading it. If you love sports and best friend's sibling or sibling's best friend romance, you wouldn't want to miss this one I quarantee you that.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marni Ortiz

    Mariah delivers another fabulous read . The dating playbook series by Mariah Dietz has become one of my college sport romance series .Each book in the series is so incredibly addicting , they suck you in from the very beginning and take you on a emotional roller . This is a Best Friends older brother , friend to Lovers Trope as well as a slow Burn romance , some of my very favorite Tropes . I tend to get emotionally invested in the characters I am reading about . I loved Paxton’s and Poppy’s sto Mariah delivers another fabulous read . The dating playbook series by Mariah Dietz has become one of my college sport romance series .Each book in the series is so incredibly addicting , they suck you in from the very beginning and take you on a emotional roller . This is a Best Friends older brother , friend to Lovers Trope as well as a slow Burn romance , some of my very favorite Tropes . I tend to get emotionally invested in the characters I am reading about . I loved Paxton’s and Poppy’s story so much( but truth be told I starting falling for Paxton’s character , a few books ago . I was so excited he was getting his own story . My heart ached for Paxton as he was going though some pretty hard emotional times in his life . After breaking up with his ( girlfriend whom was anything but good for him ( quite toxic actually) he decides he needs to come up with a way to move forward in a more positive and healthy way . In comes Poppy who has been part of Paxton’s life in one way or another for a very long time ( as she is his sisters best friend . Poppy is anything but outgoing though . So when her ex shows up with his new girlfriend , Poppy decided ( it’s time for her to come out of her shell and start living a little . This is where the book really picks up . Poppy and Paxton come up with a plan , that is supposed to be pretty simple ( with rules in place ) what they didn’t expect was , that the more time they spend with one another , they start to have feelings that are not so innocent, and before they know what’s happening, they have fallen hard for one another . This is my favorite type of romance to read , and Mariah did such a amazing job writing a awesome story that has it all . Angst , steam , a couple with off the charts chemistry, who is also extremely relatable . This is just the perfect romance . You really need to experience it for yourself!! It should not be missed ❤️💜

  25. 5 out of 5

    S.S Bandeli

    Poppy and Rae are best friends since childhood. One day Poppy receives a text from her ex-boyfriend Mike, asking to meet. But when she meets him, he introduces her to his girlfriend. This surprises Poppy and she lies about having a boyfriend. Things get complicated when she and Paxton, Rae's brother comes up with a fake dating plan. Paxton wishes to get rid of his mean and selfish ex-girlfriend. Poppy wishes to get back together with Mike by making him jealous and realising his love for her. One li Poppy and Rae are best friends since childhood. One day Poppy receives a text from her ex-boyfriend Mike, asking to meet. But when she meets him, he introduces her to his girlfriend. This surprises Poppy and she lies about having a boyfriend. Things get complicated when she and Paxton, Rae's brother comes up with a fake dating plan. Paxton wishes to get rid of his mean and selfish ex-girlfriend. Poppy wishes to get back together with Mike by making him jealous and realising his love for her. One lie leads to a web of rules between Poppy and Paxton to deals with their ex. Paxton is deteriorating on his field performances due to his constant buzzing and hangover. Poppy lives by the rules in life. Will Poppy and Paxton get along in their fake dating? Will they be able to achieve their agenda of fake dating? What happens when Rae gets to know her best friend is dating her brother? A rule of staying away from her bestfriend's brother and not harbouring any thoughts towards him is what she sticks to since childhood. Can she break her rules and let her attraction towards a Paxton take a new road to something else than just her bestfriend's brother? Okay, so first thing first. I love it... I am thrilled to read this. It is a lot of an amazing book to read. With such a cute understanding love story of Poppy and Paxton. Paxton, a hot and handsome football player, hot gossip of the town. Poppy's character is very inspiring because she is a girl who would stand up for herself and the women out there. She cares for everyone and if someone bullies her, she would never bat an eye at them. She is a strong-willed character. And this fake dating on how it turns into a love which was buried deep inside their hearts since years of being around and holding back just because she was his baby sister's best friend. YA lovers, deep erotic romance readers, strong female lead lovers and definitely above 18+ years. 😅

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karin D.

    Let me start by saying Paxton & Poppy’s story is wonderful. It’s how you want to leave this series, however, I’m still struggling with the fact that we won’t be reading about them anymore (*!sigh!*).☹️ It’s Paxton’s senior year & Poppy’s sophomore year. Paxton has gone through a lot in the past year, which has his friends worried for his future and his being able to be drafted into the NFL. Poppy’s doing just fine until her first love, ex-boyfriend from high school, Mike, texts her out of the blu Let me start by saying Paxton & Poppy’s story is wonderful. It’s how you want to leave this series, however, I’m still struggling with the fact that we won’t be reading about them anymore (*!sigh!*).☹️ It’s Paxton’s senior year & Poppy’s sophomore year. Paxton has gone through a lot in the past year, which has his friends worried for his future and his being able to be drafted into the NFL. Poppy’s doing just fine until her first love, ex-boyfriend from high school, Mike, texts her out of the blue (he went to college pretty far away & hadn’t been in contact with her since the break-up) to meet him at a coffee shop in their hometown. She second guesses herself but finally decides to meet him to see what’s up. Old feelings hit Poppy the minute she sees him, but Mike’s not there to just say hi. After being back home without reaching out to her in the first 2 months of school, Poppy finds out Mike’s transferred to the same school as her and then introduces her to his girlfriend who transferred back with him. Stunned silent, it’s all Poppy can do to get out of there without revealing any of her emotions. Paxton has to find a way to convince his friends, family & coaches that he’s sober, focused & committed to doing everything it takes to keep his reputation clean for his team & his future. Poppy’s trying sort out her emotions & what to do about Mike. She needs to show him his returning without any consideration for her & her feelings is not affecting her like it is. What to do........ A situation presents itself between Paxton and Poppy at an extremely important moment, which gives Paxton a great idea......Paxton will get what he wants, Poppy will get what she wants & neither one will get hurt. What could go wrong???? Like I said; I loved this book and this series. I will miss not having another book to read about this crew, but now I can go back to the beginnings & enjoy it straight through! ❤️

  27. 4 out of 5

    Misty (Reds Romance Reviews)

    When he learns that Poppy has found herself trapped by feelings about an ex that can't take a hint, Paxton decides it's time to step in and save her with the perfect plan. If they fake date each other, then maybe her annoying ex will go away and let her be. Not to mention he also needs a little saving of his own, and so appearing to have settled down with one girl and shed his playboy ways could do wonders for his image on campus and to scouts. It seems like the perfect fix-all for them, they ha When he learns that Poppy has found herself trapped by feelings about an ex that can't take a hint, Paxton decides it's time to step in and save her with the perfect plan. If they fake date each other, then maybe her annoying ex will go away and let her be. Not to mention he also needs a little saving of his own, and so appearing to have settled down with one girl and shed his playboy ways could do wonders for his image on campus and to scouts. It seems like the perfect fix-all for them, they have rules in place to protect themselves, and as along as they abide by those it should go off without a hitch. But what happens when one of those rules gets broken, and another is soon to follow? Writing the Rules is a slow burn friends to lovers romance that delights from the first page to the last! These two have been acquainted with one another for a long time, as Poppy has been friends with Paxton's sister for years, and always been around. But it's never been anything more than that, they don't really know too much about one another. But as they get to know one another, a attraction takes hold and it becomes clear that following their list of rules maybe easier said then done. It was suppose to be a simple fix-all for their issues, but it became something else entirely when the crossed that one little line with one another! I enjoyed watching these two try and keep their hands to themselves and follow the rules... they put up a good fight, but as always their hearts got the upper hand. This was a sweet, natural progressing romance, with lots of feels and a bit of drama. The story line was engaging and creatively penned, and the characters were easy to love. A lovely literary escape by all accounts! Highly recommend! I requested an advanced copy of this title from the publisher, and I am voluntarily leaving my honest and unbiased opinion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniela_1112

    After this book, I really need to go and read the rest of the series! Also, this was the first book by Mariah Dietz I've read, and I truly fell in love with it. I really enjoyed this slow burn, sports romance. It's a fake romance between two best friends; I became invested in their story and couldn’t get enough of the tension, the friendship, the angst, and the drama. Poppy has finally mended her broken heart when suddenly she receives the news of her ex coming to Brighton University; what Poppy After this book, I really need to go and read the rest of the series! Also, this was the first book by Mariah Dietz I've read, and I truly fell in love with it. I really enjoyed this slow burn, sports romance. It's a fake romance between two best friends; I became invested in their story and couldn’t get enough of the tension, the friendship, the angst, and the drama. Poppy has finally mended her broken heart when suddenly she receives the news of her ex coming to Brighton University; what Poppy didn't expect was for him to introduce her to his new girlfriend. Poppy kept her distance but battled between head and heart for the man she once loved; she finds herself struggling with old feelings and her emotions. Paxton needs to convince everyone around him that he's, committed, sober, and focused; he needs to do whatever it takes to clean his image for his team, and his bad decisions are threatening his future. Paxton also needs to find a way to stay away from his ex; when Pax realises what Poppy is facing and all her doubts, he suggests a fake relationship to help each other. To make things clear between them, Paxton & Poppy decide to write some rules, but what started as a fake relationship soon turns into something more complex, and after all, rules are meant to be broken. I loved the development of the relationship between Poppy and Pax and their journey as they learned more about each other; the chemistry between the two explodes once they decide to act on it. I was hooked from the beginning; I recommend this book to anyone interested in sports romance/fake relationship trope.

  29. 5 out of 5

    AJ's book-reMarks

    Writing the Rules is the sixth book in The Dating Playbook Series, and I think my favorite so far. Paxton Lawson is the starting quarterback, team captain, and overall golden boy at Brighton University and is currently being scouted by the NFL. His senior year family drama and his sister's accident have brought about doubts, indiscretions, and self-destruction that tarnish his name and team. Paxton's younger sister Raegan and her best friend Poppy Anderson are there to help out in any way they c Writing the Rules is the sixth book in The Dating Playbook Series, and I think my favorite so far. Paxton Lawson is the starting quarterback, team captain, and overall golden boy at Brighton University and is currently being scouted by the NFL. His senior year family drama and his sister's accident have brought about doubts, indiscretions, and self-destruction that tarnish his name and team. Paxton's younger sister Raegan and her best friend Poppy Anderson are there to help out in any way they can, even if that's a fake relationship. Poppy Anderson and Raegan Lawson are inseparable and have been since kindergarten. Poppy is more of an introvert, and after going through a difficult breakup back in high school, she is ready to start putting herself out there again and trying to have a relationship. That was until her ex transfer to Brighton. When we're young and experiencing all of our firsts, first date, first kiss, first relationship, it's all-encompassing. When things go differently than planned, it can be devasting to move forward, especially when you have all those memories holding on to your heart and mind. However, Mariah said it so eloquently with the following quote: "The thing is, memories are kind of strange. They're basically lies, which is really disconcerting and terrifying, but our memories aren't cameras or videotapes like they often feel. We remember salient aspects of things we deem are important or things that feel important to us." You might be thinking that this story is just about young adults and that it doesn't appeal to all, but I have to say that this series has enlightened my perspective.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miche

    I got so excited when I first saw it was going to be a story about Paxton and Poppy. I thought it was going to be a good book but I didn't expect it to be that good. I already liked them both previously, but fell in love with their relationship in this book. When I started to read 'Bending the Rules' I felt terrible for Poppy and the way she was treated by Mike and Chase. Seeing her POV was satisfying. She was so sweet and cared about her friends and family. The friendship between Poppy and Rae w I got so excited when I first saw it was going to be a story about Paxton and Poppy. I thought it was going to be a good book but I didn't expect it to be that good. I already liked them both previously, but fell in love with their relationship in this book. When I started to read 'Bending the Rules' I felt terrible for Poppy and the way she was treated by Mike and Chase. Seeing her POV was satisfying. She was so sweet and cared about her friends and family. The friendship between Poppy and Rae was beautiful, with them having each other's backs and supporting the other's decisions. And after 1 year without talking to Mike, Poppy was friendly towards him (and let's be honest he didn't deserve it), even when he introduced her to his new girlfriend. I don't know who I hated the most: Mike ou Candance (probably Candance). Mike wanted to remain friends but this just made Poppy more confused. Candance was the problem in Pax's life. They had a toxic relationship and they kept hurting each other. I was relieved when Pax decided that that was it, but she didn't take the hint. I've gotta say I fell in love with Paxton. He was loyal, funny, and cared about his family, friends, and fans. It was lovely to see Poppy and Pax noticing things about each other but also noticing that they already knew so much about one another. Their relationship was built during they entire life and they didn't realized that at first. They made an adorable couple. Oh, also, really hot kisses!!! I never wanted this book to end, it was delightful and that's why I give it 5 stars. Totally recommend it. *I received an ARC and I am voluntarily and honestly reviewing this book.*

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