The Rules of Dating – Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Independently Published
Pages: 417
Release Date: September 17, 2022

It all started when I hosted a little party for a bunch of new friends.

Though “friends” might not be the right word since the invitees were all the women I’d found out my boyfriend was talking to behind my back. When the guest of honor walked in—aka my now ex—things took a turn…

Unfortunately, a stranger witnessed the whole blowout. I was in a mood that night and ended up giving this gorgeous guy an attitude, too. As if my night could get any worse, before he stormed off, he informed me he was actually my landlord.

Colby Lennon, along with three of his friends, owned the building where my tattoo shop was located. He and I were total opposites. He wore a tie, oozed confidence that came with years of women falling at his feet, and wasn’t afraid to say what he wanted, which lately—was me.

I hated that I found myself attracted to him. Especially since I was supposed to be on a self-imposed dating hiatus. Yet the two of us couldn’t seem to stay away from each other. We started hanging out, as friends. I even went as far as making rules for what he’d dubbed our “undates.”

But eventually, our explosive attraction became too much to bear, and we broke our resolve. I let my guard down and started to really fall for Colby.

Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for where I’d wind up when the ride was over.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.


I didn’t know The Rules of Dating was a single dad romance and I wish I had known before reading. Ward and Keeland are one of my favourite writing duos, so I usually pick up their books without the synopsis. Single dad romances are predictable and the kids are never always that cute and understanding.

The main character Billie is weary of relationships after she has been burned a few times in the past, so Colby has to prove himself to her through what he calls undating. Essentially, dates that aren’t labeled as dates. 

The first half of the novel focused on Billie and Colby’s developing feelings for each other. The tension between Billie and Colby was lukewarm and certainly not Ward and Keeland’s best. However, there were a few moments Colby became a bit more aggressive in his pursuit of Billie that worked really well.

The second half of the novel introduced the biological mother. There was so much drama and the emotional impact her arrival was supposed to have on Billie and Colby didn’t hit like it was supposed to because of their lack of significant chemistry.

The Rules of Dating ended quickly and with a perfect bow, though most romances end like this so expecting more from a romance ending is setting yourself up for failure.

Overall, The Rules of Dating was a disappointing single dad romance that lacks the signature Ward and Keeland chemistry. 


Have you read The Rules of Dating? What did you think?

One thought on “The Rules of Dating – Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland

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