Review: Rules to Live By Anthology

Four intimate tales of power exchange, discipline, risks taken, and pleasures earned.

A list of rules to live by.
In Cari Z’s House Rules, jealousy leads Jonathan to break the rules his lover has established. He can’t decide which he enjoys more: his punishment, or the reward afterward. Good thing he gets both.

A lesson in humility.
In The Harder They Fall by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry, spoiled college boy Tad hires a prostitute, but “Daddy” couldn’t care less about what Tad wants. Instead, he’s going to give his spoiled little boy exactly what he deserves.

A cage that means freedom.
In Master Key by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox, Marquis offers Navin the key to the most intimate of locks, hoping it will help them to prioritize their relationship. And it does—until work and insecurities threaten to drive them apart again.

A spool of rope and a desire to be bound.
In CTRL Me by Anna Zabo, a night out between friends turns hot and tempting when Gabe deliberately pushes Tom’s submissive buttons. Then Tom discovers rope in Gabe’s glove box—and not the type for securing luggage.

This anthology is pretty much a group of stories with most of my favorite kinks all together. Many of these authors I enjoy their works already, and the others are new to me and now I have to go out and stalk, er, follow, them to find out what other wonderful stories they have out there. Not a single bad story in this anthology.
Overall Stars:
Four and a half
Master Key by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
This story was so interesting. I loved that Marquis and Navin were trying to make their relationship work and figured out how to make it work. However, not as well as they thought since they didn’t talk to each other as much as they needed to. However I totally get their fear of rejection. It’s scary to trust someone with those kinds of secrets. These two were very adorable together, plus super hot when they had the rules. Into some super kinky things together. I have a feeling they’ll have a wonderful relationship together now that they’ve both talked everything out and figured out what they both need and want out of the relationship.
House Rules by Cari Z
Jon and Alistair are fabulous together. They’ve been together a while, but recent events have kept them apart. They still have rules they follow even when they’re not together. But poor Jon. He needs Alistair’s presence more to help keep his faith in their relationship alive. Alistair was gentle with Jon but didn’t put up with any of his crap. I really enjoyed seeing how Alistair put Jon back to rights, and how much he cared about Jon. Having a relationship takes work, and seeing how the overcame this bump in the road was so wonderful. I did agree with Jon’s assessment of Edward though. We’ll just have to wait for the sequel to see how that plays out. There will be a sequel, right? At least I hope there will!
Four and a half
The Harder The Fall by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau
Gotta say the sex and scene Tad had with “Daddy” was all kinds of kinky, dirty fun. Tad was a complete douche, but Daddy helped him see how he should behave. Plus he showed Tad what he needed wasn’t exactly what he thought. I truly enjoyed the characters and their chemistry together. I didn’t want them to have to part ways. I was curious how it was going to be brought together at the end. Total shock of how I expected it to go! So happy with how it ended. But now I want more from these guys, and where they work. Sequel? Please?
Four and a half
CTRL Me by Anna Zabo
Such a beautiful story. Tom needed Gabe’s friendship to be able to let go and trust otherwise, they wouldn’t have worked when Tom first moved to Pittsburgh. How Gabe showed his hand hough was so fun and the perfect way to gauge Tom’s interest. I was hurt with Gabe when Tom explained his past and why he had trouble trusting and letting go. They have a good solid start to the relationship by the end of the story. The characters are so well developed, I’d love to see more of them and how they do long term.
Four and a half

About The Authors:
Heidi Belleau
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.

She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!)

When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.

Author Contact:
Twitter: @HeidiBelleau

Anah Crow
Anah Crow writes contemporary, science fiction, and paranormal romance—mostly with Dianne Fox. When he isn’t writing, he’s reading, playing video games, arguing online, and coping with empty nest syndrome.

Anah’s favourite tropes include classics such as friends-to-lovers, accidental babies, and fake boyfriends. His first love, when it comes to genre, is science fiction but the truth is he’s a bit of a tomcat when it comes to genre: he’ll write anything he can get his paws on. His bookshelf is full of books on writing, science, warfare, and psychology as well as romances, poetry, and classic literature.

He lives in southern Ontario with his partner and two dogs, and welcomes Dianne into his home as often as possible.

Dianne Fox
Dianne Fox writes contemporary, science fiction, and paranormal romance—mostly with Anah Crow. When she isn’t writing, she’s adapting to life outside the classroom, and spending her newfound free time reading, crocheting, and reveling in the wonders of mis en place…especially when someone else is doing the cooking.

Dianne’s favorite tropes include friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort, and enemies-to-lovers. Her first romance novel was a Zebra historical snagged from her grandfather, and she read her first contemporary in the back of a station wagon on a cross-country roadtrip. She reads every genre under the sun, fiction and non, but prefers happy endings. She’ll write anything Anah will let her get away with—but prefers happy endings.

She lives in the upper Midwest with her partner and two cats, and visits Anah as often as possible.

Author Contact:

Lisa Henry
I like to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters. But they’ve gotta work for it! No free lunches on my watch.

I live in tropical North Queensland, Australia. I don’t know why, because I hate the heat, but I suspect I’m too lazy to move. I spend half my time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting my escape.

I attended university at sixteen, not because I was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. I studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

I share my house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how I imagined life as a grown-up.

Author Contact:
Twitter: @LisaHenryOnline
Facebook Author Page:

Anna Zabo
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. While obtaining an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she fell in with a roving band of romance writers who wrested her from the clutches of writing in only one genre.

She also has a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.

Author Contact:

Cari Z
Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.

Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.

Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on, under the name Carizabeth.

Author Contact:

Where To Buy:
Riptide Publishing:

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