changing the rules

Category Romance Review: Changing the Rules by Gina Wilkins

Changing the Rules by Gina Wilkins

Changing the Rules by Gina Wilkins
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: 1990
Illustrator: Unknown
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Temptation #299
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback, eBook
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Category Romance Review: Changing the Rules by Gina Wilkins


The Book

Changing the Rules is a very pleasant Harlequin Temptation from Gina Wilkins, one of my favorite authors from this particular line.

The Characters

Elise Webber and Dustin Chandler are two career-oriented people living in Georgia. He’s a high-powered attorney. She’s a news anchor for Atlanta’s top station.

They’ve been dating for six months.

Dustin is not a marriage-minded type of man, nor is Elise looking for anything more than a short-term relationship. The pair have an active, satisfying sex life, and Elise has been diligent about taking her birth control pills.

However, as Jurassic Park taught us, life always finds a way.

The Plot

Elise’s pregnancy is a shock to both her and Dustin. Elise was the product of a single mother, who resented being a parent, so Elise never thought about having children herself.

But now that she’s pregnant, Elise knows what she has to do. Elise graciously allows Dustin an “out.”

While Dustin might not be a lifetime commitment kind of guy, he’s not an irresponsible deadbeat, either. He has just as much to do with the pregnancy as Elise does. Dustin vows to support her whether she chooses to keep the baby or give him/her up for adoption.

Consequently, Elise quits her job and decides it’s better to be out of state and away from the press. Perhaps in NYC or LA a single, pregnant woman could keep her high-profile job in the media. But there were still reservations about such situations in the American South circa 1990.

changing the rules by gina wilkins

Dustin comes with her to her surprise, so the two move into a rural neighborhood to play “house.” They meet new people who are vastly different from themselves. The pair adjust to doing their own household jobs, rather than paying laborers to do so.

As time goes by, Dustin and Elise learn that they enjoy living a more sedate, less fast-paced lifestyle. What’s more, they genuinely begin to honestly care for one another, as their relationship becomes much deeper than just sex.

Will Dustin and Elise realize that being together forever isn’t such a crazy idea? That despite their doubts and hesitancy, they can be good parents? After all, these folks are successful, intelligent adults, so why shouldn’t they be able to do what millions of people do: pair bond and create a family?

Sensuality Level

The love scenes are warm and romantic, not overly erotic but deeply emotional.


Final Analysis of Changing the Rules

Changing the Rules is marked by Gina Wilkins’ sensitive voice, imperfect, relatable characters and subtle humor.

Elisa and Dustin’s journey to love is a gratifying trip through Romancelandia. Perhaps these two were just too thick-headed for their own goods, foolishly believing that love and family were for “other” people, not their elite selves.

But love is funny that way, as Cupid’s arrows affect us all: rich or poor, male or female, young or old, and everybody else in between.

And so Elise and Dustin learn to change the rules of the game because it’s much more delightful playing for keeps.

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.6


It wasn’t in the rules. Elise Webber had it all. Looks, a glamorous job as a TV anchorwoman, a beautiful Atlanta apartment- and the charismatic lawyer, Dustin Chandler. Well, she didn’t exactly have Dustin. Dating was all she could expect from a man who had clearly defined rules where women were concerned.

Elise had been careful not to lose her heart to Dustin. He’d been clear from the beginning that love and marriage weren’t in his game plan. She could just imagine how he was going to react to her latest bit of news. Mr. Hotshot Lawyer was about to become a daddy…

Changing the Rules by Gina Wilkins