Title: The Knockout Rule
(Showmen #4)

Author: Kelly Siskind
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: February 24th 2021
Publisher: CD Books
Finished reading: January 26th 2021
Pages: 350

“Sometimes control is a hindrance. Chasing it keeps you from experiencing life fully.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and CD Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


I’ve been craving more romance reads than usual these recent months, and I decided to get a copy of The Knockout Rule on a whim as I liked the sound of the blurb. I confess that I didn’t realize it was actually book number four of a series, but luckily it was really easy to read this one as a stand-alone. (As far as I know, each book features completely different characters.) I was really looking forward to it, but in the end I ended up having mixed thoughts instead. I’ll try to explain briefly why below.

The first thing I have to stress that this is probably one of those cases where it’s me that is the problem ,and not the book itself. Most people seem to have loved this story from what I’ve seen in the reviews so far… So definitely don’t give up on The Knockout Rule on my account. But what I can say is that I’ve realized that her writing style simply isn’t for me. There is something about the tone and dialogues that somehow didn’t work for me, and that was even before the arrival of the (very!) steamy scenes towards the ending. I can stomach some sexy scenes if they are not too explicit, but in this case they were definitely more than cringe worthy for me.

I also found the story to be quite slow and repetitive in points. It might also have been that the story was simply overlong, but I felt that the story dragged considerably in points and the whole slowburn romance really was too slow for my liking. Instead of building up tension, it only got more and more annoying for me… The love triangle didn’t really help either. The repetition I mentioned is related to the characters themselves, as parts of their personality and issues were repeated over and over again until it got annoying. Examples? I’ve lost count of the times it was mentioned that Isla didn’t want to date boxers due to her anxiety, Brick hating his image, the upcoming fight and the high stakes… And I could go on and on.

Another thing I had mixed thoughts about were the poems incorporated into the story. I really like the idea behind it and it added an original touch to the story, but I can’t say that I actually liked the poems themselves. Then again, the author stated that she took her inspiration from Rupi Kaur‘s poetry, and I was never able to connect to her work either… So that’s probably just another personal reaction for me.

I still like the idea behind this story, and I also liked the linguistics angle and the different languages. As a whole, I’ve concluded her writing simply isn’t for me, but if you enjoy the genre and don’t mind things getting hot and steamy towards the ending, you will probably have a better time with The Knockout Rule.

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