Review: Romeo’s Rules, by James Scott Bell

Romeo's Rules, A Mike Romeo Thriller by James Scott Bell

Romeo’s Rules, by James Scott Bell (Compendium Press, 2015)

Mike Romeo is an former cage fighter trying to stay off the radar in Los Angeles—until he comes to the rescue of an attractive woman whose children are missing after a church bombing. Helping Natalia gains him some powerful—and violent—enemies, but Mike is not one to back down.

This is a noir-feel thriller, fairly clean but so violent in a couple of places that I skipped some pages. That said, it’s written with a pleasing dry humour. And Mike and his wheelchair-bound Rabbi friend Ira (a former Mossad agent) are seriously impressive in their skill sets.

Although this is a mainstream novel, the author’s Christian worldview comes through in a few places, never in a preachy way. The hero, Mike, is prone to highly intellectual philosophizing—often right before he has to lay somebody out. And violent as he can be toward criminals, he’s outspoken against domestic abuse.

Romeo’s Rules is the first in the Mike Romeo Thriller series. At the half-way mark (the bit I skipped) I thought it’d be the only one I could read, but after that scene it was manageable and I hope to read book 2, Romeo’s Way.

James Scott Bell also writes legal thrillers (including a few with zombie lawyers) and he’s a respected author of books on the craft of fiction writing. For more about the author and his work, visit

[Review copy from my personal library.]

2 thoughts on “Review: Romeo’s Rules, by James Scott Bell

  1. Janice L Dick

    Hi Janet. I’m not sure I could read this if it’s very dark and violent, but the premise sounds good, and as you said, it makes you want to read more. Thanks for the review.

    1. Janet Sketchley Post author

      I know what you mean… most if it’s a great read. I love the voice and the type of humour. There are only two spots I’d suggest skipping or skimming, and they’re both times he gets captured. I was able to figure out the essentials of what had happened in the second one that it didn’t affect understanding the rest of the story. I’ll try book two at some point, but the series may not be for me. I’ll definitely be trying other novels from James Scott Bell. The other one I’ve read was good and less violent.


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