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Changing the Rules by Catherine Bybee

Title: Changing the Rules (Richter #1)

Author: Catherine Bybee

Published on: 23rd March 2021

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Romantic Suspense

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Changing the Rules is the first book in Richter series by Catherine Bybee.

Teenage girls start disappearing from local schools – most of them drop out unannounced and are never to be found again. Neil’s team is hired to investigate. Claire and Jax go as undercover school girls while Cooper goes as an undercover teacher. Will the trio unearth the sex trafficking ring before Claire or Jax is hunted by the bad guys?

Though a first in the series, this is a spin-off from Bybee’s another romantic suspense series. Neil, Sasha, Cooper, Claire and Jax have appeared in this above-mentioned series. In Richter series, the spotlight is on Claire and Cooper. As the story begins, it is pretty clear the two have a chemistry.

The story starts on a slow note but picks up pace at around 25% through. Changing the Rules gives you a ‘back to school’ vibe. How cool would it be to go back to high school? But Claire and Jax have to find the mole – an undercover cop who’s helping the bad guys in trafficking teenagers.

The suspense is well-maintained throughout the story. The characters are well-portrayed and likable. We also have a dash of romance – things get a little steamy between Claire and Cooper. The ending is really good; an extra dash of suspense at the end was unexpected and surprising. Overall, Changing the Rules was an entertaining read. I am looking forward to reading more of Claire and Cooper’s adventures.

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INTERVIEW WITH CATHERINE BYBEE


Photo Credit: Douglas Sonders

Hello Catherine and welcome to my blog, The Book Decoder. Please tell me and my readers about yourself.

I’ll start by talking about the loves of my life. I’m the mother of two wonderful sons that I couldn’t be more proud of. Although, I never expected my empty nest to be so…well…empty. I am happily divorced and living my best life in San Diego with ocean breezes and salt water dreams. The majority of my working life has been spent as an RN in busy emergency rooms throughout Southern California. The book fodder that career has given me was well worth the twelve-hour shifts and back pain. I fell in love with the romance genre with the first book I read. I gobbled them up in high school and promised myself that one day I’d join the ranks of published authors. Lucky for me the word processor was invented with this amazing thing called spell-check. I don’t take myself too seriously. I laugh as often as I can and try to make those around me do the same. When the world isn’t shut down, you can usually find me traveling all over the globe. I have a huge bucket list and try to check off items every couple of months.

Changing the Rules, the first book Richter series is releasing on 23rd March,2021. Tell us about it.

This is a romance between two undercover operatives who are working together to bust open a human trafficking ring targeting local high schools. And in the process they realize their slow simmering burn for each other can no longer be ignored. Yet here they are in the roles of undercover “student” and “teacher” and this attraction becomes more difficult to hide. It’s a blending of what we love in romance and the edge-of-your-seat action of suspense without a body count.  

What is the inspiration behind the Richter series?

I have built an entire world completely on accident when I developed Richter, a military style boarding school in Germany. This was done in The First Wives Series and I couldn’t let it go. I needed to know more about the students that went there, were forced to leave there and take jobs they didn’t want to do. These Richter graduates are lethal operatives that can be used for good… or evil. And how fun is that for an author to explore?

What’s next for Catherine Bybee? What are you currently working on?

I have just finished up the third book in this series (Jax’s story) and have left it open for more. Now I’m starting a completely new branch of Bybee books based here where I live in San Diego. Centered around a family living and working in Little Italy. Spoiler alert… you may crave a steamy bowl of pasta and want to say “Ciao” when you wave to your friends after reading.

Has the pandemic and lockdown changed your writing schedule? If yes, how?

Yes. The pandemic has changed so many things. In the beginning it was almost impossible to concentrate, then the ideas felt as if they were drying up. Left with nothing to do but write, you’d think that would be all you’d do… but no. Now that the world is opening up again, especially here in California, I’m finding my days filed with the things we couldn’t do before, and my evenings on my computer. Which is what I like to do.

Thank you, Catherine.


Many thanks to the lovely Jennifer from OverTheRiverPR for giving me an opportunity to read Changing the Rules and interview Catherine.

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