There is something inherently sexy about a bad boy, be it the songs he rocks, the bike he straddles, or the horse he rides. Yet, what if the "bad" in...moreThere is something inherently sexy about a bad boy, be it the songs he rocks, the bike he straddles, or the horse he rides. Yet, what if the "bad" in the boy could not be tamed? What if it were more than his womanizing, egomaniac ways? What if he was criminally bad and had no remorse for his crimes, in fact, he never planned on going straight? Would he still be as insanely hot?
I can only testify to my opinion, and that would be... yes, because in the pages of a book, the worst of the worst can bring women to their knees. Also, loyalty is a trait to be admired in a world where selfishness seems to be put above selflessness. But that's not a rant for this blog... a reminder, maybe, but not a rant.
If you've read Rule, Jet, Rome, and/or Nash, also by Jay Crownover, you know these guys to be a bunch a misfits banded tighter than blood through tough lives and the love of ink. They're all out for a good time, including booze, women, and old fashioned boys games. They are fun. Fun to look at, fun to be around, and certainly they must be fun to sleep with... well, the women who tame them certainly think so, at least. Best I can say, they are fun to read about.
Better When He's Bad is not a fun book, nor is it about a man sowing his wild oats. It's gritty and raw, even cringe-worthy at times—but in the best of ways. I would say Jay Crownover stepped her writing up to phenomenal heights with Bax and his story. (I'm twitching to read Race's story next.) When I read the first paragraph, I had to wonder if the same woman who is still writing the Marked Men series could possibly be the same woman writing the Welcome to the Point series. And no, I don't mean that literally... of course she's the one writing both series, I just believe this shows the range she has as an author, as well as the growth of her writing along the way.
What I loved: Bax and the people who surrounded him are mysteries in of themselves. The twists and turns, and the completely unexpected. I loved the way I sat on the edge of my seat wondering how Bax was going to get himself and Dovie out of an unfathomable mess. I loved Bax for having at least one person he would protect besides himself. Jay's ability to draw out the suspense where Bax is concerned speaks to my earlier argument about her ability as a writer.
My thoughts about the notorious Bax, in particular, are: While criminals are not my ideal choice in a companion, Bax made it appear possible. Or should I say, Jay made it appear possible. The trouble Bax jumped into wasn't nickle and dime crap. He walks out of 5 years in prison to find himself involved in something bigger and much scarier than before, primarily because he's found a female worth taking care of.
My thoughts about Dovie: She is Race's sister, and Race is Bax's best friend, but the three of them couldn't be more different. Honestly, I'm not completely sure how I feel about Dovie. To be so good, she certainly stepped up and handled Bax like a natural. The one thing I couldn't piece together in my head, was when exactly they fell in love with each other. One second he's her protector, the next he's unwilling to let her go. I'm not certain I ever completely bought their relationship, but at some point I forgot about how they became what they were and just went with the story.
What I could have lived without: There is one scene I could have lived without ever reading, and no, I'm not going to discuss it, I'm not going to tell you which scene it is, I'm just going to leave it on the wayside and pretend like it never crossed my eyes. So why bring it up at all? Because it is particularly violent and put an image in my head I can't erase. I'm a grown woman, and if it bothered me, I want people to be warned that there is graphic material associated with the book. Was it enough for me to not reread the book? No, I'll probably just skip over it. Would this book have gotten 5 stars without it? No. The lack of me buying the entire romance played into that. Was the scene pivotal? I honestly have to say yes. Perhaps there could have been a better way, though I can't think of a more shocking and captivating one.
Bravo, Jay Crownover! I'm going to admit to being more of a Marked Men girl myself, and I'm looking forward to Rowdy in October, I believe. But don't you worry, with just the small snippet of Race's story, I'm excited for Better When He's Bold.(less)
Oh, the countless times I've read reviews, had book group girls tell me "You must read Wallbangers!" or wa...moreOriginally reviewed at Better Read Than Dead
Oh, the countless times I've read reviews, had book group girls tell me "You must read Wallbangers!" or watched it pop up on Goodreads or Facebook is infinite. Infinite in that I lost count long ago, but when this beauty went on sale, I downloaded it and began a slow, leisurely devouring of this romantic comedy infused with wit, fun cocky arrogance, and eventually some steaming hot sex.
Since I read at night, I spent a lot of it attempting to suppress my laughter so not to wake up the man who sleeps to the left of me. I'm going to say this... I read a lot of really crappy books looking for this one. When I found it, I felt like I might have lost my will to read, but while Caroline set off on a venture to reclaim her "O" again, that O, I took to finding my will to read again also.
Caroline sublet her bosses apartment from her. The rent control made the place perfect for living, but there always has to be one bad thing thrown in, right? The walls, well, they are extra thin and Caroline awakes to a picture falling on her head one night, then to multiple other issues as the week progresses. The following week, Caroline finally confronts him, which leads to nicknames for both, and the wild ride of unconventional run-ins, evil matchmaking friends, and drunken vacations. All leading to some of the best laughter I've had in a very long time.
The awe of this book: Alice Clayton knows how to tell a story and how to steep her characters in humor without losing the story. I smiled my way through this book, front to back. Her characters are not stereotypical. Caroline is as comfortable in the kitchen as she is zip-lining the canopy of a rain forest, or hiking with the guys.
The negative of this book: It's too long to read in one sitting, at least if you want to sleep or are not Dr. Reed, from Criminal Minds, speed reader.
I also might mention that Rusty Nailed (Cocktails #2) is set to release on June 24, 2014. This will be the conclusion of Alice & Simon's story, though there will be more books in the Cocktails series, the next will have a little of Alice in it, from what I'm reading, but not dependent upon her. Also, Wallbanger ends so there's no cliffhanger. Plus... Wallbanger is on sale for $2.99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (As of 6/17/14 at 8:28 pm CDT) This book never goes on sale and usually cost around $7.99. So buy, and enjoy.(less)
*This is an NA book, but is clean and may be read by all ages.
This review makes me happy! I'd stopped taking review requests, but when the opportunity...more*This is an NA book, but is clean and may be read by all ages.
This review makes me happy! I'd stopped taking review requests, but when the opportunity came giving me the opportunity to review Goddess Born, I jumped on it. As one of the only NA fantasy books I've read, I'm enthralled. Plus, there is the concept of Brigid, a Celtic goddess, and we all know how much I enjoy this type of mythology.
Selah's story takes place in 1730, when any woman who appeared a bit odd was considered a witch. Selah happens to be different, in many ways. Her refusal to marry one man sets off a chain of events, risking not only her reputation, but her life as well. Once her father dies, there's little to protect Selah from the rumors she is a witch, especially when her husband-to-be dies at sea. Luckily, this young woman is quick on her feet and stumbles upon a plan that may save her life.
Ms. Edgren serves a delicious helping of fantasy intermingled with a helping of endearing romance. The characters leap off the pages, becoming three dimensional people you'll either love or despise. Selah is a caring girl who is devoted to her community. Her gift in healing has earned her many loyal friends who will stand by her no matter what adversity she faces.
Nathan is a nasty, jealous man who's been fed lies enabling him the ability to blackmail Miss Kilbrid. His interest in the beautiful young lady becomes dangerous when she doesn't return his affections. The list of people who could be passing Nathan Selah's secrets appears to be small, yet becomes greater with every flip of the page.
And then there's Henry, who I loved with all my heart. He plays his part well, protecting a young woman he's known for only a few days. I don't want to discuss him too much because he's the heart of this story, even when you're not certain whether you like him or not. His character provides plenty of warm, fuzzy feelings as well as a bit of drama from time to time.
The twists and turns in Goddess Born are delightful. I never knew who to suspect and was adequately shocked when the true culprit is revealed. Ms. Edgren blended all the intricacies of suspense with those of fantasy and romance. The writing is flawless and creative, evolving into a perfect novel. (less)