Welcome to the Point #1
Contemporary New Adult
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Welcome to the Point
There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.
Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.
Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.
Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.
Better When He’s Bad is the first in a new series from Ms. Crownover, one where her oh-so sexy bad boys move from bad in appearance and attitude to bad in the eyes of the law, and the darker line we walk right along with them couldn’t be more enjoyable. While the stakes for our main couple in this story are much higher and their day to day lives rougher than those of her previous characters, the drama remains at that perfect level we’ve come to expect from Ms. Crownover, giving us just enough intensity to push all our emotional buttons without shoving us over the edge of frustration and letting us hit every bump on the way down.
Dovie is a highlight from beginning to end, the exact opposite of Bax in so many ways despite the similarities in their upbringings, and she is therefore a beautifully interesting foil for his character. She chooses to see the potential in what life has to offer rather than the stark reality of it, but she doesn’t come across as someone with her head in her the clouds or blinders strapped to her face, instead she’s someone who acknowledges the dark but chooses to walk in the light as best she can. She’s a key reason why the relationship issues that unfold between her and Bax never reach the infuriating levels so common in the NA genre, refusing to allow outside opinions of Bax to influence her own feelings and choosing honesty with him above all else.
Bax, for his part, oozes every bit the amount of sex appeal we expect after reading the synopsis, and he has little trouble heating the pages with Dovie as their relationship progresses. Unlike Dovie however, he’s convinced his future is limited to only two possibilities–jail or death–and he’s stubborn enough to reject any outcomes above and beyond those. Despite his conviction when it comes to the direction his life is headed, he doesn’t fight his feelings for Dovie overly hard and, with one exception, doesn’t try to scare her with the black brush his life and reputation have painted him with. He’s tender when he wants to be, but he’s also completely unapologetic for the fact that he has always–and will always–consider the law flexible, and there’s just something undeniably attractive about a man who bends in some ways yet remains unyielding in others.
Overall, Better When He’s Bad is the type of New Adult romance we can’t help but want more of, the main conflicts between the two of them an ideal blend of internal and external so that our sole focus isn’t strictly the relationship itself. As a result, our nerves are on edge for reasons other than worrying over the moment when the romance between the two of them is going to implode, and the maturity with which both Bax and Dovie handle themselves serves as a reminder throughout that the typical NA angst has no place in their story. Dovie’s brother Race’s story is up next, and I for one cannot wait!
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.