Series: Welcome to the Point,
Published by William Morrow Genres: Action & Adventure, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, New Adult, Social Issues
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Also by this author: Rule, Jet, Rome, Nash, Rowdy, Asa, Leveled, Built, Charged
Place(s) Traveled To: The Point, Unknown // Carlson, Unknown
First Line(s): There are very few things that can kill the buzz of postsex mellowness. Getting coldcocked in the side of the head by a pair of knuckles that felt like they were encased in steel ranks right at the top of my list.
I was so excited to receive a copy of Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover for I’d blitzed through her Marked Men series in no time and craved new writing. For me, Better When He’s Bad was a slow start as I didn’t like either of the main characters very much. Dovie was just a bit too much of a Mary Sue and Bax was a bit too much of an ass for most of the book. I get that he is not supossed to be that typical bad boy you see in books but in the end he really was that quintissential bad boy. He had a troubled past, trust issues, but was healed by the power of love from a good girl. *insert sigh over cliches here* The romance story line wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t very realistic. I just never really bought Bax and Dovie as a couple or Bax’s transition from ‘never gonna love anyone’ to ‘i’ll do anything for dovie.’
Better When He’s Bad wasn’t just a romance though it was also a mystery and this is where things got a bit muddled. Most of the book was spent running around trying to track down Race (yes, this series has just as many strange names as the Marked Men books) who was Bax’s BFF, Dovie’s brother, and part of the reason that got Bax sent to jail five years prior. There is a mystery in figuring out just what happened five years ago and then in the present finding a way to stop the even bigger bad in the neighborhood who is after Bax, Race and Dovie – as she’s the one thing they two of them care about so she gets caught in the cross fire. Things were slow to be unveiled in this book and then it was bing bang boom big conflict and then it was all over. With the end result of the reader going huh? that happened fast.
For me, Better When He’s Bad was an ok read but there was so much time spent doing little to nothing and setting up the whole backstory that the story arc as a whole suffered. And things were not super finalized in this book either as there was also lots of set up (especially towards the end) for the next book in the series, Better When He’s Bold. Which will feature two characters we meet in this story and that I predicted when I was just 12% into the story. They whole storyline in fact was easy to predict and I think that is part of why I didn’t like this one as much as Crownover’s other series. In a straight romance, you know walking in that the boy & girl will meet, there will be attraction, then a conflict to drive a wedge between them, and then they’ll make up and find their HEA. Its a predictable formula but in a straight romance its not about the ending its the journey to get there. When you add in a mystery element then the mystery becomes the story and when that is easy to figure out I tend to get bored.
Better When He’s Bad wasn’t terrible but its not the Jay Crownover book that I’ll recommend when people are looking for some new adult. While I didn’t love the story I will read Better When He’s Bold because I do think that Crownover is a talented writer and I would probably read her grocery list if she published it.