Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover

Title: Better When He's Bad (Welcome to the Point #1)
Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
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 was 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 had ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

Over the last year, I’ve been loving New Adult, but until recently I had stayed away from Jay Crownover’s books. Why? Beats me. But now that I’ve read Better When He’s Bad, I can say that I won’t keep making that mistake. With just that one book, I am now a Jay Crownover fan.

Everyone in The Point knows that Bax is the kind of guy you stay away from. Bax has always made bad choices, not thinking of the consequences. Now that he’s back after having spent five years in prison for one of those choices, Bax wants to know what exactly happened on the night that his life changed. But finding answers always seems to lead Bax back to Dovie, the girl he should stay away from, no matter what. Dovie hasn’t had an easy life, but she is determined to find a way out of The Point. But before she can do that, she needs to work with Bax. Every one of Dovie’s instincts is screaming at her to stay away from Bax, but she can’t help it. No matter what she does she is drawn to this truly bad boy.

Despite everyone talking about them, it wasn’t until I received a copy of Better When He’s Bad that I (finally) read one of Jay Crownover’s books. As soon as I started reading this one, I knew what everyone had been talking about. Let me just say, this book was addicting as hell. No matter what I did, I couldn’t put it down. This is the kind of story I would have read in one sitting had work and life not gotten in the way. It’s not that the story was particularly mind-blowing or that the writing was beyond exceptional. It was just engrossing. There were so many layers to the mystery within the story, and until the very end, I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go. And the romance was HOT. As much as with many of the other New Adult titles I’ve read I can say with confidence that they would appeal and would be appropriate for older teens to read, Better When He’s Bad is definitely closer to the “adult” end of the New Adult spectrum. This story is explicit in more ways than one and there is very little that is held back. Because of that though, the story feels very real. The fact that everything about this book is dark and gritty just adds to the darkness of the story itself and reinforces that Bax, the main character, isn’t your typical bad boy, he’s bad in every possible way.

When I first started reading Better When He’s Bad, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Bax. I love my dark angsty boys as much as the next girl, but I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a character who was truly bad. And I have to stay, that Bax completely won me over. The more I read, the more I wanted to root for him, the more I wanted for him to finally find a way out the life he was seemingly stuck in. But I also realized that Bax wasn’t quite as bad as he came across. His intentions came from a good place, he just kind of sucked when it came to executions. And there was no one that brought out Bax’s good side more than Dovie did. And Dovie worried me. Don’t get me wrong, I more than liked her. But she also had this tendency to put herself in particularly dangerous situations and it worried me. And much like I kept rooting for Bax, I kept rooting for Dovie no matter what happened. These two were fantastic together and they brought each other out of their comfort zones, for better or worse. And based on all that, it goes without saying that I obviously loved Bax and Dovie together. Basically, I’m very happy they found each other. On a different note, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book to some of the characters I only briefly met in this one.

I loved reading Jay Crownover’s Better When He’s Bad. This book took me completely by surprise—I didn’t expect to love quite as much as I did. You can be sure that I am now making a point of reading any and all Jay Crownover books I can get my hands on.

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