Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You Gotta Take The Good With The Bad...

"Even when you grew up hard and had little faith in the world around you,
every little girl still wanted her prince to come to her rescue,
even if her prince had a star tattooed on his face and operated under horsepower instead of a white stallion."
--Jay Crownover, Better When He's Bad

Genre: NA Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow 
Pages: 384
Publication Date: June 17th, 2014
Source: e-ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Description

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.
The Story Jay Crownover. Jay freakin' Crownover. Without gushing about all the sexual tension and steamy sexy times--which I FREAKIN' LOVED--what I admire and absolutely love about Jay's writing is her ability to write a story that objectively you would see as something not to root for...and she makes you a part of it. Not many of us would say we're hoping our epic love story involves a criminal but Jay Crownover does just that. She takes an anti-hero, an actual bad guy, and turns him into a person rather than a cautionary tale. She makes the character complex and redeemable, empathetic and complicated however she does not make excuses for the actions of said criminal. I. Loved. This. See below for more.

The Theme Adding on what I said above, what I loved about the underlying theme of this story was that we all have good and bad within us. One side might outweigh the other, like in Bax's case, but the truth is we're not all one thing or the other. We all have things we care about, we all make decisions that aren't on the white side of right, but everyone deserves a chance to be loved and have friendship and understanding. Now I know that's mushy but I just loved how Jay explored the intricacy of human nature the turmoil we all face inside when facing difficult choices.

Bax Hellooooo sexy man. This makes me sound like a psycho but I totally wanted to troll prison yards after reading this. There is something so incredibly sexy to me about a misunderstood man who finds somebody to be vulnerable with. This type of love story never gets old to me. Like, ever. Bax is a bad mother fucking ass and I could not get enough of him. His complete lack of believing there was anything good in him was endearing and you were rooting for him alongside Dovie the entire time.

Dovie Loved this girl. She grew up hard and knows how life can knock you down time and time again. She continues to not only survive and be strong but work her ass off to overcome her circumstances and look to help kids like her. She was so totally kickass and her interactions with Bax and her belief that he didn't need to change or be good was beautiful. She knew who Bax was, good and bad, and didn't try to make excuses or change him. I loved that SHE loved any and all parts of him. This was definitely different than a lot of love stories in this respect and I welcomed the change.

Um... OH! I wanted more of that sexy police officer. And waaaaay more of Race's story which I'll get soon enough but I really couldn't think of anything else so there's that. 
Reserved Seating
I love Jay's Marked Men series, we all know this, and this was just something so totally different and I loved it. I will read anything by Jay Crownover because not only does she bring the sexy times and the swoon, she brings you complex characters to root for and stories that burrow their way into your heart and your conscious making you think about situations in a little different light. 

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