Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review of Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover

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.


With her previous series Ms. Crownover proved she knows how to write drool-worthy heroes and with this series starter her talent for creating compelling heroes continues with the enigmatic Bax.  Where her previous series dipped a toe into troubled waters, this one dives in wholeheartedly with a city that's gritty and corrupt and full of questionable characters.  It all makes for a compelling read that sucked me in from the very first page to the last.

Bax has just been released from prison after serving five years in protection of his friend, Race.  All he wants to do is make up for lost time with a willing woman, but finding his missing friend soon becomes his priority and brings him to the home of a woman claiming to be Race's half-sister.  Meeting her changes his life irrevocably and complicates his search for Race as Dovie makes him feel and think things he's not felt or thought before.  That's not to say she completely reforms him though.  Bax is too ingrained in this gritty world to ever escape it completely and revels in his image and deeds too much to leave it all behind.  Being with Dovie shows a more tender and thoughtful side to him.  With her he's Shane and a man of worth in her eyes.  He's the epitome of antihero as he doesn't shy away from doing what needs to be done to protect those he cares for.  He has his own moral code that is deep-seated and accompanied by a strong sense of loyalty.  He's proud to be a bad boy and this self-abashed honesty won me over completely and still has me dreaming of him!

Dovie's growing up was far from ideal as her father wanted her nowhere near his picture-perfect life and her mother left her to the foster care system.  She learned to watch out for herself and be leery but she's somehow retained a sweet nature which calls to Shane.  Being with Race showed her what love and family is and she's desperate to find out what happened to him.  To do that, she's willing to sell her soul to Bax's devilish side as she joins him on a journey to the Point's gritty underbelly.  As they dig deeper, the truth about Bax's going to jail and the secrets Race is mired in only lead to more questions and twists that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Through it all Dovie stands beside Bax.  She knows she can't change him, and wouldn't want to as his choices have made him the man she's come to care for, she loves him without reservation rough edges and all.  Their relationship is definitely one of opposite's attracting where she brings out his softer side and he makes her stronger than she thought she could be.  Their connection is steamy and I can fully understand Dovie's attraction to him as he has me drooling over him as well.  Dovie is an immensely likable character who's sweet yet sassy.  She's good at taking care of others which is just what Shane needs as he's been alone far too long.  I enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve into something truly special and rare....a love that is unconditional.

This story had me entranced from the very start as this world is a dark and gritty one with characters that you can't easily classify.  This is a world that's not just black and white, it's full of grey as people don't always make the best choices.  Into this world comes a very special couple that despite all their differences fit together beautifully.  Both of the main characters are compelling in their imperfections and admirable in surviving a world that continually tried to drag them down.  The cast of secondary characters are equally engaging and I look forward to getting to know them more fully in the next installment as Ms. Crownover has again crafted a masterful tale of suspense, emotional intensity, and a sweet and sexy romance.  Ms. Crownover captured my attention with her Marked Men series and has now made me an even bigger fan with this first installment in the Welcome to the Point series.  I wholeheartedly recommend this book to those readers wanting a book that doesn't take the easy way out but gives readers exactly what they want with an endearing romance and larger-than-life characters!

My rating for this is an A

*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I can't decide if I want to read this. I tried reading Rule months and months ago and really struggled with it. But I keep hearing amazing things about that series, and this new book. I do like a bad boy, but I'm afraid this book might be too much.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it, though.

    1. Hello Quinn! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! If reading Rule was difficult for you then I suspect this one would be even more difficult as Bax is not always a good man. It's a gritty read where gritty things happen that he's right in the middle of. I LOVE these kinds of books where the characters aren't cookie cutter and Bax is definitely one-of-a-kind.

      If you do ever decide to read it lmk your impressions....

      The Scarf Princess