Thursday, January 29, 2015


Bringing Home the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon

Publisher: Forever (1/27/2015)
Series: Second Chance, book 1
Genre: Contemporary
Buy from || amazon | bn | indiebound | itunes | kobo 
|| add to goodreads

Rating: ★★

Creativity is his drug, painting is his escape, but she'll be the addiction that brings him to his knees. 

Evan Downey buried a part of his soul when put the love of his life in the ground. He knows he needs to get his shit together for the sake of their son, but escaping into his art is the only way he can begin to cope with Rae's death. When the chance to move back to Evergreen Cove, one of the few places that has ever felt right to him, he knows it's a chance he has to take. For his sake, and his son's. 

Charlotte Harris would give anything to have her best friend back. But if she can't have Rae, then she vows she'll at least be there to support the family Rae left behind. So when she learns that Evan is looking to move home, she does everything she can to help him and Lyon re-build their lives at the Cove. But when sparks start to fly between Charlotte and Evan it's the first glimpse of something bright and beautiful either of them has seen in far too long. And they start to wonder if fate has offered them a second chance at happiness-- if only they're brave enough to take the risk and let love back into their lives. 

about Jessica || Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job . . . and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another . . . and another. Soon it became apparent she'd only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since "eating potato chips" isn't a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she'd started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn't stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn't be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)

connect with Jessica || website | twitter | facebook | goodreads

{ excerpt } .

­­“Know why I moved here?” he asked, keeping his voice low.
She wrenched her eyes from his and focused on a spot over his shoulder.
“Because you didn’t want to live in Columbus anymore.” That’s what he’d told her. That he wanted a change. That he and Lyon had outgrown the house. And, she imagined it’d be hard to live in the house where Rae had passed.
“But why here?”

His fingers grazed her jaw and turned her head, his palm moving to her neck where he cupped her nape and forced her eyes to his.
Reluctantly, she met them.
“Rae’s more alive when you’re around, Ace.” 
Her heart, oh her heart. Kicking against her chest in a confusing, hectic rhythm.
“You bring her to life for Lyon—more than anyone else. I need him to remember her because he can’t remember her alive.” His hold stayed, his palm warming her neck, his gaze unwavering.
She tried to separate the two feelings she was having—one that she was now talking about Rae with Evan and two, that he was touching her while talking about Rae. 
Before she could, his lips closed over hers.

Her thoughts short-circuited.

This wasn’t anything like a soft peck hello. This was his lips moving over hers, slanting over hers, warm and firm and then his mouth opened and—
Oh my gosh! 
His wet, warm tongue slid along the seam of her lips and she stopped being passive and started kissing him back. When she would have touched her tongue to his, he relocated it, running along her bottom lip instead and tugging with his teeth. 
If she’d been standing, her knees would have given out and dropped her right on her butt. 
And then there was the palm on her neck, now spearing up through her hair and clutching onto a handful of it. He held her captive, his hand fisting her hair as he angled his mouth again. In response to the soft whimper escaping her throat, he swept his tongue into her mouth. He tangled his tongue with hers once, twice, and released her.

When he pulled his mouth away, a long, satisfied sigh escaped her lips. Because that was a kiss. A kiss to rival all other kisses.
She opened her eyes to realize A) she’d closed her eyes and B) she’d at some point wrapped both hands around his forearms where she was holding tight and C) Evan looked as please as she felt. 
“God damn, Ace. Your mouth.” His eyes flicked to her lips. Lips still tingling from the rough scrape from the stubble surrounding his. 
She concurred with that sentiment. Not that she said anything. She’d gone dumb; completely mute.
He backed away, but held onto her chin and tweaked it lightly with the rough pad of one thumb. “That’s the way this is gonna go from now on.” 
Her breathing went shallow, her thoughts went muzzy and her head blurred as her heart palpated to the point of panic attack.

“Sorry, Rae.”

She didn’t mean to say it, and it had only been a whisper, but by the look twisting Evan’s face—the angry look twisting his face—he’d heard. And he hadn’t liked what he’d heard.
“Sorry,” she said to him this time. “I should go.”

Unbelievably, he leaned closer. She pulled her chin back until she realized she likely had a double chin, then settled her head on her neck in a more reasonable position.
Gosh. He was making her crazy.

{ review } .

So here's the thing.

I read THE MILLIONAIRE AFFAIR and liked it. There were parts I had a hard time getting into, but if I recall correctly, I was in another of those too-many-books-in-too-few-hours book comas. 

When BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY came up on NetGalley, I knew that I'd read the author, and that I recognized the cover... but that was it.

...put the book aside so I could read it closer to tour date. 

And then while reading, I recognized things -- white man with a mixed son... Lionel who goes by Lyon. I thought for sure I'd read the book before. Surely it wasn't a case of plagiarism?! 

But then Landon's name came up (still didn't click), but when his name came up again, linked to Kimber, I just knew.

This was Landon's brother, Lyon was the hell-raiser Landon was watching and hiding from in THE MILLIONAIRE AFFAIR, and Evan was the guy I knew I was going to like.

I liked Landon and Kimber's story. 

Oh my goodness, I loved Evan and Charlie's story.

Rae and Charlie were best friends. Both spent their summers in Evergreen Cove, where they met the summer bad boys, aka the Penis Bandits. Both girls fell for Evan, but when Rae let Charlie know, Charlie backed off. She then watched Rae and Evan fall in love, get married, and have a baby, keeping her attraction to him to herself. Knowing she'd never have Evan, she moved on with her life, entering a relationship that took everything out of her -- Russell didn't want to marry her, didn't want kids with her. Knowing relationships were about compromise, she went with what he said.

Russell wasn't exactly everyone's friend, but Charlie was 'happy', so it worked.

Right from the beginning, you can tell that Evan has dark ways. It's in the way he holds himself, in the way he talks... You know that Rae was very much the best part of him. But he's still an incredible friend and an even better dad. And what's better? 

Their relationship wasn't perfect -- Rae found Evan to be lacking in some departments when it came to their blooming family. She also had opinion about his art.
"Let me guess." He threw down the paintbrush and faced her before she condescended further. "Your work is more important than mine." Another theme of another repetitive argument. They were on a loop.
"You ruin people's skin, baby," she said in the same calm tone while his blood began to boil. "If I have a needle in my hand, I'm saving lives." 
No, he doesn't taint Charlie's opinion of Rae or her thoughts of their marriage, but he does, at some point, explain to her that she's not replacing her friend -- that what she and he have is different than what he had with Rae. And when Charlie breaks and tells him that he needs time to grieve (it's been four years), he tells her, in no uncertain terms, that he has grieved, that the person who hasn't was her (truth).

Charlie is a chronic apologizer -- gosh, can I relate to her. I love that Jessica wrote her that way. Equally, I love that Evan doesn't necessarily reprimand her for it, even though he has his suspicions
"Noticed you do that a lot. Apologize and don't know why," then in a slightly louder, more demanding tone, he tacked on, "Russell teach you that?"
 -- he does, however, tell her to stop apologizing for things she has no control over. When the word slips from her mouth, he lifts a brow, shoots her the eye, says, "Excuse me?" or "What?" in a way that makes her backtrack and start over. 

I love that he makes her look at their relationship. He understands her hesitations but doesn't want her to paralyzed by them.
Digging around in her head, she nabbed the first topic of she thought of— a topic that happened to be the one she’d brought up earlier. “I was thinking of Rae when you were cooking burgers on the grill. Do you remember the time we all—”  
“That’s not how this is gonna go, Ace.”  
His blue stare was so intense, she had to swallow twice before she eked out the word, “Sorry?” 
But he was gone, had straightened from his loom and moved to the opposite side of the room where an easel with a huge, blank pad of paper waited for the touch of a talented hand. 
He dragged a wheeled stool from there to the front of her chair. Like, right in front of her chair and sat. Then he grabbed her chair and rolled her until one of her bare knees was between two of his. 
Her grip tightened on the chair’s arms when he reached past her to hold the rungs at the seat like a man in prison might hold the bars. He had her caged, his arms brushing her arms, his face inches from her face.
Her heart ratcheted up about a thousand notches. 
With zero chance of escape, she could do nothing but stare wide-eyed at him and wish she had something to hold on to besides her crumbling resolve.
Words. She could hold on to words. Opening her mouth, she tried again to change the subject. “Is Asher going to play at the Starving Artists Festival? Because I have a friend who—” 
“Not the way this is gonna go, either, Ace.” His intense gaze was on her like Blue on Bayou. 
But she had to say something, because this was… unnerving. 
Because it’s turning you on. 
Especially for that reason. 
“I’m sorry. I don’t think Gloria is good for you.” 
His face morphed from intense to almost relaxed. Well, not relaxed, but the concrete set of his mouth had softened enough that she believed he might almost laugh. “Hell, I know that.” 
His comment stunned her. 
“Glo and I didn’t fit in Chicago. Tested it out, didn’t work.” 
She cringed. Tested it out? So they had slept together. She’d known it, on some intuitive female level, but to hear it… 
“Ugh, I don’t want to know. Let me up, please.” 
His arms tightened around hers, his body warming her to the point her face heated. And so did the leg trapped between two of his. 
“Not gonna let you bolt when something’s happening between us.”
I love (are you sensing a theme?) when Charlie is "confronted" by Rae's family -- total water works, my friends; bring your tissues.

Also... I love when an author can paint pretty pictures (there could be a pun in there...) -- Jessica did such a fantastic job explaining Evergreen Cove. I also love when cover artists make the cover models fit the characters -- and every tattoo on that man matches Evan. I appreciate it :)

And lastly... I'm guessing Asher and Gloria will eventually get their story -- Jessica, you can't possibly tease us with the emotions those two are tossing around and not have them get together. I know, I know, sometimes your characters make your decisions for you, but surely those two need to be together. Oh! The teaser for RESCUING THE BAD BOY? My goodness, gracious, when can I get my hands on that?! Excited!

{ giveaway } .

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, thank you so much! Oh Asher... I have plans for Asher. Fingers crossed he'll get picked up for his own book! So glad you enjoyed the book. :-)