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. (Via Goodreads.com)
Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I absolutely love Jay Crownover's Marked Men and Saints of Denver series. I started Rule, the first book in the Marked Men series, almost two years ago and it hooked me. I have been fortunate enough to meet Jay at two book events and I even had the opportunity to personally interview her. I was also on both of the review and excerpt tours for her two Saints of Denver novels (all the posts I have mentioned will be linked below).
There is something so personal about Jay's Marked Men and Saints of Denver series. After reading all eight of those novels, the novellas and the exclusive short stories, I feel as though I have a weird connection with her. She puts so much of herself into her work that you feel as though you have experienced some of these things alongside her. She just has a way with words.
Although I absolutely love the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series, I am not completely sold on Welcome to the Point series yet. That fact does not necessarily surprise me because this series is completely different from her other series. While I cannot necessarily relate to the Marked Men and Saints of Denver crew because I am not a twenty-something year old trying to figure out my future in Denver, I am most definitely not living in a dangerous city like the Point. The small town I live in is by no means the cleanest or safest town, but I do not live in a city that is completely littered with crime and illegal activity. I found myself trying really hard to relate to characters that were so different from myself. Reading does allow you to introduce yourself with different people of different walks of life, there was just something about the Point and its characters that had me clashing with them.
While the setting of Better When He's Bad might have left me with disconnect, it also made the story intriguing. I really love that the Point has no literal place in our world. It symbolizes all the bad parts of cities that have neighboring "good" places. It could be paces in any city in any country that meets the Point's criteria. That might have also led to the disconnect because it felt as though the setting was floating in the air since it had no literal home. It did bring a really special layer to the story though.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have very little in common with the characters of Jay's other novels; however, I have a deep connection with them. I do not feel the same about the characters of the Point. I assume that will change as the story progresses because, in a series like the Welcome to the Point series, the reader knows little about any of the characters aside from the main male and female character. I could grow to connect with the other characters as their stories become untangled, but who knows. I did not feel particularly attached to either Bax or Dovie and they are the main characters of Better When He's Bad. I would mainly blame this disconnect on the lack of similarities between us, but it could have to do with the time in which this novel was published. When He's Bad was published during the middle of the Marked Men series, a point in which Jay was still figuring out her writing. She was working through the bugs in her character development and other elements of her stories. This could simply untangle itself as the Welcome to the Point series progresses.
Better When He's Bad was an enthralling first book in a thrilling new series. It introduced countless characters that I cannot wait to learn more about as the Welcome to the Point series and the spin-off series, The Breaking Point, continues. After the events and revelations in Better When He's Bad, I can only imagine what is in store in its sequel, Better When He's Bold. I can only imagine the trouble Race will get himself into.
- Author Interview: Jay Crownover
- Book Review: Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover
- ARC Review: Asa (Marked Men #6) by Jay Crownover
- Review & Excerpt Tour: Built (Saints of Denver #1) by Jay Crownover
- Review & Excerpt Tour: Charged (Saints of Denver #2) by Jay Crownover