Tag Archives: Bad Boy Hero

Review: Delicious Temptation by Sabrina Sol

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Delicious Temptation by Sabrina SolDelicious Temptation (Entangled Brazen) by Sabrina Sol
Series: Delicious Desires #1
Published by Macmillan on May 19th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 200
Format: eARC
A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...The only thing naughtier than a bad boy is a good girl...Amara Maria Robles is a good girl. So good that she gave up her dreams of becoming a renowned pastry chef to help her parents with their struggling Mexican bakery. Yet her parents reject any changes she suggests, and refuse to sell her mouth-watering confections. Clearly being a good girl isn't paying off. So when her brother's sexy ex-best friend walks into the bakery, Amara's tempted to be very bad indeed...After a scandal twelve years ago, resident bad boy Eric Valencia has returned to make things right with his family and friends. One glance at Amara and her wicked curves, however, and Eric finds himself thinking about how she'd feel beneath him-something he promised Amara's brother he would never think about, let alone do. But this bad boy is in deep trouble...because Amara's determined to have her cake, and Eric, too.

DELICIOUS TEMPTATION is the story of how a good girl and a bad boy each move past the judgmental expectations of family and community to embrace love and a new life together. This story should have been right in my wheelhouse, but the combination of a doormat heroine, a vacillating hero, and outrageously overbearing parents made this a less than optimal read for me

Amara Robles abandoned her successful pastry chef job in Chicago to take over her family’s tiny East LA bakery after her father’s illness. Now with all of the responsibility but none of the authority, Amara feels stifled by being back under her parents’ thumb and by their refusal to approve any changes to save the bakery. When her brother’s notorious high school friend Eric Valencia reappears after years away, Amara decides to risk her parents’ disapproval to go after him, if only temporarily. But will Eric be worth the gamble for both her heart and her family’s livelihood?

The trope of a heroine yearning to break free from oppressive parents is a classic in romance, and it’s gratifying when the heroine successfully rescues herself from their clutches. But when the parents are completely intractable in the face of all good reason, and the heroine can’t escape without the help of other external forces, then I start feeling trapped myself.

DELICIOUS TEMPTATION still could have worked for me if Amara had ever stood up to her parents even once. But in Amara’s world, life isn’t what you make of it, it’s what your parents decide is best for you. This might be understandable for a heroine just starting out on her own, but when the heroine is in her late 20s and has already had a life outside her parents’ sphere of influence, it makes for a frustrating read. And yet this is how Amara behaves for nearly the entire story. Even when the last best opportunity to save her parents’ bakery is rejected by them (just like always), it only still ends up happening because someone else takes over after Amara gives up (just like always).

Amara only makes a few real independent decisions in the entire story, one of which is to make the fancy cupcakes her parents previously rejected, and the other to go after Eric. And yet she even gives up on Eric when it looks like he’s not going to stick around after all. Amara’s almost complete acquiescence to whatever anyone else decided for her was infuriating, and having other characters call her out on it didn’t make it any better. By the time I got to the end of the book, it was clear that if Eric hadn’t finally seen the light, Amara would have stayed under her parents’ thumb indefinitely. That’s not a heroine I can cheer for.

Amara and Eric were a cute couple, and I was glad they got their HEA in spite of all the obstacles in their path. But ultimately for me, Amara’s inability to stand up for herself until everything else was already fixed for her made DELICIOUS TEMPTATION more aggravating than enjoyable for me.


Review: The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica Clare

The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving (A Bluebonnet Novel)The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica Clare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for an honest review at Seductive Musings.

Although this isn’t my first Jessica Clare book, it is the first one I’ve read in her Bluebonnet series, where different couples find love in a tiny but interesting fictional Texas town. I didn’t have any problem diving into the story of a hero and heroine from vastly different worlds who found themselves more compatible than anyone could have predicted. Elise and Rome’s romance is both sweet and hot, and it kept me interested even as another character in the book did her best to try to make me stop reading altogether.

Elise is quiet and shy because she spent her formative years suffering from a self-image severely damaged by a large facial birthmark and scoliosis. The birthmark was mostly removed by lasers, the scoliosis mostly fixed by years in a body brace and major surgery, but some external and internal scars remain. So when Elise finds herself irresistibly drawn to a handsome stranger covered in piercings and tattoos, she’s as surprised as anyone at her decision to pursue what would be the first real romantic relationship of her life. But will he give her a chance?

Rome has learned to trust no one after the multiple betrayals of his family resulted years spent in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. His checkered past and intimidating appearance have kept everyone at arm’s length, until pretty little Elise sneaks past his defenses and convinces him to embark on a passionate affair. But when Elise’s over-protective brother discovers the truth, what will it take to keep the lovers together when it seems like everyone else is working to keep them apart?

For me, reading THE VIRGIN’S GUIDE TO MISBEHAVING was a constant battle between the parts of the story I loved and the parts that made me want to throw my ereader against the wall in frustration. Rome and Elise really are a beautifully matched couple. Each has been taught not to trust other people, albeit for entirely different reasons, and even as they realize they want to be together, they each still take turns bracing for what they believe will be an inevitable betrayal by the other. It was wonderful to see how Rome proved he wouldn’t take advantage of Elise’s naivete, and how Elise in turn showed him how he was worthy of her love and the respect of others. Their intimate scenes exquisitely raised the sexual tension and deepened their emotional attachment each time they came together, and by the end of the book, we could see that they’ll continue to grow in their affection and trust as a united team against anyone who would dare threaten their happiness. But Rome and Elise weren’t the problem for me.

The reason I found this book to be as annoying as it was entertaining can be summed up in one word: Brenna. Brenna is the fiancee of Elise’s brother, Grant, and she is as wild and crazy as he is buttoned down and straitlaced. She may be a good person, but she is not a good friend to Elise. Brenna is the reason why Rome thought Elise didn’t like him. Brenna is the reason why Grant finds out about Rome and Elise before they are ready to go public, even after Elise specifically asked her not to tell anyone. And then to top it all off, when Rome leaves town in a misguided attempt to protect Elise from her brother’s wrath, Brenna is the reason why Elise uses a truly reprehensible trick to force Rome into coming back.

I’ll admit it’s possible that if I’d read Brenna’s book before this one, I might have a more rounded picture of who she is and why she behaves as she does here. But as a new reader to the series, I found Brenna to be such an incredible distraction that every time she appeared to mess things up, I wished I could tell her off and make her go away for good. If Brenna is in all the other Bluebonnet books, then frankly, I’m not interested in reading them. Thanks to her, I was only just able to finish THE VIRGIN’S GUIDE TO MISBEHAVING so I could enjoy Rome and Elise’s lovely HEA, including a satisfying epilogue that emphasized just how good they would always be for one another. But if you can stomach a relentlessly wacky secondary character like Brenna, you might like this book even better.


Overall: 3
Sensuality level: 3

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