Bad Reputation by Nicole Edwards Release Date: October 3, 2017 Publisher: Loveswept Contemporary Romance/Sports M/F Book #1 in the Bad Boys of Sports series Number of Pages: 276 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Rating: XXX Read 8/27/17 to 8/30/17
In my review of Hard to Handle I lamented the fact that I was caught up on my reading of all of Nicole Edwards’ books. You can imagine my joy when Net Galley and Loveswept were kind enough to issue me an ARC of this story so I didn’t have to wait until October. (Of course, now I’m in the same predicament of having read all of her books but it being even longer before the next new-to-me book is published.) It’s no secret that I love this author and find her stories thoroughly engaging.
The last half of this book, after Chase and Cassie finally get to Vegas, is a freight train. It rolled over my emotions in so many ways and was very fast paced. I couldn’t put it down! It’s amazing how much best friends DON’T talk to each other once there are romantic feelings involved. And since they’ve always been the sounding board for each other they also didn’t talk things out with anyone else. Not really, anyway. While they drove me crazy they also kept me on the edge of my seat.
Here’s my problem…and I’m sorry to have to say that I did have a problem with this one. The first half of this book dragged for me. By chapter 6, about 20% into the book, I was noting that I was ready for things to move on. The main characters do not kiss until almost 50% into this story! My exact note when it happens was, “Jesus! It’s about time!” Now if this was a story about two people meeting for the first time, I don’t know that it would have been an issue. But Cassie and Chase have been friends for many, many years. I didn’t need as much set up as I was given in this story. And it pains me to say that since, again, I absolutely love Nicole Edwards.
This is the author’s first book that is not self-published. As I am not a writer myself I cannot say if it’s a natural thing for your writing habits (and even style) to change a bit when you’re no longer writing for just yourself. I can only imagine they would since you now have very firm deadlines.
What I want you to take away from this if you’ve never read Ms. Edwards is this…I am still rating this story pretty high (see my rating scale for reference) for a book that was so slow-moving at the beginning. Plus, I’ve decided to round-up in the stars instead of down. The last half of this book was definitely the Nicole Edwards writing that I know and love. Since this book is in no way connected to any of her other books or series yet (I know there’s another book in this series scheduled down the road) do yourself a favor and pick it up and read it. If you love the last part of the story as much as I did, do yourself another favor and go all the way back to the beginning (Conviction) and by the time you get to Kaleb (about her 5th book and the 1st in the Alluring Indulgence series) you’ll be as head over heels for this author as I am.
After all that being said, this was still a wonderful story. Chase is the perfect hero and just so sweet with Cassie. I love the introduction to each chapter being a blurb from a magazine article on Chase and his hockey career. I hope that means the next book in this series will have the same type of intro to the chapters. It was great for getting to know Chase and for a bit of foreshadowing. As usual, Nicole Edwards found a way to surprise me…in a good way.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**