Dax by Shannyn Leah Release Date: November 21, 2017 Publisher: Pronoun Book #1 in the Bad Boys of Willow Valley series Number of pages: 235 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Author Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: R Read 11/14/17 to 11/16/17
First, I want to say that I got an ARC of this book directly from the author for review. Unfortunately, even with how fastidious I am at my record keeping, I somehow didn’t record my initial source. I know it was a call-out from the author for reviewers…but I don’t recall if it was on Facebook or Twitter or where. All I remember is when I read the description of the book I jumped on the opportunity to get an advance copy. A hot firefighter? Yes, please. Now let’s dive into my thoughts on the book.
There is definitely a lot of heat in this book. It actually surprised me, when I sat and thought about it, that this was only R rated by my rating standards. The author did a fantastic job of bringing the heat without leaning out of that R territory. There is actually a scene in one of the first few chapters where there was so much chemistry it was dripping off the page, yet nothing had actually transpired between Dax and Ava. So A++ to Shannyn Leah for that!
I’m sure Dax’s change of character from the first chapter to when he sets his mind on Ava will be a bit much for some readers. To me, it made perfect sense. Dax is a man of action and goes after what he wants with his whole body and soul. That’s the exact reason the garage he owns with his dad is so successful. He puts 110% into things that matter to him. We get to see his reasons for being a playboy for most of his life. His reasons are sound and make sense so I can’t really fault him.
Ava was harder for me to understand. Some of that is by design by the author. We know there’s something more in her past than we’re being told in the beginning, but don’t know the particulars. I have to say, her past and her attitude toward Dax don’t quite line up for me. But I’m sure some readers will understand her motivation. I do, on the other hand, understand her being leery of Dax’s motivations. Like I said though, there’s no denying the chemistry between the two of them. Plus, her daughter already loves Dax so half the battle of a dating single parent is already won.
This is a new to me author so it’s a bit hard for me to judge a few things in this book being as it’s an ARC. I’m always cautious about judging editing and timeline issues in a book when it’s not published yet. So yes, there were things throughout that were in need of some cleaning and tightening up. If you follow my reviews at all you know how easily bad editing can take me out of a story and it’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine. That being said, even with some issues (that will most likely be fixed before publication), I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would absolutely love to see Stone get his story told. (edit: I was able to confirm that I had a first draft ARC so these issues should be resolved with the published copy.) I’m excited that this author has some books to her name already so I can dive in and enjoy more of her writing.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review**