ARC Review: Better When He's Bold: Jay Crownover
Better When He's Bold
Add to Goodreads
Some men are just better when they're bold.
Welcome to the Point...
In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has to be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them.
Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like the Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?
Brysen Carter has always seen her best friend's brother for what he is--too pretty, too smooth, and way too dangerous to touch. Basking in Race's golden glow is very tempting, but Brysen knows she'd eventually get burned.
When she starts receiving threatening texts and someone tries to take her out in parking lot, the only person interested in keeping her safe is the one man she can't allow herself to have.
Sometimes being bold is the only way to stay alive. But can she let Race save her life . . . if it means losing herself to him?
“I should go home.” My voice was strained to my own ears. I couldn’t have sounded less convincing if I tried.
“There are always other things we should be doing. Come back to my place with me, Brysen.”
It wasn’t a question, it was almost an order. It shouldn’t sound as hot as it did.
“I don’t really think that’s a great idea. Besides, we haven’t even touched on the fact that I do officially have a stalker.”
He took a step even closer and the finger he had used to rub my cheek he now used to push some of my hair back behind my ear. It was probably the most kind, most reverent touch I had felt from another person in my life. That it was coming from this complex and troubling man hit me in all of my warm and squishy places.
“You have a stalker until I can get my hands on him. And it might be a bad idea, but it’s a bad idea that is going to happen one way or another, so fighting it seems stupid and takes energy I can sure as hell put to better use. Let me take care of you for one night, Brysen. I promise you won’t regret it.”
Of course I wouldn’t regret it. I wanted him, was entrapped by him, and after I ate it all up, took everything he had to give, lived in the pleasure and passion he broke loose inside of me, it would for sure kill me to know I would never be able to have it again. I blew out a breath, lifted a hand to wrap around his thick wrist, and fully intended to tell him no, that it just wasn’t worth the impending heartache, but what came out of mouth was:
“I don’t know what to do with you, Race.”
His warm hand slid under the fall of my hair at the back of my neck and his head lowered toward mine. His mouth hovered right over mine and my lips parted in their own invitation.
“Yes, you do.”
When he kissed me, my mind was made up. I wanted this—wanted him—and I hadn’t had anything just for myself in far too long. I knew it was bound to lead to really bad things, but on the way there I really, really wanted to enjoy everything that came with him. Including the way he pulled me close. The way he slid his hands down over the curve of my ass. The way his tongue lured mine out to play, and maybe mostly the way he made everything else that was always hounding me fade away. With his mouth on mine, with his hands roving over me, there was no crumbling home life, there was no failed math class there was no lurking and unidentified threat … all I could feel was heat, burning, desire, and desperation. It was such a welcome reprieve from what I usually felt that there was no way I could tell him no.
He took a step back and squeezed the back of my neck. I was breathless and his eyes had shifted to that sexy, deep, opaque forest green.
“I can’t offer you anything fancy. You’ve been on my mind and under my skin for a minute now, but I promise that I’ll make it worth your while.”
I breathed out a sigh and took the hand he offered me.
“You already have, Race.”
He flashed that dimple at me again and inclined his head toward the mouth of the alley.
“Where did you park?”
“Around the corner.” He gave me a look that indicated I would be lucky to find the BMW in one piece once we reached it.
I love when I am in the midst of a major book funk and I land on that one prime jewel that doesn’t just slightly take me out of the funk for a moment or two but instead yanks me right the f*** out of it, leaving me clamoring for more!
Better When He’s Bold is a strong recommend from me. Once again, Jay Crownover writes with such a visual perfection that each small intricate detail brings her worlds to life. I never fail to feel as though I am amongst the pages of these characters lives, experiencing everything they do first hand. Race, Brysen, Bax, Dovie, Booker, Karsen, and Titus had me sinking so far into The Point that I completed this book in one sitting, not finding sleep until the wee hours of the mornin’. As we know from Better When He’s Bad, The Point is a vivid universe consisting of complex characters who live in one hell of a gritty, dark, and deadly world, where the only chance of survival comes down to the old adage “survival of the fittest.”
I didn’t honestly think Race could pull off the “bad boy” vibe, nor did I think he could truly pull off the underground of The Point. He seemed way too “pretty” to actually get those hands of his dirty. Furthermore, there was no way in hell I thought he would come close to rivaling Bax for my heart. Bax is hands down my all-time favorite Crownover hero. To say I was shocked when Race came in a very close second is an understatement, especially since I wasn’t the biggest fan of his in BWHB, even though I understood his reasoning as well as his motivation when it came down to his “crimes” against Bax and Dovie. Race held a surprising and compelling depth; a depth that teeters on a very fragile balance between good vs evil. Our anti-hero was very much the epitome of “what you see isn’t always what you get.”
As Dovie was made for Bax, Brysen was made for Race. She was the saint to his sinner. Her purity, backbone, and sauciness balanced Race’s dark horse/white knight complex perfectly. I found that with this couple, opposites really did attract, which in turn made them perfectly in sync. Everything about Race and Brysen held me in the palm of their hands. Their connection and chemistry, for me, was so well developed it quickly became seducing and addicting. It wasn’t long before I was utterly and completely invested.
If you’re looking for a read that will hold you enthralled with flawed characters that ride the line of morality then look no further. With Better When He’s Bold you’ll experience a wild ride of heaven and hell.
And with that, I say bring on Titus! I can’t wait to see our Cop ride the line for his “bad” girl. I am also keeping my fingers crossed Jay will give us some Booker and Karsen (as soon as she gets older).
Thank you, William Morrow, for the complimentary copy of Better When He's Bold.
This is how Jay describes this series
“It’s dark and dangerous and set in a fictitious underworld/bad part of town. The men in all of the books are way more along the line of being anti-heros than true leading men. I guess the easiest way to sum them up is by saying the books are all about the choices these characters have to make and the outcomes and results of those decisions. Bax’s book is all about having to make the hard choices and what becomes of him and his lady in doing so. They are super fun, very atmospheric and I think really what writing a bad boy should be like if you’re going to do it :)”
Better When He's Bad (Welcome to the Point #1)
Welcome to the Point 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.