Blog Tour and Giveaway: Bringing Home the Bad Boy: Jessica Lemmon

Bringing Home the Bad Boy(Second Chance #1)
Jessica Lemmon
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The Bad Boy Is Back

Evan Downey needs a new beginning. Since the death of his wife five years ago, the brilliant tattoo artist has shut himself away in a prison of grief that not even his work can break him out of-and what's worse, Evan knows his son Lyon is bearing the brunt of his seclusion. Moving back to the lake town of Evergreen Cove where he spent his childhood summers is his last chance for a fresh start. 

Charlotte Harris knows she owes it to her best friend's memory to help Evan and his son find their way again, but she can't stop her traitorous heart from skipping a beat every time she looks into Evan's mesmerizing eyes. Charlotte is determined to stay strictly in the Friend Zone-until a mind-blowing night knocks that plan by the wayside. Now, if they're brave enough to let it, Charlotte and Evan might just find a love capable of healing their broken hearts . . .
“Know why I moved here?” he asked, keeping his voice low.

She wrenched her eyes from his and focused on a spot over his shoulder.

“Because you didn’t want to live in Columbus anymore.” That’s what he’d told her. That he wanted a change. That he and Lyon had outgrown the house. And, she imagined it’d be hard to live in the house where Rae had passed.

“But why here?”


His fingers grazed her jaw and turned her head, his palm moving to her neck where he cupped her nape and forced her eyes to his.

Reluctantly, she met them.

“Rae’s more alive when you’re around, Ace.”

Her heart, oh her heart. Kicking against her chest in a confusing, hectic rhythm.

“You bring her to life for Lyon—more than anyone else. I need him to remember her because he can’t remember her alive.” His hold stayed, his palm warming her neck, his gaze unwavering.

She tried to separate the two feelings she was having—one that she was now talking about Rae with Evan and two, that he was touching her while talking about Rae.

Before she could, his lips closed over hers.

Her thoughts short-circuited.

This wasn’t anything like a soft peck hello. This was his lips moving over hers, slanting over hers, warm and firm and then his mouth opened and—

Oh my gosh!

His wet, warm tongue slid along the seam of her lips and she stopped being passive and started kissing him back. When she would have touched her tongue to his, he relocated it, running along her bottom lip instead and tugging with his teeth.

If she’d been standing, her knees would have given out and dropped her right on her butt.

And then there was the palm on her neck, now spearing up through her hair and clutching onto a handful of it. He held her captive, his hand fisting her hair as he angled his mouth again. In response to the soft whimper escaping her throat, he swept his tongue into her mouth. He tangled his tongue with hers once, twice, and released her.

When he pulled his mouth away, a long, satisfied sigh escaped her lips. Because that was a kiss. A kiss to rival all other kisses.

She opened her eyes to realize A) she’d closed her eyes and B) she’d at some point wrapped both hands around his forearms where she was holding tight and C) Evan looked as please as she felt.

“God damn, Ace. Your mouth.” His eyes flicked to her lips. Lips still tingling from the rough scrape from the stubble surrounding his.

She concurred with that sentiment. Not that she said anything. She’d gone dumb; completely mute.

He backed away, but held onto her chin and tweaked it lightly with the rough pad of one thumb. “That’s the way this is gonna go from now on.”

Her breathing went shallow, her thoughts went muzzy and her head blurred as her heart palpated to the point of panic attack.

“Sorry, Rae.”

She didn’t mean to say it, and it had only been a whisper, but by the look twisting Evan’s face—the angry look twisting his face—he’d heard. And he hadn’t liked what he’d heard.

“Sorry,” she said to him this time. “I should go.”

Unbelievably, he leaned closer. She pulled her chin back until she realized she likely had a double chin, then settled her head on her neck in a more reasonable position.

Gosh. He was making her crazy.

Widower Evan Downey and his seven year old son Lyon are leaving their old lives behind and moving closer to his late wife's family and best friend, Charlie in Evergreen Cove.

Charlie had noticed Evan in the past and had a crush on him, but was still happy for her best friend when they eventually got together and married. But now Evan is realizing Charlie is an attractive woman in her own right. They have been friends for years and tied by history and his late wife. This new attraction brings lust, longing, guilt, regrets, and fear.

Evan flirts, teases and has a way of pushing Charlie. But the more he does, the more she questions and at times pulls back due to guilt, fear, and insecurities. It is a whole new dynamic between them and one that   has the potential to  destroy their long time friendship.

I loved Evan. He was a man who had it all, then lost it and has been through Hell. He suffered,but had to be there for his son. But now he is willing to pursue something more for himself. He is alpha, sexy, charming, a bit moody, and a dirty talker. And he is not afraid of pursuing what he wants. But he also has needs and a void in his life that longs to be filled.

Charlie is insecure and has many hang ups. She has abandonment and trust issues and a huge sense of guilt. Evan is all she ever really wanted, but she feels guilt every time she finds a little happiness with him. She has a hard time letting go and Evan can only push her so far. There is a lot of advance and retreat, fear, miscommunication and misunderstandings. Although they do fit well into each other's lives and share a strong connection, there are ghosts, doubts, fears, and things left unsaid that often cause problems, 

This is a second chance love story focused on facing the past and fears, moving on, and healing. They both had past issues to face and deal with, but surprisingly Evan seemed to be farther along in the process than she was. I loved him and his relationship with his son, Lyon, He had such a big heart and was so devoted to making Lyon happy. And he was really trying to build a new life for them and allow them to find happiness again.

Charlie loved Lyon too, but fear of being a substitute holds her back at times. There were times I really wanted to shake sense into her. But at the same time, some of it was understandable because it was a unique and complicated situation and her past had left a mark on her. It quietly shifted between both points of view which was very important in seeing how each of them felt about each other. In a man's mind he often thinks that showing feelings by actions gets his point across where as a woman actually needs to actually hear the words to believe it. They had chemistry, passion, and a strong bond. But bottom line she had to believe she was worthy of love on her own and build her own self esteem if she had a chance of truly trusting Evan and latching onto happiness.

Apparently Evan has appeared before in Jessica Lemmon's other series and he mentioned his brothers Landon and Aiden, his cousin Shane and sister Angel and their significant others. But I have not read the other books and it was easy to read as a stand alone. We also learned more about his longtime friends Asher and Donovan. There is already some dynamics going on between Asher and their agent Gloria. And we also met Charlies's friends Sofie and Faith. Donovan will be the subject of the next book Rescuing the Bad Boy and we will learn more about his past with Sofie. 

The story was well written, the characters were well developed, and the plot line was given complications and drama. It was easy to get drawn into the setting of Evergreen Cove and become invested in its inhabitants. I enjoyed the banter and shared history of the friends. It was humorous, heartfelt, and emotional story about passion, love, family, and healing.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

When Evan Downey moves to Evergreen Cove, he is leaving behind memories he’d rather leave and returning to a place that while also filled with bittersweet memories, is also home to a part of his life he can’t let go of. He is an artist, illustrating a children’s book, while raising his 7 year old son on his own. But returning to Evergreen Cove brings about it’s own sort of trouble for this former troublemaker.

Charlie Harris used to spend her summers in Evergreen Cove, now she makes it her home. She has kept to herself and avoided dating for the last couple years, ever since her long term boyfriend left her their vacation house when he married another woman. She was left with insecurities that helped keep her on her own. Excited to have her best friends’ son living nearby, she is also torn by the feelings she feels for the boy’s father. Because she had a crush on Evan even before he was Rae’s.

What Evan and Charlie have in common is Rae, but Rae isn’t here anymore. And hasn’t been for five years. The shared history between Evan and Charlie through Rae adds a natural emotional bond, and quite a bit of sadness to their trips down memory lane. But moving beyod the shared grief sends these two into uncharted territory. Territory that could ruin their friendship.

I loved watching these two dance around each other. They each had issues to deal with, from past relationship baggage, to balancing parenting with creativity, to the biggest mountain between them: Rae’s memory.

Lyon, Evan’s son, brings moments of great hilarity as only a child can. He already has a relationship with Charlie, so it was nice to see how the adults skated around the relationship idea knowing that Lyon already views Charlie as part of his life.

As the first in the series, it does a good job of introducing a number of side characters in enough detail to make readers care what is going on in their lives without detracting from Evan and Charlie’s story. I can’t wait to see what happens with Ash, and to meet Donny, the third from the group of summer troublemakers.

Bringing Home the Bad Boy is a cute, fun, and emotional story. At times it felt like there was a lot going on and the characters were ignoring the things that were going on in their heads in favor of a think about it tomorrow mentality rather than facing their issues. But there were also moments where I loved the depth and emotion that they both showed. And it felt the whole time like they were supposed to work thing out, even when things didn’t look so cut and dry.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

I am a total book cover snob. I believe that covers are your first impression, and I have been known to skip over books due to this. This is not the case with this book; the cover drew me in like a bee to honey. I’ll be honest and admit I requested this book simply because of the gorgeous cover. I had no idea what to expect from this author and her characters, but I am happy to say, I absolutely adored Bringing Home the Bad Boy. 

Jessica Lemmon was a new to me author, so glad her cover caught my attention and I took a chance on her. I loved that I was able to fall rather quickly in love with not just her writing style, but her realistic characters and the premises behind their story line as well. 

Bringing Home the Bad Boy is a friendship to second chance love story about healing, and underneath the characters hesitancy and obstacles was a wonderful story built upon a bedrock of friendship and love. With a great balance of light angst mixed with sexy, flirty banter both Charlie and Evan were entertaining and intriguing protagonists. I felt the foundation of the characters were written with a well-developed depth that made them and their journey feel as though I were right there amongst the pages with them. Their love was very heartwarming, leaving me with tons of feels, which in turn led to Evan and Charlie’s characters feeling very real and believable. This book pulled me on an emotional slide that gave its characters a sense of plausibility, allowing the reader the opportunity to connect with them on a deeper more realistic level. 

Evan caught my attention from the very first page, totally loved his character. He's unbelievably sexy, charming and let me just state that man has a dirty, dirty mind. I adored everything about him especially his relationship with his son and his devotion and remembrance to his wife who passed away. I liked Charlie, but struggled with her a bit. She sometimes annoyed me with her resistance and back and forth indecisiveness. It became too much of a push and pull at times and her insecurities could become overwhelming. However, I enjoyed them both enough that I could see myself being friends with them in the real world. They left me with a giddy smile on my face at the end of their journey, leaving me wanting more of them. 

I can say without a doubt, this is one author I will be returning to when I get that itch to read a quick, feel good read!

Thank you, Forever (Grand Central Publishing), for the complimentary copy of Bringing Home The Bad Boy.
Evan Downey first appeared in the Love in the Balance series that focuses on his older brothers Landon and Aiden and cousin Shane.
Rescuing the Bad Boy(Second Chance #2)
Expected May 26, 2015
Pre-order Amazon/B&N/iTunes


For Donovan Pate, the lake town of Evergreen Cove is a minefield of tough memories—including the day he had to let go of Sofie Martin. Years later, he still can’t forget the taste of her lips and the feel of her killer curves. He knows he’s too damaged, that he should stay away for her own good. But what the head says and the heart wants are two very different things…

Seven years ago, Donovan broke Sofie’s heart. Now her career depends on playing nice in order to pull off the charity fundraiser of the decade. She vows to keep things professional…yet working by his side every day doesn’t make it easy to fight temptation, and it isn’t long before she finds herself falling for this bad boy all over again. But loving Donovan means helping him face his past–so they can fight for a future together.

Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job . . . and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another . . . and another. Soon it became apparent she'd only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since "eating potato chips" isn't a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she'd started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn't stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn't be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)

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