I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Return of the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Second Chance #4
Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women
Purchase Links: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound
ADD TO GOODREADS:
He's a mess...
Asher Knight has three constants in his life: music, beautiful women, and a bottle of Jack. He lives for the next gig, the next city, and dreams only of a life spent in front of an arena full of screaming fans. But Asher's nomad ways come to a sudden stop when he learns he's the father of a three-year-old from a past relationship and suddenly this rock star bad boy is forced to put down roots.
Only she can clean up
Gloria Shields is no one's fool. Sure, the sexual chemistry between her and Asher has always been intense, but she'd never risk giving her heart to a man who has a perfect record for breaking them. Except the man desperate to make things right with his newfound son is nothing like the rock god she's guarded her heart against for years. And it isn't long before she starts to wonder if life with this bad boy might be the best thing that's ever happened to her.
Also by this author: Hard to Handle, The Billionaire Bachelor, Eye Candy
Readers have been lucky to experience the push and pull dynamic between Gloria Shields and Asher Knight throughout the author Jessica Lemmon’s entire Second Chance series. However, if Return of the Bad Boy is your first foray into the series:
Each book in the Second Chance series is set in the in the quaint lakeside community of Evergreen Cove. Asher and Gloria are an unlikely pair to settle there, she’s a bold literary agent from Chicago and he’s an actual rock star. Gloria was looking for a fresh start and has friends in Evergreen Cove and Asher used to spend summers at the lake as a child and it’s where his best friend lives – as well as Asher’s son.
Ah yes, Baby Mama Drama. BEFORE he and Gloria were together, Asher had a regrettable one night stand with a groupie – who later informed him that he became a father as a result. Asher is determined to be present in his son Hawk’s life and purchases a home in Evergreen Cove to be closer to the toddler. Jordan, Hawk’s mother, is an immature woman who is a definite source of contention for Gloria and Asher – but not in the cliched way one would fear. Yes, her antics caused a rift earlier in time, but here, in Asher and Gloria’s love story, they bond together in the face of Jordan’s petty behavior and poor parenting. Gloria is not afraid to call anyone out and defends Asher (and his son) to the fullest. Whenever Jordan, or her overbearing mother, attempt to ice out Gloria, Asher immediately jumps to her defense and stops any cattiness (at least any he witnesses).
Gloria struggles with her own painful childhood abandonment, resulting in her inability to let people get close to her. Gloria is practically the definition of a loner. Asher refuses to let Gloria retreat into herself, he eventually finds the balance between giving her space and letting her know she can lean on him. The sexual connection and combative repartee that started out as a thread woven throughout this series continue to shine in Return of the Bad Boy. Now, in addition to their incredibly sensual encounters and passion-laced banter, there is a deep emotional bond uniting Asher and Gloria – one that cannot be severed.
The relationship between Asher and Gloria feels authentic. Author Jessica Lemmon does an amazing job creating multi-dimensional characters. Gloria is flawed and feisty, yet vulnerable and kind. And Asher… he’s almost too good to be true: he writes songs about Gloria, he sits on the dock playing his guitar, he’s an awesome dad, he rescued a little Yorkie pup and named him Tank!
Seriously, who could resist this?
Jessica Lemmon is one of my favorite authors of contemporary romance and she does not let me down with this latest Second Chance novel. She revisits characters from previous novels (shout out to the delectable Landon Downey!) and crafts them, and original secondary characters, with the same care she does the protagonists of this story. Importantly, a rare treat is the way the toddler Hawk is written. Most little kids come off sounding like little adults but his reactions and limited vocabulary were perfectly appropriate for his age.
The … er, uh … more adult scenes are so freaking hot – yet written with a tender touch to prevent them from being tawdry. Classy not trashy, that’s my motto (usually 😝).
Return of the Bad Boy is a stellar addition to an outstanding series, but can easily be read as a standalone novel. If you like strong women, sensitive men, hot love scenes, true partnership and little dogs and/or kids – all written in a genuine voice with realistic emotions, Return of the Bad Boy is for you. Thanks, Jessica Lemmon, for another amazing read. AND for another sexy book boyfriend to add to my stable – I hope the Downey* brothers don’t get too jealous.
*I have previously declared my undying admiration for brothers Aiden and Landon Downey of Jessica’s Love in the Balance series.
Excerpt from Return of the Bad Boy
Gloria nodded at Evan, and he and Brice made their way through the crowd—which hadn’t thinned even a little despite the band leaving the stage—and walked in the direction of the bar. Gloria figured they’d get back about the time the band took the stage again, which left her with Asher in the interim.
“I didn’t realize you were invited,” she said over the melee.
“I see that.” The corners of his mouth turned down.
“Why did he invite you?” she asked, curious.
“He wants me,” Asher said, a bored expression on his face.
“No. He wants me.” She pressed her fingers into her chest.
Asher leaned closer to speak to her and it took everything in her not to back away a step. Him close had a way of messing with her equilibrium…even more than the whiskey.
“I meant he wants to sign the band, Sarge. He’s probably buttering you up to get to me.”
“What?” she asked, slightly offended. “How egotistical are you?”
“I’m not being egotistical,” he said. “That’s a fact. And you’re welcome.”
Oh, he was too much. “I’m welcome?”
“Yeah. Now that I’m here, you won’t have to touch him. He won’t get within three feet of you.” Stubble lined his jaw, fire burned in his eyes, and he stood close enough that his body heat blanketed her. “Promise.”
“Listen, Asher”—she cleared her throat and tore her eyes away from his biceps, which were absolutely delicious and testing the limits of his T-shirt in the most distracting way possible—“I don’t know what you think you’re doing—”
“No, you listen.” He palmed her hip much like Brice had earlier, but unlike Brice, when Asher touched her, her nipples perked up and every inch of her grew warm. Asher’s nearness, one hand gripping her firmly as he looked down at her with dark hunger in his eyes, was so hot she couldn’t think.
The crowd milling around them were having loud, drunken conversations, so he lowered his face to her ear to speak.
“I’m coming for you, Sarge.” His hand moved from her hip to her lower back, his fingers splaying wide and slipping beneath the material of her shirt. “Bet you’ve never had anyone come for you, have you?” His nose moved along her ear, warm breath tickling her skin. “Bet you were a rebellious teen with a nose ring and a bad attitude and all you wanted was to feel good.”
No nose ring, but the rest was scarily accurate.
“Well, guess what, honey?” he continued, his fingertips sizzling on her bare skin. “I’m going to make you feel good. I’m the only one who can.”
He pulled his face away and she had to will her mouth to close. Her teeth clacked together as her brain scrambled to figure out what part she should argue with first. Wrenching a fist around his T-shirt, she tugged him close. A small smile played on his mouth, and his hand went higher beneath her shirt. He was anticipating a kiss, but she wasn’t going to kiss him.
“Listen up, you arrogant bastard.” Anger vibrated through her arms and a charge shot from her toes to the crown of her head. “You don’t get to claim me. I’m not your property. I can do whatever I want.” Because she wanted to wipe that stupid smirk off his face, she added, “And I can do whomever I want.”
His lips flinched, but he didn’t back away, stepping even closer and touching the tip of her nose with his. Her vision was now swimming in dark hair, dark eyes, and the sexiest smirk she’d ever seen.
It’s not sexy. It’s stupid, remember?
But it wasn’t. And the rest of her knew it. Her nipples tightened, her body tingled, and the hand she’d wrapped around his shirt began to sweat . . .
About Author Jessica Lemmon
A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.
Jessica is a social media junkie who loves to hear from readers.
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