Saturday, February 29, 2020

Review: Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London

Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London
Series: Bad Bachelors, Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781728213774
Paperback Reissue Date: March 3, 2020
Source: Publisher/Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Everybody's talking about the hot new app reviewing New York's most eligible bachelors. But why focus on prince charming when you can read the latest dirt on the lowest-ranked "Bad Bachelors"—NYC's most notorious bad boys.

If one more person mentions Bad Bachelors to Reed McMahon, someone's gonna get hurt. A PR whiz, Reed is known as an 'image fixer' but his womanizing ways have caught up with him. What he needs is a PR miracle of his own.

When Reed strolls into Darcy Greer's workplace offering to help save the struggling library, she isn't buying it. The prickly Brooklynite knows Reed is exactly the kind of guy she should avoid. But the library does need his help. But as she reluctantly works with Reed, she realizes there's more to a man than his reputation. Maybe, just maybe Bad Bachelor #1 is THE one for her.

Bad Bachelor is the kind of book I hate to stick a rating on. I absolutely loved the main characters, the romance, and Stefanie London’s writing. But the story also had some big drawbacks that kept me from falling in love with the book overall.

Let’s start with the good, shall we? I adored Reed and Darcy. Darcy is a librarian and the black sheep of her family. She’s hardworking and cares so much, which I absolutely loved. She’s also incredibly vulnerable between the contentious relationship with her mother and the way her engagement ended the day before she was supposed to be married. She has walls a mile high, but that’s nothing compared the walls Reed has around his heart. Reed is rich, polished, and a PR whiz. But no one sees the man beneath the glossy exterior…until Darcy. Reed has seriously deep old wounds he doesn’t allow anyone to see and they make him unwilling to open his heart and trust any woman. He’s dedicated to his job and being the best, not because of ego, but because the money allows him to care for his ailing father. Aside from wanting to push people away, Reed’s pretty much the perfect hero. He and Darcy are dynamite together and I loved watching them put together a fundraiser for her library. They’re a perfect match even though on the surface they seem nothing alike. The fact that they outwardly seem so different but inwardly have a lot in common is what makes them such an appealing couple. Their love story is easy to fall into and Ms. London makes it impossible not to root for them.

I adored Darcy and Reed so much that I hate to say anything bad about Bad Bachelor. However…the Bad Bachelors app plot was beyond aggravating. The Bad Bachelors app is – in essence – a Yelp review site of New York City’s bachelors. In a place as big as NYC, the number one “Bad Bachelor” isn’t a predator, criminal, abuser, liar, user, addict, cheater, or even someone who doesn’t tip well. No, it’s – brace yourself for the horror – a man who doesn’t want to commit. It’s necessary to roll with this premise or the entire book falls apart, so I knowingly went into this willing to suspend disbelief. The problem is, the more I saw Reed’s hard work being torn apart, his personal and professional reputation being shredded by this popular app, the more sour the taste in my mouth. The more the popularity of the app grew, the more it was like watching a good person be repeatedly kicked in the face not just by bitter and shallow exes, but workplace rivals and possibly internet trolls. The last bit is not altogether implausible, which makes it all the more depressing.

Bad Bachelor has good characters, an engaging and sexy romance, and a background plot that just left a bad taste in my mouth. Darcy’s two best friends, Remi and Annie, are featured in the next two Bad Bachelors books. I loathed Annie and will likely pass on her story, but I adored Remi and I love Ms. London’s writing so I will definitely be reading the next book in the Bad Bachelors series, Bad Reputation.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I also purchased a copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.