Other reviews: Goodreads
When you find a little know treat, you always want to share it with others. I ran across Cherrie Lynn on Maryse’s Book Blog about “bad boys” and once I started this book, I could not put it down! I have this book in my favorites list and the author is an auto buy for me. This is book two of the series (Ross Siblings), and you can pretty much read this as a stand-alone.
Candace Andrews is an overprotected college girl who yearns to be a little bad, but always seems to be the “good girl” to please her friends and family. She yearns to be a little wild, like get a tattoo, or ask out the hot tattoo artist, Brian Ross.
Brian has been a bad boy in the past, and while he still has his piercings and tattoos, he is more mature and beginning a new phase in his life. In enters Candace, while he knows she is a “good girl”, he just can’t stay away. Can she face her family and will Brian put his bitterness behind him so that they can find happiness?
This is book two in the series: book one is Unleashed, revolving around Brian’s older brother Evan.
Our female lead is Candace Andrews, a 21-year-old college student. She is to me, fairly immature for her age, but maybe I am just an old fart. She has led a sheltered life and now as she tries to become more independent, she must stand up to her mother. We see this youthfulness on Brian and Candace’s first night together:
He dropped to the bed and went into her arms, pausing only to grab her battered old teddy bear from underneath him and give it a fling across the room. She could imagine him doing the same thing to her heart.
I found her angst annoying at times. I suppose part of that comes from the difference between our backgrounds. Certainly when I went to college it was to find the one in state that was the longest from home. But, college is a time of independence and self-discovery, so her personality traits and behavior is realistic.
Let me just say that if you like tattooed and pierced “bad boys”, then Brian Ross is it! Other than having tattoos (which is always hot), the man has an Apadravya piercing (Wikipedia link with pictures so NSFW, but informative). But even with all of these exterior embellishments, we still have a man who can have doubts in his self-confidence:
“I don’t deserve this.”
Her heart broke. She’d never taken Brian for a guy who suffered from lack of confidence. He’d always been so vibrant and sure of himself. Why would he begin to have doubts about his self-worth here in her arms?
What I like about Brian is that he has both the Alpha male sexiness, but also some insecurity that makes him human. The author could have made him this one-dimensional character, but instead drew him in vibrant colors.
I think for me, the theme is about being yourself and taking a chance. We get this quote early in the book, but it sets the tone of the entire novel:
“I hear it all the time. But I’d rather look back and regret something I did when I was young and crazy, than look back and regret something I never had the courage to do, and realize it’s too late.”
For Candace, she must learn to step out of the constraining grasp of her mother and be herself, even if that means disappointing her parents. And for Brian, he needs to learn that it’s ok to be who he is, but he does not need to let his past limit his future.
I love how Ms. Lynn brings the environment into the story. The scene at the Korn concert was just amazing, I could almost feel the heat and sun and the smell of the sweat.
What could be better?
This is not necessarily a complaint about the book, but I did find the immaturity level of Candace hard to not roll my eyes. But, that being said, I understood why Candace was written as she was. This novel is written about a female who is just starting out in maturity and has been held back from “being independent” because of her family. So we get to see her as she makes that break through.
I love this book! The author manages to bring us into the relationship, with just a little angst to keep up the tension.