Monday, March 5, 2018

ARC Review: Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London

Series:     Bad Bachelors #1
Pub. Date:March 6, 2018
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casablanca

This is my first read from Stefanie London, and I admittedly got sucked in by this cover and the very Tom Hardy looking cover model. This book also brought out my heroine hater tendencies and found me squarely in the corner of all the bad bachelors out there. Shocker!

The premise behind the story revolves around the Bad Bachelor app - an app along the lines of the former Don't Date Him Girl (DDHG) site that was around a handful of years ago. Touted as a way to empower and educate women, the Bad Bachelor app allows anonymous users to rate and hate on men, airing grievances and saying whatever their heart desires without any consequence whatsoever. As you can imagine, that can result in countless keyboard warriors being vile and vindictive and making my lip curl with their petty behavior.

So let me start off by saying that I really liked that our heroine was unique. A somewhat emo-frumpy librarian with full sleeve tattoos, piercings, literary t-shirts and combat books - Darcy Greer was not what we usually find in romance books. But I dug her vibe and that she was willing to battle her family to be true to herself. I often wish I could let my tattoos all hang out - but I think that would be frowned upon by my stuffy government job. Darcy definitely had a lot of baggage, not just from a overly critical mother, but also from a near marriage that ended in a shocking way. All of this made me sympathetic to her character. I even understood her prickly nature when it came to dealing with our uber-handsome hero at first... but I wish overall that she would have been less judgy and less willing to believe everything she read online.

Reed McMahon is a successful public relations whiz schmoozing clients in expensive bespoke suits. With no time for a relationship, Reed is seen as a playboy and women view him as the ultimate catch, the one they all hope they can change with one sweaty session between the sheets. Even though Reed tells them up front not to have any expectations, do you think they listen? Of course not. So when the Bad Bachelor app gets going, all those women (plus some other fake and vindictive types) absolutely trash Reed and make him the #1 worst bachelor in the city. Unfortunately in this day and age, people are all too willing to take what they see online is gospel and no one stops to see that there is more to Reed than meets the eye. While he did project what he wanted people to see and had a problem with pushing people away, he was actually a good person, close to his father, and definitely good at his job. I liked Reed immensely. And I liked that the author made him such a likable, if misunderstood, character. It would have been easy to paint him as the villain that women made him out to be, and I'm glad that is not the direction this story went. 

The power dynamic gets flipped a couple times in this story. Reed is the playboy flirt and doesn't hold back from seductive quips and propositions to our grumpy heroine. Then when things are getting heavier between the two, Darcy has the power to wound Reed with her words, and vice versa. They did seem like an odd pair - but I liked them together. Their relationship was not without drama and misunderstanding, but when they were together, they were a lot of fun. The snark and banter was great, and they steamed things up pretty well between the sheets. 

The Bad Bachelor app was this cancer growing in the background of this story. It really irked me to no end, so I give kudos to London in this regard. She certainly got me invested in the story and rooting for our hero. She also had me hating the creators of the app and the petty vindictive women who were posting.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca.

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