Bringing Home the Bad Boy

Bringing Home the Bad Boy

4.4 28
by 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


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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Oh, how I hate bios! All of that deadly dull information about name (Barbara Bretton) and date of birth (June 25) and geographical data (born in New York City; lives near Princeton, NJ), marital status (many years married), and hobbies (who has time??). How do you gather up all of those dull, dry facts and turn them into something interesting? No wonder I tell lies for a living. I considered weaving a story for you about life on a houseboat on the French Riviera. Or maybe my years as a concubine, hidden away in a golden pleasure palace in the shimmering desert. Then I decided to do the unthinkable and tell you the truth. When I sold my first book and my life changed forever. I sent in my manuscript on Thursday February 21, 1982 and four days later the telephone rang and I heard the amazing words, "We want to buy your book." How I wish you could have seen me. I was standing by the kitchen door of our North Babylon house, the picture of cool sophistication, as I listened to Vivian Stephens explain the terms of the deal to me. You would have thought I'd sold a first book every single day of my life. Yes, I said. Sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for calling. I look forward to our association. That cool sophistication hung on until I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, then promptly threw up on my shoes. I was thirty-one years old, unagented, unschooled, unfamiliar with anything to do with the business of publishing. To put it mildly, I was in shock. My husband was working in Manhattan at the time (and finishing up his degree at night) so it would be hours until I could break the news to him. This was too exciting to waste on a phone call. I wanted to see his face when I told him that my dream had finally come true -- and came with a $6000 advance! He pulled into the driveway at midnight. I was waiting in the doorway, holding a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I didn't have to say a word. He knew right away and the look of joy and pride in his eyes warms me now, years later, long after the advance faded into memory. A lot has happened to me in the years since that first sale. I've learned that this is a difficult and demanding business (it takes a tough writer to write a tender book) and that I am happiest when I am most ignorant. I've also learned that a good friend, a writer and pal who truly understands, is worth her weight in good reviews and royalty checks. I fell madly in love with Skye O'Malley in early 1982 and wrote an unabashedly gushy fan letter to our beloved Bertrice Small. By the time Sunny answered, I had joined the ranks of the published and Sunny became friend and mentor, guide and confidant. She has held my hand through broken dreams, disappointments, family illnesses, and accepted my bizarre need to go underground from time to time with great affection and understanding. Over the years I've come to understand the difference between the writer and her work, that loving the book doesn't guarantee that I will love the author. But what a joy it is when you discover that the author of a beloved favorite is even more wonderful and witty and wise than the characters she creates. So this bio is for you, Sunny, for being the best of friends during the worst of times and -- even more wonderful -- during the good times as well. And now for the statistics: Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries. Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others. Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors. Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Second Chance Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

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.)

Jessica is an ex-meat-eater, writer, artist, dreamer, wife, and den mother to two dogs.

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Bringing Home the Bad Boy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Evan will always be a bad boy but as an adult he is a bad boy with a great heart. Struggles is an everyday means to an end in everyone's life and dealing with grief of his young wife he has to find himself so that he can keep their son on a happy well path in his life. As he will always love his wife he needed to remember being happy keeps him and his son happy. Very well written with strong realistic characters. I would recommend this to everyone who loves HEA endings.
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
Bringing Home the Bad Boy is a very emotional start to Lemmon’s newest series. I love the idea of these three “bad boys” all grown up. Who doesn’t like a reformed rake, right? (Evan is related to characters from her Love in the Balance series, but as far as I can tell, since I didn’t read those books, this one can stand on its own. I’m sure his history makes an appearance but Lemmon does a great job of keeping readers current with the new series.) I was very impressed with how Lemmon handled this story. There were so many ways that this could go but I really enjoyed the fact that in the end it was just Charlotte who needed to get past the fact that Evan was married to her best friend. It’s been years and he’s done his grieving, accepting the things that cannot change and that life moves on. It’s not been easy and he knows that to fully heal he has to make a new life for himself. Charlotte’s difficulty is complicated by the fact that long ago, before Evan and Rae got together, she had a thing for him. She got past those feelings when it was obvious that Evan and Rae belonged together but it just gives added depth to her current guilt. Evan is willing to help her come to terms with the change in their relationship but it’s a step she’s going to have to be willing to take. With a sexy single father, who is doing a fantastic job raising an absolutely adorable kid, and a fun-loving but hesitant “Aunt Charlie”, Lemmon delivers a can’t-miss emotional read. With a devilish twinkle in his eye and a smirk to his smile, Evan will become your new fictional boyfriend. Although he may have some competition from the other bad boys, Asher and Donovan - I can't wait to see what comes next in the Second Chance series. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading jessicas LOVE IN BALANCE SERIES I couldnt wait to finally read Evans story about how he & Lyon survived & moved on after Raes death.Jessica did an excellent job addressing greif & trying to help Charlie come to terms with their impending relationship! This book warmed my heart and had me in tears! Amazing fingerpaint scene & my love of photography also had a place in the story! Big hugs for continued good work & success! Excellent must have!! Traci of south FL
KimmyNYC More than 1 year ago
**I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** I'm not gonna lie. I clicked on this book because of the cover. I found myself just staring at it...LOOK AT IT. Yum. Then I read the synopsis and I was SOLD. I am a huge fan of the friends turned lovers story line and I also love a second chance romance. And this book has both! BONUS! At the beginning of the book Evan and his son Lyon are saying goodbye to their home. They have been living in the house where his wife Rae died and they both need a change. The two of them are moving back to Evergreen Cove, which is where Evan he spent his summers growing. It is also where Charlotte, or Aunt Charlie, as Lyon calls her, lives. Charlie was Rae's best friend. She was there when Evan and Rae met and now she feels responsible for both Evan and Lyon. Charlie lives next door and she knows that she will become a big part of their lives, but before she knows it she is not only spending a lot of time with them, but she also starts to experience feelings that she is not comfortable having. Here is the thing I liked most about this book. This was a story about people moving on after experiencing the death of a loved one. But when it came down to it, the person who is having the most trouble moving on isn't the one you would expect. The phrase "I'm sorry Rae" is spoken numerous times during the book and my heart broke every time it was said. The author makes is clear throughout the book that Charlie feels guilty about having feelings for Evan, but it's more than that. The other day I was trying to come up with a list of book boyfriends. Well now I can now add another one to the list...Evan Downey. Thank you Jessica Lemmon. He's a smart, sexy, loving, funny, tattooed, single father. And a force to be reckoned with. I think Charlie says it best when she uses this description to describe Evan: "The man could talk a nun out of her habit. And a good girl into a series of bad ones." I love Charlie and Evan together. They have known each other for years. Being together as friends is very easy, but Charlie is resistant to return Evan's romantic advances. But when she finally gives in...OH. MY. GOD. The author's writing style is not overly descriptive, but it was just enough to prompt me to do that whole "fanning myself with my hand" movement. I won't give away any details, but I will say that after reading this book you won't be able to think about finger painting without blushing. I look forward to the subsequent books in this series. This was my first Jessica Lemmon book and I will definitely be reading all the books in this series, as well as her books from the "Love in the Balance" series because Evan Downey has brothers y'all.
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
I loved this so very much. Excellent story full of heart and laughter and love and a whole lot of sexy. It was everything I adore in a great read! This was just a fantastic read for me. Evan and Charlie were so great and I loved them together. And Lyon, such a sweetheart. Evan, though, that man has my heart. So strong after having gone through so much and still willing to put himself out there. I just wanted to hug him. He's so patient and kind, I couldn't get enough. I adored Charlie. I totally got her and her feelings and this dilemma she was battling within herself. Loved their attraction and chemistry as well. It was loving and flirty, super hot and sensual but there were these fun moments that I found entertaining as well. There were so many emotional, heartfelt moments that had me choking up too. There was a good build and balance of all of it. Loved getting to know Asher and how fun he and Evan were together. Asher definitely had personality. Love the story developing with him and Gloria. Makes me totally excited to read his book, Return of the Bad Boy. He seems like such a sweet and genuine guy but he's a bit messed up. Cannot wait to see what happens with him. The writing in this was so awesome, I was completely pulled in. Great details and character development. Solid story with an excellent pace that had me lost in their world. I really loved it. By the end I was left crying and laughing, it was just fantastic! Beautiful story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DUMB(stars done because it says can't be posted incomplete
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book by a great author. Evan and Charlie are amazing together. And you've got to love Lyon, such a funny kid. Charlie's struggle to fight her love for Evan tore at me while Evans unwillingness to leave Charlie alone filled me with joy
PJ16 More than 1 year ago
This is a new author for me and I really enjoyed this book. I loved Evan and Lyon they were great. I loved the addition of Charlie. This book had me crying, laughing and just overall a great story. I can't say to much because I don't want to give away the ending. Mad Cow and his new side kick were great addition and the penis bandits had me rolling. Moving on to book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of emotion, very well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marcy99 More than 1 year ago
This book brought out all the emotions. Since it dealt with overcoming grief after the death of a spouse/mother/friend there were sad parts. But they were offset by the many episodes of sly humor and full out laughter. This was a wonderful story!
DebDiem More than 1 year ago
Jessica Lemmon's book, Bringing Home the Bad Boy is a great read. This book is well written and loaded with lovable characters, drama, humor and sizzle. I enjoyed Evan and Charlie's story and look forward to reading the next book in the series. Bringing Home the Bad Boy is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First I've read from this author, and I wasn't dissapointed! Loved her characters and the heart put into their story...I laughed and cried. Anytime and author can make me laugh out loud and physically shed a few tears, I'm in!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a very big fan of Jessica Lemmon and have been anxiously awaiting Evans' story. This book was definitely worth the wait. It has been three years since Evan lost his wife and Charlie lost her best friend. It was si fun to "watch" Evan try to get Charlie through her guilt over them in order ti give them a fighting chance at a future. It always makes books interesting to have little kids in the story and see what they ars thinking and Landon definitely isn't shy about sharing his thoughts. So touching when he finally calls Charlie " mom". I absolutely love "bad boys" and can't wait for the next in this series!
cmspharmd More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by Jessica Lemmon and I have to say I am extremely excited to read anything that she writes! Here we have a story of second chance love! Evan Downey - hot tattooed male with a gruff exterior but a heart of gold who has a deep passion for his artistry! His wife, Rae, passed away 4 years ago and since then he has been coming to terms with the lose, dealing with his own tattoo business while trying to figure out how to be a single dad when Rae was the primary caregiver of Lyon. He realizes that its been hard on him to have reminders of Rae around and he doesn't want to erase her from his son's life. So he decides to move his son to the town that he spent his childhood summers in which also means they will be near a woman that loved Rae as much as he did...her best friend Charlotte Harris. Charlotte, which Lyon refers to as Aunt Charlie and Evan has nicknamed her Ace, wants to help Evan and Lyon move on. What Charlie doesn't realize is that her teenage crush on Evan is still lurking under the surface and her heart has other plans. In her mind, she believes she is stealing her best friend's family right from under her nose and that she could never replace Rae as Lyon's mother. She will always be a friend to Evan and an aunt to Lyon. She doesn't believe that she deserves anything more. The relationship between Evan and Charlie is slow building and I truly believe that you can see the love unfold between these two as the wrestle with their demons. Charlie does not have the best past with relationships and you can see this by the way she second guesses herself all the time with Evan and apologizes incessantly over everything, even when she doesn't know why she's apologizing. Evan pushes the limits with Charlie and its completely necessary. Charlie believes that Evan is the one that needs to grieve, but in reality, Charlie has more demons than Evan. Evan gets her to break out of her shell and drives her to look at the future. Her dreams and desires are just as important as the next person and he wants her to realize her value and strength. Along the way, both Evan and Charlie face insecurities and obstacles. Evan deals with his love for painting and being artistic because that is one point that he always argued with Rae over. Rae didn't see his passion for art the way he did. Thus, when something happens to his family while he is lost in his passion, he always remembers the conversations he had with Rae. These demons rear their head throughout the story as each character tries to learn how to vanquish them! There is also lots of humor within the story! Lyon is such a loving and adorable little 7 year old boy. You can see his similarities to Evan and what a loving relationship he has with his dad. The scene where his hair is cut and he's hysterical until he realizes Aunt Charlie is there and drys his tears up quickly is so cute! Thank you for showing us what a wonderful experience is it to have a loving child! Not only do you get to enjoy this loving little family - you get introduced to the other Bad Boys Asher and Donovan briefly, but you also meet Gloria - Asher and Evan's agent - who is hell on wheels and pretty cut throat as well as Sofie and Faith, Charlie's girlfriends, which one of them has a past with Donovan! I have to say that she has set up, at least in my mind, 2 more novels for this series! Please don't miss out on this book! It's totally worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Evan Downey and his son Lyon, move to Evergreen Cove for a fresh start after the loss of his wife, Rae. Although it's been several years since she has died, Evan knows he needs new scenery to move on with his life. Charlotte Harris, his wife's best friend and Lyon's "Aunt Charlie" lives there as well. Charlie has dealt with her own losses. Along with losing her best friend, her mother has passed and her family has basically abandoned her. Her boyfriend left her for another woman and although Charlie thinks she's fine, she's really not. Evan is tattooed and from the outside looks like a real bad boy. Inside he is a loving, caring father and friend. He loved his wife, loves his son and is willing to explore his feelings for Charlie. Grab your tissues and hold on, this is an emotional roller coaster ride. Jessica Lemmon has the awesome ability to write in a manner to make you feel the emotions of the characters. Your heart breaks for Charlotte as she tries to deal with her life and regain her confidence. Evan is her rock even though she continually tries to push him away. I have read all the books in series and have not been disappointed by any of them. I look forward to her next installment!
ValerieStuckInBooks More than 1 year ago
I adore Evan Downey. I don't see him as a bad boy, though. He's an artist who paints, draws, illustrates and tattoos. He's recovering from the grief of his young wife dying before his eyes. The memories bring the nightmares. He's raising his seven year old son alone. The girls he sees are all just for the moment. But he's not giving off the bad boy vibe at all. The move back to Evergreen Cove gets Evan out of the house he lived in with his wife and closer to her best friend. Charlotte has been an aunt to Evan's son and he wants to be closer. The problem is that Charlotte has had a crush on Evan since he fell for her best friend. Now she fights to keep her heart in check. Except for the nightmares that still plague Evan, he's dealing with his grief. He's ready to move on and Charlotte catches his eye. But this story isn't really about Evan starting over as much as it is about Charlie figuring out how to grieve for her best friend, Rae, and deal with the feeling she has Rae's husband. And this is where I adore Evan. Because he gets it. He gets the problem that Charlie is having and he's there for her. The sweet moments this boy comes up with had me swooning and loving on him. His patience, understanding and determination with Charlie were perfect. A bit long, this one is full of details. I'm thinking it set up the rest of the series with a few secondary characters. Speaking of secondary characters, I wanted to drop kick Russell. I was so cheering when a certain yummy boy introduced him to his fist. Talk about annoying waste of space, Russell deserves some serious bad karma coming his way. I did love Charlies friends and I'm sure they will be front and center in future books. I'd love to see Ash and Glo get a book. That's an interesting couple if I ever saw one. If you love to luxuriant over your romance, then this is your book. Lots and lots of yummy scenes as this couple works through a bunch of issues that weren't easy to dismiss. I enjoy it.
alkire6 More than 1 year ago
OMG! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! EVAN IS AMAZING! tears were present in some areas, laughter in most, goofy lovey-dovey smile stuck to my face(most likely beat red) from the LOVE and PASSION shared between Evan and Ace(Charlie) that first paint scene was AHHH-MMMM-aZING! My favorite- although, I will say the painting was GREAT! :D I love that Evan found a love after Rae, and I love how Charlie overcame her insecurities and found a great love in Evan! A Great book! I am going to be stuck in this book for a while--book hangover :) (and no, I don't want Evan's hangover hash FOOD for this hangover ;) )
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Angela and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog This Lemmon is a gem! I was fighting tears at four percent. FOUR PERCENT!!! Jessica Lemmon, a new-to-me author had me emotionally invested in this book from page one! She tackled matters of Death, Grief, and a Second Chance at romance. I must say, I am very impressed. It’s been five years since Evan Downey’s wife had passed away. It hasn’t been easy but after these years of grieving, he is ready for a new start. And what better way to do that than to go to the place where he found happiness long ago. Maybe even get another chance at love. Guilt can be an ugly festering sore in your ass if you can’t let go. If this is true, then Charlie’s ass would be in big trouble. She had an overwhelming guilt looming over her head since her BFF passed away.  There was a point that it almost became too much for my liking but I’m glad Ms. Lemmon cut it when she did.  She did good making Charlie give in using Evan and Lyon’s convincing charms. I loved this couple. They live their lives in the the simplest way but shines like a beacon without even trying.  Both Evan and Charlie are artist who are passionate about what they do and with that said, you know they will be passionate in bed. Evan certainly is passionate and skilled. The man can create art and takes it to a whole new sexy level. Did I mention he is also a tattoo artist?! There is no cliffhanger in this story except an unanswered question. I am very curious about the painting in the library? I’m curious to where the memorable painting would reside next. I’m hoping to read more about it at the next Installment which I believe with be about Donny though I was hoping for Asher first.  I’m sure Ms. Lemmon has big plans for him…can’t wait!!! *ARC provided by publisher
Judy-Ree More than 1 year ago
This book first hit my radar when Anna from Herding Cats and Burning Soup posted on instagram that her review of another Jessica Lemmon book had made it into this one. Since Anna is a big fan, I took the time to check it out and look into.  I was thrilled to see it available on Netgalley. So I put in my request and can now completely understand why Anna is such a fan.  First of all we have Evan. Evan lost Rae, his wife and best friend, 5 years prior to the start of the book. He is a tattoo artist, turned illustrator and doing a pretty good job of raising their son alone. But he is haunted by the memories of Rae and especially her death in their home. So he decides to move to Evergreen Cove, the place where he had only good memories of meeting and falling in love with Rae. It's also closer to Charlie, Rae's best friend, who has become a touchstone for both him and his son. Charlotte has had a crush on Evan ever since they were teenagers even though all Evan ever saw was Rae. Even though Rae has passed, Charlie refuses to make a move - not wanting to dishonor her friend's memory. But in the last 5 years, Charlie and Evan have become very close, forming a bond that goes beyond friendship. One of the things that I really liked about this book was that neither of the characters was overly "broken". Did they each have some issues? Yep, of course. But they took turns helping each other out. One being strong, where the other was weak. Also, although Evan was tattooed, he wasn't the cliched biker. And while there was a "rock star billionaire" in the story, that wasn't Evan either. What we had was two fairly normal, everyday people, getting a second chance at love. It was by turns sweet, pensive, sexy and playful. I gave this 4 stars and look forward to the next book.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
LOVED this book!! Brilliantly emotional story that kept me glued to the pages. After four years of dealing with the sudden death of his much loved wife Rae, Evan Downey has decided it's time for a fresh start and moves himself and his small son Lyon closer to family and friends in Evergreen Cove. Charlie (Charlotte) Harris was Rae's very best friend and misses her every day. Having Evan and Lyon close is just what her healing hearts needs. When sparks start to fly between Evan and Charlie, the guilt and feelings of betrayal are difficult to deal with and may be more than Charlie can handle. This is truly a great one and it is definitely going on my keeper shelf! I highly recommend it!!
NicoleSR More than 1 year ago
I really don't think there are words to describe how much I loved this book. Charlie, Evan, and Lyon captured my attention and my heart from the very beginning. Books should transport the reader, and Lemmon paints a beautiful picture of Evergreen Cove bringing her audience into this lakeside community. Evan and Charlie burn up the pages and I was deeply invested in their happily ever after. Lemmon has the ability to make you laugh on one page, and then have you crying the next. It's a beautiful story about finding love again and healing. I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone.
MsRomanticReads More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4.5 out of 5  Evan was about as close to perfect as a hero could get. At first I thought he wasn’t over Rae, even after four years. He may have made peace with his loss in his heart, but his restlessness and nightmares made me think otherwise. But as the story went on, it became clear that he was ready to start anew and open himself up to love again. I loved his character because he kept things real. Not only was he doing the best he could to raise his son, but he tried to marry his responsibilities with a job that kept odd hours and sucked up all of his attention. When it came to Charlie, he had a deep reserve of patience for her, and I loved how he pushed her when she needed it and backed off when he felt she might bolt.  Charlotte or “Charlie” had been Rae’s best friend since they were teenagers. After Rae's death, she vowed to look out for the boys. She surprised me with her fragility as the story went on. After the first two zings of sexual tension between Charlie and Evan, the more I saw just how timid she really was. Saying she was “messed up” would be a little too harsh. She didn’t deal well with the budding relationship which manifested itself in intense guilt, shame and fear of losing the friendship. I wanted to bean her over the head a few times because despite plenty of reassurances from many different people, she couldn’t find the courage to take what was offered to her (aside from the mind-blowing sex). As much as I wanted to rail on her, I understood that her non-existent family history had set her up nicely as prey for that uber douchebag of an ex-boyfriend who’d screwed her over royally. There were a lot of ups and downs on their path to a HEA, and I felt they were handled with a good measure of realism. Anyone stepping into a family unit would be apprehensive of being seen as trying to replace the missing parent. However, I really enjoyed that these two were able to work out their own issues for themselves without being directly told by others how to fix their them. It’s always nice to see characters be self-aware of their shortcomings. The love scenes came along naturally and didn’t feel thrown in to break the tension. Each encounter had a time and place that made each one positively swoon-worthy (the scene in Evan’s studio and the paint!!!). Evan was a wickedly sexy male, from his looks, amazing body and his dirty mouth. I loved how easily he could shock her. Asher and Gloria were a couple I’d love to read about. I’m sure their story would be full of fireworks. I’d have given this a solid 5 stars if Charlie hadn’t kept taking steps back well past the halfway point. But Evan alone and his tenacity deserve the 4.5. *Complimentary ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.*