Once Upon a Bad Boy: A Sometimes in Love Novel

Once Upon a Bad Boy: A Sometimes in Love Novel

by Melonie Johnson

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Sadie Gold is ready to take her career to the next level with the role of a lifetime. Finally, she can shake her reputation as a pretty face with more wealth and connections than talent. But Sadie is not prepared for the wild turn her own life is about to take. The man in charge of training Sadie for her most demanding role yet is none other than her first real boyfriend—the one who took her heart and ran away.

Bo Ibarra is as good-looking and irresistible as ever. Maybe even more so, now that everything once worked against them—Sadie’s pampered and privileged upbringing and Bo’s childhood in a family struggling to make ends meet—is in the past. But the future is still unwritten…and getting there, together, means coming clean about painful secrets and slashing through nasty tabloid rumors while trying to control the attraction that crackles between them. Maybe it’s finally time for them to walk off into the sunset and into a true and lasting love?

The Sometimes in Love series is:

“Playful, passionate, and positively unputdownable!”
New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren

“Witty, sexy...Melonie Johnson is an addictive new voice in contemporary romance.” New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250193070
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Series: Sometimes in Love , #3
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 170,392
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

After earning her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie Johnson—aka #thewritinglush—taught high school English and Theatre for several years. An award winning author and a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, she writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin. She lives happily ever after with her husband, two redheaded daughters, a dog that's more like a small horse, and a pair of hermit crabs. She is the author of the Sometimes in Love series which includes Getting Hot with the Scot, Smitten by the Brit, and Once Upon a Bad Boy.

Read an Excerpt


SPRINKLES. SADIE GOLDOVITZ braced her feet on the mat, bent her knees slightly and twisted sideways, pulling her elbow back. No, Glazed. She rotated, hips twisting as her arm shot forward, fist flying. Her cross punch landed with a solid thwack, knocking the sparring bag sideways.

"Nice one," her trainer, Jim, grunted from his position behind the bag.

Sadie nodded. She knew better than to waste air replying.

Sure enough, a beat later Jim steadied the bag and barked, "Again."

Her body responded instantly to the command, dropping back into fighting stance, legs braced but not locked, core tight. Her left fist slammed into the bag in a quick jab, followed by another cross with her right. Jab, cross. Jab, jab, cross. Her thighs burned. Her hands, curled inside her boxing gloves, were an aching, sweaty mess. But she continued the punching pattern. Jab, cross. Jab, jab, cross.

A rebellious little blond curl escaped her ponytail and proceeded to flop around face, but Sadie ignored it, focusing on the rhythm of her movements. Jab, cross. Jab, jab, cross. She glared at the bag, returning to her happy place. Glazed *with* sprinkles.

The asshole curl was now stuck in her eyelashes, but she didn't have the extra energy or breath to blow it away, so she kept going, inhaling and exhaling with each blast of her fist. The round had to be over soon. Unless Jim had decided to screw with her and extend the drill time. She wouldn't check, though. Last time she'd glanced at the clock, she'd earned an extra burpee for each second she'd had left.

Sadie hated burpees.

Jim knew this, of course.

She kept going. Another jab and cross. Two more jabs followed by a cross. She pictured the glass case of the donut shop, the gleaming rows of unholy bliss awaiting her perusal. She would take her time, absorbing the heavenly smells and carefully considering all her options before making her selection.

Her Friday donut was the proverbial carrot on the end of the stick. A reward for enduring another week of hell training for the lead role in a new action movie. Sadie had spent the summer honing her body into a fighting machine, preparing to step in to the ass-kicking boots of Jamie, the dynamic heroine of Fair is Fair.

For inspiration to stick to her brutal exercise regimen, she'd taped a poster of Linda Hamilton in her Terminator 2 glory days to her bathroom mirror, admiring Sarah Connor's guns every morning as she brushed her teeth. For motivation to stay on her strict diet plan, Sadie had started her Friday donut ritual. Knowing she could pick whatever she wanted from that glass case of bliss, even if it was just once a week, gave her enough willpower to see her through each day.

Plus, there was no limit on how much she thought about that one donut. Fantasies were calorie-free and Sadie indulged often. Maybe she'd try something totally different today. Something extra sinful. With frosting. Loads of it. Her stomach rumbled with anticipation as she twisted her middle, winding up for another punch combo.

"Gold!" Jim yelled.

She faltered mid-swing, her fist grazing the bag. "What?" she snapped.

"Time's up."

"Oh." She relaxed. "Thank God."

"Thank me." Jim chuckled and helped her remove her gloves. "I called your name at least three times. You were in the zone."

"Yeah, the donut zone." Hands finally free, Sadie flexed her fingers and shoved the annoying curl out of her face. Too long to leave down, but too short for a decent ponytail, the best she could manage with her hair looked more like a mushroom about to explode from the top of her head.

"What's this about donuts?" Jim asked, frowning.

"It's Friday." Sadie grabbed her water bottle and chugged.

"And?" he grunted, hands on hips.

"And, I made it all the way through this week's training."

"What do you want, a sticker?" He raised an eyebrow.

"No. I want a donut." Sadie pointed her water bottle at her trainer and squeezed.

"Hey!" Jim sputtered, blocking the spray of water. "You're going to mess up my 'do."

"Dude, nothing could mess that up." Sadie rolled her eyes at him. Jim was very protective of his hair. "And one donut a week is not going to mess up my training."

"Only one?" He raised both eyebrows this time.

"Only one." She held up her hand, palm out. "I promise." She dropped her hand and poked at her bare sweaty stomach. "Would these abs lie to you?"

"They better not." Jim smirked. "Or I'll add another hundred lemon squeezers to your sets next week."

Sadie grimaced. "Noted."

"I don't want to see all my hard work go to ..." he paused, eyeing her torso, "... waste."

"Your hard work!" She moved to punch him.

He turned, absorbing her swing with the meat of his shoulder. "Not bad. Your right hook is getting pretty boss."

"Thanks." The agony of the last sixty minutes faded at her trainer's words. Jim didn't dole out compliments often.

"When do you finally get to start kicking ass for real?" he asked, tossing her a towel.

"Filming starts Monday." She wiped the sweat from her forehead.


"Hell, no." Sadie tucked the towel around her neck. "I've been waiting for a part like this since I started acting." She took another swig of water. Becoming Jamie was her chance to prove to the world she was more than the spoiled little rich girl she'd been playing on a soap opera for the last several years. Prove she was more than the spoiled little rich girl the tabloids continued to describe her as. She was tired of the catty accusations, the assumption that because she came from a powerful, wealthy family, she had more connections than talent.

Sadie swallowed past the resentment burning in her throat. "This movie could make or break me," she admitted. "I'm just glad to finally get started, you know?"

"Oh, yeah." Jim nodded. "I've had matches like that. Big ones where it felt like my career was hinging on the outcome. Spend all that time training, when what I really wanna do is just get in the ring already." Her trainer crossed his arms over his massive chest. "But that's how it works. You gotta put in the time first. You want it, you gotta earn it." Jim narrowed his eyes, giving her a once-over. It was a fighter's look, sizing her up. "You think you've earned it?"

Sadie met his gaze head-on, mimicking his serious tone. "I've definitely earned that donut." She bent her arms and flexed.

"Whoa, put those guns away, girl." Jim held up his hands in mock surrender.

Laughing, Sadie flexed some more. For the first time in her life, she had defined, visible muscles and couldn't resist the urge to show off a little. She'd never worked harder in her life than she had the past few months, preparing for this role.

As if reading her thoughts, Jim added, "Seriously, Gold, you've been working your ass off. I'm proud of you."

"You are?" Sadie's cheeks flushed.

"I said so, didn't I?" He grinned at her, grabbing the towel off her neck and snapping it. "Now get outta my gym. Go get your one donut."

* * *

Half an hour later, Sadie tucked a damp curl behind her ear as she examined the day's selections in the bakery case. She'd showered and traded her tight sweaty workout clothes for her favorite pair of jeans and a loose, comfy T-shirt, but hadn't taken the time to blow-dry her hair. Every minute spent getting ready was another between her and her donut.

One of the few benefits of having workouts that started at the unholy hour of five in the morning was that she was done by six. Which meant, if she showered fast, changed faster, and speed-walked, she arrived at Stan's in time for when they opened the doors at six thirty. Often, she was the first one there, giving her first pick of the freshly stocked case. Even better, she could take her time deciding, since the morning rush, which usually kicked off around seven, hadn't gotten underway yet.

Glazed, sprinkled, glazed with sprinkles. Chocolate, double chocolate, chocolate cake. Coconut cake. Sadie bobbed up and down, gaze roaming hungrily over the mounds of carbs, glistening with sin. Peanut butter, peanut butter banana. Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry. Lemon curd. Pistachio. Maple. She licked her lips, tasting the name of each flavor.

Her mouth was watering, and she hadn't even gotten to the hand pies or fritters yet. Sadie bent over, hands braced on her thighs as she stared into the case. She was still engrossed in the bounty on display when a hard smack to her backside made her jump in surprise.

"What the hell?" Sadie swung around, fist clenched.

"I thought that might get your attention," a husky, sultry voice teased.

"Ana!" Sadie relaxed at the sight of her best friend, green eyes twinkling, full red lips curving in a mischievous smile.

"In the flesh." Ana tossed her mane of thick waves, black as a raven's wing, over her shoulder.

"I wasn't expecting you." Sadie reached out to give her best friend a hug. "You're lucky I didn't punch you in the face for that ass grab. I'm told my right hook is getting pretty boss."

"I bet." Ana returned the hug. "But since your face is currently buried in my boobs, let's call it even."

Sadie snorted and stepped back. Where she was petite and barely topped five feet, Ana was tall and generously proportioned. Which yes, put Sadie at about breast height. She smiled up at her best friend. "I thought you couldn't make it today."

"I decided I couldn't pass up our new Friday tradition." Ana glanced at the glass case. "Have you ordered yet?"

Sadie turned back to the selection of donuts. "I can't make up my mind." She sighed. "I'm thinking I need frosting today. But I can't decide which I want more, maple or chocolate."

"Get them both."

"Oh no, I can have only one."

"Or what? The calorie gods will curse you?"

"No, but my trainer will. He threatened me with extra lemon squeezers."

Ana curled her lips in revulsion. "I don't know what those are, but I do know the only lemon I want squeezed is the one dribbled over a nicely grilled bit of barramundi or going into a Lemon Drop martini."

"Will you split with me? We can have half of each."

"Ugh, the things I do in the name of friendship." Ana sighed dramatically, impressive cleavage heaving. "If you insist. Get the donuts. I'll buy the coffee."

After ordering, they slid down to the other end of the counter. The clerk handed Sadie a bag, and she pulled out both donuts and set them on a napkin. She sliced each one down the middle, then rearranged the pieces so half of both was on each napkin. She pushed one of the napkins toward Ana.

"I'm going to take mine to go. I can't stay long," Ana admitted. "I have a party for twenty-five mermaids to prepare for."

"What time does the party start?" Sadie asked, putting Ana's portion back in the bag.

"Not 'til eleven." Ana poured a measure of cream into her coffee. "But the mother of the birthday mermaid wants me there early."

"How early?"

"If she had her way, since last night."

Sadie laughed. "One of those types, huh?" Ana ran a catering company that specialized in uniquely themed upscale parties, and with every mom on the North Shore looking to outdo the other, her services were in high demand.

"You have no idea." Ana stirred her coffee. "It's bad enough I let the woman bulldoze me into agreeing to be there by seven."

"It's almost seven now."

"Which is why I can't stay long." She offered Sadie the carafe of cream.

Sadie shook her head. "No dairy."

"You can do donuts but no dairy?" Ana's lips twitched.

"That part isn't so bad. It's the protein bars that are the worst." Sadie shuddered.

"Not your favorite?" Ana asked, smirking.

"They taste like a dead banana." Sadie made a face. "No, if a banana were murdered, and someone made a chalk outline of the crime scene, that's what they taste like."

Ana let out a snort of laughter. "And you eat this atrocity? On purpose?"

"Three times a day."

"I don't think I could ever subject myself to such torture." Ana raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure you're not some kind of masochist?"

"Ha. The workouts make me wonder sometimes." Sadie fiddled with her two donut halves. "By the way, thanks for saving me from extra torture by avoiding temptation this morning."

"Happy to help." Ana beamed at her. "I've missed you. It's been nice having you back in Chicago. Monday night margaritas, Friday morning donuts, Sunday bike rides." She snapped the lid back on her coffee cup. "I know once filming starts, I won't see you as much."

"I'm still going to be around, but yeah, it's going to get rough soon."

Ana sipped her coffee. "Will you be able to ride this weekend?" Sadie nodded. While her best friend despised most types of exercise, Ana loved cycling, was almost religious about it. For Ana, Sunday rides were like church. "This Sunday should be fine. After that, I don't know." Sadie took a sip of her own coffee. She'd gotten used to drinking it black, but she'd never love it. When this movie shoot was over, she was going to have all the lattes. "I'll have a better idea of my schedule after today."

"Ooh, the table read is this afternoon, right?"

"Yep." Sadie grabbed another bag and stuffed her donut halves inside.

"Wait, after all that fuss, and you're not even going to eat it now?"

"I want to walk out with you." Sadie carefully placed the bag inside her purse. She licked a stray smidge of maple frosting from her finger and groaned with pleasure. "Besides, the longer I wait to eat this, the better it will taste."

"Delayed gratification only works up to a point." Ana eyed her up and down pointedly. "Trust me, you don't want to end up with a stale donut."

Sadie followed Ana toward the exit. "Why do I get the feeling we're not talking about food anymore?" she asked, weaving her way through the now-crowded shop. Morning rush was in full swing.

"Why do I get the feeling sucking frosting off your finger was the most action you've had in weeks?" Ana shot back, juggling her coffee and donut bag as she reached for the door. At that moment, it swung open and the guy entering stepped to the side, holding the door for them. "Thank you." Ana flashed him a flirty smile as she sailed past.

Sadie hurried after her friend. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"

"You've heard the expression use it or lose it, right?" Ana glanced over her shoulder and wiggled her fingers. "He's cute."

Sadie glanced back. Door guy was still standing there. He returned her friend's wave and grinned.

"Great smile." Ana paused, watching as he turned to head into the shop. "Ooh, and a great butt." She began to retrace her steps. "I think I'm going to grab his ..."

Sadie yanked on Ana's arm, holding her back. "You're going to grab his what?"

"His number." Ana gazed down at Sadie, face full of innocent curiosity. "What else?"

"Aren't you already late for your mermaid mom?"

Ana bit her lip. "Darn. You're right." Her smile turned sly. "Maybe you should get his number instead."


"Why not?"

Sadie sputtered.

"When's the last time you got a guy's number?"

More sputtering.

"Now that I think about it, when's the last time you've been on a date?" Ana pressed. "Ever since you moved back to Chicago, you've been ... different. What happened to my flirty dirty partner in crime?"

"I don't know what you mean," Sadie hedged.

"Please," Ana snorted. "You're talking to me, remember? I know you. And I know something is up," she added, her tone losing its playful edge.

"Nothing is up," Sadie denied, uncomfortable with the sudden turn in the conversation.

Silently, Ana stared down at Sadie, one raised eyebrow doing the talking for her.

"I mean it," Sadie insisted. "With all the training and prep work for the film, I haven't had time to think about anything else."

"Is that true?" Ana asked quietly. "Or is it really more about how, now that you are back here to stay awhile, you are thinking of something in particular. Someone in particular."

Half-formed dreams swirled through Sadie's mind. She shook her head, scattering them before they could take shape. She wasn't going there. Not now, not ever. "I've just been busy, that's all. Okay?" She stared up at her friend. I can't talk about this. Please don't make me talk about this. About him.

Awareness flickered in Ana's green eyes. An acknowledgment of all that Sadie left unsaid. She backed off, voice picking up its light teasing tone again as she clucked her tongue and said, "No one is ever too busy to get busy."

"What is that supposed to be" — Sadie smirked, playing along — "some kind of mantra?" She sucked in a grateful breath and waited at the curb while Ana walked around to the driver's side of her car.

"A motivational slogan." Ana opened her car door. "My mom has been into needlepoint lately. I'll see if she can sew that into a pillow. What do you think?"

"I think you're weird." Sadie shook her head and leaned on the convertible's passenger door. The same shade of emerald as Ana's eyes, the car was fun and sexy, just like the woman who drove it.

"Very," Ana agreed. "But I can't help it, I come from a long line of weirdos." She set her coffee in a cup holder and settled into her seat. "Can this weirdo give you a ride?"

"Thanks, I'm good." Her apartment wasn't far, and Sadie enjoyed walking through her neighborhood. Every city had its own vibe, and after living in New York for six years, it was nice to be back on home turf. September in Chicago could be unbearably hot and steamy, but this morning was promising to be one of those awesome end-of-summer days that held a kiss of fall. And the steady breeze blowing in off the lake didn't hurt either.


Excerpted from "Once Upon a Bad Boy"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Melonie Johnson.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Once Upon a Bad Boy: A Sometimes in Love Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
MaimeosAngelsEL 5 months ago
A second chance at love story that was enjoyable. Sadie Gold has never forgotten her first love, the man who broke her heart and walked away, Bo Ibarra. Fast forward years and she comes face to face with Bo again as he is the man in charge of training her for latest role; he needs this job to be a success so that his partner will retire. The chemistry between them is still as strong as ever. However the issues that pulled them apart still lies between them. Sadie cane from a life of privilege while Bo had to fight tooth and nail for everything. Can Bo and Sadie forgive the hurts and heartaches of the past and in doing so forge a path to happiness together? When secrets are revealed will it make or break them forever? Bo and Sadie’s recollections and memories add to the enjoyment. Once Upon A Bad Boy was a sweet romantic read. I received an ARC through the publisher via NetGalley.
Madm007 5 months ago
This book featuring Sadie and Bo, was a friends to lovers, and a 2nd chance trope. So it's over 10 years later where their paths cross unexpectedly, and their chemistry is even hotter now, than it was! I think Bo's tastes have made the Bad Boy better. Now working with each other on a set, they thought they could be professional and discreet. That usually never works out, for anyone, so it brought a bit of drama and angst into play, along with secrets. It was a good story. Maybe a bit predictable in certain aspects, but still likeable as both mains had a wicked sense of humor that had me chuckling or full out laughing. A lot of new characters, plus appearances by some we'd met in the earlier journeys, all meshed rather well. I felt a shift! The focus had changed. This wasn't as light as it'd been, and there was controversy over real issues, I feel that aren't nearly so clear cut nor easily dealt with. Emotional overload then an HEA that came a bit too pat, but still gave me that happy sigh! Looking forward to the next one, hoping it's Ana! I received an advance copy thru NetGalley and am voluntarily giving my honest opinion.
TheGrumpyBookReviewer 19 days ago
St. Martin’s Press invited me back to review Once Upon a Bad Boy, the 3rd book in Melonie Johnson’s “Sometimes in Love” series. I have to say, it may be the best one yet. Sadie Gold, another of the circle of girlfriends since childhood, is close to reaching her dream of big screen stardom. Little does she expect the stunt coordinator on her new movie will be her first love, Bo Ibarra — the guy who dumped her. Bo and Sadie get together, but not without a lot of ups and downs, and some trust issues. Nevertheless, things heat up pretty quickly, and while the two previous books in the series made us of the f-word, this one as more crude language than the other two combined. I’m no prude, but I could do without that. Romantic comedies are usually not crude. I appreciate the effort to recognize that we are a nation of immigrants, or the descendants by mentioning that Bo’s grandparents were “an Irish immigrant and a Jewish girl”; and that his half-Irish father is married to his Mexican mother. I’m just not sure how, with an Irish father, Bo ended up with Ibarra for a surname. This is a surname primarily from the Basque region of Spain. The book examines other issues as well, such as teenage bullying, adult social media bullying, and the relentlessness abuse by tabloid news agencies. Overall, it was a lovely story that I enjoyed very much. It’s a great addition to the series, and I hope there’ll be more. What Makes this Reviewer Grumpy? • Incorrect verb tense: “I wish you would have…” should be “I wish you had…”; • far too many split infinitives; • misplacement of “only” within sentences; • using “try and” rather than “try to”; • beginning sentences with conjunctions.
Christine_QueenofBooks 30 days ago
Not my favorite of the series, though Johnson remains a great writer. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a free e-arc of Once Upon a Bad Boy for review. I really enjoyed the first two books in Melonie Johnson's Sometimes in Love series, Getting Hot with the Scot and Smitten by the Brit, so my expectations may have been a bit too high for Once Upon a Bad Boy. It starts off fun, but I just didn't like one of the main characters enough to root for this couple. Once Upon a Bad Boy features Sadie, who we met in the first two books, and Bo. Sadie's been cast as one of the leads in a feature film, which she's hoping will be her big break. That's her focus. So imagine her surprise when Bo, her childhood sweetheart, suddenly reenters her life. I didn't see Bo as a "bad boy" - mostly, he came off as a jerk to me. I wanted more from him in their discussions. Yes, this is a second chance romance, so you know that's coming... but I wanted much more from him before she agreed to give him a second chance. I also didn't like how he, or her best friend, treated Sadie at times. But, Melonie Johnson is great at writing stories that pull you in, and the first two in the series were so much fun. I'm definitely interested in whatever she writes next.
purplebass89 3 months ago
Between 4 and 4.5 stars "Once upon a bad boy" is my second book by Melonie Johnson. The protagonist of the story is Sadie, that we saw in the previous book as one of Bonnie's best friends. Sadie is an actress. I won't say an "aspiring" actress because we know that she's already got a few roles but not that role that changes her life as an actor. Now we find that she's finally been casted as the main protagonist of a big movie, which is for Sadie the chance to become big in the environment, but also prove herself that she got where she is because she is a good actress and not because her family has connections. Since the movie is an action one, there is a stunt company that will help and provide stunt people that will partecipate in the filming. It would be ok for Sadie, if the main coordinator wouldn't be her first boyfriend Bo. He is in charge of the stunts and he'll help Sadie and her co-stars do the film well. But would she be alright with working with her ex? Sadie is one of the characters that I eyed in the previous book because she looked fun and outgoing. She has this personality in this book as well, but we also see sides of her that perhaps were hidden because of her job. She is a strong woman and is excited to play a strong character for her breakout role, so when she finds out she has to work with Bo she panicks. Remembering her past with him could hinder her future career, but she manages it just fine when she and Bo cannot deny that there are still feelings of love and affection lingering between them. For that matter, things between Bo and Sadie get hot quickly. I don't know why, but I would've liked for them to get closer again a bit later into the book. I wanted angst between them, but I didn't get it. This is one of the reasons why I am undecided. While I liked the book, there were details like this that disappointed me. Another thing that got me mmmh about this book was the heritage of the male protagonist Bo. I guess that's an editing mistake, but his name was Bonifacio on some pages and Bonafacio on some others. What I can't understand is why his surname is Ibarra if he's supposed to have an Irish father and Mexican mother. Ibarra is a Spanish word that means "meadow", which is an important setting of this book, and could explain why the author chose it, but it doesn't match with the history of the character. Besides this, another reason why I didn't give an extra star is that I don't know, between the 30% and 65% mark this book fell flat, and then it got my attention again during the last quarter with the other plots. Like I said above, I wished for more angst and development before the characters jumped on each other, but what I got seemed like fillers. It would've been better to add more drama and contrast in my opinion, to spice things up. The ending also felt abrupt. Don't get me wrong, the ending wraps up all the storylines of the book, but the last line seems open, as if a few more things wanted to be written but the author decided to delete it. An Epilogue would've been great as well, because I felt like the story ended too soon. Despite everything, I liked Bo and Sadie. I just wished there would be more backstory and development of their love story in the present.
bookreader1TP 3 months ago
Sadie and Bo were in love once upon a time, now years later, they are working on the same movie. She is the lead star and he is in charge of making sure the stunts don't hurt anyone. He left for valid reasons, which she still doesn't know. He has never stopped loving her, nor she him, but they have to figure out if what they had can be salvaged or if they are truly over. Heritage and upbringing plays a huge part in this book and some of the things she does upset me, even if I understood her actions. She truly has a heart of gold and he has always wanted a second chance. The third book in this series did not disappoint and I look forward to reading more in this series. Great characters, tough topics, wonderful backstory and great references to movies/characters are always important. Each book in this series had parts that either seemed to move slowly or too fast, but it didn't deter me from enjoying the story. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest, voluntary review.
Fictionalluv 3 months ago
Back again with another book in the highly addictive Sometimes In Love Series by Melonie Johnson- this time around it's Sadie Gold's the day time soap stars turn at her Hea! Woo-boy- this second chance, heart twisting romance delivers the goods! When Saide lands a fantastic movie role, it feels like it's her opportunity to get out from under the spoiled rich girl stigma thats followed her around most of her life. She wants to show what she is capable of. When she finds herself face to face with her stunt coordinator Bo who happens to be her first love, the one who left her broken-hearted and stills holds pieces of her to this day, she knows being on her A-game will be even harder than she had anticipated! The past and the present are about to collide in spectacular fashion! I loved the intense connection between Sadie and Bo! I swear I could feel the electricity between them! A frustratingly enticing storyline that kept me engrossed in their journey of righting wrongs, secrets, forgiveness and passionate vibes! With a side of humor of course... I could not tear my eyes off the pages- As much as I wanted to know how they would work everything out, I hated to see it all come to an end! I hope we get stories on the other secondary characters, such as Ana! ( I need her to have a HEA too! ) Can be read as a stand-alone and is absolute #oneclick material.
KimReadsBooks 4 months ago
This was enjoyable but I think I still prefer the first in the series. Sadie is a fun character and her romance with Bo was sweet if not a little strange. Would have preferred more narration from Bo's point of view. The romance was there but the descriptive sexy time didn't hit home for me here. I feel bad for anyone who has to cut a donut in half in order to enjoy it.
bookmon1 4 months ago
Thanks to Netgalley, Natalie Tsay, and St. Martin's Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review ONCE UPON A BAD BOY by Melonie Johnson. ONCE UPON A BAD BOY is the third in the Sometimes in Love series. It helps if you had read the first two, but this novel works well as a standalone. Some of the characters from the previous books make appearances, but the storyline mainly focuses on Sadie and Bo. Sadie has worked hard as an actress, despite people thinking her affluent background has helped. She is finally getting a starring role in a money after paying her dues by working on a soap opera. She is stunned when she finds out that her ex, Bo Ibarra, is going to be the stunt coordinator for the film. Bo broke her heart when he broke up with her eleven years ago. She was so hurt by that she left her the past behind, even cutting off visits to her beloved grandmother. Now she is back in in the area to film. She is so happy to spend time with her grandmother, but worries how she will deal with Bo. Bo is not really a true bad boy. He does come from a family that has had its struggles financially. Bo's father worked for Sadie's family until he was hurt in an accident. Bo is really a good man who has had to make choices to make a life for himself. Sadie is a young woman who has never really gotten over the devastating end of her youthful relationship with Bo. Author Melonie Johnson develops the two main characters in an authentic manner and I felt great empathy for them both. Vivid descriptions brought the settings and locations to life. If you are looking for a romance with a little spice and whole lot of fun, then ONCE UPON A BAD BOY will be perfect for you.
C_Beddow 4 months ago
I always enjoy a Melanie Johnson book and this was no exception. Sadie and Bo meet again after 11 years. They used to be a pair, but Bo broke it off "for her own good" Sadie had money and Bo did not. He wasn't comfortable with the balance. Now he's the stunt coordinator for her first starring role. They are quite nervous around each other and it's fun to see their relationship grow. The storyline was good and I really loved reading it. I got this book from NetGalley for an honest review
MLH438 4 months ago
I enjoyed the first two books of Melonie Johnson's Sometimes in Love series - Getting Hot with the Scot and Smitten with the Brit - and Johnson upped the intensity factor with Sadie's second chance at love story. Sadie is reunited with her first love, Bo Ibarra, when he is hired as the stunt coordinator for her star-making turn in an action movie. She has been waiting and working for this break and doesn't want to mess things up, but memories and old secrets abound. While this is the third book in the series, it reads fine on its own. Johnson writes well and her stories draw you in and don't let go. One element of the plot did disturb me on a personal level; however, Johnson stays true to her characters and story. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
DoveArt 4 months ago
The best thing about this second-chance romance was its well-developed characters. Both Bo and Sadie made some stupid decisions when they were younger, enough that if the book had centered around their first story, I probably wouldn't have finished it. But this book, about their growth and their second chance to make amends, was fun and heartwarming. Even though this is a third book in a series, it can be read as a standalone. I picked it up, mistakenly thinking it was the first book, but was hooked from the start! Now, I will move on to the first two books and am looking forward to more from this author. Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Cali-Jewel 4 months ago
Very heartwarming, emotional and witty second change that had me laughing and crying all at the same time.... was a great read from beginning to end and filled with lots of witty banter, wonderful charters, heart pounding action and exciting turns. Really enjoyed reading this romantic journey.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Once Upon A Bad Boy is a charming second chance romance. As I expected, the characters are likeable and engaging with problems of their own, yet they are drawn to one another, again. An actress and a stunt coordinator make for a delicious read that flows nicely to a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed reading this book. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Zach_B 4 months ago
Once Upon a Bad Boy by Melonie Johnson is the third in the Sometimes in Love series. Generally I’ve found that in series, particularly by newer authors, the stories get better as the authors work on their craft. For me, this was not true with this book, unfortunately. I really enjoyed the last two books so I was excited to read Sadie and Bo’s story. Teenage loves who went their separate ways, they reconnect years later when Sadie is the female lead of the movie that Bo is the stunt coordinator for. Overall, I found that their story was very thin. There were so many other aspects that if Ms. Johnson had fleshed them out would have made this a much better story, I’ve also found that when the story primarily revolves around the intimate life of the characters, the story is weak. For me, that should be something that enhances the story, but for most of this book, it is the story. And I wasn’t a fan of the handling of Sadie and Bo’s teenage pregnancy storyline-it really made me rethink both these characters and did not put either of them in the best light for me. However, I really hope the next book is about Luna. I really liked her character. Thank you to St, Martins press for an advanced e-copy of this book for my review.
JennieF 4 months ago
ARC for honest review with no compensation received from NetGalley Once Upon a Bad Boy is book 3 in the Sometimes In Love series by Melonie Johnson. Is it possible to have a second chance at forever love? Sadie Gold and Bo Ibarra where a couple at one time but circumstances tore them apart. Now years later Bo shows up on the set of Sadie‘s new movie as the stunt coordinator. Can these two work together, discuss and put their past mistakes behind them to find their Happy Ever After or will being at odds keep them apart forever??
IrishEyes430 4 months ago
This was a delightful book and I totally loved the characters. Sophie has been acting for a long time and is beginning her first starring role. Her excitement is dampened on her first day on set. There are a lot of stunts in the movie, some of which she will do. When she is introduced to the stunt coordinator it turns out to be Bo, her childhood best friend and teenage lover. He broke up with her on prom night and they haven’t seen each other since. They need to maintain a professional appearance while filming but it’s very difficult for both of them. Can they do this colored by memories from the past?
AthenaMae 5 months ago
An emotional love story with all the feels. It's a beautiful second chance romance that will make you cry, make you laugh and break your heart. This book was so hard to put down. It kept me from beginning to end. Melanie Johnson is a phenomenal writer and I can't wait to read her next book! “I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
Anonymous 5 months ago
A somewhat predictable romance as a starlet seeking to live down rumors that she has been coasting on her family’s wealth finds out that the stunt coordinator on her big film is her high school romance. He’s not really a bad boy, just a guy whose family worked for her grandmother. Now he’s trying to prove himself building his business coordinating stunts for movies and TV set in the Chicago area. Once you know that they can’t risk their budding romance becoming public news, you know what will happen. If you enjoyed the two earlier books in this series, you’ll be happy to see both couples and the other BFFs show up in this one. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book that I received from Netgalley; however, the opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review.
kaitlynspet 5 months ago
Once Upon A Bad Boy by Melonie Johnson was an entertaining read. Sadie Gold and childhood friend Bo Ibarra are brought together on the set of a new movie. This is the quintessential story of a rich girl and boy from the wrong side of the tracks first love. Loved all of the characters and the contemporary plot. The book sizzles with some descriptive lovemaking. I will definitely read more Melonie Johnson books. I would recommend it for those that like Chic-Lit and Rom-Coms.
Sheena Martinez 5 months ago
Definitely a cute story about fate and seconds chances. The intense connection between the childhood sweethearts was immediate and it was hard to ignore how well they fit together. A nice read with well blended characters and promising premise
DiiFL 5 months ago
Everyone loves a second chance romance, right? The lovers have grown up, gotten wiser, or perhaps in the case of Sadie and Bo, they just learned to hide their past truths. Sadie was a pampered little rich girl who grew up into an up and coming star, trying to make it on her own merit and Bo, the son of her family’s equine manager, now a movie stunt trainer, fell in love as children, went too far, gave too much and were not mature or secure enough to hang on to each other. A decade later, they are back together and the sparks fly, the embers of love and lust reignited, but secrets from the past are still buried deep. Will those secrets tear them apart once again or are they finally ready to be adults in an adult relationship? ONCE UPON A BAD BOY by Melonie Johnson has all of the elements for a romantic and sexy escape from reality and for the most part, it worked for me, but there was so much that didn’t. I didn’t feel a sense of freshness in this tale. Parts I wanted to know more about were glossed over, perhaps in favor of more sex? I am a fan of Melonie Johnson’s Sometimes in Love series, but this one just missed the Five Star mark for me, in spite of likeable characters, an amazing grandma and a cute little boy. I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Paperbacks!
AnastasiaT 5 months ago
Okay i'm back and I have to say out of the series this is hands down my favorite! The emotion in this book was crazy. It made me feel everything. I love a second chance romance. Sadie and Bo knew each other from little kids and at 18 Bo left Sadies because he thought she would be better off without him. He thought she would resent him if they stayed together and she could not live her life and do what she dreamed. Sadie had grown up in a very wealthy family and a lot of people around her thought mom and dad paid for everything, got her into the best schools and got her into her acting career. But Sadie did it on her own, she did not want to be the spoiled rich girl, she hated it. Bo on the other hand lived on Sadie's grandmother's property. His father worked on the land. Bo had grown up on the land and wanting to take over for his dad when he gets older. He loved the stables and loved the horses and would always dream he would run it. Every summer since Sadie was little her parents/nanny/driver would be dropped her off at her grandmother's house and that's where she met Bo. They spent every summer together until the horrible summer when Sadie was 18. Don't want to spoil to much but that summer change both their lives. They hadn't seen each other in 16 years and when Sadie finally landed her dream roll in a movie, who was her stunt manager? The one and only, her one true love, the man she was always in love with Bo, even if she tried to hid it and ignore it. This story had me locked in from the first moment. Both Sadie and Bo had secrets they needed to tell each other from from the 16 years they were apart but it was hard. They both wanted a second chance with each other. They were it for each other but could they tell each other the secrets they had and could the other except those secrets. This series is based on a group of girl friends and each book belong to each of their lives. I cant wait to read more of their stories. Cassie was book 1, Bonnie was book 2 and not book 3 is Sadie. Thank you St. Martin's Press for the ARC. This ARC was given for my honest opinion.
Loy3 5 months ago
I have not read the others in the series but that did not seem to bother my experience reading it. Bo and Sadie were high school sweethearts but broke up after prom. When Sadie, now an actor, starts her new film Bo is the stunt coordinator. They have a second chance at romance and love. the writing was fresh and entertaining and I really enjoyed reading. I may go back and read the first two in the series. thank you Net Galley
Anonymous 5 months ago
This book is a standalone. The story is about Sadie and Bo getting a second chance at love. I really enjoyed the book and it kept me wanting to find out more. It was interesting to see how long Sadie and Bo could resist each other. I loved seeing a different side to Sadie than just the typical rich girl act. The story takes you through Sadie and Bo reconnecting and the drama that follows them. But the ending is so sweet it will make your heart melt. You also get updates on what the other girls are doing currently in their lives.