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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the Point…

There's a difference between a bad boy and a boy who's bad.… Meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn't just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he was the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn't care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there's a new player in the game, and she's much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She's always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con the Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, awakening feelings she never thought she'd have for a guy like him. But it doesn't take Dovie long to realize…some boys are just better when they're bad.

©2014 Jennifer M. Voorhees (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Yvette
  • GILBERT, AZ, United States
  • 06-18-14

SUPERB, EXCELLENT, GRIPPING AND GRITTY!

I'm convinced that Jay Crownover can write a compelling story about anything, or anyone, but most of all about bad boys!! As the first book in a new series, Crownover creates a world of contrasts between right & wrong, and the good & the bad when it ones to people, and the life choices they make. But, what I really love about Crownover's writing is her ability to write about incredible relationships between very real, flawed people, and she has more than delivered in this book! I was touched not only by the beautiful & gritty relationship between the leads, Bax and Dovie, but also the theme of family and relationships between brothers that included Titus (Bax's brother), and Race (Dovie's brother and Bax's BFF). "Better When He's Bad" is not only about the choices one makes with limited options and the trajectories those choices bring, but it's also about who brings you freedom. Most of all, I think this is what Dovie did for Bax; she brought him freedom and allowed him to unlock himself from a self-destructive pathway that would have lead him to the grave, or a life-time, in and out of prison.

The balance between the action, plot developments, revelations, and the hot romance is superb. Dovie is an admirable heroine and the way she and Bax connect with one another is passionate, intense, and always feels like there's an expiration date (until the HEA, that is). The need to resolve conflicts driven by the pressure and violence of evil villains equals one very riveting read/listen. I can't wait for Race's story, and even though Bax and Dovie found a beautiful HEA, I'm sure we will continue to hear about Bax and Dovie's love story in the books that follow.

Narrators: Mia Barron and Leland King were excellent. They performed very well. This is a great audiobook. I loved the sentimental intro. music at the beginning and the end of the book….nice touch!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • karen
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 06-20-14

How BAD could u be with BAX - my number is 10+

Any additional comments?

Better When He's Bad is a very addictive love story. Full of all life's badness with a bright shinning light at the end of that tunnel... There are so many elements to this book, the POINT, the car, the underground crime and fighting, death, carnage, sex, love of family, and love of two total opposites - this book was thrilling to me.... I had so many emotions reading this book. At one point I was crying, begging what I thought was going to happen not to happen. Jay Crownover has snared me into her world and i double i will every be leaving it now ! Also - the Lady has some awesome Ink... she's Awesome all round !!! :)

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Erin
  • Cornelius, NC, United States
  • 07-05-14

BAD BAX = SEXY LISTEN

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This had everything I love in a book, It's a thrilling fast paced romance with a great story line. It gripped me into the fold in the very first chapter.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Better When He's Bad?

the final show down was seriously tense. I thought it was well written and you find a little bit of a secret in that big scene that clicks it all together.

Which character – as performed by Mia Barron and Leland King – was your favorite?

I loved every character, but of course the hero was my favorite. HE WAS BAD TO THE BONE WITH HEAT AND PURE SEX.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did listen to this one in one sitting and worth every second of my time.

Any additional comments?

i know that Trace's story is coming in October and I am anxiously waiting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kd
  • CLINTON, MS, United States
  • 06-30-14

Sexy, well-written

I really enjoyed this story of a hot, tattooed, marked-up, bad boy thief coming together w/ a red-haired, not-model-pretty, inexperienced-but-not-virgin girl. I loved that the two main characters were not perfect in any way, though Shane Baxter (aka Bax), the H, was described as very hot. Dovie, the h, was described in plainer though special ways, per Bax’s usual taste.

My dislikes include Dovie too often saying that she acts in a way that she doesn’t want to b/c she is, in some way, out of control b/c of her reaction to Bax. Her common speeches about a lack of self-control resulted in her coming across as weak. However, in other ways, she didn’t come across as weak; maybe not strong, but, at least, not weak. And “Tell me stop,” as stated by Bax, was a bit overused for my taste. Used at their first sexual encounter made sense but at the 3rd, not so much. I also disliked some of Bax’s love-struck gushing. It seemed very, very contrary to who he was even in a state of being changed and falling in love. It was a bit too much sometimes and, therefore, unconvincing.

The author said that she tried to create an actual bad guy. I’m unsure if she succeeded. Yea, Bax was an admitted and convicted thief, but I don’t necessarily equate a “bad guy” w/ a non-violent convicted criminal. Bax had no problem w/ physical violence, but it wasn’t gratuitous, just to hurt someone or just for fun. It was either for money or because someone “deserved it.” And he was a man-whore, but…. So, he didn’t come across as “bad” to me. Plus, having the H described as a guy who grew up on the bad side of town seemed to mitigate his behavior somewhat.

I really liked the male & female narrators. Though they didn’t sound like 22 and 20-year-olds, but the lives of the characters didn’t coincide with American folk that young either, not even ones with a challenging upbringing.

There were about 4 sex scenes. They were sensual but not explicit. Though they were not quickies either and included oral sex.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Wow! So good!

Wow... this was so good. This is my first Jay Crownover listen, but it won't be my last. I will pre-order the entire series alone if they are this good. I love the bad boy stories and this didn't disappoint. Bax was so bad, that he was good at the same time, because guess what...he remained bad throughout! I loved it... I even liked the (h). She was an awesome character...so poor girl who wants a better life, but falls for the bad boy, and only she can see the good in him...type of character... Which was awesome for Bax! I loved it. I can't wait to get to Reece book… it's gonna be great because whatever going on between Reece and the girl from the diner... Boy O Boy!

Plus, I think Reece is the bad boy now.. YES! This series is on my instant download list!

Narration was ok... I really like the girl more than the guy... I hate dual narration, but this was tolerable.

Great credit, sale or buy… So worth the money!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • NikNakbzz
  • overland park, KS, United States
  • 06-24-14

Just alright

Not sure what happened here. I thought I would love this and I DID LIKE it; but something was missing for me. I loved bad boy Bax & that there was a bit of a "mystery" but there were parts that were a little just too slow or something for me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 08-13-14

Action, Packed, Sexy And Funny

Shane Baxter has just done five years after being set up by his best friend. Now he is out and looking for answers. Except the one person that can give him what he is looking for is MIA. In Race's wake is a little redhead that gets in his way, demands his attention even though she is scared to death of him and makes him reevaluate his choices for the first time in his life. Dovie Pryce has had a tough life. Unwanted by both parents, she grew up in the system until Race found her and saved her. He gave her a life of normalcy and love, but now he is missing and she will do anything to find him. Even associate with ex-con, bad-boy Bax. He terrifies her, but he also makes her feel safe like nothing bad will ever touch her as long as he is around. And falling for him could happen easily. Bax can see there are evil forces playing at the Point trying to pull him down, Race and Dovie are just pawns in the game. He went down to protect his friend five years ago and he can see all sorts of bad things going down again every time he is near all the good and pure and light that is Dovie. Keeping her safe is all that matters. "Better When He Is Bad", tells the story of a bad boy that finds his redemption in the most unlikely of places, in the arms of an innocent and lovable girl that chips away his attitude and sees the good in him. But more than that, she is capable is loving all of him, the good and the bad. She understands him because she's had it as bad as him. And he is all she wants bad and good.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Jay You NEED some new lines

Would you try another book from Jay Crownover and/or Mia Barron and Leland King ?

I have all Jay's books at this time, I want to see what happens to the characters so yes I probably will but the language is so repetitive it's getting hard to ignore

Would you recommend Better When He's Bad to your friends? Why or why not?

probably not, I prefer the Marked series and would like to see how that wraps up. I'm not that interested in "the Point" as it feels like it's a cartoon version of an inner city written by someone who considers Denver an urban city, it's a big place but decidedly not very rough.

What about Mia Barron and Leland King ’s performance did you like?

they did a good job with so so material

Was Better When He's Bad worth the listening time?

it definitely dragged and let's face it these are modern romance so I could have skipped all the crime and underworld stuff it was completely unnecessary and didn't really serve to round out just how bad Bax is supposed to be.

Any additional comments?

This is directly to "Jay Crownover"<br/>Hi,<br/>I'm a loyal listener, I've paid for 5 of your audio books. I spend lots of time in my car and have gotten through them very quickly. Some constructive criticism.<br/><br/>1. Stop with the crazy soap opera names, for real. Each new character name has my eyes rolling up in my head, Saint, Salem, Dovie, Reeve, Bryson, Titus-each one is worse than the next. Like a waspy 3PM soap meets the new Beverly Hills 90210. C'mon already, no one would be named these names. A sexy Latina girl from Texas who's last name is Cruz is not going to be named for witch hunting Salem. It adds an amateurish quality to your writing that I'm sure you don't want.<br/><br/>2. No character in your future books needs to let one corner of their mouth kick up in a grin or raise one shoulder and let it drop. It's time to find a new way to say "smile" and "shrug", I'm sure you can do it, I believe in you. I lost count by Nash but I believe this happened approximately 29 times in the Marked Series and I think Bax would have smirked rather than grin. There you go, "smirk". You don't even need to give me credit. <br/><br/>3. I would suggest you listen to your audiobooks if you are not already, the repetition of lines and adjectives is much more obvious when you hear it aloud. <br/><br/>I'm happy to keep supporting you, I like the story of you as a writer and I think it's great. Just don't go down the path of so many other series writers who cop out and start following the same formula on repeat. You're heading into that territory.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • CAROLYN
  • Newark, New Jersey, United States
  • 06-24-14

GREAT...HEARTACHE, REDEMPTION & UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

Why is it that we love bad boys so much?.... whether they're Alpha Vampires, Playboy Billionaires, handsome Highlanders, Regency Rogues or, in this case, just a Contemporary criminal whose rotten childhood, poverty and a violent life on the streets of The Point has made him the man/thief he is today. Although Bax is bad he doesn't make any apologies for it or has any dreams of changing himself as he's happy with who and what he is.

Dovie also had a terrible childhood too but she is caring, compassionate and has an inner strength but her brother goes missing and he's the one person that holds the answers as to why his best friend Bax got caught and had to spend 5 years in prison. An action-packed sizzling/emotion filled romance with twists and turns as two unlikely lovers unite and together they dig for answers and the truth but the more they dig the more mystery, treachery and danger finds them but they must take down the criminals once and for all before it's too late.

Worth a credit? This well written, well described and enjoyable plot is all about second chances and overcoming life's obstacles, and the reward is a deep unconditional love and a sense of belonging, self-worth and an understanding that it's ok to be bad sometimes. The plot was raw and gritty with a Hero that was cold when needed but so loving, protective, caring and romantic to the woman that believed in him and stood by him no matter what.... so a very creditworthy listen.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Refreshing

Not every novel has to be about landing the rich guy, even though that is often the fantasy. This book lends more to the way love works sometimes. Great narrators.

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  • all the books are mine!
  • 09-23-17

Fantastic

Such an enjoyable audiobook. Jay Crownover is such a great writer that the story translates beautifully into an audiobook. The narrators did a great job. Highly recommended.

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  • L
  • 10-05-15

Okay, but a bit formulaic.

The story and characters were okay but it was all a little formulaic. You knew exactly were the book was going by the end of the first chapter. Luckily the characters were engaging enough to keep you listening.

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  • Dana
  • 07-12-15

Another great story from Jay Crownover

I was hesitant to start this story because I am a huge fan of Jay's Marked Men series and I knew that this one was going to be a different ride! Boy what a ride it was! Amazing unconventional love story that was both sexy and emotional! Can't wait to dive into the next in the series!

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  • LilleyLoohLah
  • 05-18-15

Fantastic

Love Jay Crownover's writing. Love her style and her characters. Bax made a fantastic bad boy and very quickly became my favourite book boyfriend. Loved Dovey, what a fab group of charters. Book 2 here I come ❤️

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  • CRYSTAL CLEAR
  • 10-31-14

A gritty, challenging ride

If you could sum up Better When He's Bad in three words, what would they be?

Gritty, heart rending, inspiring

What other book might you compare Better When He's Bad to, and why?

White trash beautiful written by Theresa Mummert It's about a girl from a broken home, with a drug addict mother living in a trailer park who meets a wonderful man who she thinks she doesn't deserve because she feels worthless and broken. It's another gritty heart rending journey.

What does Mia Barron and Leland King bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Both narrators did an excellent job and brought Bax and Dovey alive for me.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was but I couldn't

Any additional comments?

I'm waiting baited breath for Rays's story

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  • Sue
  • 10-06-14

BAD boy with a TWIST!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Oh, Bax, definitely. Cos he knows what he wants and GETS IT!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Ohh...the one on the counter. ;P

Any additional comments?

A must-read. So refreshingly different from all the steamy/adult/romance books I have read/listened. Oh and both narrators were excellent!

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  • michelle
  • 05-30-15

must read

loved this book and it's characters can't wait for the 2nd book of the series