Book Review: BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY (Second Chances #1) by Jessica Lemmon

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 . . .

* * * * *

One of my favorite romance novel tropes is the heroine who falls for her late best friend's husband (I blame Linda Howard's excellent 1985 novel, SARAH'S CHILD, for this...).  There's so much drama already built in for the author to play with.  Was the marriage happy?  Was it on the rocks?  Just how long has the heroine been pining for the husband?  Are there people who are naturally against this pairing?  There are just so many ways to take the novel if you're an author.

Jessica Lemmon has spun a wonderful tale in BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY.  Evan Downey is a swoon-worthy hero, not only because he's hot, but because he's a wonderful father.  It's clear from the moment the story begins that Evan is a man who loves deeply.  Not just his son, Lyon, but Lyon's mother Rae.  This is a guy who has had trouble sleeping in the bed he shared with Rae since her unexpected, tragic passing.  Ms. Lemmon does a wonderful job illustrating how much Evan loved/loves Rae, but also paints a marriage that had real flaws.  Neither Rae nor Evan were perfect human beings, and that's okay.  

Evan decides it's time to move back to Evergreen Cove to give Lyon and himself a fresh start and shake the constant reminders of Rae.  His and Rae's friend Charlotte "Charlie" Harris is happy to have them move back to Evergreen Cove, even if she can't seem to get her heart under control whenever Evan's around.  Charlie is a wonderful heroine who, while "crushing" on Evan since they were teenagers, never really let that stop her from having a life.  I appreciate that Charlie wasn't sitting on a shelf somewhere pining for Evan.  Her struggle with accepting that it's okay for her and Evan to be in a relationship feels real.  It's not overdone histrionics, it paints her in a sympathetic light.  It is a struggle for her to be happy with what she sees as Rae's family.  She doesn't believe that she's worthy of such love, of such a family.  Watching her finally accept that she is worthy of it is beautiful.  Charlie and Evan jump off the page and set it on fire with their scorching chemistry.  

BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY was my first time reading anything by Jessica Lemmon, and it certainly will not be the last thing I read by this talented author.  



Rating:  4 out of 4 Stars!  Run to your local bookstore to pick up this gem, and be prepared to read it with oven mits on, 'cause the chemistry is smoooooking hot!

Book Facts:  
BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY (Second Chance #1) by Jessica Lemmon
Forever/Grand Central Publishing,  January 2015
ISBN:  978-1-4555-3148-6
Buy it:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Books A Million
Connect with Jessica on:  Facebook  |  Twitter

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