Today's spotlight read & review is Better When He's Bold by Jay Crownover. Jay is a favorite of my guest reviewer, Misha, and she's written a fab review for you today!
There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who is bad. . . . Welcome to the Point. In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them. Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like The Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?Brysen Carter has always seen the real Race—a guy too pretty, too smooth, and way too dangerous. Basking in his golden glow is very tempting, but Brysen knows she’ll eventually get burned. She has enough problems without the risky danger and mayhem that comes with a guy like Race. Too bad Brysen faces a threat close to home that might be more dangerous than anything The Point has ever produced.. And the only person interested in keeping her safe is the one man she can’t allow herself to have. Sometimes being bold is the only way to stay alive. But can she let Race save her life . . . if it means losing herself to him?
Each time I read one of Jay Crownover’s books I find myself wanting to shout from the rooftops about how much I loved it. Better When He’s Bold was most certainly no exception. While I will always have a soft spot for the guys in her Marked Men series, it is her boys from The Point and their raw edginess that makes my heart race. I love the grit and realness of this series. Race and Brysen’s story was full of suspense, steam, and intensity. Crownover is skilled in creating dangerous bad boys and feisty heroines who never fail to draw me in and keep me on my toes in anticipation of what is to come.
Race Hartman is a smooth criminal walking a fine line. Highly intelligent and full of natural charisma, Race has both the power and plan to keep control of The Point and minimize the destruction. He is bold, brave, and knows what he wants. Brysen Carter is his younger sister’s best friend. Although she is drawn to him, she knows getting involved with Race could lead to serious trouble, especially while she is carrying the entire weight of her family on her shoulders. However, when Brysen finds herself in danger, Race may be the only person who can help her. The question is whether or not he is worth the risk.
Having made some questionable choices in Better When He’s Bad, I was eager to learn more about Race and see how he operates. Even though he was involved in illegal activities, Race actually had good intentions and was trying to do what was best for The Point. I have always loved how protective Race was of Dovie, and I liked seeing that side of him with Brysen, too. She brought out a softness in him that was quite endearing. What I especially liked about Race was that he was upfront with his feelings for Brysen. He wasn’t going to change who he was for her, but he cared about keeping her safe and happy.
My heart went out to Brysen concerning her family situation and the responsibility she shouldered. She was an intelligent girl and much stronger than she realized. It was difficult to see how much she had given up for everyone else. Brysen needed someone to share her burden and to take care of her. She complimented Race very well, and I enjoyed watching her give into her feelings for him. Their chemistry was explosive, but I also enjoyed the tenderness between them. It was refreshing to see two characters who did not play games. They shared a real connection that I loved.
Better When He’s Bold was full of suspense and intrigue. It was great seeing more of the dynamics of The Point and the tenuous balance at work. It is a dark and scary place, yet also quite fascinating. Of course Bax and Dovie each played an important role in the story, and I enjoyed their interactions with Race and Brysen (just don’t give Bax a hug). Crownover definitely piqued my curiosity regarding Titus and Nassir, and I can’t wait until their books are available. This book was full of solid writing, likeable characters, and a fantastic plot. I am in love with The Point and the guys and girls in it.
Jay has been a bartender since she was in college, spending over forty hours a week watching interactions between men and women. This 9 to 5 job offered great insights into relationships - how they start and how they evolve in a social setting.
This cutting-edge author likes to write New Adult novels because she remembers being in her early twenties and thinking she had it all figured out, only to be proven wrong time and time again. When she looks back, she see's that those years defined who she is today, and, good or bad, those decisions ultimately set her current path.