I received this book for free from Rock Star Lit in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Return of the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Second Chance #4
Published by Forever on April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Rock Star Lit
Barnes & Noble
He's a mess...
Asher Knight has three constants in his life: music, beautiful women, and a bottle of Jack. He lives for the next gig, the next city, and dreams only of a life spent in front of an arena full of screaming fans. But Asher's nomad ways come to a sudden stop when he learns he's the father of a three-year-old from a past relationship and suddenly this rock star bad boy is forced to put down roots.
Only she can clean up
Gloria Shields is no one's fool. Sure, the sexual chemistry between her and Asher has always been intense, but she'd never risk giving her heart to a man who has a perfect record for breaking them. Except the man desperate to make things right with his newfound son is nothing like the rock god she's guarded her heart against for years. And it isn't long before she starts to wonder if life with this bad boy might be the best thing that's ever happened to her.
I have been waiting for Asher & Gloria’s story since the very first Second Chance book. (Which, I realize, was only four books ago. It’s not like I’ve been waiting since book 1 of the JD Robb series). Jessica Lemmon did not disappoint.
There’s something about a love story that slowly simmers, a long-time coming love that I just adore. In my (only slightly) humble opinion, it’s so much better than insta-love. And this one simmered. Over the course of all four books in the series, this one simmered. Asher and Gloria have been dancing around each other from the moment we met them. They got close a few times, had a few steamy off-page encounters, but couldn’t quite make it work. Asher hurt Gloria pretty badly, though the situation wasn’t quite what Gloria initially thought. And I think she knew that. I think she knew that this thing with Asher was the real deal and that if she admitted she knew what was actually going on with him, she’d have no excuse left not to give in and be with him.
And that was hard for Gloria. She’s been on her own for most of her life. She’s fought and clawed and scraped and scrapped for every single thing she has, and she’s done it on her own. She’s terrified of letting someone in now. Not only emotionally into her life, into her heart, but also in a physical sense, into her home. This is one aspect of romance novels that deal with slightly older characters that I don’t think gets enough attention. When you’re in your thirties or older, and you live alone, it’s really hard to open up that home and invite someone else in. By the time you’re in your thirties (on average. I’m sure we all know people who bought their own home right out of high school, but they’re rare), you’re more likely to be established in your career, your living situation, and your life. You’ve probably furnished that home with pieces you’ve chosen and bought for yourself and really like, not just that old moldy couch in your parents basement that you took with you when you rented your first apartment. Your home is probably fully furnished; you probably even have a bed that involves a headboard and a footboard, not just a mattress on the floor. It’s really difficult to admit you have to give up your third dresser that you reserve for favorite pajamas and your sexiest underwear and displaying your Harry Potter Funko Pop figures and let someone else use that space. See someone else’s dirty clothes on your bathroom floor, when you always put your dirty clothes in the hamper right after your shower. (I’m guessing on that last one. I certainly don’t live with a person who leaves their gross dirty clothes on my bathroom floor all the time. Nope.) You have a routine. The alarm goes off, you snooze four times, then get up and get coffee before taking a 35-minute shower and singing show tunes at the top of your lungs. Etc. Intrusion on that routine is really difficult.
Asher, because his life as a musician is a little more nomadic, isn’t quite as settled, but he wants to be. To that end, he buys a house in Evergreen Cove, which makes sense to him because Evan, his best friend and children’s book writing partner already lives there. Gloria has recently decided to move to Evergreen Cove, too. I don’t think they both knew the other’s plans, but it works out for them. Once they’re in this small town, hanging out with all their mutual friends who have paired off, they can’t really avoid each other. Asher knows what he wants; he wants Gloria, and he’s damn sure going to have her. For more than a night this time.
But there are complications. There are heavy issues they have to deal with, fallout from Asher’s time enjoying the groupies on tour, and it’s more than Gloria bargained for. She ran really hot and cold, which frustrated me at times, but Asher called her out on it most of the time. And I understood. Like I said, the thought of letting him in, completely upsetting her very carefully constructed life, especially right after she just upset it by moving from Chicago to Evergreen Cove, was difficult for her. But Asher was so very determined to make her see how good they would be together.
And, boy, were they amazing together. They were so great. The chemistry sizzled between them whether they were in bed, fighting, or just standing in the same room. Jessica Lemmon is so good at that. You know how you can just feel whatever emotion is simmering between two people when you walk into a room? Lemmon is so good at conveying that on the page. The sparks just fly off my Kindle.
I think this is the last book in the series. But what a way to go out. I’ve read a couple of these more than once, and I think this will be another one. Everything about these books, and Gloria and Asher specifically, is so easy to read, so good and so comforting. I can’t wait to see what Jessica Lemmon does next.