Series: Avalon Bay

BOOK REVIEW: Bad Girl Reputation by Elle Kennedy (Avalon Bay #2)

BOOK REVIEW: Bad Girl Reputation by Elle Kennedy (Avalon Bay #2)Bad Girl Reputation (Avalon Bay #2)
by Elle Kennedy
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When former bad girl Genevieve West returns home for her mother’s funeral, she’s prepared to keep her distance from her ex-boyfriend, Evan Hartley. Their history is rife with turbulence. And passion. A heck of a lot of passion... which she’s trying desperately to forget.

But it’s impossible not to run into Evan in the small coastal town where they once ran wild. And the moment she sees her gorgeous ex again, it’s clear to Gen that Evan is still as unruly, sexy, and irresistible as ever. This time around, however, she’s resolved to walk a new path. No more partying. No more foolish mistakes. Her plan is to temporarily remain in town to help her father run his business, but the second he finds somebody else, she’s out of there.

Evan has other ideas. He knows they can be good together, but he just has to convince Genevieve of that, even if it means turning over a new leaf himself. But can a bad reputation ever truly be shed? Do second chances really work? Genevieve and Evan are about to find out.

Bestselling author Elle Kennedy returns to Avalon Bay in this sexy second chance story about two exes who can't stay away from each other, Bad Girl Reputation.

“You look good, Gen.” He’s doing it again. The dare in his eyes, the implications in his gaze. “Time away agreed with you.

The little shit. It isn’t fair. I hate him, even as my fingers make contact with his chest and slide down the front of his shirt.

After the somewhat slow burn romance of Mac and Cooper from the first Avalon Bay book (Good Girl Complex), it was quite a change of pace to have immediate fireworks with Gen and Evan in the second book in the series, Bad Girl Reputation.

Gen has returned to town after disappearing and leaving a broken-hearted Evan. So when she returns to help with her family, Evan is elated and ready to pick up where they left off. However, Gen has turned over a new leaf and despite her lingering feelings, she’s not ready to fully commit to jumping back into life with Evan.

It’s suddenly occurs to me that I’ve spent so much time trying to convince myself I was for real, I missed when other people started to believe it.

When Evan isn’t busy trying to win Gen back, he’s learning how to run a business with Cooper and his uncle, as well as testing with waters with his mom (behind Cooper’s back before). Cooper and Mac make a handful of appearances and it was great catching up with them and seeing how things are progressing with the hotel renovation. And don’t worry, Daisy is still an important characters still too!

He and I have been through a lot with each other this past year. Finding one reason or another to be at odds. It’s exhausting, honestly. And lonely. Nights like this remind me that whatever else happens, it’s just the two of us.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but it didn’t quite reach the levels of Good Girl Complex. I really did love Gen. She was complicated, funny and so strong. I really wish the “love triangle” had been stronger – there really wasn’t any moment of doubt Gen wasn’t going to end up with Evan. I do like Evan, but I found his immaturity tough to deal with at times. The dinner-date was one of the biggest cringe moments I can remember reading in a long time. At least that was early on and he showed growth, but whew that was hard.

There’s a a few great additions to the Avalon Bay crew and I’m curious who steps up to be the leads in the next one. I love all these characters in Avalon Bay and will keep visiting back here.  

“Don’t do that,” he rasps in my ear.

“What?”

“Remember.”

 

BOOK REVIEW: Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy (Avalon Bay #1)

BOOK REVIEW: Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy (Avalon Bay #1)Good Girl Complex (Avalon Bay #1)
by Elle Kennedy
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

She does everything right. So what could go wrong?

Mackenzie "Mac" Cabot is a people pleaser. Her demanding parents. Her prep school friends. Her long-time boyfriend. It's exhausting, really, always following the rules. Unlike most twenty-year-olds, all she really wants to do is focus on growing her internet business, but first she must get a college degree at her parents' insistence. That means moving to the beachside town of Avalon Bay, a community made up of locals and the wealthy students of Garnet College.

Mac's had plenty of practice suppressing her wilder impulses, but when she meets local bad boy Cooper Hartley, that ability is suddenly tested. Cooper is rough around the edges. Raw. Candid. A threat to her ordered existence. Their friendship soon becomes the realest thing in her life.

Despite his disdain for the trust-fund kids he sees coming and going from his town, Cooper soon realizes Mac isn't just another rich clone and falls for her. Hard. But as Mac finally starts feeling accepted by Cooper and his friends, the secret he's been keeping from her threatens the only place she's ever felt at home.

“Yeah, real wild night you’re having,” I drawl, gesturing at her glass of water. “Someone’s got a good girl complex, huh?”

“I’m dying to find out how insulting me is going to win you this bet.”

“Stick around a find out.”

Good Girl Complex literally came out of nowhere and surprised me in all the best ways possible. I struggle to find (and love) contemporary romance books. I’ve had a handful launch their way into my favorites, but so, so many have been 3 stars or less. I’m so happy this one was a winner and has made excited to read more of Elle Kennedy.

Every time he texts me, I say this will be the last time, then I hold my breath, type a reply, hit send, and wait for my next fix.

Why do I do this to myself? 

There are two main reasons this book works for me: Cooper and Mac. (And by honorable mention – Daisy!). Mac, the good girl freshman who is dating a douchebag. Cooper, the bad boy local who is determined to get revenge on said douchebag by stealing his girlfriend. Of course, sparks fly and suddenly the revenge plan doesn’t seem like such a good idea.

While the major plot points aren’t exactly a surprise, the story works so well because of the characters and the off-the-charts chemistry between Mac and Coop. Mac is a strong but mild girl when we meet her, but with Cooper’s support, she becomes so strong and resilient. She’s funny and smart and vulnerable and I couldn’t help but root for her the whole time.

Cooper is so stubborn, witty and has buckets of charisma. Even when he’s making poor decisions, you can’t help but root for him too. He didn’t have the best childhood and while it is so different from Mac’s, it’s really sweet seeing them bond over it. And as difficult as they can be, his group of friends/family is a great touch. I want to be friends with all them.

I’m not fucking anyone else. I don’t want you fucking anyone else. If anyone looks at you funny, I’m breaking their face. How’s that work?”

It isn’t exactly poetry, but it might the most romantic thing a guy’s ever said to me.

This was literally my first Elle Kennedy book and I can’t wait for more. I’m really excited to continue with this series and even try some of her older stuff to see if I love that too. But at the end of the day, I really feel like this book is going to hold a special place in my heart. The push-pull between Cooper and Mac is one of my favorites I’ve ever read and I have no doubt this is going to become a comfort read for me.

Cooper Hartley walks into a room and I lose my whole damn mind. I hate it. I love it.

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