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Monday, August 13, 2018

Another 2018 Favorite: Bad Reputation by Stefanie London

BAD REPUTATION

by Stefanie London
Series: Bad Bachelors #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository

Oh man, I just loved this book. Can I simply leave my review at that? Bad Bachelor was such a pleasant surprise for me earlier this year. I thought it would be more of a romantic comedy, but it surprised me by bringing forward not only an entertaining romance but also thought-provoking discussions about the state of social media. Finding out that Bad Reputation was set in the theater/ballet world just about sealed the deal for me and I was giddy with excitement. This book delivered on every front and I know I'm going to have the hardest time pointing out why exactly this book resonated with me.

Well, first of all, these characters were just amazing. They were brilliantly fleshed-out, so much so that they felt like actual people I knew in my real life. Not only did they have relatable issues, but they were beyond likable. Remi Drysdale used to dream of being a ballerina with a promising career. However, a shoddy experience left her fleeing her home of Melbourne to NYC, where she, unfortunately, fails to impress at auditions. As a result, she took up teaching barre at a studio, which is where she meets Wes. Remi was obviously a woman with a ton of passion, creativity, and willpower and that showed all throughout Bad Reputation. She was also someone with vulnerabilities and at times, someone who lacked confidence in herself. Her return to the ballet world does slowly bring back her courage in herself and her determination in achieving her dreams, but it wasn't easy. I may not be a ballerina, but I related a lot to what Remi was going through. I think a lot of us have gone through something similar in our lives and it was lovely to see that translated on page here.

The hero, Wes, was dealing with his own struggles. He came from a Broadway family but was venturing out on his own with plans for a new unique production. Unfortunately for him, the Bad Bachelor app was being flooded with reviews about his sex life and his well-endowed self. As a result, he had investors backing out. Wes was another charming character from Stefanie London for me. Yes, he had these obstacles facing him and the show, but he was absolutely determined to make his dance production a hit. He was hardworking, honest and absolutely genuine. And what a good guy he was.

Wes and Remi had instant chemistry. Their very first scene highlighted just how good they were together, but when Wes asks her to be the lead of his new show, they decide to not follow through with any relationship. Remi and Wes tried their hardest to stay away from each other, but in the end, their mutual attraction was too strong. I loved them together. The witty banter, the comfort-level they shared and all the swoony dialogues had the romance-nerd in my incredibly pleased. The progression of their romance was one of the best I have ever read and I think every romance reader is going to appreciate the passion and the emotions between these two. Besides the characters, I also thought the theater setting only served to set this book apart from other romance novels. The setting was as much of a part of the story as the characters and London does a beautiful job of bringing it to life. As with the first book, Stefanie London also touched on the pros and cons of the Bad Bachelor app, with social commentary. I appreciated how she was able to show how social media could have many advantages, but also many disadvantages. She did a wonderful job of depicting the female friendship between Remi, Annie, and Darcy. These girls were close and supportive friends, but in Bad Reputation, we see some cracks in their relationship that Annie is going to have to work hard to fix in the next book.

Bad Reputation was a passionate and romantic book with an outstanding setting. I can't recommend this book and this series enough. It's a series that many romance fans will enjoy, so give this one a shot.

What are some of your favorite romance books of the year?
Let me know in the comments below!

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