Review: Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl

Format: mass market paperback, ebook
Pub Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: HQN
Length: 384 pages
FTC: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Without a doubt, this is my favorite book of Victoria Dahl's new Donovan Brothers brewery trilogy. A sexy, vulnerable and yummy hero and a smart, compassionate, and sexually insecure heroine. With plenty of sizzle and outrageous humor to keep the pages turning.

Victoria Dahl's heroines are always interesting. Olivia is fascinating. I love that she's a mix of repressed sexuality and insecurity combined with a level headed competency.

Jamie is probably Dahl's best hero. He's so vulnerable. Sexy but with this inner core of neediness that just gets to you. In the first book of the series, he seems immature, selfish, but possessing a good heart. The second book, his book, shows that the immaturity isn't as real as his family perceives. His family really doesn't know him that well.Which is part of the tragedy in Jamie's life. Despite being so charming and friendly, no one is truly close to him.

What I loved about this one is that Jamie has a lovely growth arc. And Olivia follows him from the beginning until the end. She's far more aware of just who Jamie is than his family. He lets her in, in part because she has no expectations of him. No predetermined ideas of where he fits in. Which in turn, allows him to be himself with her.

The chemistry between Olivia and Jamie is immediate. Even if Olivia doesn't think she's in his league.

"...his green eyes twinkled. God, could he just do that on demand? What a terrible and deadly skill. She averted her eyes in self defense and kept her eyes down until he was gone."
There's a minor age difference in this book, too. Olivia is older than Jamie by a few years. And that plays into their interaction quite a bit.  At first, that age difference allows Olivia to pretend the relationship is a purely superficial one.

"She couldn't pretend that Jamie Donovan's charm wasn't part of what she wanted. That charm felt like magic dust being sprinkled over her skin, and she wanted everyone to see the glow. Including her ex-husband. She'd was the magic off later and everything would be fine."
Olivia is convinced that she can't have a relationship with Jamie because he's far more sexually experienced than she is. Far more confident. And Jamie is convinced that he's too much of a flake, too untrustworthy to ever deserve someone like Olivia.
"He'd never tell Olivia this in a million years, but dating her definitely felt more...grown-up than he was used to. Less like a hookup and more like time with an interesting woman. Not the he wouldn't hook the hell out of her given the opportunity."
I felt like the ending was a little rushed and the misunderstanding a little manufactured. But this was an otherwise wonderful book, with realistic characters and a huge dollop of angsty emotion and humor. I feel like reading it again, now.

My Grade: A-

The Blurb:
Olivia Bishop is no fun. That's what her ex-husband said. And that's what her smart bob and glasses imply. So with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She's going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble—in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan—may be too tempting to avoid.

Jamie Donovan doesn't mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. Now it's time to grow up. He's even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong?

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