Early Review: Bad Romance by Jen McLaughlin

Bad Romance by Jen McLaughlin

Bad Romance by Jen McLaughlin
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 15th 2015
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In this explosive novel from bestselling author Jen McLaughlin, a good girl falls for the ultimate bad boy: her stepbrother. Perfect for fans of Sabrina Paige, Caitlin Daire, and Krista Lakes, Bad Romance proves that passion can be so wrong it’s right.

Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after a shoulder wound ends his career as a sniper, Jackson Worthington finds himself back home, fighting a battle that’s all too familiar: keeping his hands off Lily Hastings. She’s still her rich daddy’s little angel, innocent, impossibly lovely, as squeaky-clean as Jackson is dirty. And she’s still his stepsister—forbidden but not forgotten, not after the soul-melting kiss that got him kicked out of the house at eighteen. He couldn’t resist her then. How the hell can he resist her now?

Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit to a high-stress job she hates, all to please the father who controls every waking moment of her life. On top of everything, her teenage crush is back, with a sleek, chiseled body and a trace of the rebellious boy whose lips sealed her fate. Jackson’s timing couldn’t be worse . . . or better. Because Lily’s all grown up, too. She’s aching for another taste. And for the first time, she’s ready to be a bad girl.

I was really looking forward to Bad Romance, since I’m a sucker for forbidden love stories, and this one’s a stepbrother romance at that! But unfortunately, this book wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. I didn’t like the characters at all, and found myself skimming parts of the story. I really wish I could’ve liked this more, because I did enjoy the writing, but it was the characters that ruined the book for me.

Jackson Worthington is back from the army after seven years, back to the home and family that turned him away. Well, everyone turned him away except for Lilly Hastings, his stepsister. The sweet stepsister sent him letters throughout his time in the army, keeping him sane, but not once did he write to her back. He felt like a clean break between them, after that kiss they had when she was fifteen and he was eighteen, was the best thing for her.

Lilly Hastings has had a crush on Jackson ever since he came into her life, but unfortunately as her stepbrother. She held out hope for him until she left for college, but now that he’s back, she’s going to go after what she’s always wanted – Jackson.

While I liked the premise of Bad Romance, the execution of the story played out poorly. The forbidden love aspect of the story was a disappointment – I felt no chemistry between the main characters, and I didn’t feel like there anything nothing forbidden or taboo about their relationship. They met at 15 and 18, he left right away and stayed away for seven years, neither of them like their parents – what exactly was holding them back from being together?

I didn’t like either Jackson or Lilly, and I didn’t like how repetitive their back-and-forth was. Jackson keeps going on and on about how ‘innocent’ and ‘pure’ Lilly is, and how he doesn’t want to ruin her life. I hated how assuming he is about the kind of person Lilly is without really getting to know her after not seeing her for seven years. And Lilly has her own little problem of being forced to marry someone to save her father’s company. Really? I absolutely didn’t believe she no choice but to marry someone just to save a company she’s not even involved in. Everyone keeps guilting her, telling her how she’ll make thousands of people lose their jobs, and she doesn’t do anything to fight all the people hounding her. She is quite the doormat around everyone but Jackson, but even her times with Jackson wasn’t enough to make me like her.

I didn’t hate this book, but it was a disappointing read. The only saving point to the book was the writing, but sadly everything else was a bust. I really hoped for something exciting and taboo, but I got neither of those.

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