Series: Bad Bachelors #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on February 26, 2019
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He's the bad bachelor who inspired it all... Annie Maxwell had her whole life figured out...until her fianc� left her when his career took off. If that wasn't bad enough, every society blog posted pictures of him escorting a woman wearing her engagement ring. To help the women of New York avoid guys like her ex, Annie created the Bad Bachelors app. But try as she might, Annie just can't forget him...
For bank executive Joe Preston, his greatest mistake was leaving the love of his life when she needed him most. Now, all he wants is to make things right--and she won't have him. But when Annie's safety is threatened by a hacker determined to bring down her app, Joe is the only one she can turn to. He'll have to lay himself on the line to prove to Annie that he's a changed man. But will their hard-won bond survive the revelation that Annie is the one pulling the strings behind Bad Bachelors?
Bad Bachelors Series: Bad Bachelor (Book 1) Bad Reputation (Book 2)Bad Influence (Book 3)
Praise for Stefanie London's Bad Bachelors: "Sizzling, sexy and so much fun!"--SARAH MORGAN, USA Today bestselling author "Wonderfully witty and achingly romantic. An absolute must-read."--LAUREN LAYNE, New York Times bestselling author "Original, witty, and sexy. My #1 romance read of the year!"--JENNIFER BLACKWOOD, USA Today bestselling author "Elegant, descriptive and delectable."--RT Book Reviews, Top Pick, 4.5 Stars
I liked the characters and would have enjoyed the story more if the whole conflict that broke them up wasn’t completely idiotic.
Annie and Joe knew each other long before they started dating freshman year of college. Annie’s mother used to clean his family’s house and sometimes young Annie would hang out with Joe playing video games. As we always find, Joe’s rich and powerful father didn’t like that Joe was dating the help. Even though Joe struggled with his need to win his father’s approval, he would not give up Annie to please him.
Forward ahead a few years, Joe get’s an important opportunity in Singapore, something his father insisted he needed to do if he ever wants get ahead in banking. Joe and Annie have packed up their apartment and are ready to move when Annie finds out about her mother’s breast cancer and upcoming surgery. Joe insist that he will pay for Annie to fly back to be with her mother whenever she needs to, but Annie feels she needs to stay and be with her mother right now. Joe is hurt that Annie didn’t talk to him first before making the decision to stay and also hurt that he didn’t come first to Annie. WTF!!
I am surprised that I didn’t stop reading right here in the prologue but let’s stop here and talk about this because the whole story, in fact the whole series, hinges on this moment. Joe and Annie break up after being together for about 5 or 6 years. Joe was planning to propose when they arrived in Singapore. Joe is willing to fly Annie back (halfway across the world) anytime she needs to be with her mother, and when she says she needs to stay, he’s done with the most important person in his life? There is no discussion. No arguments. No objection or even pleading on Annie’s part that their relationship doesn’t have to end. He is willing to fly her back to NY but what about flying her to Singapore a few times while her mother undergoes treatment. And not that breast cancer is necessary a death sentence, but it was possible that her mother’s time was limited and he would deny her that time with her mom? Joe is apparently such an asshat that he believes Annie not being able to fly out with him immediately for his new job, which he will be working at for the next few years(?), is a deal breaker for him. Her mother’s chemo will only be for a few weeks to months. She could have joined him once her mother started to improve. Personally, I think instead of starting Bad Bachelors, Annie should have been celebrating not marrying or wasting any more years with such a selfish asshole. She wasn’t even angry that he would leave for his new job while her mother, a woman who welcomed Joe into their family with open arms, was going through surgery and chemo. She was okay with him going on to Singapore and joining him later, but that wasn’t good enough for him.
As you can see, the whole break-up/conflict was crap, or the best thing that could have happened to Annie. Moving on…
A year after Joe leaves town, Annie creates Bad Bachelors, an app where women can go and rate and make comments about men they date. Some people are happy about the app. Some women who have been abused and feared dating, could see if their possible date was a decent guy. Some people were angry at being negatively listed on the app, some truthfully and some lies. (This is part of the first two stories in the series.)
When we start Bad Influence, Joe has just returned to New York to begin a new job and literally bumps into Annie and she knocks him into a pond. *thumbs up* She allows him to clean up in her (their former) apartment and then sends him home in a towel since she doesn’t have any extra clothes for him. You go girl!
Annie often gets angry or threatening emails, but they can’t hurt her because no one really knows that she is the creator of Bad Bachelors, except the guy in the first book who finds her…and the second book– never mind…a hacker manages to break into Annie’s computer and she calls Joe to help her. Joe really never wanted to go into banking (see prior statement about daddy issues). Joe wanted to create a white hat security firm to help companies protect their software. When Joe realizes that Annie is in real danger since some crazy knows who she is and where she lives, he either stays at her house or she stays with him. This leads us to casual ex-sex which always works out so well.
Now we do eventually have redemption. Joe realizes his decisions were made in his usual attempt to get his father’s approval and that he doesn’t need or actually really want it anyway. He also realizes that he hurt Annie as well as her parents who had always treated him like family and he goes about trying to earn everyone’s forgiveness.
As much as I grumble about the plot issue, what saves the story is Annie and Joe together. They are definitely a couple that are meant to be together. It isn’t just about hot sexy times and while you could compare their sexy times to videos from sites like Gay Fuck Tube, there are other dimensions to their relationship. We feel their draw toward each other and their sadness that there is a distance between them that simply shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, Joe not only has to rebuild a relationship with Annie, but he has to rebuild one with the reader since he starts off this story being such a heartless jerk.
We met Annie’s friends who were featured in the prior two stories but I really don’t have enough interest to go back and read the first two books.