I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley and Neon Lights Publishing.
Apple Malloy is a woman scorned. Scorned by a society that has shamed her, and scorned by the men who have claimed her. On the verge of college graduation, Apple finds herself entangled in one last game of manipulation, deceit and sexual corruption with her former lover, and constant enabler, Brick Valmont.
Apple sets her sights on Jensen Moon—the enigmatic professor who had failed her the semester prior—and vows revenge. She’ll make him fall in love with her, and then break his heart, leaving his reputation destroyed in the process.
Brick makes her a wager she can’t refuse.
If Apple can seduce Jensen before Brick can sleep with Tyra Young, the beautiful, innocent daughter of a sitting U.S. Senator, then she will emerge victorious. If she wins, she gets the satisfaction that she has beaten him at his own game. If she loses, she must sleep with Brick one last time before heading separate ways.
Apple is a pro at this. She knows how to maneuver men and wrap them around her finger. She knows how to get what she wants, but Jensen tosses an unexpected grenade into her path to victory. Soon, she realizes it is she that might face the worst fate of all.
She falls in love.
Jensen has a power over Apple and it terrifies her. He can make her feel things. He can make her heart race. He might be the only one capable of saving her soul before it’s too late. But one thing is certain—nobody escapes unscathed in this titillating story of manipulation where nothing is as it appears.
Bad Reputation is the first book in the Bad Reputation series, and is loosely based on the 1782 classic novel, Dangerous Liaisons.
What an interesting read. I didn’t know if was loosely based on Dangerous Liaisons but now that I know I can see the comparisons. I really liked certain point in the book and then in others I was hiding my eyes because I was embarrassed to be reading it.
The female lead, Apple, was likable for me throughout the book. I saw from the beginning that she was never comfortable in her role as the bitch “mean girl” that screwed every guy she saw because she was always searching for a connection. The worst thing that ever happen to that girl was meeting up with Brick when she was in a bad place emotional. With her low self-esteem she was ripe for the picking.
The bet she has with her “slut in arms” is Brick. He comes across and a selfish, boy….at least to me….from the moment you meet him. He’s one of those guys that thinks he’s god’s gift and unfortunately there are women out there that think he is as well. He might have the sexy tattoos and nice body but underneath he’s garbage and it shows. Anyways the bet….sleep with that untouchable person before the other or they have to sleep together. That in itself seems rather odd to me. They had already slept together in the past and from the way they interact recently as well.
The plot gets a little cheesy from there but does have some good mixed in which is why I kept reading. If you can read past the cheese and really see the story you do get interested in how Apple will deal with it all. I did think the interaction with her and Jensen seemed forced in the beginning and very fast but that’s just me. It would have been interesting to see inside Brick’s mind when he was chasing his prey. You only got to see if from Apple’s POV and that left his side of the story lacking for me. The entire books moved at a rather fast pace really, it would have been nice to get deeper into the story but maybe that was the point since it was the first in a series.
The best parts of the book for me were the scenes with Apple and Jensen when the outside world wasn’t interrupting. The dialogue was real and the chemistry could be felt. Each brought out something in the other that was lacking and made it all work. I enjoyed how vulnerable Jensen was once he realized how intense his feelings were and how when things seemed like they might fall apart he didn’t just walk away. That to me seemed very real-life. You don’t walk away when you love someone even when things get messy.
I could have done without Cece, she was a waste of words but maybe she’s got more going on in book 2. It seemed that Apple was trying to pass the torch to this girl but Cece came across and just a hypocritical bitch to me. I get how we can all come out of our shell once its broken but she’s proceeded to stomp all over people immediately when not 10 pages before she was a sheltered virgin afraid of her shadow.
I would recommend this book as a day read because it is short enough you should have no issue reading it in an afternoon or night. I would like to read the next book to see where it all goes and if the storyline gets stronger. Overall I’d say they book is 3 Star.