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Blackmailing the Bad Girl Paperback – May 20, 2017
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Overall reaction to the story? The idea of crafting a series around three female ex-cons is a brilliant one and I can’t get enough of Nina Croft’s Cutting Loose series. Having the women be the ones getting out of prison definitely puts a different spin on the term Bad Girls, especially since these three women aren’t the hardened criminals you’d expect. Blackmailing the Bad Girl was a sexy good time with two characters I found totally likable and I was cheering them on as a couple from the very beginning.
Describe the hero in five words: Stubborn. Smart. Caring. Sneaky. Fun.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Nik Masterton is the least CEO type guy I’ve ever met. He doesn’t act like one, he doesn’t dress like one unless he has to, and he doesn’t lord it over everyone he meets. That made him super interesting and also explained how he got so close to Summer back when she stole from him. Since Nik obviously didn’t get the memo on how CEO types are supposed to act (Or maybe he did but just threw it out), he was a lot more laid back and fun, he seemed like an everyday guy unless you were Summer Delaney and he was using his considerable wealth to find out information about you and using it as blackmail. That’s when the CEO came out but even then he pulled people in. I liked that he looked after the people in his inner circle even when they drove him crazy, like his mother and twin sisters.
Describe the heroine in five words: Shy. Intelligent. Stubborn. Vulnerable. Loyal.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Summer seems like the kind of woman you could knock over with a slight breeze but behind that raw vulnerability and the fear of going back to prison is a woman determined to live on her terms and to make sure that she doesn’t break the law again. I loved that Summer could be paralyzed with fear at the thought of going back to prison but at the same time have a snarky set down for Nik when he pushed her too far. She may have been powerless to refuse working for him but she wasn’t beaten by a long shot. Her reasons for doing what she did are completely relatable and made me wish that there was an entire army of Summer Delaneys out there to right the wrongs of big companies.
Let’s talk about the romance: Nik and Summer met before Summer’s stint in prison and there was an undeniable connection between them then. In the present that connection is still there but combine it with pent up resentments, angry confusion, and time apart and that connection is all but bursting at the seams. These two tempt and provoke each other with minimal effort and while their chemistry is explosive, their emotional connection is just as powerful. Nik isn’t like most guys and Summer is definitely not a typical woman. They played off each other well and the author made sure to pay as much attention to their growing romance as she did to their lust fueled encounters.
How about that supporting cast? Blackmailing the Bad Girl takes place in almost the same time frame as the first book in Croft’s series so it was great to see Summer, Regan, and Darcy hanging out together and seeing the bond they forged while they were in prison. I loved the differences between the three women and how Darcy taught both women how do defend themselves. All three are caring and not hardened criminals by a long shot. They just got screwed by the someone in their pasts.
Click It or Skip It? Click It. The premise for the series is an awesome one and Nina Croft’s way of bringing Nik and Summer’s story to life left me wanting Darcy’s book all the more but at the same time dreading it because it will mean the series is over.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. All conclusions are my own responsibility and I was not compensated for this review.
Nina Croft is a relatively new to me author. I read the first book in her Cutting Loose series, Falling for the Bad Girl and liked the book. From reading the first book, I was sure that I wasn’t going to like Blackmailing the Bad Girl. The books are standalone reads, but Falling for the Bad Girl didn’t leave me chomping at the bit to read Summer’s story. She was a secondary character who was a forgotten mystery to me.
I could not have been more wrong about Blackmailing the Bad Girl. From the beginning, I was loving Summer Delaney and Nik Masteron. The two initially meet almost three years ago, when Summer worked for Masteron Industries and thought Nik was a maintenance man. The two hit it off and spent after work hours hanging out together at the company. While Summer was plotting to steal money from the company, Nik was doing something else. “Three years ago, I was on the verge of falling in love with you.” Thus, when Summer disappeared with a million pounds of company money he didn’t notify the police. That’s not to say that he hasn’t been looking for her, because he has. And he has just found her, doing a four year stint in Holloway prison for attempting to steal from another company. With Summer up for parole, Nike plans to implement “The Rehabilitation of Summer Delaney”. Nik wants Summer to be his personal assistant, in exchange for him not turning her over to the police. And if in the process there is some boss/assistant hanky panky, all the better.
There are definitely sparks and then some with Nik and Summer, but even with the blackmail there’s still friendship and understanding. “I can feel your heart. I bet you didn’t believe I had one.” Nik definitely has one of the biggest hearts there is. “I want to know you’re okay, not going to get in trouble again. I guess I want to be your friend.”
While it’s easy to figure out what’s going to happen, Blackmailing the Bad Girl was a really good read. The story had my attention from the beginning and never once had me wanting to put it down. I loved the secondary characters. The next and final book in the series is one I REALLY want to read. It should feature Darcy, a MMA fighter and third bad girl, and the uncle of her niece. But I would REALLY love if Nik’s best friend and right hand man Harry had a story.
**Received a copy from Entangled Publishing and reviewed voluntarily.**
Most recent customer reviews
I loved everything about this book.Read more
I'll be the odd one out on this book and admit I didn't like it. I felt no depth in either of the main characters.Read more