Review: Better When He’s Bold (#2, Welcome to the Point) by Jay Crownover

My Thoughts

An intense, sexy as hell, suspenseful page turner.

5stars

Synopsis

better when he's bold coverSome men are just better when they’re bold.

Welcome to the Point…

In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has to be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them.

Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like the Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?

Brysen Carter has always seen her best friend’s brother for what he is–too pretty, too smooth, and way too dangerous to touch. Basking in Race’s golden glow is very tempting, but Brysen knows she’d eventually get burned.

When she starts receiving threatening texts and someone tries to take her out in parking lot, the only person interested in keeping her safe is the one man she can’t allow herself to have.

Sometimes being bold is the only way to stay alive. But can she let Race save her life . . . if it means losing herself to him?

My Review

The Point has a new ruler, and it’s golden boy Race Hartman that dons the tattered crown. He’s running the streets now and it’s anything but easy as debts continue to be collected in blood. Race battles much on the inside and outside as he strives to carry out a plan that could change things for those that call The Point home. Luckily for him, he’s got the baddest of the bad at his side. He’s got Bax, who is notorious for being the most dangerous guy around. On the other side, he’s got Nassir, who is the dirtiest, get-it-done-by-any-means-possible guy.  The Point is in for a new world order with these three at the helm as bullets, blood and secrets reign.

Brysen Carter has had a crush on Race Hartman for a long time. The golden boy with the green eyes. The new kingpin of a broken kingdom. Race was bad, unpredictable… a complication she needed to stay away from despite the near-irresistible desire she felt every time she saw him. So she was mean. Guarded. Did everything she could to push him away.

Meanwhile, Race had more problems than he knew what to do with. Even his sharp, intelligent, problem-solving mind couldn’t fix everything he faced. And yet, a problem like Brysen was the best kind of challenge. He was fueled by her hard-to-get game, but he also sensed there was more to her story.

“We had never really been friends, didn’t know each other beyond the powerful attraction that seemed to pull us together, but the more bits and pieces of him I uncovered, the more I realized he was so much like me. His life looked one way, but underneath the surface there was so much more, so many other things going on.”

After Race swoops in to help her during a bad situation, Brysen begins to soften. Race is willing to help her, becoming someone she could trust. Before to long, her defenses fall and they become each other’s safe haven. But Brysen couldn’t forget who Race was… what he did every day. Could she really be with someone who ruined so many lives?

“In a place like this, there aren’t very many good people running around. That means there are a lot of bad things happening under the surface and a lot of bad people doing those things. I’m not a bad guy, Brysen, but I’m not a good guy either.”

As Brysen and Race battle turmoil inside, everything around them spins out of control. Someone is after Brysen and someone is looking to dethrone Race. The violence is escalating and there are no answers to who is behind it. Race, who is driven by his ability to fix things, to protect those he loves, begins to unravel and it’s Brysen who must come to terms with her emotions if she’s to help him.

“Being with guys like us… It’s like being in love with a loaded weapon and you’re the safety.”

I love Race as a character. He’s a really complex guy. He’s not a natural for the streets, but it’s become the only home he’s ever known. He doesn’t like being the bad guy, but he knows he has to do what’s needs to be done or things can get a whole lot worse. He’s got a plan for making The Point a little better, a little more manageable, and a little safer for those he cares about, but he’s afraid of losing himself in the process.

“I would hold on to her with everything I had and I would make sure she stayed just the way she was. I would never take the little things for granted, and just as tightly as I planned on holding on to her, I was going to hold on to this dark and dangerous place that was my home. They were both mine, and I would give up anything and everything to keep them.”

This was an intense book, and although the story is primarily plot driven, the character development is rich and you really want to learn more about each person in the novel. People like Booker and Nassir and Titus… I just can’t wait to experience their story. And in typical Jay Crownover style, it’s also super sexy. She always does an amazing job at creating that believable, hot-as-hell chemistry between her characters.

There are so many reasons to read this book, this series, but one of them is that Jay Crownover is really pushing the boundaries of the New Adult space, giving us stories that are edgier, grittier, more intense and twisty than those we’ve seen. For those of you that feel like New Adult has run its course, Jay’s books are the perfect example of how the category continues to evolve in a fresh, contemporary way. Next up is Detective Titus King, Bax’s brother, and I anxiously await diving into his story in Better When He’s Brave.

“I thought we weren’t a good bet, but now I would go double or nothing on us any day.”

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Reading Order and Links

Each book can be read as a standalone.

better when he's bad better when he's bold cover

Reading Order: Better When He’s Bad | Better When He’s Bold | Better When He’s Brave

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