Melody Bryant has heard it all before. Sure, she’s the epitome of the stereotype for a librarian. Loves order. Loves rules and deadlines. Loves books. But what she doesn’t love is still being a virgin at twenty-four. Unfortunately, the only guy she’s ever been interested in turned her down flat. And then left town. Eight. Years. Ago. Ugh.
Now her birthday is fast approaching and she just can’t take it any longer. She’s finding a guy before her birthday in five weeks or she’s adopting two more cats and fully embracing becoming “the crazy cat lady.”
But when her latest date ends in epic failure–everyone thinks of her as the “proper librarian,” she realizes what she needs is to ruin her reputation. And she knows the perfect guy to help her: the baddest bad boy in town. This Army vet won’t know what hit him…
“May I help you with those?” a sales clerk finally asked, probably sensing a sizeable commission, though her tone seemed sincere. She unlocked one of the dressing rooms, then helped Mel hang everything on the hooks inside. “My name’s Andi and I’ll be outside if you need anything. Let me know.”
Adam took up guard position beside the door and Mel shook her head. “I’m telling you, if you’re right and I fit into even half of these, I owe you a beer.”
He leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, pulling the material of his shirt tighter across his chest. Mel’s mouth dried. “Okay. And what do I owe you if I’m wrong?”
The slight flirtation in his tone made her pulse thud.
The words teetered on the edge of her lips, but she chickened out. “I don’t know.”
“Hmm.” He turned away again. “Get to changing.”
She shut the door, then stared at all the clothes on the hooks. Since high school, she’d worn the same style, the same size. She knew what worked for her and what didn’t. Handing him back the stuff after she was done and making him take her to a different store because she’d been right would be sweet revenge. Those thoughts warmed her chilled skin as she slowly undressed.
“How’s it going in there?” Adam called a short time later.
“Dandy.” She pulled a pair of jeans off a hanger and tugged them on. “Give me a minute.”
“You’ve had five already. Not that I’m counting the seconds out here or anything.”
Mel sighed, picturing him leaning against the wall, looking effortlessly gorgeous and drawing all sorts of female attention without even trying. He’d always been far too sexy for his own good.
Surprisingly, the jeans slid up her legs and over her butt with ease, like they were made for her alone. She buttoned and zipped them, then turned to look in the mirror, her mouth open in shock. They fit. Like a second skin.
Mel glanced at herself in the mirror again, checking all the angles and finding nothing amiss. No muffin top, no pinching, nothing but a perfect fit.
He knocked on the door again. “Are you stalling because you owe me a Bud Light?”
His deep chuckle soothed her in all the right places.
She grabbed a light blue top off another hanger, the fabric a silky rayon jersey with a cowl neck and cap sleeves. A far cry from her usual twinsets and pearls. She pulled it over her head then wriggled it down to her waist. The clingy material hugged her curves without being too revealing and the color made her skin glow.
“All bets are off until you let me see you…” His words died off as she opened the door. Adam stood frozen, his gaze moving slowly upward from her bare toes, his blue eyes darkening as they trekked over her hips and thighs to her chest. Mel had long since stopped breathing. The backs of her knees tingled, and time seemed to slow. Each flick of his eyes felt like warm honey on her skin, all slow and sweet and delicious. He swallowed hard and she tracked the movement of the muscles working in his strong, tanned neck, wishing she could nuzzle the hollow at the base of his throat.
Yep. She’d buy this outfit and wear it whenever Adam was around.
How to Seduce a Bad Boy is a cute and sweet older-brother’s-best-friend romance between the town librarian and an Army vet, and the first in the author’s new Point Beacon series. The characters were fun to root for, and the setting was charming. A librarian! With the guy she’s had a crush on since forever! What’s not to love? 🙂
Overall I enjoyed this one, and will definitely be looking for future series books.
That said…Melody was a little *too* stereotypical librarian, I thought–and her image was magically “fixed” with a makeover, haircut, and shopping trip that suddenly had men falling all over her. That totally happens, right? 😉 (Personally, I was more of a fan of her after-after look, when she blended the new with the old and made her own “new” Melody.) I also was really not a fan of her brother and Adam getting together and deciding that it was going to be okay for them to date–Adam and Melody, not Adam and James–because, hello, someone important is missing from that discussion, gentlemen…
Those two issues aside, though, this was a fun read from a new-to-me author who I’ll definitely read more from in the future!
Rating: 4 stars / B
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass writes fiction bursting with romance, usually mixed with a healthy portion of snark. Her stories feature sizzling heroes with quick wits and troubled pasts and smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get. Her books are published with Harlequin/Mills & Boon, Entangled Publishing, and Tule Publishing.
She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA), and the International Thriller Writers (ITW), and holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
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