Olivia Bishop wants to have fun; the thing is, she doesn't know how. She married young, gave up her ambitions for those of her husband, and then when she caught him cheating on her, she divorced him. His parting shot: If you knew how to have fun I wouldn't have had to look elsewhere. She's a teacher at the local college, and when another employee suggests joining a book club, one that meets once a month at the Donovan Brothers Brewery, Olivia hopes this is her first step on the way to 'fun'.
Bad Boys Do
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
From the author's website:
Olivia Bishop is no fun. That’s what her ex-husband said. That’s what her smart bob and glasses imply. And with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She’s going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble – in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan – may be too tempting to avoid.
Jamie Donovan doesn’t mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. But it’s time to grow up. He’s even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong.
Jamie Donovan is the middle sibling in the Donovan family. His older brother Eric is responsible for most of the business end of running their family brewery andis younger sister Tessa is responsible for the marketing aspect. Jamie feels like the black sheep in the family - he looks pretty but isn't reliable. He wants to prove himself to his siblings: he dreams of adding a restaurant to the brewery but knows he needs a plan before presenting it, so he signs up for a class at the local college.
Olivia and Jamie each have something the other wants, so they agree to help each other out - Jamie will help Olivia loosen up and have fun, and Olivia will help Jamie with his restaurant plans. What neither of them counts on are the feelings that develop between them.
I am a huge Victoria Dahl fan, and Bad Boys Do did not disappoint. Prior to reading Bad Boys Do, I had just finished a heavy, emotional read and wanted something sweet and humorous to cheer me up - and Bad Boys Do did the trick!
Olivia is 35, divorced for about a year, and her ex-husband Victor is a real jerk. He cheated on her, and since they both work at the same University, he flaunts his younger girlfriends whenever he gets the chance. Olivia's had enough, and in a spur-of-the-moment decision, she invites Jamie (who's 29) to be her date to a University function. I kind of had a problem with Olivia using Jamie like that, but giving her credit, she felt guilty about it too. Her ex did a real mind-f*ck on her, essentially molding her from a young student into what he wanted her to be - a professor's wife. She put her dreams on hold, giving them up in place of Victor's wishes. When she found out he was cheating she was angry and hurt and determined to never give up any part of herself for a man again.
Jamie has a different problem - he's viewed by friends and family as a carefree guy with no responsibility and not really caring about anything but himself. While this was true when he was younger, he's grown and wants to take on more responsibility but no one, especially his brother, will believe he's changed. Every time he tries to show he's more responsible, it backfires and usually makes things worse. He sees in Olivia someone who's responsible and knowledgeable about a project he's determined to make succeed. I really liked Jamie (and not just because he's a sexy bartender who wears kilts on a regular basis) because he was so earnest in his endeavors to be more than a hunk in a kilt. I really felt for him when his brother or sister would disregard his input.
Bad Boys Do is a great "opposites attract" story. I could see where each half of the couple brought to the table something the other needed, and also how their differences could create problems in their relationship - especially when Olivia wasn't viewing it as a relationship but as an arrangement. Each made the other stronger, whether they realized it or not. When Jamie's "activities" come to light from the last book (Good Girls Do), Olivia is understandably upset. Jamie's explanation, however, was heartbreaking; I just wanted someone to believe in him!!!
"We get along," she whispered. "Of course. as friends. As people who...see each other."
He took her hand. "It's more than that. You bring out something better in me.
Her heart lept at his words, but it quickly fell back down again, thumping in fear. Was he saying he loved her? That couldn't be right. "Have you been drinking?" she blurted.
"No," he said with a laugh. "I'm sober. And sincere. When I'm with you, I feel mature. Responsible. It's what I liked about you from the start. You're so serious-" When she gasped, he held up a hand. "I know that's not what you want me to say, but it's true. You're serious and smart, and I like that. You make me want to be more."
~Bad Boys Do, location 3664
And if you think that's their HEA, you'll be as surprised as I was at what comes next! Ms. Dahl took Jamie and Olivia's story to highs and lows and dragged my heart right along with it...
Bad Boys Do is the second book in the Donovan Brothers Brewery series; I am thoroughly enjoying these characters and watching each their stories unfold. Eric, the oldest of the siblings, seems pretty uptight and I'm looking forward to his story next: Real Men Will (October 2011).