Bad Romance, A Stepbrother Novel

badcover72116-mediumAuthor: Jen McLaughlin

Publisher: Random House Publishing – LOVESWEPT

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Publisher and Amazon

Type: Novel

Provided by Publisher


Blurb: In this explosive novel from bestselling author Jen McLaughlin, a good girl falls for the ultimate bad boy: her stepbrother. Perfect for fans of Sabrina Paige, Caitlin Daire, and Krista Lakes, Bad Romance proves that passion can be so wrong it’s right.

Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after a shoulder wound ends his career as a sniper, Jackson Worthington finds himself back home, fighting a battle that’s all too familiar: keeping his hands off Lily Hastings. She’s still her rich daddy’s little angel, innocent, impossibly lovely, as squeaky-clean as Jackson is dirty. And she’s still his stepsister—forbidden but not forgotten, not after the soul-melting kiss that got him kicked out of the house at eighteen. He couldn’t resist her then. How the hell can he resist her now?

Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit to a high-stress job she hates, all to please the father who controls every waking moment of her life. On top of everything, her teenage crush is back, with a sleek, chiseled body and a trace of the rebellious boy whose lips sealed her fate. Jackson’s timing couldn’t be worse . . . or better. Because Lily’s all grown up, too. She’s aching for another taste. And for the first time, she’s ready to be a bad girl.


Review: This was a seriously sexy story about two people who’d been there for each other early on and now reconnected in a powerful way when they both needed it the most. I really enjoyed this great story about second chance romance.

Lily has always loved Jackson. Even though they’re step-siblings, she’s always felt more–and judging from his kiss, he does too. Unfortunately, she was fifteen and he was eighteen when it happened and they were both living at their parent’s house. When her dad saw it, Jackson was summarily tossed out on his a$$, which worked for him because he’d never wanted to follow the carefully constructed trajectory his stepdad had planned for him. Law school? Politician? H$ll no! He wanted to join the Army–and that’s where he went.

Lily wrote to him weekly for three years–without ever getting an answer–until at long last her father convinced her it wasn’t worth it. That he didn’t care about her and that he’d kissed her to get kicked out so he could join the Army like he wanted to. Which totally explains her dubious expression when she sees Jackson at a bar. Plus, her dad’s got his own agenda. He’s got a business to save and Lily’s capitulation to a marriage contract is a key part of it. If Lily doesn’t marry Derek, their family business is going to fail, big-time.

For Jackson’s part, he’s always felt unwanted by his mom. Heck, he doesn’t even know who his dad is! So while he really likes Lily–probably even loves her–and it feels really good to be around her, there’s no way he can ever GET to be with her. If he didn’t already feel like he wasn’t worthy of her because of how his mom treated him, his stepfather would certainly make sure he got the message. So when she loves him? When she sends him letters? He feels like the best thing he can do for her is to let her go. He’s just an Army grunt and will never be able to give her the lifestyle that her father has given her, plus he doesn’t want to. But does he want her? What’s he willing to do to get her?

There are a lot of cliches and tropes in this novel but seriously, when aren’t there? They work. The forced marriage, the “I have to for the greater good,” the bad boy who returns, the “forbidden” relationship. All of these are in there and add a twist to this suspenseful romance filled with sexy heat and slow building love. While there was a good helping of angsty behavior on both parts of the h/h spectrum, it was understandable in the situation. But I just wanted to reach into the book and slap them! I think my problem is probably more with the trope than with this book because I actually really bought into the love between the two and enjoyed the heck out of the bad boy part. So, who’s to judge which trope we like and which we don’t? I won’t! Read it 🙂


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