ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Buddy Read with Paloma ❤
This was not what I was expecting it to be. I normally love sports romance books, especially starring hockey players because of my love for the Off-Campus Series by Elle Kennedy, but this was mostly just a let down.
Bad Reputation is a friends to lovers story that surrounds two best friends that are both ignoring the fact that they feel more for each other than just friends. Chase is your typical bad boy professional athlete that only really has one-night stands. And his best friend is Cassie, who is an overachieving workaholic who is a VP of a very successfully company.
They have been best friends for many years, and their friendship started when they met in college. They soon realized that they grew up very close together, and their families soon became close, too. After Chase signs on with the Tornados and moves to Texas to play professionally with them. Cassie also joined her company because it was located in Texas to be close to Chase. They are now twenty-seven and twenty-eight, and trying to figure out what they want with the rest of their lives. And one night in Vegas changes their friendship forever.
I have to get ready to get on my own flight to go back home to Vegas, so I’m going to make this a really simple and easy to write a review for you guys!
Things I didn’t enjoy about this book:
➽This book alternates points of view in the middle of every chapter. This just made the story feel so disjointed, and never really allowed me to enjoy a scene completely. I really wish the character switches would have been done at the start of every chapter instead of this alternating mess.
➽Also, at the start of every chapter is an excerpt from a sports column, and I found this rather pointless and very much a waste of my reading time. It kind of connects with the epilogue, but it was still not enough to make me enjoy these senseless excerpts.
➽I grew up in Michigan during the height of the Detroit Red Wings. Hockey has planned a huge part of my life growing up, and I have never once heard of the penalty box being called a “sin bin”.
➽Cassie seems to completely change her personality type in the middle of the book and it was rather annoying and abrupt. How she could become so irresponsible all of a sudden was rather unbelievable.
➽Also, after that 50% mark, this book becomes a huge mediocre sex storyline.
➽And lastly, I feel like the title of this book is sort of inaccurate, too.
Things I loved about this book:
➽Chase is adopted and has two dads! I loved how this was seamlessly woven into the story, and we need more romance books that normalize queer relationships and parental figures like this!
➽I loved that Cassie was a year older than Chase. This is something I rarely see in books, and I very much enjoyed this rarely seen dynamic in adult romance.
➽Chase does an amazing job asking for consent before having sex with Cassie, especially when they’ve both been drinking. I very much appreciated this.
➽Chase had some really good dirty talk during a few of their sexual encounters, and that is something that I personally really enjoy during sex, and I thought a few of Chase’s lines were really well done.
Overall, this is a decently short friends to lovers story. Like, this was a really quick read for me. Yes, the bad did outweigh the good for me, but I didn’t dislike this book by any means, I just thought it was okay. There wasn’t anything offensive or anything like that, I just felt like the alternating PoVs in the middle of the chapters were too abrupt and made for a very disjointed read that I could never fully immerse myself in. I did really appreciate all the good things I did list above, though. I just hope if you guys pick this up that you will enjoy it more than me. Happy reading!