Jun 17 2014 1:30pm

First Look: Jay Crownover’s Better When He’s Bad (June 19, 2014)

Better When He's Bad by Jay CrownoverJay Crownover
Better When He’s Bad (Welcome to the Point)
William Morrow / June 17, 2014 / $13.99 print, $4.99 digital

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

Welcome to the Point is a new series by Jay Crownover. Different from the Marked Men series, this one opens up a world of crime, drugs, violence, and death with a “hero” who is anything but a good guy. Dark and gritty, Better When He’s Bad is a bleak look at life on the streets where only the strong can survive.  A cast of interesting and dangerous characters casually walk the line between good and bad and demand you pay attention as they help to lay the framework for the story.

Shane “Bax” Baxter has just been released from prison after doing a five year stint for grand theft auto. Back in town and more dangerous than ever, he is looking for his best friend, Race, who he thinks set him up to take the fall. Bax doesn’t know what happened or why, but he’s going to find out—even if he has to burn the town and everyone in it to do so. Unfortunately, there is another person looking for Race and she refuses to get out of his way.

“Heroes have no place in this kind of fight. It takes nasty to fight nasty…”

A certifiable “bad boy,” Bax makes no apologies for who he is or what he’s done. Growing up with an alcoholic mother and an absent father, Bax was forced to take the role of provider at an early age, which is when his criminal career began. Starting out small, he eventually caught the eye of the local crime lord and began to pull bigger jobs, leading to more trouble. Having spent a majority of his adolescence in and out of jail, Bax knows after his last stint that he only has two choices from here on out—either get out of the game entirely or submerge himself entirely.

“Sacrificing five years of his life for a bunch of bullshit has a way of leaving a mark on a guy…”

Dovie Pryce is also looking for Race but for different reasons. A good girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Dovie is a hard working college student trying to keep her head above water. Born to a drug addicted mother, she was thrown into the foster care system only to be saved by an unknown benefactor. A picture of innocence with her curly red hair and pale freckled skin, Dovie is far more street savvy than anyone gives her credit for. She needs to find Race and will do whatever it takes, even forcing Bax into the protector role against his will.

“Having Bax act like a buffer between me and all the bad things in the world was a potent aphrodisiac...”

Crownover doesn’t sugarcoat Bax to make him more presentable or appealing. He doesn't become an upstanding citizen because of the love of a good woman. Instead, she uses his experiences and relationships to slowly peel back the layers and reveal his true potential. He has issues that foreshadow his actions, but he isn't completely immoral. He lives by a set of rules, and won't compormise for anyone—until he meets Dovie. Through her, he learns that actions have consequences and those consequences often blow back on those he cares for.

“She was the only way I was ever going to find some sense of rightness in this ultimately backward and wrong place we existed.”

Better When He's Bad kicks off the Welcome to the Point series, a gritty noir romance that is sure to appeal to bad boy lovers everywhere.

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Better When He's Bad by Jaw Crownover, available June 19, 2014:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes



Tori Benson can be found at Smexybooks and at Twitter.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
I LOVED Jay Crownover's Marked Men series, so I'm interested in seeing her take on such an anti-hero.
3. Torifl
wslo612-It's darker but I really liked it.

JenniferProffitt-I think Crownover does a fantastic job of writing a character who is able to adapt rather then change who they are.
maria babani
4. Chica8
I have found a new author! Love all her books so far and enjoyed the antihero in this one. I can't wait for Rowdy in October and Better When He's Bold in December.
5. Torifl
Chica8-I have both of those on my MUST BE READ list!! Rowdy's book looks really good.
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