Review: A Bad Boy for Christmas by Jessica Lemmon + Excerpt + Giveaway

ARC: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Second Chance #3
Connor McClain knows what he wants. And after four harrowing years in Afghanistan, that's a quiet life in the lakeside town of Evergreen Cove. But coming home has land mines of its own-the most dangerous of them being long-legged bombshell Faith Garrett. Now getting her into his arms this holiday is going to require more than mistletoe . . .

With a cheating ex behind her, all Faith wants is a relaxing holiday free from man drama. And even though every moment with gorgeous Connor is a sweet temptation, Faith is determined not to give in. But Jack Frost has other plans, and soon Faith and Connor are snowbound in a winter wonderland with only the sparks flying between them to keep them warm. As one hot kiss leads to another, they'll have to decide if they're ready to give each other the best gift of all-love.

Jessica Lemmon continues to impress with her Bad Boys books (aka Second Chance series). I really loved Evan's book Bringing Home the Bad Boy (my review) and Donovan's book Rescuing the Bad Boy (my review), and now we have Connor's book A Bad Boy for Christmas. Since I loved the first two books so much, I had high expectations that I'm going to love A Bad Boy for Christmas too. It did not disappoint.
In Rescuing the Bad Boy Faith and Connor reconnected, and had a flirty thing going on. But Faith just got out of a relationship (after she discovered that her fiancĂ© was cheating on her) and wasn't ready to get back to dating. Also, even though there were attractive men around Evergreen Cove she just couldn't feel any spark of attraction for any of them... with the exception of sexy landscaper Connor. For him, Faith felt major sparks. Connor, who spent four years in Afghanistan and recently returned to his hometown of Evergreen Cove, was very much attracted to Faith from the very first time he laid eyes on her. When there might be someone trying to break into Faith's new apartment, Connor steps in to try to figure out who it was. 

Connor is my new favorite out of the bad boys. I swooned over all the things he said to her and did for Faith. He was just so sweet, patient, sexy, flirty and so protective of her. His family was wonderful too, especially his sisters. I love the scenes with them. 

I really liked Faith's character also but, man, did she frustrated me. After her break-up, she wanted to regain her independence, and she felt she's finally at the point where she can stand on her own two feet. She moved to a new apartment and she's working at a job she enjoys with her best friend Sofie. She didn't want to give that up, afraid she'll lose herself again if she let's Connor in too deep. But Connor was such a great guy and I was a bit frustrated with Faith when she kept trying to deny herself from truly being with Connor because she's afraid she'll lose her independence. Hello, Faith, you're going to lose the best guy ever if you keep pushing him away! Urgh!

But, oh, I rooted for them. Like with Evan and Charlie and with Donovan and Sofie, Connor and Faith has such great chemistry together. I loved that they were friends first and their relationship developed over the fall and winter months. They really got to know each other as they did all the fall and winter holidays together--all the holiday scenes, from Thanksgiving all the way to New Year, was especially fun.

I want to say that A Bad Boy for Christmas can be read as a standalone, but you'll probably want to start with the first book in the series, Bringing Home the Bad Boy and work your way to this one. But, I promise, all the books are so good it's hardly a hardship. Evan, Charlie, Donovan, and Sofie were around quite a bit and you'll appreciate them more if you knew their stories, and there's also that BIG thing about Asher and Gloria (omigosh, I need their book NOW!) that happened in this book that you wouldn't really get unless you're already familiar with them from Bringing Home the Bad Boy.

A Bad Boy for Christmas was fantastic! I loved it so much! It is such a perfect read for this holiday season. Ms. Lemmon continues to impress me with her characters and her writing. After reading her last three releases, she's up there with some of my favorite contemporary romance authors like Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins and Susan Mallery in terms of swoon-worthy heroes, strong heroines and small-town setting for me. I highly recommend you pick up her Bad Boys books--they're not to be missed.

She came to a halt at the threshold of the kitchen, her breath clogging in her throat.

Part of it was shock over the fact that Connor was leaning over the countertop inhaling one of her cupcakes. The other part, and the part she was having trouble reconciling, was the fact that there was a tear beneath one of the pockets of his jeans, and the slash of skin she was currently staring at was his bare ass.

He stood, chewing and smiling with his lips closed. She knew because she hastily redirected her gaze to his face. The way he licked the frosting off the corner of his mouth and lifted his brow suggested he may have caught her eyeballing something she shouldn’t.

“Tore them on a nail on the fence this morning.” He turned to look over his shoulder, splitting the tear with his fingers to show her a faint red scratch on one chiseled butt cheek. “Hurt like a bitch.” His eyes found hers and he gave her a sly smile. “Don’t suppose you’d be willing to patch me up.”

She choked on her laughter, shaking her head for effect. “I don’t think so,” she said, trying to sound disgusted and not turned on.

His smile erased as his brow went down like she’d hurt his feelings. “You would deny me medical care in my moment of need?”

Flustered, she stepped past him and snatched the small white box off the counter, determined to change the subject. “I hope you know you owe me a cupcake.”

“Cupcake, I took that in payment for the kiss you never gave me.”

So he didn’t forget.

“You’d rather have a carrot cupcake than a kiss?” Her pulse pounded against her neck. She knew which one she would prefer, and hoped she was doing a good job hiding it.

“Hmm…” He made a show of craning his neck to look at the remaining cupcake in the bottom of the box. “It was a pretty good cupcake.”

Her mouth opened in argument, but the argument never came. And the reason it never came was because Connor covered her lips with his, launching his tongue into her mouth. She tasted sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg from the frosting, and his mouth, which tasted wonderful because it tasted like him. The smell of lavender filled her senses, that earthy, spicy smell mingling in her nostrils and making her lean into him. Cupping the back of his neck, she tilted her chin, continuing their sparring session with fervor.

Noses bumped, his unshaven chin scraped her jaw, and his hands—his big, manly, rough hands—grasped her at the waist and pulled her flush against him.

This went on until finally, she had to pull back to inhale or suffocate. Not a bad way to go, she’d admit. Now she was panting and trying to recalibrate her brain cells, which had apparently oozed right out of her ears since Connor put his mouth on hers.

He looked as dazed as she did for a second before his smile snapped into place. “Nope. That was much better than the cupcake.”

For other holiday romances from Forever, check out Snowbound at Christmas by Debbie Mason and Unwrapped by Katie Lane.
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