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Sweet Southern Bad Boy by Michele Summers

Sweet Southern Bad Boy by Michele Summers
Pub. Date: December 6, 2016
Source: e-ARC via netgalley (Thank you, Sourcebooks!)
Summary: When Katie McKnight gets lost location-scouting for her father’s TV studio, she stumbles upon the perfect setting for their angsty new teen vampire series—a remote barn house unfortunately occupied by a grouchy, disheveled, and incredibly sexy man who instantly mistakes her for the new nanny. Should Katie tell him the truth, or get her foot in the door?

Bestselling author Vance Kerner doesn’t just have writer’s block—he’s been run ragged ever since he was saddled with taking care of his brother’s three kids, an adopted kitten, and a runaway mutt. The last thing he needs is a teen drama defiling his property, but with fascinating and unconventional Katie underfoot charming the entire Kerner household, Vance is finding it harder and harder to say no.
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Katie McKnight has one final chance to please her father. After leaving her job as a teacher, Katie has been bouncing around between various roles on her father’s movie production team, ultimately being given the task of finding a location for a teenage vampire/zombie miniseries. Instead of heading to the location her father had in mind, however, Katie finds herself outside the perfect house in Harmony, North Carolina. The only problem is how to convince the owner to sign her contract.

Vance Kerner is a bestselling author who’s suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. With his brother out of the country and his sister-in-law recovering from an injury, Vance stepped in to care for his niece and nephews. Now he’s completely overwhelmed and his deadline is looming overhead. Help couldn’t come at a better time, as Vance mistakenly assumes Katie is a nanny he hired. Katie desperately needs this deal to work…but is she willing to spend a month caring for three children and taking care of a cranky writer’s home?

Every once in a while I love to escape into a romance – especially during these chilly months! Sweet Southern Bad Boy was calling my name and, while I had some seriously issues with certain characters, I thoroughly enjoyed it – and am curious about the other books in the series (which feature several couples seen in this one)!

I was on board with Katie playing nanny to three kids. I could get behind her staying in Vance’s house for a month (ever the gentleman, he opted to retreat to his barn-turned-loft to get some writing done). I could even put aside my usual reservations with instalove for the sake of a fun story. The three kids are great, Katie’s a pro with them, and she and Vance have fantastic chemistry. …so what was the problem? There was no in-between: the men were either capital J Jerks or gosh darn good ol’ boys.

There are no surprises when it comes to Katie’s on again off again boyfriend/almost-fiance. It’s obvious from the beginning he’ll be out of the picture, so it was a little unnecessary for Summers to make him SO unlikable. Tad comes from a wealthy family and essentially bought his way into his position for Katie’s dad. He makes comments about her weight, her job (which he steals behind her back), follows her from Hollywood to North Carolina while she’s working to demand she return home with him right now, or she’ll be sorry. He’s rude and arrogant and belittles her any chance he gets. Her father was the same way: he made it extremely clear that he doesn’t think she made the right choice in getting a degree in education (why not??) and feels he needs to Fix It by going behind her back to sign her up for accounting classes at the local community college. He fires her without letting her know and instead has Tad take over the location scouting, all the while demanding Vance keep his mouth shut if he ever hopes to see big screen adaptations of his books. Katie is almost 30 years old. She’s more than capable of making her own decisions, yet she’s treated like a doormat by the men in her life.

On the other hand, I loved Katie’s relationship with Vance’s father, General Kerner. When Vance was a teen, he had a massive falling out with his dad and the two haven’t spoken since. Katie unknowingly runs into the General one day and the two strike up an easy (albeit unlikely) friendship. He’s gruff and tough on the outside, but he’s really a big ol’ softy and I thought he was great.

I’m not a fan of instalove, so naturally the romance didn’t immediately appeal to me. Within a day Vance is already hinting at a relationship with Katie and he doesn’t let up. A few weeks later he lets her know he’s fallen in love and while this will work for die-hard readers of the genre, I felt it was a little hokey. THAT SAID, I really did enjoy them as a couple!

For all my complaining, I honestly liked this one. Sweet Southern Bad Boy had me flipping the page and held me captive until the end. I could have done without the actions of certain characters and the motives behind them, but I didn’t let it hinder my enjoyment of the novel. This is the third book in the Harmony Homecomings series and I’m VERY curious about the first two: they both feature couples seen in this one and I’d love to get to know their backstories! If you’re the type of reader who views chilly, snowy days as the perfect opportunity to snuggle in with a romance novel, look no further!

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