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Veena’s review of The Day He Kissed Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, Book 3) by Juliana Stone
Contemporary Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 1 Apr 14

Juliana Stone has the knack of sucking a reader into her story, whether she’s writing about small-town America or the world stage of paranormal creatures. The bad boys of Crystal Lake, as they were known in their small town, banded together as children and looked out for each other, even as they got into hair-raising scrapes. They all left Crystal Lake behind as soon as they were old enough, but the death of one their own brought them back, and now Jake and Cain have both found their happily ever after. Mac Draper, however, is a different kettle of fish. His horrible childhood has left indelible scars that are buried beneath the perfect façade he shows the world and happily ever after is definitely not in his future. But never say never…

Lily St. Clare comes from an even more dysfunctional family than Mackenzie Draper. Through her friendship with Jake and the Edwards family, she’s made a place for herself in Crystal Lake. A chance encounter with Mac leads to an unforgettable night of passion, a one-night stand and they didn’t even take the time to exchange names until suddenly they were face to face in Jake’s parents’ home.

Mac is as dark inside as he is beautiful outside. With a drunken, abusive father and a mother who continues to love her abusive husband regardless of his treatment of her and her children, his childhood was definitely a bed of thorns. Thankfully he’s risen above it all and is rich and successful and is forced to face his past as he sees history repeat itself with his sister and her son. I fell in love with Mac as he looks out for his mother and takes on the responsibility for his nephew, to ensure that the boy is free from the darkness that threatens to destroy his present and future. There is no way that Lily can resist.

As we know, each couple we read about in Romancelandia has demons to slay and take their own unique journey toward happily ever after and so do Mac and Lily. What takes this story out of the ordinary is the gut-wrenching emotion. Friendship’s so deep and strong that Cain comes through for Mac while his wife is starting labor pains. It’s been Jake’s mother who’s been there for Mac through all his childhood scrapes when his mother couldn’t or wouldn’t be there for him. Mac taking the time to paint his mother’s fence and/or repair her roof, even though she’s never taken his side against his father even in private. This story grabbed me at a visceral level such that I laughed, cried, and celebrated with the characters.

[Sourcebooks has offered up a copy of The Day He Kissed Her for one of you visiting us today. Leave us a meaningful comment and we’ll toss your name in the hat!]

Grade: A


He can’t wait to leave…

Mac Draper finally has everything he’s always wanted: An amazing career. A New York City apartment. He’s this close to being free of his past forever. But a mind-blowing encounter with the sexy yet tough-as-nails Lily St. Clare has him delaying his plans to put Crystal Lake in his rearview mirror for good.

She’s finally found a place to stay…

For Lily St. Clare the charming small town of Crystal Lake is her haven – a place she can hide from her famous, back-stabbing family. It’s as close to happy as she’s ever been. Until an unforgettable night with tall, dark and tortured Mac Draper gives her a glimpse of what true happiness feels like.

Lily can’t help but melt a little under the sizzling heat of Mac’s touch. But Mac’s scars run deep, and Lily’s afraid she may be falling for the one man who can never return her feelings…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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