Title: Badd Ass
Series: Badd Brothers #2
Author: Jasinda Wilder
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 18 Jan 2017
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
I was a Sixty-Eight Whiskey—a combat medic. So when I hear someone shout “MEDIC!” training just kicks in. It’s automatic, immediate. I don’t think I even saw the guy whose leg I tended to, not really. All I saw was him. Zane Badd. His tuxedo fit him like he’d been sewn into it, and his eyes reflected the fury and the hardness of a combat veteran, but when he looked at me, he just…softened. By the time I had his brother patched, Zane and I were both covered in blood, and I knew I had to have him.
The trouble with Zane isn’t getting him, it’s keeping him.
And the trouble with me is, even if I could hold onto a man like Zane, I wouldn’t know what to do with him. It’s not in my nature, and if life has taught me anything, it’s to not trust anyone, least of all men like Zane. He’s a warrior through and through, hard, muscular, gorgeous, tenacious, and yet oddly tender toward me.
Experience and instincts are telling me to run from Zane Badd as fast as possible, but my heart and my body are telling me to stay, to hold on and not let go. Yeah, it’s a conflict as old as humanity itself, but it’s brand new for me.
* * *
Life as Navy SEAL doesn’t exactly prepare you for normality. Yeah, I can tend bar and goof off with my seven crazy brothers, but what do I do when the woman of my dreams—dreams I didn’t know I’d had until I saw her—explodes into my life like a frag grenade? I’m trained to attack, to win, to survive at any costs, and figuring out what to do about a woman like Amarantha Quinn will take every scrap of tenacity and courage I possess. Combat is easy, it turns out, in comparison to facing your own fears and scars.
And then sometimes, just when you think you’ve got it finally figured out, fate throws you a screwball and sends everything FUBAR.
Jasinda Wilder cleverly introduces the next brother to grace the spotlight in the epilogue of the previous book, so you need to make sure you read them in order to fully understand the plot dynamics. Believe me it is well worth it.
Badd Ass is Zane’s story although I did feel as if I was getting two brothers for the price of one as Brock’s story is interwoven with Zane’s. At the end of Badd MotherFer we left Zane with the delectable army medic, Mara. Could two people be more perfect for each other. With Zane’s Navy SEAL background and Mara’s time served in war zones, they understand each other and know without question the memories each are dealing with.
What was supposed to be one night of fun quickly morphs into more due to the intense connection between Zane and Mara. Both have a lot of issues where relationships are concerned so they use their time together as an experiment of sorts – a test relationship.
Mara has a lot of issues with painful secrets buried in her past and hinted at within the narrative. She is the queen of hook-ups, second to her best friend Claire, Mara owns her sexuality an doesn’t apologies for her hit it and quit it mentality. Yet, she feels differently about her encounter with Zane, to he point of proprietary about Zane, something she has never encountered before. Luckily, these new feelings are the same for Zane.
Mara veers between confident and controlled to naive and immature within the narrative, it was difficult to grasp the person she really was. For me, I felt as if Mara hadn’t really explored her identity and therefore, lacked self-awareness until her interactions with Zane. Zane opens Mara’s mind and makes her question her future and what she would like to gain out of it.
I loved the depiction of the close sibling bond between the Badd brothers, showcasing their similarities and uniqueness within the story. Their growth as a family since being forced to work together for a year as well as their absorption of Dru into their family, was heart-warming providing hope for a brighter future for all of them.
Seeing the closeness and understanding between Zane and his brothers served to highlight just how superficial Mara’s friendship was with claire. While they genuinely care for each other and support each other, they know next to nothing about their past. I struggled to grasp this, being one of those people who instinctively need to know what makes up other people’s identities. However, meeting the Badd brothers alters each of them, enabling them to overcome the wall that has been dividing their past from their present. What is it about those Badd boys that helps Mara and Claire overcome their insecurities and embrace their vulnerability rather than hiding it?
Spending a week together serves to deepen the already intense connection between Mara and Zane. Unfortunately, both of them battle the reality of their connection; questioning if they can trust that their relationship is the real deal and whether it could make it in the long haul, especially as they live so far apart. Both, Mara and Zane are too afraid to put themselves on the line to take the risk of rejection. Trust destiny to step in and give them a (metaphorical) push in the right direction 😉
I really liked how Jasinda challenges the role of women in today’s society from owning their sexuality to the pressure placed on women to have both career and family. How society judges you based on your profession and stay-at-home mothers are considered lower on the totem pole, sometimes even viewed as lazy for not having a career as well. Let me tell you being a mother is the hardest ‘job’ I’ve ever had.
It looks as if we are getting Brock’s story next, the groundwork has already been laid out within Badd Ass although I have to be honest and say I am not convinced Claire is the right person for Brock. I’m looking forward to seeing if Jasinda can change my mind 😉