Once Upon a Bad Boy

St. Martin’s Press invited me back to review Once Upon a Bad Boy, the 3rdbook in Melonie Johnson’s “Sometimes in Love” series. I have to say, it may be the best one yet.

Sadie Gold, another of the circle of girlfriends since childhood, is close to reaching her dream of big screen stardom. Little does she expect the stunt coordinator on her new movie will be her first love, Bo Ibarra — the guy who dumped her.

Bo and Sadie get together, but not without a lot of ups and downs, and some trust issues. Nevertheless, things heat up pretty quickly, and while the two previous books in the series made use of the f-word, this one has more crude language than the other two combined. I’m no prude, but I could do without that. Romantic comedies are usually not crude.

I appreciate the effort to recognize that we are a nation of immigrants, or the descendants by mentioning that Bo’s grandparents were “an Irish immigrant and a Jewish girl”; and that his half-Irish father is married to his Mexican mother. I’m just not sure how, with an Irish father, Bo ended up with Ibarra for a surname. This is a surname primarily from the Basque region of Spain.

The book examines other issues as well, such as teenage bullying, adult social media bullying, and the relentlessness abuse by tabloid news agencies. Overall, it was a lovely story that I enjoyed very much. It’s a great addition to the series, and I hope there’ll be more.

What Makes this Reviewer Grumpy?

  • Incorrect verb tense:  “I wish you would have…” should be “I wish you had…”;
  • far too many split infinitives;
  • misplacement of “only” within sentences;
  • using “try and” rather than “try to”;
  • beginning sentences with conjunctions.


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