Sometimes, you just need a cute romance that’s light on the drama, but has just enough oomph to keep you reading. The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley had all that and more.
Faith Gladwell is the consummate “good girl.” She makes good grades. She’s in ballet, and she has a popular boyfriend, Cameron. Or she did, before finding out he was a cheater. Now, with him telling the school she’s an Ice Queen, she is ready to fight back.
Enter Kyle Sawyer. He’s a bad boy player who skateboards and drag races. If only the reputation was true. But Kyle has a bone to pick himself with Cameron so he agrees to Faith’s proposal: pretend to be her bad boy boyfriend. As they get closer however, Faith realizes Kyle isn’t who he pretends to be.
I really wanted a sweet romance, and I am happy to say I got more than I bargained for. Faith is such a sweetheart, but she is also so bold. She was the one who made the moves on Kyle, the one who ended up having more experience, and this led to some great moments!
“But those arms. Who wouldn’t stare at a guy like that attacking greenery with a spade like a knight with a sword? Good gracious…Kyle’s biceps alone were living proof there was a God, and that She loved the world.”
Kyle has his own lawn company, and he is working on Faith’s backyard when they meet. No one knows this about Kyle, that he has such a talent for plants. He keeps it hidden, and the reason for it is so heartbreaking and so important in today’s world. But for all his sweet ways (and his inexperience with girls) he is more than up for the challenge in dealing with Faith. The boy knows how to flirt.
His knees trembled a little, but his voice was level when he said, “Azalea. They’re beautiful, and while they look delicate, they’re strong if they’re taken care of the right way. They’re perfect for you.”
She held very still. “You think?”
He swallowed hard. Praying she didn’t notice that his hand was shaking now, too, he brushed his lips against her ear, saying. “Absolutely.”
These two really bring back the drama of high school, the demand to fit in, but also the bitter tones of first love and truly finding oneself. Faith needs someone that is into her – someone she can trust – and Kyle is that person. Just like Kyle needs someone to see him for him. The shy boy who only wanted to walk from the shadow of his past.
He also knows Faith has an inner strength, recognizes it and desires it, and the tone was inherent in their interactions.
She dropped down suddenly, bending her knees outward, then she sprang up. He almost let go, surprised by the power of her vertical leap. She was so strong, he had to tighten his forearms and really hang on to keep from losing her.
It burrowed further into youthfulness and hope with the relevance of today’s youth that is so needed. I highly recommend this young adult read, and I dare you not to fall in love with these two.
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