Marianne Webernec is a plain, average high school teacher who has just won the "Hideaway Heroine Sweepstakes". Her prize is one month on a remote island living as the heroine of her favorite romance novel. Instead of it being the exciting experience she had expected, the fantasy vacation turns out to be rather dull, until she is literally swept off her feet and thrown to the ground by a handsome stranger just before an explosion rocks the beach she had been walking toward. Marianne initially believes that the sexy hunk is just another actor hired by the book publisher to help fulfill her fantasy, but as it turns out, he is a real-life secret agent with The Bureau of American Defense (B.A.D.), a covert black-ops spy organization.
Kyle Foster is on the island for a little forced R&R after being shot and nearly dying on a mission. He is bored out of his mind until the pretty teacher appears out of nowhere. Kyle can't stop thinking about Marianne, and when he finds out exactly why she's on the island, it starts giving him a few fantasies of his own. He decides to "kidnap" the lovely lady and take her to a secret hideaway, where only he can fulfill all her wishes and make her dreams come true.
BAD to the Bone was a pure fantasy that was very fun and enjoyable to read. I thought that the beginning and ending of the story could have benefited from a bit more clarity and tighter plotting, but the rest of the story really helped to make up for these deficiencies. The premise of a woman living out her romance novel fantasies in real life with a hunky hero was very entertaining. I especially liked that Kyle actually read Marianne's favorite book and was trying to make it all come to life for her. It just made him seem so caring and thoughtful.
I found both characters to be likable, relatable, and well-drawn. Marianne, as an average, ordinary woman, just couldn't have been sweeter, yet she was passionate and adventurous enough to step outside her comfort zone. Kyle was a tough guy with a tortured past, yet he accepted Marianne's tenderness toward him as something that was missing from his life instead of being suspicious or shutting down emotionally. In fact, she was able to fulfill his fantasies every bit as much as he fulfilled hers. I loved the way the author built a beautiful relationship between these two characters in such a short time mainly with the use of communication, a seeming rarity in romance novels. This made for some extremely sexy and sensuous love scenes that were still very sweet and romantic. Overall, I found this novella to be a delightful read that even showcased a little humor, a great story for anyone looking for a bit of escapism.
BAD to the Bone along with its two companion novellas in Born to Be BAD are something of a prequel to the main B.A.D. Agency series. It was first published in the Big Guns Out of Uniform anthology, and was later reprinted in the Born to Be BAD anthology. This was my first read by Sherrilyn Kenyon, but it certainly won't be my last. I am looking forward to continuing the B.A.D. series as well as exploring her other books.
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