By M. Leighton
Publication Date: January 4, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Happily ever after doesn’t come easy. But for love, it’s always worth the fight.
Olivia finds bliss unlike any she’s ever known in Cash’s arms. He sets her skin on fire and melts her heart right inside her chest. Unfortunately, their happily ever after is short-lived when a shadow from Cash’s past threatens to turn their world upside down.
Dangerous people from his father’s world have discovered that Cash holds information that could put them away for a very long time. And they’re willing to do anything—and hurt anybody—to get it back. Giving it up means Cash must choose between the life of his father and the life of Olivia.
Having nearly overcome her wariness of bad boys, Olivia’s trust is shaken when this new threat arises. Now she finds that Cash is not only a danger to her heart, but his family has associations that are a danger to her life as well. She soon discovers that there are some situations in life where trust is a girl’s only option. And this is one of them. If she’s to live, she must trust Cash with her life. But to Olivia, that’s much, much easier than letting go and trusting him with her heart.
There are going to be some spoilers in here, so if you haven’t read Down to You yet, read at your own risk!
Down to You has already made my list of Most Smoking New Adult Books of 2013 (heaven help me if there are things that are hotter than this), and Up to Me goes on the list too. The second book in The Bad Boys series is a little less about the sexual innuendo and steam and has more suspense and a shocking twist at the end that sets up the next book (no cliffhanger though, I promise!).
Cash and Olivia have finally, sort of, settled into coupled bliss. They still have to maintain his secret until they figure out what to do with the evidence he has against the men who put his dad in prison and as usual for her, Olivia is in doubt about whether Cash really wants her or if she’s enough for him.
The bad guys get a jump on Cash and he has to start calling in favors so he won’t have to give up his evidence to protect someone unless he has to. He’s terrified that they’ll take Olivia so he keeps her safe with lots and lots of awesome sex. Well, yes, but he also calls in his best friend Gavin, who’s a very hot, very scary Australian mercenary-type whose powers include making panties melt at 50 feet. I’m hoping (projecting my thoughts here) that he gets his own book eventually.
I can’t imagine not having read this after reading Down to You. They just fit and the story had to be told. But it’s a different kind of story, so don’t go in expecting exactly the same thing. It’s not as light and feels less like a romantic contemporary and more like a romantic suspense, although the hot stuff is still there and Olivia and Cash have to keep working through where their relationship left off in the first book. Olivia has a lot of leftover issues and it gets really frustrating, especially when paired with Cash’s increasing caveman tendencies when he knows she’s in danger. Everything just feels heightened – more irritating, more emotional and hotter – there are some scenes when I thought my Kindle was going to burn my hands.
Cash is a little less devil-may-care in this one, partially because of what’s happening with the bad guys and partially because of Olivia and her issues. He was still wickedly sexy and there’s an added layer of protectiveness, but I would have liked a couple of giant scoops of that cocky humor he had too. I had to settle for scoops of romance instead. *poor me* Olivia, Olivia. Well you know how I feel about her issues already. She’s got serious communication problems too. While I’d rather be doing a lot of things other than talking with a guy like Cash too, she needed to take some time to do it.
Ginger is back and as hilarious as always. It would be so funny if she ended up with Gavin because she might be the one person who could embarrass him, but that would make it a cougar romance and I can’t do those. So on second thought, please don’t go there. But I need her in all of The Bad Boys books. There must be Ginger!
The big surprise at the end is shocking, for sure. All of it, especially what looks like the setup for the third book. I don’t know how that couple is going to happen but it’ll be interesting and I’m going to be right there to read it (get singed by it).
While Up to Me is a little different than Down to You, it’s still got the best of Cash and Olivia and a great suspenseful plot. You definitely want to read it to know how the third book happens, to meet Gavin and to watch Cash and Olivia get all mushy and romantic finally. Wear heat-shielding gloves with your reading device of choice, of course.
My Rating: A-