Title: Too Bad So Sad
Series: The Simple Man Series #5
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Tyler Cree has never been good at the whole look and don’t touch thing.
From the moment he was old enough to walk on his own two feet, he’s been looking for trouble.
Trouble comes in many forms…quite a few of those forms being the female persuasion.
Tyler knows what girls want—a bad boy. And he has the bad boy image down pat.
Hot cop—double check.
A bike between his legs and a devil may care attitude—oh, yeah.
All the girls want him, yet none of them will have him—at least not all of him, anyway. A certain appendage they can have all they want. His heart, however, is not up for grabs. The useless organ inside his chest was broken and battered, mutilated by the one woman he thought would keep it safe.
Spoiler alert: she ripped it to shreds and set fire to the pieces.
To protect himself, Tyler keeps everyone at arm’s length, and never lets anyone get too close.
Then Reagan Rose Alvarez barrels into his life, and trespasses on not only his property, but straight into his abused heart. One glance is all it takes, and he’s suddenly thinking about things he hasn’t thought for quite some time—thoughts that a man like him should never have about a woman like her.
One moment of weakness is all it takes, and suddenly he has no other choice but to go on the offensive.
Keeping her is the only other option now.
Turns out, his heart isn’t as broken as he thought it was.
The only problem is, now the little she-devil holds it in the palm of her hands, and she has no clue just how much power she holds.
At face value, Tyler Cree and Reagan Rose Alvarez couldn’t be more different, and it’s not just because there’s a ten year age difference between them; it’s more due to their polar opposite personalities and Reagan’s inability to follow the letter of the law, since Tyler is a cop, because of her wild and free spirit that has her willingly taking risks regardless of the severity of the repercussions.
It’s clear, though, that despite their differences, Tyler and Reagan are drawn to one another in inexplicable ways, and while Tyler can deny his attraction and maintain his distance, it’s inevitable that the chemistry sizzling between them is going to force his head, but what remains unclear is if he can see past his bitterness when it comes to the opposite sex and give his connection with Reagan a real chance or if he’ll shut down and shut out what could be the best thing he’ll ever have.
There’s not a Lani Lynn Vale heroine who I haven’t liked, but some definitely stand out among the rest and I can wholeheartedly say that I have more than a bit of a girl crush on Reagan. She’s quite the complex character and she has a number of relatable characteristics that will resonate with readers. She’s shy but will defend herself and those she loves…she’s socially awkward and gets extremely anxious, but she can also own any room she walks into and with the kind of brash man that Tyler is, she isn’t afraid to tell him what’s on her mind, especially when she pisses him off.
Tyler Cree is an alpha male to his core, and with the amount of near death experiences he’s had as well as his military and SWAT team background, he’s all about protecting and serving, and he’ll fight tooth and nail for his family and his friends, but because he’s been burned and broken by a conniving and cheating woman, he refuses to get in deep with another woman, especially the pain in the ass trespasser who’s all about getting what she wants by some rather creative ways.
What I most love about Reagan and Tyler is that neither compromises who they are for the other one unless it’s a quality that needs some adjusting. At one point in the story, Tyler goes off on Reagan without knowing all the details that happened, which not only illustrates the differing ways they react to things but it also shows Tyler what he needs to change about himself to truly be connected to Reagan in all the ways he never knew he needed and wanted.
I love the tie-in that’s always there with other characters readers are more than familiar with…Janie has been quite the instigator in putting people together, which has been established throughout other story lines, so the fact that she’s up to it again when it comes to Tyler and Reagan’s relationship works nicely in this story and it forces the couple to face their true feelings for one another.
I would have liked to have seen a bit more insight into the reasons behind Tyler’s struggles and what makes him finally take a step forward rather than backwards as well as a closer look at the two sides of Reagan’s personality and how they work together since they’re on complete opposite sides of the spectrum. But the lack of further explanations didn’t deter my enjoyment of the story because the plot line flowed well and the characters’ interactions and internal musings allowed me to understand quite a bit about both Tyler and Reagan.
I can’t get enough of Lani Lynn Vale’s Simple Man series; I love the irony of the series title because when readers truly get to know these men, they are anything but simple, which makes these men extraordinary and the women who love them saints!
4.5 Poison Apples