RATING: BUY IT
Every now and again, I read a book and fall head over heels for the lead female character. Penny from Bad Penny by Staci Hart is one of those girls. So, while I’m not much of a fangirl by nature, I’m going to fawn a bit over Penny. Frankly, it’s hard not to. She’s fun and sexy and ready to take on the world, but one of her greatest attributes is she’s a true girl’s girl. A loyal friend, a trusted partner in crime and a confidant you know will always have your back. She’s the girl we can see parts of ourselves in and, of course, parts that we wish we were. Her sense of freedom, her ability to embrace the moment, her confidence—all traits that she has in spades. And personally, I love her style—tattoos, piercings, lavender hair, the way she dresses. I love it all.
Alas, every superstar has their imperfections. For Penny, her Achilles’ heel, her fatal flaw, was developed in her high school days with her first love. Penny feels deeply—that’s part of her charm. But sometimes in life, we give ourselves to those that don’t deserve it and in turn, their cruelty or betrayal can make us question ourselves and ultimately, shut down those parts of ourselves that make us who we are. Penny’s first love—not that he ever deserved that status—and his betrayal deeply impacted Penny’s ability to let another man in and show those vulnerabilities. For the ten years that followed, Penny has lived by the 3-date rule: three dates, move on. Until Bodie.
Bodie is your quintessential, “Beta in the Streets, Alpha in the Sheets” character—and is EXACTLY the kind of man Penny needs and deserves. Patient, loyal, kind, smart and sexy AF, Bodie truly gets Penny and understands that clipping a free spirit’s wings is no way to keep them grounded—at least not if one wants to preserve what makes them so special. Taming Penny is not the answer. Giving Penny the freedom to be who she is, while having the sense of security to comfortably stay put is the key to winning this girl’s heart. Allowing her to explore all aspects of herself, including her vulnerabilities, is vital for anything long-term. But, of course, both sides must understand the other and be the partner they need. The question is, can someone so wrapped up in their own needs and fears see what the other person needs? Ultimately, can Penny see what Bodie needs and be that for him, while fighting her own personal demons?
Bad Penny is a fun and sexy read that has so much more depth than I ever expected. Although, knowing this was a Staci Hart book, I should have known better. I highly recommend that you give Bad Penny a shot and I hope you love her as much as I do.
As of 6.14.17, Bad Penny is available on Kindle Unlimited.