- Kindle Direct Publishing
- Release Date
- May 2014
- Book 2 of The Bad Baker Boys: Matt's Story
REVISED EDITION! Professionally Edited with Individual Character's Point of View and New Scenes!
Can't keep her, can't get rid of her...
Matt Baker discovered the hard way that you don't always get what you want. Especially when what he wanted the most was an infuriating woman who blackmailed him into marriage, refused to share his bed and then caught the first bus out of town before the ink on their annulment was dry. He hadn't seen Harley in twelve long years and now she was back in his life, just as desirable and frustrating as ever. But this time around, he's determined to make her his, no matter what it takes.
Some things are better left in the past...
At least that was what Harley Abbott Baker told herself when she ended the marriage made in hell and left her miserable hometown twelve years ago. She had sworn never to return to Lakeside and she wouldn't be back now if she had a choice. No sacrifice was too great to make for her son, even if it meant facing his father. Discovering that she was still susceptible to Matthew's bad boy charm reinforced her determination to get him out of her life once and for all, no matter what it takes.
Oct 01, 2014 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
143 people found the following review helpful
Can the intensity of first love survive the pitfalls of youth and immaturity? Does time and distance diminish its effects? That's what Tonya Brooks explores in DESIRE HAD A NAME, a sweeping, fiery tale of a young and passionate love that seems doomed from the start.
Matthew Baker meets Harley Abbott beneath the bleachers at a high school football game when he comes to her rescue. Though the Bad-Boy-Baker is nineteen, he is there to watch his younger brother shine as the star quarterback when he notices a girl in trouble. He soon learns that the blonde-haired, blue-eyed damsel is far from helpless and a spark of admiration flames alongside his attraction to her. Unnerved by their age difference of three years, he fights his desires, though he can't seem to stay away. Soon, the physical stirrings give way to something deeper and lasting--an unshakable love.
Harley has loved Matthew almost from the moment she laid eyes on him. It doesn't matter that he has a wild and scandalous reputation. She wants him, and she knows he wants her. He tries to stay away but she won't let him, and on the evening he finally gives in, she is sure her fairytale is about to begin. Those dreams are shattered when she finds him in the arms of another girl, and from that moment on, she is determined to fight both him and her body's betrayal. That is, until she discovers that she has become pregnant by him, the only man she'll ever love and the one she is sure she can never have. She runs away, vowing never to return.
But fate has other plans, and so does Matt when he lays eyes on her again and the love he's fought to quell comes roaring back to life inside of him. He knows he blew his chances with her in the past, but he's determined not to make the same mistake twice. He wants her and his son with him forever. And everyone knows that the oldest Bad-Boy-Baker always gets what he wants.
This is my kind of story. I love stories with a romance that has the epic quality of spanning across years and obstacles. There is plenty of emotion, plenty of angst, plenty of passion. The characters were well-developed and the secondary characters were just as likeable and easy to invest in. I love that the author let us see the characters as teenagers (who definitely acted their age) and then as mature adults. The teenage years frustrated me, but it was okay because that is typically how teenagers affect me.
Harley was a great heroine: feisty, independent and blunt. She deserved Matthew, the kind of hero every woman wants. He was fierce in everything he did, from his loving to his fighting. He was protective and biting with everyone else, but gentle and tender with his woman. Sigh. I'm melting again just thinking of him. Their moments together were magical.
So, why not five stars?
I had zero issues with the story. My issue was with the mechanics of the writing. Normally, those issues don't make it into a review unless they are a distraction. This author's Achilles' heel is possessives vs. plurals. There were more than a few dozen instances where the plural was used instead of the possessive ("my brothers shirt" instead of "my brother's shirt" or "the families house" instead of "the family's house"). This happened quite a lot and definitely became a distraction.
My other issue with the writing was with the point of view. The author head-hopped a lot. Normally, this does not bother me if it is kept between the hero and the heroine, but the head-hopping happened in every paragraph with many different characters and the jumpiness eventually got to me.
Were it not for those two issues, this would be a raving five-star read! I think it will come down to a matter of personal preference with the reader. If mechanics can be overlooked, then the story will speak for itself in volumes.
DESIRE HAD A NAME was gripping and engaging. I read it assiduously and am definitely looking forward to reading about the rest of the Baker bad boys!
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Feb 11, 2016 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
101 people found the following review helpful
DESIRE HAD A NAME by Tonya Brooks is a complicated cautionary tale for all about what happens when assumptions, lies and impetuosity replace honesty and openness in any relationship. I give it 3 stars, but I would have given it 3.5 if possible.
In the novel, nineteen year-old Matt Baker, eldest of Jed and Ginny Baker whose story is told in Desire So Sweet, falls head over heels in love with beautiful sixteen year-old Harley Abbot, who has been part of the Bakers' lives since she was born. Small town gossip has harassed her over the years as a bastard and a whore "just like her mother," but the Baker boys were raised to love and protect women. So as she grew up, Harley became one of the family, and Matt has been there for Harley, teaching her how to defend herself against unwanted male attention.
At some point, though, Harley and Matt's family love develops into romantic love, and since both have hot tempers, misunderstandings turn into huge quarrels. Matt's younger brother Mark steps in, thinking to protect Harley by acting as her boyfriend, but ends up driving a wedge between the brothers and an even bigger wedge between Harley and Matt. Throw in a secret Harley doesn't reveal for twelve years, a forced marriage, an annulment, and Harley's move to Florida to start a new life, and things look fairly grim for Matt. Only openness and honesty help these two resolve their issues when Harley returns to town to deliver some important and shocking news.
Overall, I thought this was a fairly good novel. I often wanted to smack some of the characters for their idiocy, but that's the way life is. We all act like fools sometimes, and romantic relationships can cause us to lose all reason and rationality. This novel illustrates that well and provides any reader with an opportunity to examine or reflect on their own life and relationships. I like novels with a moral, and this one is clear in its exposition. I like the fact that the characters had hidden depth and attributes even though they weren't revealed until later in the novel.
One of the main issues I had trouble at in the beginning of the novel with the timeline provided. It just didn't add up, and I spend the first several chapters confused. Matt often comments that Harley had been his to protect for eighteen years. We later find out that Matt is three years older than her. So the eighteen year time frame is hyperbole, contrived to make it seem like he had loved her longer than he had. If there had been five years between them, I might have been able to believe that a five year-old Matt felt love and protectiveness over an infant, but certainly not a three year-old Matt.
Then there is the issue of the twelve years that separate Harley leaving town and returning, during which time neither has set eyes on each other. I wondered how that could be true since Matt had seen his son, Jed, at regular intervals. It isn't explained until *much* later in the book that Harley's mom was involved in the ferrying of the child between the two.
Then there was the issue of the changing of time frame and perspective, going from twelve years earlier, to fifteen years earlier, to present day and back again before changing from Matt's perspective to Harley's perspective. Super confusing, and the change in perspective wasn't identified in the subheadings. These timing and perspective issues made it difficult to follow the story.
Another issue to note: This novel is categorized as Young Adult. I would stress that the sexual content of the novel makes it appropriate to mature young adults, as in those who can watch R-rated movies without a parent or guardian present. In my opinion, the category should have been left at Contemporary Romance since the "Young Adult" category seems geared towards high school students, since that's my understanding of the YA genre.
Overall, this was a good book once I got to the half-way point and the timeline issues were no longer plaguing me. I liked that these characters were able to work out their issues for a happily ever after kind of ending, and I would recommend this novel to any mature young adult as a lesson in "how to" and "how not to" handle relationships.
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