Saturday, April 08, 2006

Being A Bad Girl by Julie Cohen - MX

You can’t judge a book by its cover. Especially since the people on the cover of Julie Cohen’s latest, Being A Bad Girl, don’t resemble her characters. The muscle bound biker with long blonde hair and leather chaps who rides into a bachelor auction on a Harley is really a workaholic psychologist and professor, a paragon of the community playing a role for a night. The sexy bartender who climbs on the bar to bid three thousand dollars for one night with the bad boy biker is Being A Bad Girl, or trying to.

Marianne Webb is a pleaser, wanting to make everybody happy all the time, until her obsession with pleasing nearly kills her. Now she wants to do all the things she never dared back home, dance to rock music, ride motorcycles, tend bar, and live a fantasy with the bad boy of her dreams. Until she learns there is nothing bad about the PhD, and the persona she was so attracted to is nothing but a mask.

Oz can’t get her out of his mind, and begins to piece together who she is, without knowing a thing about her past. They open up to one another, showing who, not what, they are. The fall in love honestly, and completely amid a Vermont snowstorm. But the storm isn’t only going on outside. Marianne can’t move on if she keeps running from her past, and so does the one thing Oz has been afraid of all along. Leaves him, so she can return and offer him her whole self instead of just parts.

Every time Marianne tried to be brave and bad I wanted to nudge her along, show he she could do anything she set her mind to, but she learns that on her own, in her own time. The hero is warm and sensitive, mouthwateringly sexy, and willing to open himself up. In this story I truly felt like I escaped to Vermont, transported down the highways on the back of a motorcycle with my hair whipping behind me (no helmet law there), staring at the waves crashing along the beach and the proud lighthouse, watching and hearing the snow fall. Julie Cohen has a passionate, natural voice that speaks to readers, and a talent for creating flawed, sympathetic characters readers want to spend time with.


Becky said...

Hi Jenna,
I've just finished this book too and was thoroughly impressed. I did wish, though, that they'd put a blonde guy on the cover!

Surely it coudn't be that hard to find a cute blonde model?

Julie Cohen said...

Apparently they have a big archive of photos to use for the covers; they don't take them for specific books. My editor and I both really really wanted the motorcycle on the cover, and that was the best photo they had. Despite my blond hero and my heroine with dark, straight hair who would NEVER wear a pair of ripped jeans in her LIFE.

I don't mind; I think he's rather gorgeous anyway.

Thanks for the great review Jenna, and I'm glad you liked it too, Becky!