Bad Girl Reputation (2022)

by Elle Kennedy
ASIN/ISBN: 9781250796752
Publication: October 4, 2022
Series: Avalon Bay #2

**I received a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Elle Kennedy reminded me that I am a masochist when it comes to second chance romances. They always hurt me, but for some reason, I keep going back for more. Bad Girl Reputation is no different, inflicting its second chance wounds on me, but it surprisingly didn’t rub salt as most do. The outcome was better than expected, and I ended up liking it more than Good Girl Complex.

Evan and Gen have a complicated relationship, going from friends to lovers, on-again and off-again, with a habit of provoking jealousy in each other because, as Evan confesses, they “were addicted to makeup sex.” While Evan doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with how things were in their relationship, going as far as calling the things that happened their “language,” Gen has distanced herself from her bad girl reputation and him as much as possible. Their toxic past is something she hopes remains in the past when she returns for her mother’s funeral in Avalon Bay. The problem is that their chemistry keeps bringing them back together even as Gen fights it. 

The story is full of angst and requires patience as Gen and Evan try to figure out what they are and can still be to each other. To make things easier, Gen has placed Evan on the side of things and people she needs to remove from her life–bad influences that may lead her back to someone she no longer wants to be. She is set on shedding her old image. Evan, on the other hand, wants things to go back to the way they were. This “better” version of Gen only seems to think she’s better than him. Threatened by her changes, Evan is a jerk in the beginning until he realizes that if he wants to be with the woman he loves, he’ll have to make changes as well.

I understood Gen’s concerns and sympathized with her need to stay away from Evan. Their past was a volatile one, and Evan is still the same person he used to be. It can be difficult to make changes when someone as important as Evan is to Gen refuses to accept them. I appreciated the focus on individuals trying to become better versions of themselves, but I liked the emphasis on the fact that change does not necessarily mean everything has to be completely thrown away. While Gen incites changes in Evan, he reminds her that some things are worthwhile enough to keep. 

I enjoyed the book, even if I thought Evan’s change in attitude was sudden. I guess that is what happens when you recognize it’s possible to lose those you love. A lot goes on in the book, but it never strays too far away from Evan and Gen trying to figure out what they can be moving forward. Fans of new adult novels and small town romances will enjoy the book, especially if second chance romances are a favorite trope.  

4 responses to “Bad Girl Reputation (2022)”

  1. I’ve read mixed things about Good Girl Complex. I’m glad you enjoyed this one more. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason this series isn’t hitting the same way her prior works have.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished writing my review for this one, and I feel about the same. It sure was angsty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? So angsty! It took a long while for them to get together too.


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