Friday, August 14, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Bad Intentions by Nacole Stayton


She’s careful, but wants to be reckless. 
She’s cute, but wants to be sexy. 
She’s innocent, but wants to be bad.

When ex-Olympic gymnast, Adaley Knight wakes on her eighteenth birthday she only has one wish, to leave the only town she’s ever known and start fresh.

Finding herself enrolled at a college across the globe, the once modest Adaley is almost unrecognizable. Her new persona dances on the wild side by sinking her teeth into the first bad boy she sees. The only problem is he’s not the least bit interested.

Ryle Benson, baseball extraordinaire and brooding campus bad-boy keeps everyone at an arms length. Things have never come easy for him and the last thing he needs is getting involved with any female.

The tables are reversed as she tries to be bad, tempting fate, and he tries to fight his. The push and pull is half the fun. But what happens when one pushes a little too hard?

1 Star

*This review will contain spoilers.*

Adaley Knight is a preacher’s daughter with a somewhat sheltered upbringing and broken dreams after a gymnastic injury ends her Olympic future. In search of a new life, she sets her destination south for college, away from home, where she meets her new roommate Zoe; Tank, Zoe’s brother; and Ryle, Tank’s friend.

Ryle Benson is broken and brooding. Yet Adaley feels an intense attraction towards him. I’m not going to spend a lot of time getting into the characterization because frankly in the end none of that seems to matter. This started out as an engaging story that had a lot of potential; I was intrigued by Adaley and Ryle’s opening story and was pulled in right from the start. But unfortunately as the chapters progressed my star rating continued to go down. Issue after issue crept up. 

From the synopsis, the story sounds like your typical NA college romance (which I frequently enjoy). It [the blurb] reads like a story of two possibly opposite personalities who learn from each other and fall in love in the process. After all, it's categorized as romance. The line "the push and pull is half the fun" gave me the impression that this would be light-hearted.  None of that is true. In fact, there's no indication of the dark themes this book contains, and there really should be because this book does NOT have an HEA. 

I avoid non-HEA stories like the plague. I know I’m not alone in saying that I like my stories to be an escape. If I want to read about a depressing ending I will pick up the newspaper, not my kindle. Time is precious and real life dishes out enough tragic events without needing it infused in a romance novel. Which begs the question—how much romance is really in the story?  Taking the book as a whole, I’d have to say not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. It’s entirely possible this book suffers from an identity crisis in more ways than one.

For one, the narration seems to suffer an identity crisis, switching back and forth from first person POV (Adaley) to third person to describe Ryle. Why Ryle’s “sections” aren’t in first person from his perspective, I could never figure out.  The third person narration in those parts made me feel disconnected to Ryle, were sometimes just creepy the way it described things—like a stalker observing the action; and had numerous grammatical errors with tense. One sentence was present, the next past.  

Two, I could never quite identify if this story was meant to be young adult or new adult. While it frequently addressed mature themes and the characters were over 18, any romantic encounters were either watered down or “fade away” scenes.  It probably would have been better to have embraced the “new adult” audience who have more life experience as I personally wouldn’t want any “young adults” coming away with some of the messages in this story.

Three, as far as genre goes, this is probably more of a coming-of-age story with some romance mixed in than it is a full-fledged romance.

Other problems that plagued the reading were as follows:

There were shadows of continuity errors in various places, and I could never get a feel for the age/year of some of the characters. Adaley talks of how she “transferred” but it’s established as Fall and the start of her freshman year.  Adaley arrives as the “new girl” with everyone else seemingly already knowing each other and their way around campus as if they’ve been there already so it felt like everyone else had to be at least sophomores, though I’m not sure they were supposed to be.

Both Adaley and Ryle come off preachy at times. Their combined attitudes (somewhat narrow minded views) of sexuality and substance abuse didn’t endear me to their characters.  The word “butch” is thrown around far too much, mostly at places that seemed out of context on top of everything else.

Multiple times in the story a girl’s virginity is referred to as a “gift” to give a man. That didn’t exactly sit well with my feminist side.

Also disturbing is the depressing themes in a story that seems also geared to teens. At the end I felt like the message was that there’s no triumph in the face of adversity but dreams are still supposed to be obtainable. WTF?

I strongly felt this story needed a warning label.   ***Spoilers to follow for explanation because while some readers are more flexible with content and endings, other readers prefer "safer" reads (myself included); thus, the following content issues can be critical to making an informed decision when selecting a book.*** 


I rarely ever give one stars because I'm pretty careful about what I select to read. But unfortunately the blurb did not accurately depict the story nor did it give any indication of the dark nature of the content. Then taking into account the various issues as detailed above, I simply couldn't give it a higher rating, and I believe strongly in the importance of honest, unbiased reviews.  Enjoyment of this book will depend a lot on what you are looking for as well as your definitions of a romance. 

Nacole Stayton is twenty-something years young and currently resides in the Bluegrass State where she spends her nights writing vigorously. She has a passion for helping others and wears her University of Kentucky gear proudly. While her husband loves all things outdoors, Nacole enjoys the finer things in life, like getting pedicures while reading on her Kindle. She is passionate about her faith, family, and The Vampire Diaries.


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