Book Review: “Bad Bachelor” by Stefanie London

Cover of "Bad Bachelor" by Stefanie London.

Warning: If you haven’t read “Bad Bachelor” by Stefanie London, don’t read this book review unless you don’t mind spoilers!

I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “Bad Bachelor” by Stefanie London! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

Everybody’s talking about the hot new app reviewing New York’s most eligible bachelors. But why focus on prince charming when you can read the latest dirt on the lowest-ranked “Bad Bachelors”—NYC’s most notorious bad boys.

If one more person mentions Bad Bachelors to Reed McMahon, someone’s gonna get hurt. A PR whiz, Reed is known as an ‘image fixer’ but his womanizing ways have caught up with him. What he needs is a PR miracle of his own.

When Reed strolls into Darcy Greer’s workplace offering to help save the struggling library, she isn’t buying it. The prickly Brooklynite knows Reed is exactly the kind of guy she should avoid. But the library does need his help. As she reluctantly works with Reed, she realizes there’s more to a man than his reputation. Maybe, just maybe, Bad Bachelor #1 is THE one for her.”

Character development: 3 out of 5 stars

Relationship/Romance development: 3 out of 5 stars

In terms of overall character development, I think Reed was developed better than Darcy overall. For Reed, not only does he have to recognize his own past womanizing ways as described in the summary and ultimately learn to be a better person and genuinely bonds with Darcy in the process, but we also see his struggles with his family life and how the “Bad Bachelors” app near-ruins his life (turns out that not all the reviews about him are true at all, and this develops into a subplot on its own as Reed tries to get it shut down or at least get his own profile taken down from it). Yes, he’s a jerk in the beginning, but he gets much better halfway through. Despite his initial presentation as someone who is cold and such (other than the obvious open sexual side of him), I as a reader felt like rooting for him in working through the issues the “Bad Bachelor” app gave him. Honestly, I think he should have exposed Annie for starting the app in the first place and all but only didn’t do so because of Annie’s close relations with Darcy, our main female protagonist.

As for Darcy, I understood her past and why she felt the way she felt in the beginning of the book about not wanting to be a relationship with Reed, while dealing with all this pressure from her family to be that one perfect daughter. However, I also felt that she kept going between hot-and-cold too much with her attraction to Reed. At first she would consider her attraction to him and going forwards with it, but then by next chapter she’d suddenly be like “no, this is inappropriate, he’s literally rated as the #1 Bad Bachelor” and completely reject him. Some of it is understandable due to her past engagement being broken off and her probably still being upset from that, but I also felt that it carried on far too much through the book (especially after she and Reed have their first bits of sexual intimacy together halfway through the book).

As for Darcy and Reed’s overall relationship, I think that it could have been written a bit better. The reason I rate it at three stars is because I felt that the pair lacked chemistry about halfway through the book (though it did get a bit better by the end of the book).

Worldbuilding/research: 4 out of 5 stars

The worldbuilding regarding how the Bad Bachelor app was made and how it affects the characters is pretty spot-on. I’m glad that they show both the benefits of such an app, as well as the obvious pitfalls  (shown best as of how it affects Reed, and this becomes a big subplot in itself). However, it loses the one star because the librarian part of Darcy did not get explored or was barely touched on. We hear about how Darcy is passionate about the library, but we barely see any scenes with her in there helping patrons find books, or showing off how the library is useful. Given that Reed is present to help Darcy advertise the fundraiser for the library and show off why the library is useful, I’m disappointed to see that there was barely any exploration into how libraries are still useful for people today. I would give this a pass if this book was written a long while ago during the time of libraries typically seen as just the place to find books, but this book was published just last year and the functions of libraries have evolved since then.

Plot development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The plot development overall was fine, but lagged a bit in the middle as it slowed down in pacing. I also think the epilogue of the plot was wrapped up too quickly in one chapter; the protagonists just made up to each other in the second-last chapter, and then they’re engaged in the very last chapter. These time-jumps aren’t always bad, and sometimes are effective for that happily ever after, but I think it was a bit sudden to have happen between Darcy and Reed.

Overall, I’m rating this book 3.5 out of 5 stars!

I definitely love the concept of the “Bad Bachelors” app, but the chemistry that’s affected by it could use more development.

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