Title: Be My Bad Boy
Author: Faolan Kurayami
Cover Art: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Buy Link Be My Bad Boy
Length: Novella/69 PDF pages/15,944 words
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Review by LadyM
Review summary: A story in a dire need of a content editor.
Blurb: Ryker Grimil is a thief’s worst nightmare. Any stolen goods are fair game for him, and his determination to return items to their rightful owners has served him well. He is thorough, methodical, and ruthless. But his newest task of retrieving a family heirloom looks challenging even for him because the information is incomplete and an unknown person is living in the house with the artifact.
Gemini D’arc waits tables in the café Ryker uses as his base. He invites Ryker into his family’s home, where the artifact happens to be located. They have a good time and their relationship could easily turn into more—except that Ryker is still determined to get the artifact, unwilling to let his personal feelings stand in the way of doing his job….
Ever since I started reviewing for this site, I made a habit of reviewing new authors. It’s exciting and rewarding when you discover a new gem, a promising new author. It is one of the reasons why we do this in the first place. Unfortunately, Be My Bad Boy isn’t one of those gems. It is a story in a dire need of a content editor.
On the surface, the story sounds like something I would have liked. A heist artist who steals back misappropriated artifacts from the thieves finds an in with one of such thieves through his nephew, a shy, naïve young man, and falls in love in the process. Interesting, if not terribly original, right? But, this core of the story is buried under a pile of clichés and improbabilities and, although it’s only 60+ pages long, I had trouble finishing it. Even more so when I read it a second time to try and give it the fairest possible review.
The story redefines the concept of insta-love!™. The men fall in love within a few hours: they start exchanging pet names (Little Raven, Blue Eyes, Teddy Bear) almost immediately and, when they meet again a few days later, they proclaim their (undying) love for each other. Gemini’s (yes, yes, the man’s name is Gemini) friends know almost at once that they are made for each other and his housekeeper almost adopts Ryker on the spot. One of his friends takes a seat at Ryker’s table in the restaurant, while he eats, to interrogate him about his intentions.
The characterization, such as it is, is spotty and men’s behavior illogical at best. Ryker, who is presented as this tough, mysterious, Thomas Crown-esque figure in the first few paragraphs, flirts so aggressively with Gemini that any adult would be suspicious, let alone allow him into their home. The “getting to know you” talk between the men is juvenile to the extreme and it includes the exchange of men’s favorite colors. Gemini, who is twenty years old, not only invites Ryker into his house, but gives him alarm password by saying it out loud and shows him his uncle’s art collection (while typing another password in front of the man). In spite of the Cinderella-type story line (family wants to cheat Gemini of his inheritance), it’s hard to have any sympathy for him in the face of his stupidity. But, that’s all right, because Ryker makes everything better with a little help of his client’s lawyers. He is, of course, forgiven for his betrayal. The men have unprotected sex in spite of the fact that they’ve just met. The “weeping cock” makes an appearance in the only sex scene.
I really, really hate giving bad reviews, especially to new authors. And, honestly, I cannot lay this entirely at the author’s feet, since “new” is the operative word here. Publishers have a responsibility to provide the best possible product, but this is not a responsibility towards readers alone. It is a responsibility towards authors as well. The author has a decent writing style and there is a spark here and there of some good ideas. A determined content editor could have turned this into a decent story, but it’s hard to believe that any effort was made to that end. This is surprising considering publisher’s reputation.
Personal tastes and expectations being what they are, maybe you will not have such a difficult time reading this story. This is certainly my opinion alone. However, if you find some of your pet peeves in my review, perhaps you should give this story a pass.