Review: The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane

best kind of trouble by lauren daneFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hurley Boys #1
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Date Released: August 26, 2015
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

She has complete control… and he’s determined to take it away

A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton’s world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly—especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley….

And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for.

Even after years of the rock and roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more… even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there’s a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved—and the only compromise is between the sheets!

My Review:

I love the idea of a librarian as the heroine of a romance. There has always been way more going on in the stacks than our image in the public consciousness would lead one to believe.

I also love the idea of a rock star romance. It is possibly everyone’s fantasy at some point in their lives to get swept away into the glittering world of the rich, famous and supremely talented. While it may not be a good idea in real life, as a fantasy, it definitely works.

And parts of The Best Kind of Trouble worked really well, while other parts fell a little flat.

The story also reminded me an awful lot of Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh (reviewed here). This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Both stories feature the same type of characters, a librarian with tons of control issues because of serious shit in her past, and a rock star who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to starting a relationship in spite of two sets of very heavy baggage.

About The Best Kind of Trouble…this is the first book in Dane’s Hurley Boys series, and it is pretty obvious from the beginning that every one of the brothers is going to get their HEA by series end. It helps that they already have two fine examples in their midst. Their parents’ marriage is rock solid and clearly a strong love match, but one of the four brothers, Damien, has already found his Ms. Right and married her.

lush by lauren daneMary Hurley has become the center of the new family dynamic that the brothers are creating. I was about to say that I wish we had their story, but we do. It’s Lush, book 3 of Dane’s Delicious series. Oh well, throw another book on the towering TBR pile.

Dragging myself back to The Best Kind of Trouble. Again.

This is a second chance at love story, and it looks like the rest of the series will be also, for various definitions of second chances. In the case of Patrick (Paddy) Hurley and Natalie Clayton, when they run into each other in a coffee shop in Hood River, it isn’t the first time they met.

Way back when, when the band was still playing dive bars and Natalie was still in high school, they spent two torrid weeks together. They were both underage, and they were both so hot for each other that they couldn’t keep away.

That was a long time ago. Natalie got her act together and finished high school, college and graduate school while ditching her wild party ways and wild party days. She got control of her life and she wants to keep it that way.

The Hurley Brothers band made it big. They’re all rock stars and they’re all filthy rich. They’ve also learned the high cost of fame and fortune, and when they are home in Hood River, they help their parents run the ranch.

Paddy wants to see if he and Natalie can have more between them than just their still smoking hot chemistry. Natalie isn’t sure whether she wants to be anywhere near Paddy’s wild and crazy rock and roll life, but she still wants to be with him.

And they both have all too many buttons to push when it comes to fame, fortune, and the high cost of being famous. Whether they can manage to work around each other’s scar tissue is a question that only time and working on their relationship every day has a chance of solving.

Until all the shit hits all the fans and Paddy throws away the best thing he ever had. Even his famous charm may not be enough to help him get out of the huge hole he’s dug himself into. And maybe it shouldn’t.

Escape Rating B: Having read both Rock Addiction and The Best Kind of Trouble, it is hard for me not to compare the two. That being said, in reality the one had nothing to do with the other, the two books were published within two weeks of each other last fall, and they couldn’t have influenced each other directly.

But they are similar in an awful lot of ways, to the point where as I read Trouble I kept thinking about Addiction.

Also, The Hurley Brothers series is clearly a spinoff of both Dane’s Brown Family series and her Delicious series. I haven’t read either of those (yet!) but the references to previous events are mostly minor. It didn’t feel necessary to have read them to enjoy The Best Kind of Trouble.

The romance between Natalie and Paddy burns very, very hot. Natalie may seem buttoned up on the outside, but her wild side is still very much alive in her private moments. It’s just that she has reached a point in her life where she needs to keep her private stuff very private, including all the bad crap in her psyche about her addict-father, her runaway mother and her cold and emotionally manipulative grandmother.

Natalie is a classic poor little rich girl. She inherited a trust fund, but she raised herself in well-to-do-suburb where her house was filled with her dad’s addict friends and there was always puke on the floor and the furniture had all been sold to pay for drugs. He’s been in, and dropped out, of the 12-step program so many times that Natalie no longer believes his amends, especially since they are always half-assed in the first place.

broken open by lauren daneShe’s cut off her birth family as much as she can. Her real family are her college friends, especially the absolutely awesome Tuesday Eastwood. (I’m so happy that Tuesday got her own book, Broken Open, because she so deserves it).

Natalie has a lot of bad baggage, and Paddy keeps tripping over it. The development of their relationship hinges on her learning to tell him when something feels wrong instead of just running away. But Natalie is very big on handling her own bad stuff, even if she can’t handle it alone.

The crisis in the story hinges on a huge misunderstandammit. It also involves Natalie’s horrible family. But it isn’t Natalie who goes off the rails, it’s Paddy. And the way he explodes doesn’t really make much sense in context. He acts like an asshole and tells Natalie to leave. She tries to discuss the problem with him and he turns away. Then she leaves.

I felt for her and also felt like she did the right thing. Staying and begging for scraps of attention and understanding in those circumstances felt wrong. Natalie is good, sometimes too good, at owning her shit. In this case, her best option was to own it and take it home with her. Which she does.

Eventually Paddy figures out just how big an ass he’s been, and starts groveling. I’m glad they found their HEA but still not sure Natalie made him grovel nearly enough.

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