Thursday, November 11, 2021

Blog Tour: Bad Cruz by LJ Shen

Bad Cruz, an all-new romantic comedy with off the charts chemistry and sure to make you fall in love and LOL from Wall Street Journal bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

I would say Dr. Cruz Costello is my archenemy.
But that would require acknowledging one another, which we haven’t done in over a decade.

He’s the town’s golden child. The beloved quarterback-turned-physician.
I’m the girl who got knocked up at sixteen and now works at a diner.

He is Fairhope royalty.
I get my monarch dose from tabloid gossip.

He’s well-off.
I’m…well, off.

When our siblings get engaged, Cruz’s parents invite both families to a pre-wedding cruise.
Except Cruz and I find ourselves stuck on a different ship from everyone else.
Cue ten horrible, insufferable days at sea with a man I cannot stand.
(My fault, of course.)
But when the alcohol pours in, the secrets spill out, and I’m left with one question:
Can I take another chance on love?

4 stars

Review by Lisa Kane

I've become so used to LJ Shen breaking my heart with her angsty romances that this was such a pleasant surprise. It's much lighter and funnier than most of her other books. 

Tennessee "Nessy" Turner has had a rough life. She got pregnant in high school and has raised her thirteen year old son, Bear on her own. Her parents are not the most supportive pair and her sister is truly a diva. The town treats her like dirt (I'm not sure why-she's worked hard, supported her son and minds her own business) and she's in a dead end job as a waitress in a dive diner. Two regulars that get on her nerves- Cruz Costello the town's golden boy and his ditzy girl friend, Gabriella Holland. He's the successful doctor, son of the successful family and everything he does seems to delight the town. Unfortunately for Tennessee, her sister is about to marry Cruz's brother. 

When the pre-wedding cruise plans go awry that's when both Tennessee and Cruz are thrown together in an unexpected way. That's when slowly the reader learns that they crossed paths quite a bit when they were younger. Cruz has a lot of layers to him, he's held some secret thoughts for a while regarding Tennessee. Is this a fling because they spend so much time together or is it possible for the town's bad girl to end up with the town's favorite son? 

Thoughts- Tennessee is a push over. She spends way too much time deflecting the towns' ridicule. (again, not sure why they harbor such bad feelings towards her!) Her family walk all over her, but she needs them to help her with Bear, although she thinks about fighting back, she just can't let herself. That drove me crazy! 

Cruz is a good guy. He knows what is expected of him, but he wants who he wants and has no problem taking it and the hell with everyone else. Tennessee does not make things easy for him-her reluctance to stand up to everyone makes it so difficult for them to find the happiness they both deserve. 

Bad Cruz is a great read- there's some mild heartbreak and lots of frustration over the heroine's inability to tell people to shove it and stand up for herself, but the two main characters deserve to get their happily ever after. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit longer for them to get there. I love a good epilogue but I did think this one was a little rushed. Would like to read a little longer one. (maybe a bonus for the newsletter?) 

Enjoy a laugh and fall in love today for ZERO PENNIES on Kindle Unlimited!
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This whole day made me feel super prickly, but I still went with it. Unfortunately, I had no say in this, since I had lost a bet.

Then there was Trinity and my parents’ wrath to think about. And the fact Bear deserved a mother who didn’t look like she practiced the most ancient profession in the world.

Also, privately, I could admit I really, really liked the Anthropologie dresses. 

“I think I’m starting to get a feel of what you’re into,” Cruz said when we got out of the store, which by the way, smelled like a new car and someone’s upscale bathroom.

I ignored his observation. I already felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman without being told I was on the cusp of self-discovery and inner transformation.

Next, we went to Free People, where I grabbed a few pairs of pants and some casual shirts and jackets. Then we went to a bohemian boutique, something small and not too pricey, and Cruz splurged on two pairs of sandals for me—both orthopedic but surprisingly not hideous—and a little purse that didn’t look like a tie-dyed squirrel. 

I didn’t thank him one time during the entire shopping trip, careful to remind him that it was his idea, not mine.

Finally, around two in the afternoon, when I was ready for my lunch (more like in danger of eating my own arm), he stopped in front of Prada.

He jerked his chin inside. “Ladies first.” 

“Are you crazy?” I glared at him. “I’m not really going to let you buy me anything from there.”

I knew I’d joked about it the other day, but I also joked about having Benicio del Toro’s babies, and I sure as heck was closed for business. 

“It’s an outlet.”

“It’s outrageous,” I countered. “I don’t care how much money someone has, a five hundred dollar scarf is excessive.”

“Quality costs.”

“Say that to my Kmart shoes. They’ve been servin’ me well for three years and counting. Even when I work double shifts.” I was surprised my feet didn’t slap my face for lying.

“I try not to converse with inanimate objects as a general rule. Why do you even care? It’s my money. I get to decide what I want to spend it on.”

“Why would you want to spend it on a semi-stranger you don’t even like?”

“This semi-stranger I don’t even like is about to become my family. Besides, I’m a shitty tipper.”

We were blocking the entrance to Prada, but that was all right, because no one but us seemed irrational enough to wander in.

There was also a guard at the entrance. A flipping guard. It made me want to throw up. I would never, ever walk into a store where some people might not feel welcome.

People like my mom.

Or like me, for that matter. 

“Ugh, don’t remind me.” I thumbed my nose at him, adamant to put up a fight. “I’d hate to be associated with you. You may ruin my reputation.” 

“Your reputation’s in the shitter,” he reminded me kindly.

“Yeah, well, maybe it’ll find your kissing technique there, since it seems to be in the same destination. What the hell was that about yesterday?”

Classic aversion.

I was a master of misdirection. 

“You enjoyed it,” he said calmly. 

“Did not.”

“Did, too.”

Lord, I had.

And not only had I enjoyed it, but the fact that it had been sweet and intimate and not filthy and carnal had completely disarmed me. I still felt my pulse against my lips. Both pairs.

Mental note number one hundred and sixty: Charge. That. Vibrator.

About LJ Shen
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to nineteen different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

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