Series Review: Bad Reputation by K.B. Nelson

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Bad Reputation Series

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Synopsis for Bad Reputation  (aka Wicked Games)(from Goodreads):

She knows better. She just doesn’t care.

Apple Malloy is a woman scorned. Scorned by a society that has shamed her, and scorned by the men who have claimed her. On the verge of college graduation, Apple finds herself entangled in one last game of manipulation, deceit and sexual corruption with her former lover, and constant enabler, Brick Valmont.

Apple sets her sights on Jensen Moon—the enigmatic professor who had failed her the semester prior—and vows revenge. She’ll make him fall in love with her, and then break his heart, leaving his reputation destroyed in the process.

Brick makes her a wager she can’t refuse.

If Apple can seduce Jensen before Brick can sleep with Tyra Young, the beautiful, innocent daughter of a sitting U.S. Senator, then she will emerge victorious. If she wins, she gets the satisfaction that she has beaten him at his own game. If she loses, she must sleep with Brick one last time before heading separate ways.

Apple is a pro at this. She knows how to maneuver men and wrap them around her finger. She knows how to get what she wants, but Jensen tosses an unexpected grenade into her path to victory. Soon, she realizes it is she that might face the worst fate of all.

She falls in love.

Jensen has a power over Apple and it terrifies her. He can make her feel things. He can make her heart race. He might be the only one capable of saving her soul before it’s too late. But one thing is certain—nobody escapes unscathed in this titillating story of manipulation where nothing is as it appears.

Bad Reputation is the first book in the Bad Reputation series, and is loosely based on the 1782 classic novel, Dangerous Liaisons.

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite ARC Read 2015
Series: Bad Reputation
Author: Dylan Heart (aka K.B. Nelson)
# of Books: 2+ (Wicked Games, Dangerous Games, Imitation Games)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: No, Imitation Games, has yet to be published
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: Smokin’
Point of View: First Person, Single; Alternating (#2)
Publication Date: June 11, 2015 – ongoing
Source & Format: Netgalley–eBook (#1); Kindle Unlimited (#2)

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Note: ARC only provided for Book #1, Wicked Games

Please Note: The first book in this series was previously titled as “Bad Reputation” and has been since renamed “Wicked Games”.

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**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I saw this book on Netgalley, I just HAD to read it! Why? One reason is that I love stories about love games. The other is the mention of Cruel Intentions.

While I was definitely too young to enjoy Cruel Intentions when it first came out, I really enjoyed it when I older. I also really enjoy the story it is based on, Dangerous Liaisons and have seen the play (it was fantastic!).

Needless to say, Bad Reputation had a lot of live up to but it sounded like it was up for the task. I preempted the other books I was reading so I could dive into this one as soon as I was approved.

What I Liked:

–The Concept–

This story lived up to the salacious tone of Cruel Intentions but in a more modern world. It wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty in more ways than one 😉 No, in all seriousness I loved that this book didn’t hold back. While it was crude at times it just added a darker layer to this already dark story.

But don’t go thinking this is a knock-off of Cruel Intentions! This book definitely has some twists up its sleeve and some interesting spins that keeps readers on the edge of their toes!

–The Characters–

Honestly, you love to hate Brick and Apple. They are both so devious and manipulative but at the same time you have to feel for them because you know that something awful has happened to make them this way. I loved the drama that their relationship created and how they are always pushing each other. It makes for an interesting–and intense!–read.

What I Didn’t Like:

–The Insta-Romance–

It happened a little too fast for me but I understand why it had to progress at the pace it did. I can see the connection, I just wanted more time to develop it. Because the passion is there–boy is it ever!–it’s just the timing of it all that didn’t work for me

–The Abrupt Page Breaks–

It felt like every time we were getting to the good stuff we would get a page break (you know, a change to a scene later on). At first I thought my Kobo was skipping pages (sometimes it does that) but it was actually the scene changing in the novel. I really wanted to see those cutoff bits elaborated on because they would have helped me understand the characters more. At the same time though, it did leave the characters with a sense of mystery so I guess it had its positives.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m super excited for Brick’s story in the next novel! There is just so much more to uncover with everything that happened and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

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–February 13, 2020– Book #2: Dangerous Games

After I read Bad Situation (#1), I was eager for the sequel but never found out anything more about it. And so it went to the back burner for a bit until one day I was doing some research about some series that I had marked as “unknown series status” and discovered that this series had been rebranded and republished under new titles and with a completely different author’s name.

So even though it has been 5 years since I read the original book and the characters and events were a vague memory, I still wanted to give Dangerous Games a chance and it seemed like fate that it should be in Kindle Unlimited when I renewed my subscription.

This was a quick and dirty read. I would say easy but the scene jumping I struggled with in the first novel reappeared here. I felt like things ended abruptly or things were left intentionally vague when the shouldn’t have been. There were also some minor editing mistakes (like typos, etc) but it was sporadic.

Some of the twists were good, some were predictable. Overall, it was nice to see these characters fleshed out a little more as they see the consequences of their games.

There is supposed to be a standalone sequel about another character but I don’t know if it will ever be published so I’m going to close the door on this series here.

Series Rating: 4/5

Wicked Games 4/5 | Dangerous Games 3/5 | Imitation Games N/A

overall

I’ve been looking for a great dark New Adult read and this series is looking VERY promising! It’s gritty, it’s dirty and it makes no apologies. If you want a book full of manipulation, love games, sex and damaged characters, Bad Reputation has nothing but a good reputation 😉

Read if You Like: love games & manipulation, characters you love to hate
Avoid if You: don’t like crude language, don’t like dark New Adult

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