August 29, 2017

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Disorderly Conduct (The Academy #1)

Disorderly Conduct (The Academy #1), by Tessa Bailey
Publish Date:
August 29, 2017
Publisher: Avon
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(Synopsis) You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…

Police academy cadet Charlie Burns can’t believe his luck when the gorgeous blonde he meets in a bar murmurs those magic words: “Nothing serious, ’kay?” Mind-blowing, no-strings sex with Ever Carmichael—it’s the holy grail of hookups for a guy who’s too busy following in his law enforcement family’s footsteps to think about getting serious. Charlie’s all about casual…that is, until Ever calls it quits and his world tilts on its axis.

Ever knows that when you control the relationship game, you can’t get played. But for the first time, she wants more than short-term satisfaction. Step one: end her fling with commitment-phobic Charlie. Step two: sacrifice herself to the ruthless NYC dating scene. Yet everywhere she turns, there’s Charlie, being his ridiculously charming self. No online match or blind date compares to the criminally hot cop-in-training, but they’re over. Aren’t they?

If love is a four-letter-word, why does the idea of Ever seeing someone else tie Charlie up in knots? Now he’s desperate to win her back…and a little date sabotage never hurt anyone, right?

Disorderly Conduct has Tessa Bailey stamped all over it from the dirty talking NYC cop-in-training to the ball-busting chef that he can't seem to quit. Tessa has taken us back to the law-enforcing alpha males that she does so freaking well, and I've never been more happy about getting all up in a cop's business. 

Disorderly Conduct sort of flips the standard romance formula around a bit. Charlie and Ever make an instant connection in a bar and follow it up with an amazing night of no-strings sex. Both of them are total commitment-phobes and are perfectly happy with frantic quickies for a limited time only. But, then Ever's mother turns her life upside down when she gives her some words that convince her to try finding a lasting, loving relationship. No matter how much Ever likes Charlie, he's made it clear he's married to his job, and everyone else comes second. So, she calls an end to their fling so that she can find a nice, permanent man to settle down with. 

All that happens in the first 15% or so of the book. The stage is set as Ever creates an online dating persona in her attempts to find Mr. Right. And Charlie, for some inexplicable reason is determined to thwart her every attempt so that he can keep his favorite hook-up girl available whenever he wants her. Now I know - Charlie sounds like a total douche. But, the ways he goes about trying to convince Ever that a relationship - especially with the guys she's looking at - is not what she wants is kind of adorable. And the fact that he has no idea he's doing all this because he likes her more than just a one-month stand is frustratingly funny. 

Thankfully, we get to be in Charlie's head for half the book, so we can bear witness to the turmoil going on within him over his antics. He doesn't want to hurt her, but he doesn't want to leave her. He doesn't want to date her, but he doesn't want to stop sleeping with her. He doesn't want to get to know her, but when he learns things about her, he realizes he is fascinated by her. 

Ever is a tough-as-nails chick. She's starting a new catering business with her BFF and has left a long string of "just sex" relationships in her wake. It's all she knows. She can admit to herself that a real relationship with Charlie is really what she wants, but she also knows that he doesn't want that. She does the right thing and cuts him loose so that he can go be a lieutenant on the police force like his brother and his father, without the complications of a girlfriend. She's brave, and I loved that about her. 

Poor Charlie doesn't know what he wants. He thinks he knows, but all that changes when he meets Ever. And it takes him a good long time to get his head on straight and see what he really wants. Unfortunately, by that time, things have sort of gotten out of his control. So, of course, that's when it really gets interesting. 

We meet the side characters that will make up the books in the rest of The Academy series, and I'm already looking forward to reading all the HEAs of theses academy recruits. 

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