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SPOTLIGHT ARC REVIEW: Bad Wrong Things by CP Harris

Title: Bad Wrong Things

Author: CP Harris

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Amazon/Self

Heat: 4 Flames

Rating: 5 Hearts

Synopsis via Goodreads:

One promise.

One summer to see it through.

One explosive love fueled by mutual obsession.

The day Clint sees his son, Joey, off to basic training, the young man he’s devoted his life to extracts one promise from him: spend the summer doing something selfish for a change. The request seems harmless enough until Joey puts his best friend, Raven, in charge of seeing it through.

Raven would do anything for the people who took him in as a teen, and, when it comes to Clint, anything comes without limits. When encouraging Clint to explore his selfish side reveals Raven’s love for the older man, Raven is shocked to discover his feelings may not be unrequited. Not only are they returned, but all his darkest, most hidden desires have finally found their match.

Clint’s possession feeds every craving Raven’s ever known. Raven’s openness provides Clint the freedom he’s longed for to take whatever he wants, and soon boundaries are abandoned at the bedroom door. As summer’s promise bleeds into winter, and the threat of Joey’s impending return looms over their heads, Clint and Raven love faster and harder.

When Joey’s disapproval ends up being the least of their concerns, Raven and Clint go to desperate extremes to stay close because something is better than nothing. Facing an uncertain future, both men are left wondering if you can ever go too far or risk too much and still come out on the other side whole.

Review: Bad Wrong Things is an age-gap, best friend’s dad romance with two possessive MCs and themes of hurt/comfort and second chances. Both MCs are consenting adults and eventually get their hard-earned HEA. Use the look inside feature for trigger warnings.

My favorite books are often the ones that gut me and leave me a broken mess on the floor in their wake. The ones that force me to take a break after I’ve finished them because they were so well crafted and powerful, that reading another shortly afterwards would be cruel. It would place that author at an unfair comparison because nothing would live up to what I just read.

Bad Wrong Things was that book for me. Tears and all.

This is an intense read. No question. Not always something I can do because my job is emotionally draining, and sometimes I just don’t have the energy to spare. It’s why I’ve read so much fluff lately. lol. But I’ve read this author before. Surviving the Merge, was one of my favorite reads of 2020. Ms. Harris can write hurt/comfort like no one’s business, and I’ll take that any day.

I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced review copy from the author and I went into this book blind. The only thing I knew was that it was an age-gap, best friend’s dad/forbidden romance trope.

The book opens with a scene in the present before it goes back to the beginning, and you can feel the depth of the desperation and sadness in these two.

“Yes, you fucking own me, Clint.” I gave him a different truth. It was the best I could do. “And no one fucks me like you do.” I scraped a nail along his jaw. “I’ve missed you so much I’ve gone blind. Feeling my way through life. My senses are fucked, Clint. Nothing looks the same since you, nothing smells or tastes the same. The world is bland.”

and later, see the obsession begin to build…

I wanted him too much to ever settle for something as superficial as pleasant with him. Fuck pleasant. I wanted the kind of passion that left us standing in a pile of rubble.

The aftermath left when two people become so toxic, they destroy each other and everything around them.

This isn’t love, Clint.” I cried for all three of us, weeping all over him. “Not anymore.”

“Then what is it?” he mouthed more than spoke.

“Poison.”

It gripped me from the start and I could not put it down. I wanted to know what they did to each other to bring them to that point, and watching their story unfold was painfully beautiful. Ms. Harris’ writing is evocative and dramatic without being purple. Her ability to convey passion, even the anguish of it, is so well done throughout. Simply put, she just has a way with words. I have so many favorite quotes highlighted throughout this book that I can’t possibly include them all here. They’re like poetry. She also includes one of my all time favorite songs, Wicked Game. I’ll let you read about how. 😉

That’s not to say that she can’t bring the heat though, because let me tell you, this book is filthy. Like the most decadent dessert on a menu. There’s a lot of sex, but I never seemed to tire of it. Every scene serves a purpose, a touchpoint. From the sexy beginning to the vicious and violent end.

This was, without a doubt, one of the most toxic and painful couples that I have read about in a long time. CP Harris nailed that aspect! It’s a story about three broken people. All struggling with a different kind of pain. These men’s lives are irrevocably intertwined. And while Raven and Clint may be the MCs, Joey plays a pivotal role in the story. The pain of love bound them together, but in the end it’s their forgiveness that makes them whole. Harris quotes another author in this part of the book, but it’s still a beautiful one.

Today I decided to forgive you. Not because you apologized, or because you acknowledged the pain that you caused, but because my soul deserves peace.

Najwa Zebian

There is an HEA here, but it is hard-fought. Ms. Harris made them work for it and I loved that. I hate when authors put their characters through hell, but don’t take the time to build them back up so you’re left feeling bereft. The consequence of reading emotionally-driven stories is that not only do the characters suffer, if the author is skilled enough, the reader does too. We need a little time to heal too. Depriving your readers of that is cruel. You can’t just slap an happy ending epilogue on it and call it done. It’s lazy writing. There’s a reason it’s called hurt/comfort. Ms. Harris understands that.

These two forgive themselves for the pain they caused, move on and grow up over the years. There are still shades of who they were, but they are unapologetically true to themselves without the unhealthy codependency that caused their downfall.

I can’t sing the praises of this book enough. I loved it and highly recommend it if you like hurt/comfort themes.

I’m going to leave you with probably my favorite quote of the book, because in the end, it’s what everyone yearns for. It’s from Raven in the beginning of the book when Clint learns how Raven feels about him…

“I want to be seen for who I really am,

and loved for it anyway.”

Thank you to the author, CP Harris, and Foreword PR for providing a copy of this book for me to review. A positive review was not promised in return.

Bad Wrong Things is available this Thursday, April 14th. You can pre-order it on Amazon now. This title is also a part of the Kindle Unlimited library.

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