The Bad Boy Experiment
by Reese Ryan
The Bourbon Brothers - Book 6
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Release Date: December 28, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
Even if divorcée Renee Lockwood were willing to give love a second chance, she wouldn’t choose Cole Abbott. The sexy, successful real estate developer doesn’t do commitment. But he’s perfect for a no-strings fling—exactly what Ren needs now that she’s moved back home to raise her son. Mind-blowing pleasure with the man she once crushed on is harder to quit than Ren expected. Impossible, in fact. Is time running out before the bad boy bolts…or will the results of her experiment surprise her?
First of all, don't let the fact that this is the sixth and final book of a series steer you away from it. I read it without having read the first five books and never felt lost, confused, or like I was missing something while reading. Having said that, however, by the time I finished The Bad Boy Experiment, I was so invested in Cole's entire family I immediately sought out the rest of the books and am eager to lose myself in all of the stories.
As usually happens with a Reese Ryan book, I was pulled into the story from the get-go and that connection only strengthened as the book progressed. I loved all the intertwining threads between Cole, Ren, and their families, that gave their journey complexity and kept things moving forward. I loved the slow-burn chemistry between them, the reignited friendship after years apart, and the new, mature feelings that deepened, almost without them realizing. I enjoyed their individual journeys (especially Cole's) and the impact that had on not only their own growth but on their relationship as well. Secondary characters from both families added additional depth, humor, and emotion to Cole and Ren's relationship, leaving me wanting to know more about each of them.
One of the highlights of this book for me was Ren's son, Mercer, a heart-stealing four-year-old with non-verbal autism. Ryan's depiction of this character was handled with care and realism, evoking memories of a precious family member of mine at the same age. The relationship between mother and son was endearing and realistic but it was the scenes between Mercer and Cole, a man determined to avoid a marriage and family of his own, that captured my heart completely. Fate knew what it was doing when it brought these two together.
If you enjoy second-chance romances with great character development, realistic family dynamics, steamy chemistry, and a heart-tugging happily ever after, give The Bad Boy Experiment a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it.