Book 5, Rascals
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Five guys. One bar. And a whole heap of sexy trouble...
Dante Delgado is arrogant, mysterious… and sexy as hell. He’s also my brother’s best friend, which makes him seriously off-limits — until one of our infuriating fights turns into a steamy make-out session.
Now, all bets are off.
I know he’s trouble, but I can’t stay away. The chemistry between us is burning out of control, but Dante’s hiding something behind that bad boy smile, and his secrets could destroy us both.
Am I heading straight for heartbreak? Or can this troublemaker open his heart for the right woman?
Find out in the sizzling conclusion to the Rascals series!
Disclaimer: ARC received in exchange for an honest review
Katie McCoy is back with the last entry in her series about a group of friends and bar owners. Pairing Dante and Hayley, Troublemaker is the final installment in Katie McCoy’s Rascals series.
While Troublemaker is a solid effort in this series and on-brand for McCoy, it lacks some of the charm of its predecessors. Whereas, Emerson and Chase were easy to like and root for, Dante’s dark, broody nature often had him running hot and cold. Because of his temperament, he tends to comes off as brash, bordering on mean, which sometimes makes him inaccessible to readers. Hayley, while well-intentioned, is often petulant, pushy, and not a character that I was able to easily embrace.
Although the couple had some great moments, overall, as a reader I struggled with how easily their relationship developed before dissolving into unnecessary drama. Having Emerson serve as the obstacle in Dante and Hayley’s relationship felt cheap and the angry exchange between Dante and Emerson at the story’s climax didn’t necessarily feel true to either character. McCoy spends four books talking about the great friendship these five men share, only to spend one whole book talking about how little the rest of the men know about Dante. Furthermore, McCoy also frequently repeats throughout the five books how overprotective Emerson and the rest of the guys are of Hayley, but there is little action to ground these declarations in reality. Rather, it seems as if this narrative was pushed simply to achieve tension and set-up conflict for this storyline.
None of this is to say the book is bad, but rather, these are the issues that, for me, make it more unrealistic and less endearing to readers. The storyline often manages to feel lackluster and melodramatic. I did appreciate uncovering a softer side to Dante; his relationship with Bull and his determination to build a place for kids with less-than-ideal homelives were really wonderful aspects of his character. The struggle to rise above one’s past, to be worthy of love and tenderness, to be enough, is universal and these are the qualities that redeemed Troublemaker. While long overdue, I also appreciated McCoy giving Hayley attributes and interests of her own. The strength of the relationship between Dante and Hayley was the unwavering support they showed each other as they branched out and developed their personal and professional interests and passions.
Despite its flaws, the book was an easy, engaging read that will provide a satisfactory completion to the Rascals series. Although Troublemaker is not the strongest installment, McCoy stayed true to the series and certainly put out a product that will delight her readers. Though Troublemaker can be read as a standalone, readers who’ve enjoyed McCoy’s previous works, specifically the Rascals series thus far, will appreciate this conclusion.
Footwear. Very dumb
I have never written a review for anything in my life, until now. That’s how much I loved this story. Do yourself a favor and read this!!