Six years ago Fin Bowie made a decision that cost him the love of his life. Now his ex is coming back to town for her brother’s wedding, and he can finally make things right. Except, right before the event, a text he sent goes viral. Overnight, he becomes an international meme. And it’s hard to win your woman back when the whole world’s calling you The World’s Worst Boyfriend.
The last thing on Calliope Bell’s mind is getting back with Fin. Not when her life’s just gone sideways, forcing her to spend the summer in Calamity, Wyoming. She can’t be away from the New York art world this long, so she comes up with the idea to turn the hottest pop culture event of the moment into a museum exhibition.
The two have every intention of avoiding each other–until the county judge sentences Fin to community service…helping her exploit the meme he’s trying to make go away.
There’s so much to like about Erika Kelly’s The World’s Worst Boyfriend! Book one in her Bad Boyfriend series featuring the Bowie brothers, Kelly tackles social media mob mentality, winter sports, and a love between two people that was written in the stars.
What I loved:
- Kelly’s use of the craziness of social media to tell this story. The book gets its title from an Instagram post gone viral. While I never really understood why the poster shared the post (a text from Fin), the repercussions of her actions show everything bad about social media AND everything good about it. Even as Fin is being raked over the coals, labeled #worldsworstboyfriend over a misunderstanding, the meme that emerges brings together people all over the world as they share their heart breaking love stories. The extremes that we see in social media every day play out perfectly.
- Fin and Callie are a great couple and great characters. I loved their journey as they found their way back to each other. There’s never any doubt they belong together, but the path isn’t easy. Apart for six years, it was as if they’d both stood still even as they were making strides professionally. It’s not until they’re back in the same zip code that they seem to wake up to life.
- Fin and Callie love each other. Their love is palpable. It’s passionate. #relationshipgoals
- One of my very favorite things about reading Erika Kelly’s books is getting to visit with her wonderful cast of secondary characters and this book is no exception. We meet all four Bowie brothers, which of course has me impatiently waiting for their books in the series. There’s the group of seniors that help Callie with her exhibition, Callie’s former best friend, Megan, and probably my favorite of the secondary characters, Theo, Callie’s nephew. All of these characters and the rest help to create a warm, inviting setting that was easy to fall into.
- Speaking of settings? The World’s Worst Boyfriend takes place in Wyoming and, just like with More Than a Feeling (book 4 in Kelly’s Rock Star Romance series), I was ready to pack my bags and head north. Kelly does a fantastic job of pulling her readers right into Calamity, the fictional town that Fin and Callie are from.
What could’ve been better:
- While I loved the use of social media, the motivation behind the actual post that kicks off the meme never seems clear.
- There was just a little too much back and forth on Callie’s part about Fin. While I loved watching her grow and discover who she is, there were moments that I wanted to pinch her for being so indecisive. It stalled the pace of the story a time or two.
Overall, I enjoyed The World’s Worst Boyfriend and after the deliciously awful teaser at the end, I cannot wait for The Thoughtless Boyfriend, book 2, coming in October.
4 stars for The World’s Worst Boyfriend. Heat level: 3
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
The World’s Worst Boyfriend was published in April 2018 by EK Publishing.
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“What’s with the hair, wild thing?” The all-too familiar deep, rough voice cracked through her like a thunderclap.
It might have been a while since she’d heard it, but Callie’s body responded like a rosebud to sunlight. Every cell bloomed and strained in his direction.
Her stomach lurched, and she did not want to turn around. She didn’t want to look at him. With fight or flight kicking in, it took every bit of strength she had not to run like he’d just tossed a lit match at her feet and set her on fire.
“Hey, Fin,” Megan said.
Brushing Callie’s arm as he reached across the small circle they made, Fin met Megan in the middle for a hug. His scent—that hint of sage and clean clothes, the essence of Fin—swirled around her, filling her senses and sending her crashing back in time. She had a matter of seconds to pull herself together and treat him like an acquaintance. Her boyfriend didn’t know about him, so she needed to just be normal, but turbulence scrambled her system, and her mind went blank.
And that pissed her off. She’d prepared for this moment. Hell, she’d rehearsed her responses. But living it, having him right here, she just…dammit. No matter how many nights she’d lain awake scripting this interaction, she couldn’t control her body’s reaction.
Come on. She gave herself an internal shake. He’s just a guy.
But when he pulled back, he turned his full attention on her and…Oh, my God.
For the first time in years, she looked Fin Bowie, in all his six feet two inches of rock-hard muscle, in the eyes. A tremble started from deep within, rising in velocity until her composure shook like a tree in a violent storm. Last time she’d seen him, he’d been a boy. A gorgeous, untamed, mischievous boy who’d kept her on edge for most of her life. His wild, free spirit made him impossible to nail down.
But the boy she’d loved so fiercely had nothing on the man who stood before her. With his overgrown dark hair and bright blue eyes, he was a shock of rugged, raw power next to her lean, elegant boyfriend.
About Erika Kelly:
Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.