The Bad Boy Experiment

Harlequin Desire. (Bourbon Brothers, Bk. 6). Jan. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781335735386. pap. $5.25. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Renee Lockwood has reasons for avoiding romance—her ex-husband hurt her deeply and she’s focused on raising her autistic son. She’s starting over by turning her family’s abandoned farmland into an organic farm. Cole Abbott has his eyes on the same plot of property. Competing over who will get it, they are forced to live next door to each other, and a friendship grows along with their attraction. Ryan balances the developing relationship between her leads with their extended families, incorporating Cole’s large family (returning from previous books) seamlessly into this love story. This friends-with-benefits romance, the sixth in the “Bourbon Brothers” series (after Waking Up Married), has leads with plenty of chemistry and does the work to lay a solid foundation for the relationship that follows. The sensitive portrayal of Renee’s son is a highlight, showing the struggles but also the joys of raising an autistic child.
VERDICT The realistic barriers between Renee and Cole provide a satisfying conclusion when they overcome them to find the ultimate happy ending.
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