Desert Isle Keeper
Baby, Come Back
I think M. O’Keefe has voodoo writing skills that give her the ability to hypnotize readers and transform reading into a virtual reality experience. I feel like I lived Baby, Come Back, and I had to remind myself after I finished that it didn’t really happen – comparable to when waking from a dream and being momentarily confused as to what was real and what was not. I was enthralled from the beginning to the end, experienced every emotion along the way and was completely invested in the resolution – and it was thrilling.
What is really surprising about this is that I began Baby, Come Back knowing more than one pivotal plot point because I read the first book in the Bad Boy Romance series, Bad Neighbor. (Baby, Come Back is the second.) Both books are stand-alone stories with substantial plot twists, but there are crossover storylines and parallel timelines that inevitably provide spoilers for some aspects of the other book. I was still captivated by Baby, Come Back even with my knowledge, which is a testament to Ms. O’Keefe’s writing, but I am unsure whether or not to recommend reading Bad Neighbor first or not. You definitely do not need to read it if you haven’t, and I would love to hear about the experience of anyone who does read the books in the reverse order. I’d also be curious to know how Ms. O’Keefe decided the sequence.
Abby is a very beautiful woman who works as a ‘shot girl’; she is contracted by alcohol companies to go to different bars to promote a liquor by selling shots and hyping the brand. She’s not thrilled with the job and wants to do more with her life, but she is also unsure if she has the skills and smarts to succeed at a job that requires more than a pretty face. She’s always used her looks to get by and get what she wants – including men, who can’t seem to resist her. She’s become jaded and cynical about her looks, men and love and is bored with her life. She wants more.
She meets the enigmatic Jack when she is assigned to work at a bar that is rumored to have mob connections and to be involved in drug trafficking. He works for the bar’s mysterious owner, Lazarus, but it isn’t clear what he does for him, although it is evident to Abby that he is not a ‘good guy’. She is extremely intrigued by and attracted to him from the moment they cross paths but resolves herself to steer clear of him assuming any involvement with him will only lead to trouble.
Jack admits he is a bad guy and a bad bet. He wants Abby just as much as she wants him, but he knows he shouldn’t get involved with her – she’s a complication he can’t afford. Neither can resist the pull between them and find themselves gravitating toward each other even though logic tells them to run the other away. It’s too romantic to describe their feelings as love at first sight, but their coming together is inevitable while their fate is not guaranteed.
Good versus bad is explored throughout Baby, Come Back as both Abby and Jack define themselves and their lives with these black and white labels. Jack is a bad man doing bad things, and he’s tortured by who he has become. He sees Abby as too good for him while she doesn’t believe she’s good enough or smart enough and only makes bad decisions. Neither believes they will ever have or deserve a good life. Both must realize that they cannot be defined by extremes and that life is a spectrum of grey; and the beauty of their tumultuous relationship is that it shakes both of them to their cores forcing them to reevaluate and question everything. While they might not appear to be good for each other, they could prove to be the very best thing to happen to each other.
The secrets, lies and epic messes in Jack and Abby’s relationship could turn out to be insurmountable complications, and their journey isn’t easy or always pretty. Their chemistry is intense, their sexual encounters are fiery, and their love is overwhelming – and Baby, Come Back is simply mesmerizing. Settle in, buckle up and enjoy the ride.