Review: Sentenced: A Jaded Regret Novel by L.L.Collins

sentencedReviewed by Joanna

Johnny is a total slut. He uses sex to quiet the negative feelings he has about his life and how messed up he is. He’s supremely attractive and confident with the ladies, so that’s handy, but he’s also an ex con and 2 years out of prison. Apparently he isn’t a really bad guy – he just fell into a bad crowd after his parents kicked him out cos he wouldn’t join the family business <– such assholes. Then he was stuck in a drug ring because he fell in love with a girl, but it all ended horribly and he’s scarred.

So Johnny goes to Florida to stay with his sister and her family and gets a job in a bar, hooking up with women (unpaid) and booking live music talent (paid). There, he meets Bex, lead singer with Jaded Regret, an up ‘n coming rock band. Bex is super-hot and a renowned ball-buster. And Johnny wants her.

Bex has a world of awfulness behind her which is the reason for her froideur. The only people who know her are Natalie, her foster sister and band manager, and Beau, drummer and Natalie’s brother. (I love Beau in the second book in the series, cos of course I read that one first. He’s slightly different in this book, but that might just be perspective.)

Anyway she tries and fails to resist sex pest Johnny and they hook up – and they are so hot together. When she goes off on tour, they both realize they have feelings and it freaks them the F out. Then there’s a painful push-me push-you to get to HEA and then his history bites them in the ass.

These are two fragile people with bulletproof armor around their hearts. They have stories to tell and the way they reveal themselves to each other layer by layer was sweet. The backdrop of rock n roll was sexy and the pace was good.

I did have some problems with the plot and events. Firstly, Johnny was screwing around with a woman before he met Bex and so much went into this I thought she must be the heroine in disguise. Til non-event-woman went away and never came back. This bit of story wasn’t pertinent to the plot, other than that he sleeps around and likes sexy women.

Also I was worried about their HEA in how much Johnny told Bex about his history. She seemed to tell him everything; he kept stuff back. I needed him to fess up everything before I could believe in them.

My other issues are spoilers but they bugged me enough to need to write them down.

Spoiler about the ending: What was the deal with the bad guy at the end? Who the hell was he and are there more of them? A relative of Jill’s? A friend of the guys in jail? One of the guys with plastic surgery? Who? Who? This was unsolved and made me worried for their actual lives. It would have been so easy to make this a person who Johnny recognized and remembered.

Spoiler for continuity of love: I really hated how he screwed those two women after Bex finished with him. It was totally in character – had he not changed any, but he’s meant to have been in love. Isn’t that a vast amount of progress from where he was? I’d much preferred him to have almost got there but found he couldn’t go through with it. But he was a big ole dumbass. Then when he found Bex again, he’d just been kissing another woman. Jeez. At least wash your face first, love. Ugh.

Overall and despite the whinging I liked this and would recommend. It’s HEA, has big emotional issues, it’s the first in the series and pretty hot in places.

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

by L.L. Collins
Release Date: October 31, 2015

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