Crazy for You by Rachel Lacey

Crazy for You by Rachel LaceyCrazy for You by Rachel Lacey
Series: Risking it all #2
Published by Forever on March 28th 2017
Pages: 336
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Emma Rush can't remember a time when she didn't have a thing for Ryan Blake. Haven's resident bad boy is just so freakin' hot-with tattoos, a motorcycle, and enough rough-around-the-edges sexiness to melt all her self-control. Now that Emma's over being a "good girl," she needs a little help being naughty . . . and she knows just where to start.
Before Emma's brother enlisted in the military, he made Ryan promise that he would protect her from everything--including himself. When her brother doesn't come home, Ryan needs to turn his screwed-up life around to honor his pledge. But he knows he's still not the right kind of guy for someone as sweet as Emma. Only he can't stop wanting to be with her. Wanting her. Falling in love with a good girl may be the craziest risk this bad boy can take . . .

The best friend brother’s sister is always off-limits (worse if he’s dead), according to some unspoken bro-code. It’s an iron-clad promise as well, seeing as a huge number of romance books are built on this premise. ‘Crazy for You’ explores this very dynamic and it’s a tricky one in my opinion, because I think every story would have to (inevitably) deal with why the switch flipped and what exactly makes this relationship worth more than the promise not to cross the forbidden line.

I think what really stood out here – amidst the rather predictable storyline – is how the unrequited feelings aren’t emphasised, or at least, writ large on Emma’s part. Rachel Lacey makes it clear that it’s still a crush or a torch that Emma really had, though it wasn’t full-blown pining for years that would have make this relationship terribly unequal, or at least, place a protagonist at a point where there is a mountain of emotional catching up to do. I liked that Emma didn’t delude herself that her hooking up with Ryan was going to be anything more than what they made it out to be and how many of her decisions were ultimately still made on her own terms. In fact, that she held out a little more on him without confessing her feelings made her more of a shining example than many heroines who become a snivelling mess when things don’t work out.

There’s of course, the pre-requisite stupid moment when someone does the push-pull move intended to break things up because of fear, but here, it’s resolved very quickly – pushing us into a conclusion and HEA so quick I wondered if things were going too soon for them. Still, it’s mostly an angst-free read, albeit with some games played and there’s a setup for the next couple in question that’s making me rather curious already.