In Present Perfect, Brad Johnson was sexy, cocky, rich and a complete Smurff**ker. He could afford anything he wanted and could charm any girl he set his eyes on. Everything was laid out in front of him, all for the taking except the one thing he craved and needed. A tragic event forces him to reevaluate his life. When he tries to change, will the people in his life let him move on from his past or will they constantly hold him to the life altering mistakes he’s made?
Mabry Darnell is intelligent, ambitious, beautiful, and sassy. Secrets from her past haunt the present causing her to question her actions in order to shield her heart and protect her life.
From the moment Brad and Mabry met, their connection was strong, intense, and electrifying. Both knew they had found the one person who could satisfy what the other ached for. When their pasts collide with their present, will it prevent them from having a future together or will love be strong enough to conquer their demons?
4.5 STARS FOR BRAD & MABRY!
This book had big boots to fill. Firstly, the first book in this series absolutely blew me away and left me totally gobsmacked.
See my review for Present Perfect (Perfect, #1) here: https://smittensbookblog.wordpress.com…
And secondly, I really seem to have absolutely no tolerance for books that aren’t floating my boat at the moment. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just getting irritable in my grand old age of twenty-six, but I’m either all in or I just can’t connect to a book. It’s all or nothing, lately, for me.
So, Past Imperfect had some living up to do. And I have to say, for the most part, it did it. I love it when the author takes a character that you don’t know if you will enjoy reading, or even like, and turns their story around into something you can buy into and understand.
No, it wasn’t as breath-taking as the first book, but let’s be honest, the first book was absolutely outstanding, so Ms. Bailey would have had to have gone some to meet the bar set by Noah and Tweet. But I did still really enjoy Brad and Mabry’s story.
“True happiness is when you contentment and joy deep in your soul, no matter what problems are swirling around outside of you. People underestimate that feeling. It’s such a simple short word, but it holds so much depth and power. When it’s been absent from your life for so long you forget just how precious a gift it really is.”
Obviously we’ve already met Brad Johnson in the first book. In fact, in the first book is a first class douchebag. He’s a player, an asshole and as Noah so eloquently put it, a Smurffucker! So I was very interested to see how Brad was going to turn things around.
“Do you think it’s possible to forget about the past and change into a completely different person?”
And he did. I really, really liked Brad in this book. I loved that Alison took us on his journey to redemption. The path that lead him to see the error of his ways. Brad had a childhood empty of any love or emotion, he’s never felt wanted or cherished and as a result, he treats people as if they are disposable. And when you take a look into his past, you can kind of understand why. But a series of events lead him to realise that there is more to life than meaningless sex and becoming a lawyer.
“Do you think it’s possible to love someone before you’ve met them? Because I think I’ve loved you my entire life.”
And then he meets Mabry… Mabry Darnell makes him realise exactly what wanting and being wanted means.
Not being wanted by someone you love is the worst feeling in the world. It makes you feel as if your very existence is pointless.
I liked Mabry too. Again, she has a dark history, her own abandonment issues and is a totally commitment phobic. Mabry has thrown herself into her career, and like Brad, only wants sexual encounters that are devoid of feeling or connection. Some of her indecisions and twoing and froing did irritate me a little, but she is extremely vulnerable and hides behind a polished, professional façade, afraid of feeling, afraid of hurting, afraid of re-creating the past. Her head is a mess.
“I want to love you so bad,” I say.
“Then love me,” he whispers.
So, the pair of the them together are pretty much a recipe for disaster. But they both decide to take a chance on each other. Until their pasts decide to catch up with them.
“If I had known you were going to be in my future, I would have been a better man in my past.”
Alison G. Bailey has a thing about giving you a heartattack by writing ‘The End’ at a point where you really don’t want the book to be over… and then sweetening you back up with an adorable epilogue. And I have to say, as epilogues go, this one was about as gorgeous as they get. I don’t want to say anymore, because I don’t want to ruin it, but I was swooning all over the place.
And the airport scene, just before Ms. Bailey dropped the The End bomb… I was in tears!! So heartbreaking.
“Thank you for saving my life.”
“Thank you for saving mine, Sweetness.”
This book is certainly sexier than the first. The sex scenes between Brad and Mabry are hot! This is much more adult romance, where the PP was much more NA.
I think what was missing from this book, that the other book had, was that in the first book I felt like I was completely immersed in the lives of the characters. I can’t put my finger on any one thing that I didn’t like with Past Imperfect, as I did really enjoy the book. It was just that I felt a certain level of detachment that I definitely didn’t feel with Present Perfect. I felt like I was an outsider, looking in on Mabry and Brad’s story, rather than feeling that I was living in their world. I don’t feel as completely in love with and attached to Brad and Mabry as I did Noah and Tweet.
The story is told in alternating view points, so that we get both Brad’s side of the story, and Mabry’s. Both of them are complex characters who are going finding themselves and going through various internal battles, so it’s was definitely beneficial to see it from both sides. I loved Brad’s POV, because you got to see just how much he doted on Mabry. It’s always cute when a former man-whore changes his ways and falls completely head over heels for the woman of his dreams, and Brad really does do just that.
“Mabry, there’s nothing in this universe that could happen to keep me from you. I don’t know how not to love you.”
This book could, technically, be read as a stand alone. It is a story in it’s own right. There is a small mention of Amanda, from Present Perfect, as she is part of Brad’s story, but other than that, this is a self contained novel. But I wouldn’t recommend it as the first story is just so great, I think everyone should read both books.
In conclusion, those of you worrying about hating Brad, after his appearance inPresent Perfect, I can assure he, he really will win you round. I absolutely love Alison G. Bailey’s writing and I can not wait to hear news about more of her work. I’ll be keeping a close on her from now on so keep your eyes peeled for news!
Have you read it? Comment below and tell us what you thought?
‘Past Imperfect’ Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥
• Ending: Happy ending
• Length: 308 pages
• POV: Alternates between Brad and Mabry.
• Narrative: First person. Alternates between past and present tense.
• Series: Yes
• Reading Order:
– Book #1 – Present Perfect (Perfect, #1)
– Book #2 – Past Imperfect (Perfect, #2)
– Book #3 – Presently Perfect (Perfect, #3) (Not yet released)
• Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
• WARNING: This book contains…
Suicide. Self harm. Sexual content.
• Writing: Fantastic
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