Twofer Review: Bad Boys Do & Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

Olivia Bishop is no fun. That’s what her ex-husband said. And that’s what her smart bob and glasses imply. So with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She’s going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble—in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan—may be too tempting to avoid.

Jamie Donovan doesn’t mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. Now it’s time to grow up. He’s even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong?


After reading the first book in the Donovan Brothers Brewery series I of course looked forward to reading Jamie’s story. He’s the kilt wearing party-boy bartender at Donovan’s Brewery who all the ladies love. But we know there’s always so much more emotional depth to those bad boys. Luckily when Jamie shows his softer side he doesn’t lose the essences of his naughty side. *g*

The Hero: Jamie is the bad boy of the family or so we’re lead to believe. He might not be as bad as his reputation implies and in Bad Boys Do we get to know the real Jamie Donovan. As time goes by he’s maturing and it seems he’s having a hard time keeping up with his bad boy image. He’s thinking about his future in the family business as well as his personal life.

The Heroine: Olivia is a little uptight, and has some emotional baggage having to do with her ex and it has affected how she feels about herself. She sees herself as not being a fun person. Dating a younger man is a bit of an issue for her and she puts herself in the “cougar” category at only 35 years old.  However she’s still willing to let bad boy Jamie show her a little fun.

What worked: Holy cow, sexy times abound!! Victoria Dahl always brings it with the sexy times and dammit she did it again. The reason the sex scenes work so well is they are well integrated into the development of the relationship and romance and by the time our hero and heroine are doing the dirty in the hot tub the emotional connection between them is solid. 

What didn’t work: Argh!! The family dynamic is so caustic. I just cringe whenever the siblings are going to be in the same room together or have any kind of interaction together. I’m all for families working out their problems but sometimes I just wanted them to sell up and separate. Get counselling. Something.

Final conclusion: I loved Jamie and Olivia together. Their romance was hot, sweet and intense. I never got on board with the family situation though and it was enough make me want to skim through those scenes and get back to the romance. Funny though, I did like Tessa, the younger sister more in this book than I did in her book (Good Girls Don’t).

Rating: B-
Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl
September 27th 2011 by HQN Books
Contemporary Romance
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It was meant to be a one-night stand. One night of passion. Scorching hot. Then Beth Cantrell and Eric Donovan were supposed to go their separate ways. That’s the only reason he lied about his name, telling her he was really his wild younger brother. Hiding his own identity as the conservative Donovan. The “good” one.

But passion has its own logic, and Eric finds he cannot forget the sable-haired beauty with whom he shared one night of passion. When Beth discovers that Eric has lied, however, she knows he cannot be trusted. Her mind tells her to forget the blue-eyed charmer. If only every fiber of her being did not burn to call him back.


I’m not going to lie, I went into this one expecting to love Eric. Not because I was particularly fond of him in the previous books, he was kind of jerk to his siblings. No, I expected to love Eric because I listened to my friends who assured me I would change my mind about him. I did. <3

The Hero: Eric is the eldest of the Donovan siblings and carries a great deal of responsibility for the family and the business on his shoulders. Although his siblings have matured and have stepped up to share the burden, Eric has a hard time letting go.  I was really surprised at the way his personality did a full 180 when away from his siblings though. I knew he was going to be different but Eric is a jerk around family and then transforms into a pretty awesome guy on his own.

The Heroine: Beth is a manager of an exclusive store that specializes in sex toys, lingerie and other related items. She is fairly down to earth, yet doesn’t fully have command of her life yet. Because of her job she has a reputation for being wild. I probably liked her more than any of the heroines in this trilogy because seemed real.

What worked: The romance!  Beth and Eric have amazing chemistry and I loved their romance. Eric was so sweet and warm with Beth and they really complimented each other. Although Eric seemed like a different person at times, I loved him and I really enjoyed this romance.

What didn’t work: The way that the conflict with the Kendall family and the break-in in the brewery from the first book was dealt with was awkward. Eric’s internal struggles in how his life was changing and evolving, along with Beth’s emotional journey was enough for me and the conflict regarding the break-in just didn’t interest me anymore. Also, the siblings in one room together are like nails on a chalkboard. I’d hoped that by the third book they would mellow a bit but no, their fighting and miscommunication was just as bad if not worse in this third and final book.

Final conclusion: This was my favorite book in this series and it has nothing at all to do with a certain steamy scene that nearly singed my eyebrows with the flames it was throwing from my eReader. Not at all. Maybe a little bit. :)

Rating: B
Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl
October 25th 2011 by HQN Books
Contemporary Romance
GoodReads Reviews
Amazon || Barnes & Noble 

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  1. says

    I thought Eric had some hot smex scenes!

    I liked Jamie too..Olivia not as much.

    Overall the sibling fighting brought this series down for me but I’m still glad I read them :)

    • says

      Yes it came to a point where I thought, oh no, there’s going to be a family dinner *cringe*. But all the sibs were very different away from the family.

      Eric is so dirty. That is all.