Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
This review will be a bit different than my other reviews because to fully understand the reason why you should read Stacy Travis’s Bad News it resides in her growth as a writer between her first book, French Kiss, and her newest book. I know people might say that that shouldn’t be a criterion for reading a book, but if you’re like me, you look at other reviews of books by the author to make a determination about choice. It is really only a small picture of why you should read this book.
When I read French Kiss, I saw Travis’s potential as a storyteller. She has the amazing ability to bring in a description to set the scene for her romances. You feel as though you are there when you read the book. This is also the case with Bad News. You can see these places and people clearly in your mind, and she does this with just the right balance. As a storyteller, it’s important to create this type of balance, so that the reader remains engaged without being bored by over detailing everything. In Bad News, Travis has found this balance.
In French Kiss, I struggled with feeling the chemistry of her hero and heroine. There are reasons for this that complicate the story. In Bad News, the chemistry is clear. Travis is writing an enemies-to-lovers story with this book. There, I think, is an assumption that the chemistry writes itself with this trope. However, I’ve read plenty of romances where that is not the case. Jack and Linden can’t even help themselves. Travis crafts their building fire page by page, drawing you further into their story. When the complications hit, that chemistry still burns, but it becomes dangerous as it seems as though it can be extinguished. This was not the case with French Kiss; Jack and Linden’s couplehood is a decidedly impressive improvement in this sophomore book.
In her first book, I wrote in my review that French Kiss seemed like a romance between the author and Paris. It’s clear that Travis loves Paris. With Bad News, the story is the centerpiece. Between Jack and Linden’s complicated relationship and burgeoning romance and the underlying plot (reporters working together and finding a heady news story), you feel compelled to read to the last page of her book. Additionally, underlying the romance and the intrigue of the story lies a message about workplace politics. This is the gravity of Travis’s Bad News. Through the possible storyline that Linden and Jack follow and the potential relationship between these two, Travis reminds us that women often receive the burden of consequences in any workplace incident. It’s a reminder that, even in 2020, situations in the workplace are not yet equitable. Travis makes us believe that we need to be vigilant and aware, as her romance plays out on the page. This depth of message was one of the missing components in her first story.
I love to “see” growth in writing. It is my favorite part of teaching writing in college. Stacy Travis’s second book, Bad News, is a revelation in her ability to improve and offer up sexy, thoughtful romance. Jack and Linden are characters that intrigue you. Their story feels relevant and insightful, and their happy ending is a happy ending for right now. If you love enemies-to-lovers, newsroom romance, then Bad News should be on your Kindle for this weekend.
In love and romance,