Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I knew from Pierce and Kerrigan’s book, The Brazen, that I would like Cal and Nellie’s book, Willa Nash’s newest book, The Bully. What I didn’t realize, what took me by surprise, was how much I love Nash’s characterization of Cal. There is nothing more romance catnip than a seemingly mean-spirited hero with depths of trauma to hide a big heart. That misunderstood hero trope? It’s a sure thing, as far as I’m concerned. And Cal has now wrestled the top spot away from Reese Huxley as my favorite hero in Willa Nash’s Calamity Montana series.
The Bully is pure unadulterated enemies-to-lovers. It’s interesting because you could call this a slow-burn in terms of the progression of Cal and Nellie’s adoration. Nash wastes very little time in getting them into bed. When she does, these two are the grand finale of your favorite fireworks show. It would be simple to place our focus there, but the true beauty of The Bully is the evolution of Nellie’s and Cal’s understandings of each other. That is the slow-burn of this story. When the culmination of it hits in this book, it manifests an emotional response. I found myself tearful over Cal’s representation of Nellie to him. I went into this book thinking I would enjoy another great Willa Nash story. I didn’t realize I would hate to leave it because the emotional leverage of it grasped at me.
Even more, this is the first Willa Nash/Devney Perry story in a long time that didn’t feel like the ending was rushed after she carefully crafts the first three-quarters of her book. Cal and Nellie’s trajectory is plotted to perfection, as far as I’m concerned.
Gah, I love these two. Willa Nash makes you love Nellie and Cal’s hate-to-love story. If you do anything, you’ll download The Bully.
In love and romance,