When He Was Bad (Anthology)

When He Was Bad is an anthology featuring stories by Cynthia Eden, author of Hotter After Midnight, and Shelly Laurenston, author of The Mane Event. Both of these authors are new to me, so this novel was one of those great finds.

Miss Congeniality by S. Laurenston
I’ve heard of this author mentioned before, but never to the point where it made me want to pick something up from her and now I’m kicking myself for it. While the story had it’s moments of being dragged out, overall it was hilarious. The last chapter had me rolling with laughter and made it really hard to finish the story. I really liked the female lead, Irene Conridge. Her whole personality was very straight forward and brutally honest and because of the situations Laurenston put her in, it just made her come across all the better. As for the male lead, Niles Van Holtz, his character was okay, but he was way to sex oriented. I’m not complaining about the sex in the novel, but for someone who likes to read the trashy romance novels and has no problem with romantic elements in any sense of the word, it was kind of overdone and tended to get annoying. I could have done with a little less sex and more on the plot. The plot of the story was actually really good and I could totally see this more as a full length novel rather than a short, but it was still good as a novella. Overall, if the rest of Ms. Laurenston’s stuff is as good as Miss Congeniality, then I’m really going to enjoy the novels I’ve added to my TBR list. Edited: I was just perusing Laurenston’s website and noticed that this story is part of a series. It’s the fourth story set in her Magnus Pack series, however, I never felt that I was missing out on anything prior to this.

Wicked Ways by C. Eden
For another unknown author, I was completely floored by the story Wicked Ways. Cynthia Eden had been from the first paragraph and she really didn’t let me go until the end. I’ll be honest, I did put the book/story down a couple of times, but only because I had to (stupid paint doesn’t apply itself). The story’s plot had all the elements for a full length novel and they were all exceptionally well written in this short novella. Both of the main characters were well developments and their interaction with each other was pure chemistry. We were given a plot that had danger and entanglements that kept us guessing at every page. I really have nothing bad to say about this story. The pacing was great, the characters were engaging, and the plot kept you interested; what more can a person expect out of a novella. I’m definitely going to be adding Eden to my TBR list and I am sorely tempted to hunt up one of her books tomorrow.

Overall, When He Was Bad was an awesome anthology featuring two authors who I should have heard about a long time ago. The book kept my attention all day and I can honestly say that it has driven my reading mood out the door. Where it took me days to get through the last novel, this one didn’t let me go until it was finished. If you’re looking for new authors and want to test out their material, then you really need to get your hands on this book because you’ll be searching for any Laurenston or Eden novels once you’re done.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. Hey Jackie ~

    Thanks – I’ve put this on my TBR list.

    Based on recent raves at http://www.goodreads.com, Shelly Laurenston is also on my TBR soon list. Apprec. the info that her story in this book is #4 in her series.

    Cynthia Eden is a new to me author name as well, but based on your review, might as well add her as well, *L*.


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