Better When He’s Bad Audiobook by Jay Crownover (review)

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Reviews | 39 comments

Review of: Better When He's Bad Audiobook
Jay Crownover

Reviewed by:
On June 25, 2014
Last modified:November 10, 2015


Better When He’s Bad Audiobook

By: Jay Crownover

Narrated by: Mia Barron & Leland King

Published by: Harper Audio 06/17/2014

Better When He's Bad Audiobook Cover


4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Welcome to the Point Series # 1

10 hrs and 32 mins

Romantic Suspense (NA) logo

Better When He’s Bad Audiobook Sample

My thoughts

My indulgence on Romantic suspense continues, this time with my first experience with Author Jay Crownover and her new title, Better When He’s Bad.

My decision to buy this Audiobook was pure cover lust – I pre-order this bad boy the first day I saw it offered at audible.

The story begins with Shanon Baxter’s  first day of freedom after having spent 5 years behind bars. As we all know, prison is not a place for rehabilitation, so the bad 18 year-old that went to prison is now a 23 year-old criminal that has no desire to fly straight and narrow path, but honestly, how can he? Bax was born in raised in the wrong-side of the tracks and doesn’t know any other way of life, never mind that he’s very comfortable and unapologetic about his ways.

Then we have Dovie Pryce, also born in the same conditions as Bax, but unlike Bax she is determined to make something of herself.

How these two individuals with a completely different outlook on life get together provides the romantic aspect of the story; seeing their reluctance to accept their attraction to one another makes the sentimental and sexy aspects of the story entertaining and enjoyable. And sexy it is! I get a little confused with the NA rating.

I really liked the main characters, Bax in all his badness is immensely loyal to those close to him. Dovie is a strong and determined girl and a very likable heroine. They complement each-other very well.

Bax’s best friend disappearance and the chase to find out what happened fills the plot with action, suspense and twist and turns that make this story more than just a romance novel.

What I enjoy the most is how easily the author brought me into her story. I really felt the authenticity and genuineness of her characters and their world.

So, if you like to take a ride to the wrong side of town with a tattooed bad boy, and like to find out if he’s better when he’s bad, I suggest an audio trip to the Point.

Jay Crownover

Jay Crownover

Being native Coloradan is a source of pride if you ask Jay. She loves all the things her home has to offer, and that is why she set her books in this familiar place. Writing about what she knows is why her stories feature plenty of rock and roll and body modification.

Jay has been a bartender since she was in college, spending over forty hours a week watching interactions between men and women. This 9 to 5 job offered great insights into relationships – how they start and how they evolve in a social setting.

This cutting-edge author likes to write New Adult novels because she remembers being in her early twenties and thinking she had it all figured out, only to be proven wrong time and time again. When she looks back, she see’s that those years defined who she is today, and, good or bad, those decisions ultimately set her current path.


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Mia Barron Narrator

Narrator Mia Barron


Mia Barron is an actress, known for Righteous Kill (2008), The Venture Bros. (2003) and Dumped! (2005).




Leland King – I couldn’t find any images or anything about him, but I will keep looking. He’s performance was Awesome!

Better When He’s Bad Audiobook Narration


Two points of view, two narrators.

This is my first experience with narrator Leland King, and wow! I really truly enjoyed his interpretation of Shane Baxter (Bax). I can’t say enough about how good his reading is.
From the moment he started the first chapter I was hooked. He brings Bax’s character to life with a true understanding of his personality.

His timing and pace are excellent, and his approach seals the deal with the authenticity of the novel. With the roughness the text demands he nicely brings you into the story by inspiring the right feelings.

He’s female voices were OK, I wasn’t distracted at all by them.

I’m looking forward to enjoying more of his work. I’m guessing he’s narrating this Audiobook under a pseudonymous, I can’t imagine this book being his first and only narration.

Dovie’s point of view is performed by narrator Mia Barron, and she does a pretty good job. I liked her interpretations, and again, just as Leland, she does a really good job with the mood of the novel.
Her voice is pleasant and easy to listen to, and she does OK with the male voices.

All in all, these 2 narrators do a good job at letting you experience the wrong side of the tracks.
Kudos to Leland King!


Reviewed by:


Loupe Duffy Lupdilup

  • 4
    editor rating
Loupe Duffy
A mom, a wife, a friend, a happy ending addict, an Audiobook junkie, a wine lover and geek wanna -be. I'm constantly looking to be blown away.
Loupe Duffy

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  1. I have yet to try a book with two narrators. This looks like one I could try though. You know me, I don’t do many books outside of a PNR or UF genre, but I love the suspense aspect. I think my TBR list growing more. 🙂

    • I love the male narrator in this one. He truly enhanced my enjoyment of the story. I’m looking forward to listen to her other books. I know all about the TBR..LOL

  2. You know I loveromantic suspense. How is the angst level? I cant read one just yet but I have this, checking if this will make me wanttojump off a bridge. LOL

    • This had a very adult feel to me, that’s why I was surprised by the NA rating…That genre has me all confused…LOL And maybe it’s because they had to grow up fast taking in consideration where they come from. Of course as a couple they have to overcome some hurdles, but I didn’t find their story angsty or immature.

  3. Oh yes I can totally get the cover lust. lol I’m so glad to see it was good! I’d been thinking about trying her books but hadn’t worked up to buying yet. Looks like that’s gonna change real quick 🙂

    • Hahah Anna! I know you know all about covert lust..lOL This was my first experience with the author, but it won’t be my last. I just heard that her other series is really good too, so I’m thinking of picking those up too.

  4. Honestly, I think most of all NA’s are really just adult books. Or they should be by how explicit some of them are…

    I like Jay’s Marked Men series so I bought this audio last week. I loved Leland! His voice was sexy! I’m sure he has more books too under another name too. In fact, Jay’s other audiobook, Rule, the guy that narrates that sounds like this Leland guy. I kept wondering if it was the same guy…

    Mia was good but I couldn’t help but thinking she had a ‘paranormal’ voice, not contemporary. That probably makes no sense but I just kept thinking a voice like her’s would be a better fit for UF or paranormal, like the Chicagoland books or something.

    As far as Jay’s books, this isn’t my favorite although I did like it. You should check out her first book, Rule. I love that one and the audio is really good too. I just re-listened to it last week.

    Great review!

    • I didn’t mind Mia interpretation, but I didn’t love it as much as did Leland, not even close. I’d would have been OK with him narrating the whole book..LOL
      I’m on a mission to find out he’s real name..LOL He only has this book under that name.
      I added The Marked Man series to my wish list, I figured that if you feel like listening a book more than once it must be awesome!
      Thank you Nereyda 🙂

  5. Great review! I’ve toyed with whether or not to get this one and I’m one who likes dual narrators. I think I’m going to add this one.

    • Thank you Jonetta 🙂 He was great! She was OK, but she manages to pull it off and doesn’t bring down his performance. I ended up just enjoying the story. I f you do get it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

  6. Oh Wow aren’t they all better when they’re bad 🙂
    thanks for the great review

  7. Sounds like a good listen! I had a hard time w/ a male narrated audiobook in the past, shouldn’t let that cloud my audio choices though! 🙂

    • Please don’t say Jim Frangione (narrator of the BDB)…LOL He’s one of my favorites, but is definitely and acquired taste..LOL a lot of my audio peeps don’t like him…Me? I love him..LOl
      This was my first listen by this narrator (male) and I really digged his performance. He really brings the feeling of the story to life.

      • lol! It was a BDB book, so I’m guessing it was him 😛 I started laughing every time he cussed.

        • I KNEW IT!!!LOL.. I love him, but it did take me the second book to fall in love with his narration, now I won’t have it any other way, I never read the books tho.

          • Maybe that’s part of the reason I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should. I’ve read all the books up until Qhay’s book then got that one on audio 🙂

  8. Yes! that cover is pure cover lust girl #yummy. I love the fact that this has two narrarators and I love how she was able to draw you into her, win and a big win for that cover 😉

    • Yes, I’m so glad they are doing that more and more. And they did a good job with the story, I love reading/listening to stories from peeps from the other side of town. I call them blue collar I found them refreshing after having so much luxury and well to do characters typical of a lot contemporary romances. Nothing wrong changing the Armani suit for and Orange one …Once in a while…LOL

  9. LOL I think I just need to know we have a tattooed bad boy. Who doesn’t want to learn more with that? I didn’t know the book I confess, so thanks to you for introducing it to me.

    • LOL Melliane…it’s time to put down the Armani suit and pick up and orange suite 😉

  10. How awesome is it when a book cover actually lives up to our expectations? I’ve already got this on my wishlist. I have a couple of the books from the Marked Men series, but I haven’t actually read anything by Crownover yet . . . Maybe another beach read for next week 😉 Great review!

    • I really hope you enjoy this one. I know you’re mostly a reader, and I can’t give my opinion as a reader, I don’t know how much of my enjoyment of the story came from the narrators (especially the male narrator), but enjoyed I did 🙂 I hope is just as good as a read.

  11. Love that fact that this book lived up your expectations! That really makes ME want to read it although i must confess you had me adding this to my TBR after you said this book features a tattoed bad boy 😉 *sigh*

    • LOL…I saw one and the cover and I got it…LOL I really was and enjoyable listen. I hope you enjoy it too. 🙂

  12. I love romantic suspense, and love that this is NA and not a straight up contemporary. Adding to my list!

    • That rating has me all confused, did have a more adult feeling to me, but it wasn’t graphic or anything like that, but it was sexy 😉 Good on audio Kimba 🙂

  13. Love that yummy cover! You know I like me a reformed bad boy so I’ll have to give the sample a try. Everything these days is marketed as NA for some reason…it’s annoying! Great review Loupe.

    • Thank you 🙂 I know what you mean about NA. Clipped Wings is rated NA and is pretty adult to me, as is this one, so I don’t know the difference. Maybe the characters have to be in their twenties? I’m guessing.

      • That’s the general rule for NA. I personally think it’s a marketing gimmick…haha I’ve read a ton of books with characters in this age group before and they were just labeled romance, before the whole NA genre came along 😉

  14. I think I’ve only read one book of the author, but that is note mature YA. It’s been awhile but I remember enjoying it. I’m glad that main characters are likable since this seem like a character driven book and it’s been awhile since I read romantic suspense, I might just give this book (and the audio version) a try. Awesome review! 🙂

    • Is rated NA, but honestly I found a little in the adult side. If you’re more incline to read YA then this might not be for you. I need to see your books and I’ll have a better idea of your taste. In the case that you do read NA (mature) than I think you’ll enjoy this one. Great narration with a good story to match.

  15. Wow Loupe… I was thinking I needed to read this one, but now I know I have to!! Sounds awesome! And I think I need to listen to a book sometime, having two narrators sounds like a good idea!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    • This was my first experience with the author, but you can bet I’m going to listen to her other series too. I love stories like this one. I hope you enjoy it too…I love the narration, especially the male narrator 🙂

  16. I’ve seen book praised a lot on GR lately. As every woman, I have weakness for tattooed bad boys and it’s already on my tbr-list. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hehe… You too ah? It was a good introduction to JaY Crownover. I really enjoy her style and the genuineness of her witting. I think the audio made it a better experience for me. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  17. Yes, please! I will take that ride. 😉 Seriously, this sounds goooood!

    • You crack me up! LOL…Somehow I knew this was a ride you’d want to take 😉

  18. AWWW!LOL…You’re not alone, I knew I was in trouble when I saw, my then 8 year-old daughter, drawing fangs on all the people’s characters..LOL
    You know, I got to meet her at RT, in fact I got my picture taken with her. I had no Idea who she’ was or what genre she wrote, but I liked her, and I thought I’d like her books…I was right. I really enjoyed this one, even tho I hear is not her best work, so I’m really looking forward to listening to her other series 🙂
    BTW, sorry for the late reply, I didn’t know you had commented and thank you for that.
    I really like the audio, actually, I really liked the male narrator 😉

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