Pretty Reckless- L.J. Shen

About this book: LJSPrettyRecklessBookCover6x9_MEDIUM

From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.


They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.


Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

Release Date: 29th April, 2019.


What I think?

Warning: Major ass rimming ahead. You have been warned.

Gosh you guys! I think I might be slowly and steadily sliding headfast into the inescapable swamp of book slump!


Because surely there is something broken inside me, if this book is the second book in line, by my unicorn author, that I loved but just did not LOVE.


Yeah, that filthy stinky but is hanging around here.

Let me explain.

We all go to Leigh because she gives us—

  • Unrepentant alpha assholes (or Hotholes in this case)
  • Sassy, and so full of personality chicks
  • Brilliant writing

But the last couple books that I read, aka this and The Kiss Thief just haven’t done it for me. And with TKT I couldn’t point out why that was, so I just ended up not reviewing it, because if you can’t say something constructive, then don’t say anything and all that shit; but I think I did a good job figuring out why Shen hasn’t been working for me with this one.

Meet Daria Followhill.

Daria is our household bitch- she’s spoiled, bratty, vain and really is a villain in every sense.

If this was the last book in the series, then she would’ve probably killed someone, slept with a married professor, and eaten a baby before getting her redemption story. But this isn’t, and so she hasn’t. The only vastly villainous things she’s done is ruin her archenemy’s future as a ballet dancer by destroying her acceptance letter when she was 14, and her mother’s future as a famous dance teacher at a hot-shot place by pretending to be her mother on text and messaging her employment place just four years later.

Heh heh..?

But that doesn’t make her an irredeemable bad girl, does it?


Enter Penn Scully.

Penn is the resident bad boy, with the heart of gold. Although that might be the only gold he possessed (see. poor). And a savior’s complex, but that just might be me. Because while he hates Daria for ruining his sister’s future (see. archenemy), he is also “pulled” to her (see. I don’t know because I’m too fucking logical, but whatever the fuck that means), and wants to save her and protect and do all the shit that knight in shinning armors are supposed to do.


At this point when I realised how cynical I had gotten, this was literally the fan girl side of my brain to the logical side of the brain—

Because yours truly still hoped to LOVE this book.

Poor ole’ me.

You know something is wrong if you’re that torn. And the tear I believe, is the writing. My favorite books by Shen are Midnight Blue and Dirty Headlines, where the writing was crisp, clear and right to the point. In TKT and PR, I think in an attempt to make the plot more twisted and ‘surprise-y’, Leigh’s writing lost that magic. And that was the problem I had with Sparrow and Vicious too. Too much convoluted drama ruining the flow. She loses direction in an attempt to make the story just.. more.

And said more is not even necessary, because her story simply are more.

This is the classic problem I have with other authors of this particular genre/story line like Amo Jones, B.B. Reid, Ella Fields and other uber loved authors that I just can’t stand. Because ask me, and I’ll say their writing is exceedingly amateur and their stories are just juvenile attempts at writing.

Or let’s just say I’m not a fan. That works as well. Let’s not go name-calling.

And this is something I honestly never thought I’d ever say about Shen.


I’ll give you an example—

The resolution here was just a major cluster fuck. You want me to believe that every single selfish cruel bastardous teenager came up front with their secrets when Penn went to confront the semi-chief antagonist- Guss, and told everyone that his mom was a whore? For what? Huh? Have you seen teenagers? They don’t do shit like that. Especially not rich, spoiled idiots who think the whole world kneels for them! What they would do is kick Guss out with footprints on his ass, and spit at his shadow, and then do the same with Daria- because that is how they were portrayed throughout. As vipers. I don’t see them stepping out and saying that shit, just because they felt.. what?

Ugh. I hate when such unbelievable bull-crap happens. Whatever happened to making tough choices, even if it killed you while writing? I would’ve been happier if they actually threw Daria out of their society for having a burn book full of secrets, instead of her leaving/running away. And that’s just one example of not a well thought-out plan for the book.

And while we are on that subject, how much more cliched mean girl can you get? A BURN BOOK?


Ya’ know what? I did not get the ARC, which seriously bummed me, because I was so fucking ready for this book. But now I’m actually glad that I didn’t because I honestly would’ve been a party pooper and everyone hates them lol. Moi included.

One thing that I maybe did not say was that I really did enjoy this book- Jamie and Mel were a treat, and the chemistry between Penn and Daria was off the charts awesome, and individually both- Penn and Daria were extremely well developed characters. And I really am excited about Luna, Knight and Vaughn, because who wouldn’t be?


Okay, I think I actually might’ve said a lot. Don’t get me wrong, but it pisses me off when such talented authors just don’t put their talent to use and instead put out something every average Tom, Dick and Harry could’ve.

Or maybe I guess it wasn’t Leigh who ruined it for me, but me with my great expectations? Who knows.

You were never a drizzle, Penn Scully. When I fell for you, you came beating down, and I felt you everywhere. You were hail.

—Get this book—amazon-filled-50goodreads-letter-logo

About this author:

L.J. Shen is USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author of contemporary romance books. She lives in California with her husband, son and lazy cat.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading a good book with a glass of wine and catching up on her favorite HBO and Netflix shows.

Yeah, she’s a badass like that.



9 thoughts on “Pretty Reckless- L.J. Shen

  1. That sux girl, sorry it didn’t work for you! I love Shen too but I’m hesitant to buy this one because I’m just not big on the “high school” plot. I mean if it starts in high school and then progresses to adults that’s cool but this seems to be all about the teen drama and that doesn’t usually click with me. 😒😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dang. Sorry to hear this didn’t go as well as you’d hoped. I agree. Such a pet-peeve when talented authors don’t use their talents. Better luck with the next!!

    Liked by 1 person

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