The Better Man
Series: Allen Brothers, #2
Author: Barbie Bohrman
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Meet Max Allen.
He’s ambitious, too smart for his own good, and very single.
Nicknamed “Max-A-Million” by society gossip types, he thinks he’s got it pretty damn good and he’s right…for the most part.
Meet Daphne Rodriguez.
She’s ambitious, too smart for her own good, and very single.
She works extra hard for everything she has and never complains about the crappy hand life has dealt her.
When Max is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, it comes with the condition that he must work with the one person he despises most…and wants the most: his sworn enemy, Daphne.
However, Max has no plans of giving Daphne the satisfaction of ever letting her know how he feels about her. Instead, he vows to make her life miserable at every turn.
Which works out perfectly, since Daphne has no intention of making it easy for Max either.
When all hell breaks loose and they’re on a collision course with disaster, these two stubborn people will have to overcome their mutual hatred of each other long enough to work together and get the job done.
For better or worse, they will have to rely on each other to save themselves…and the people they love most.
I originally met Max Allen back in the first book in the Allen Brothers series, The Best Man. I was intrigued by his character. He was a guy who thought he was the top of the food chain due to his money and his success. I wondered what it would take for Max to give up his attitude of importance and put someone else first. I found out in The Better Man.
I have to admit that I hated Max the pretty much the entire book. His sense entitlement and over the top confidence were off-putting. He was just too full of himself for my taste. I couldn’t stand how mean he was to others, especially Daphne. I was shocked she was actually into him. Max was supposed to be gorgeous, but his attitude would have killed things for me.
Not Daphne. Their spark was too strong. Luckily, so was her personality. Daphne was able to give back to Max what he dished out. She was also able to take the high road when he couldn’t. I loved that about her. I also loved Daphne’s sense of family. Her relationships with her brother, grandmother and even her friend Derek were shining moments in the story.
Toward the end, there were moments of greatness for Max. When he finally surrendered to his feelings for Daphne was one of them. He became sweeter than I imagined. There were also amazing moments with his family, especially his twin nieces. What he was willing to do for them brought out another side of him. I liked Max in those moments.
I can’t review The Better Man without mentioning the shocking surprise Barbie Borhman included. It gutted me and brought me to tears. I won’t say what happened, but I wasn’t expecting to be so shattered. It made me very anxious to get the next book in the series, and it made The Better Man a better, more complex story.
Despite my initial dislike of Max, The Better Man was a great read. It had the push and pull I have come to expect from a great enemies to lovers story. I would recommend it and the rest of the Allen Brothers series to contemporary romance readers.
For every person who didn’t like me, there were a lot more who adored me. That had to count for something, right?
“Of course, mate. Of course,” Oliver said. “Then you know what some of the male viewers have been saying, yes?”
I was blessed with the looks of a fucking Adonis, so yeah, men usually hated me anyway. I paid their bullshit complaints little to no attention at all. Let me put it this way, if I had a nickel for every single time some guy was jealous of me, I’d be rich.
Oh, wait! I am a rich. So, fuck them.
Shrugging my shoulders, I replied with ease, “A few haters never killed anyone.”
“Let’s see, shall we?” With another click or two on his keyboard, Oliver then announced, “Here’s one tweet that says, ‘Max Allen needs to get hit by a bus. #pleasebabyjesus.’”
“That’s not so bad,” I said through a chuckle. “I’ve heard a lot worse. Hell, I think my big brothers can come up with better ones.”
Oliver ignored me and kept right on reciting more tweets. “Here’s another one, ‘It looks like his face caught on fire and someone tried to put it out with a fork.’ And another, ‘I wish Max Allen’s mom would have swallowed instead.’”
He was starting to cackle like a hyena. “All right, I get it, boss. Men don’t—”
“Wait, wait,” Oliver managed to say between his laughing fit. “One more, ‘Max Allen has more dick in his personality than he does in his pants. #dickless.’”
“‘Max Allen looks like two pounds of shit in a one pound bag.’” Oliver was laughing so loudly he had to stop for a second to gain his composure. “Oh, and this one! This is my favorite, mate, ‘If Max Allen could suck his own dick, then he would finally suck at everything. #eatadick #buteatyoursbro #suckyourdick #maxsucksdick #dickdickdick.’”
Oliver was having the time of his life reading off these awful tweets about me, super loud, too. So loud that his assistant and the assistant to his assistant, or intern, or whatever the fuck they were to him, were cracking up. One of them yelled out, “Dude, you have to go to the Twitter feed right now!”
And then, like a wave of dominoes falling over, one by one, the rest of the office was reading the same tweets and laughing their butts off. Thank God I had thick skin, or I would take it personally.
“All right,” Oliver wheezed while he wiped the tears from his eyes. “Oh my God, those are priceless.”
“Yeah, right. Priceless.”