Book review: Based by B.B. Hamel

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When Aubrie comes home from college for the summer, she doesn’t expect to find her sexy, famous stepbrother, Lincoln, drenched in sweat as he films a documentary in their living room.  Involved in a tragic accident that left his legs shattered, Lincoln’s road to recovery is major news.  And as much as Lincoln wants his beautiful stepsister, both of them know that nothing can happen, especially with all of those cameras around.

So, here’s the thing: I read BB Hamel when I’m in a book slump.  I read her books when I’m tired and don’t want to think.  I read her books when I want to know exactly what I’m getting into.  And what you’re getting into when you read one of her books is some very hot sexytimes and a very basic plot.  Her books are fun, readable, and quick.  I don’t review her books the same way that I might review a book with heavy subject matter.  Her books are meant to be taken lightly.

That said, I was pretty disappointed with this one.  By this point, I’ve come to the realization that her books are basically all the same story with slightly different characters and slightly different locales.  I’m okay with it.  But for some reason, this book felt really underdeveloped and just didn’t do it for me.

I was thrown off from the beginning by the names of the characters. I know, I know, it’s such a petty and shallow thing to be upset about. But the heroine is Aubrie, and my cat is Aubrey, so I kept feeling like I was reading about my cat.  And the hero is Lincoln.  That’s a nice name.  It’s a sexy name.  For some god awful reason, he goes by “Based.”  Why is his nickname past tense? It doesn’t make any sense.  He’s a BASE jumper, I get it, but then go by Base!  Based is just such a stupid nickname. I couldn’t stand it.  And yes, I fully acknowledge that this is a stupid complaint.

Aside from their names, I could really take or leave these characters. There was nothing particularly special or unique about them. It’s been a few weeks since I finished this book, and they’ve already blended in with the dozens of other romance characters I’ve recently met. I can’t remember any really identifying characteristics other than I think Lincoln played the piano and both of them are supposedly really hot.

Both characters were actually pretty stupid, although I guess Aubrie is supposed to be brilliant or something.  But, I mean, come on. If you’re going to be having sex in your parents’ house while someone’s filming a documentary, you could at least lock the door!  I kept expecting that someone would walk in on them or find out or that something dramatic would happen, but nothing really happened in the entire book. Aside from sex. Which happened a lot.

And as always, the sex scenes are hot.  I would honestly expect nothing less from BB.  If there’s one thing she’s good at, it’s writing a hot sex scene, and somehow she’s always able to make each scene unique.  Even though there might be like six or ten or fifteen graphic scenes in this book (I don’t even know, I didn’t count) it’s not like she just copied and pasted.

I appreciated that BB didn’t fall into her usual stepbrother plotline of the heroine being kidnapped or tortured or nearly killed as she waits for the hero to save her.  That’s happened in several of her books so far, and I’m glad that she was able to do something a little different here, even though “a little different” ended up meaning “pretty boring.”

In the end, I didn’t really have any faith that these two would stay together. Their “connection” is really more just mutual attraction and horniness. I don’t think they really got along that well when they weren’t having sex, so it seemed like more of a “happy for now” than a “happily ever after.”

I had originally given this book three stars, but now that I’ve really sorted out my thoughts, I think that I have to take it down.  It’s just not fair to those three-star books that I enjoyed much more than this.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

A note: I actually feel terrible saying this since I am very much pro-buying books, but after seeing a lot of comments on Goodreads from people who have been disappointed, I feel like I have to put this out there. If you just watch BB’s titles, they’re often free. If you have a Bookbub account, follow her. If you have Kindle Unlimited, most (if not all) of her books are free. If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited but have a Prime membership, most (if not all) of her books are available as your one free book per month.  This is an author that is not for everyone, and while some of her books are really good, some aren’t.  I personally don’t mind so much because I know what I’m getting into, but if this is your first time, I would definitely suggest that you try before you buy.