Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Date of publication: October 16th, 2018
Lucas Callahan gave up his law degree, fiancée and small-town future for a shot at making it in the Big Apple. He snags an entry-level job at Empire magazine, believing it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a famous writer. And then late one night in a downtown bar he meets a gorgeous brunette who takes him home…
Carmen Kelly wanted to be a hard-hitting journalist, only to find herself cast in the role of Empire’s sex columnist thanks to the boys’ club mentality of Manhattan magazines. Her latest piece is about an unfortunate—and unsatisfying—encounter with an awkward and nerdy guy, who was nice enough to look at but horribly inexperienced in bed.
Lucas only discovers that he’s slept with the infamous Carmen Kelly—that is, his own magazine’s sex columnist!—when he reads her printed take-down. Humiliated and furious, he pens a rebuttal and signs it, “Nice Guy.” Empire publishes it, and the pair of columns go viral. Readers demand more. So the magazine makes an arrangement: Each week, Carmen and Lucas will sleep together… and write dueling accounts of their sexual exploits.
It’s the most provocative sexual relationship any couple has had, but the columnist-lovers are soon engaging in more than a war of words: They become seduced by the city’s rich and powerful, tempted by fame, and more attracted to each other than they’re willing to admit. In the end, they will have to choose between ambition, love, and the consequences of total honesty.
So, the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the title of this book was the Alice Cooper song. I had this song running through my head the entire time I was reading the book. Too bad I didn’t like the book as much as I liked the song. Which was sad because I wanted to like this book.
I wanted to like Mr. Nice Guy. I thought the blurb was fantastic and described the book well. I was excited to read it. My excitement waned after the first chapter and was gone by the middle of the book. By the time I finished the book, I gave myself a mental high-five for getting through a book that was boring, unrelatable and unrealistic.
Mr. Nice Guy had a good plotline. Lucas is trying to make it big in NYC. Working as a fact checker in a popular magazine, he aspires to be a famous journalist one day. He needs his big break. One night, he picks up a gorgeous woman in a bar. Thinking it was an unremarkable one night stand, Lucas soon sees an article written by a sex columnist that describes their one night stand. Boring and inexperienced were the nicest thing that she wrote. That columnist is Carmen Kelly and she works at the same magazine as him. Lucas writes up a rebuttal signed Mr. Nice Guy and watches as it goes viral. Soon, Carmen and Lucas (who is still known as Mr. Nice Guy) are writing a dueling column. Once a week, they get together, have sex and then write about it. Nothing could go wrong, right?
When the book started off, I felt bad for Lucas. He was working his butt off checking facts but was getting nowhere. While enchanted with the City, he feels that he is getting nowhere. Then he meets and sleeps with Carmen. The article and his rebuttal launches his career into the stratosphere. Then I started seeing a side of Lucas that I didn’t like. He was selfish and self-centered. He gave little thought to his actions and how they would affect people. All he wanted to fame. And when he got it, he wasn’t sure what to do with it. Carmen tried to warn him but he didn’t listen to her. Towards the end of the book, my dislike turned to apathy. All his “good deeds” were done to ease his conscience. To be frank: Lucas was a huge jerk and I couldn’t stand him.
Not that Carmen was any better. She was bitter and it came across in her writing. She wanted to be so much more than a sex columnist and was frustrated that she wasn’t taken seriously. I thought her article slamming Lucas was awful. I did start to like her the more I read about her. She did care about Lucas, as much as she denied it the first few weeks they were doing the article. It was her interactions with Mira, her grandmother, that I saw a different side of her. A side that I liked. Towards the end of the book, I felt bad for her. She got the short end of the stick with what Lucas did. It cost her everything but she found her true calling.
I wouldn’t classify this book as a romance. To have a romance, you need chemistry. I saw none of that in this book. They had zero chemistry together. Zero. The lack of chemistry figured hugely in my review.
Going with the lack of chemistry, I thought the sex was bland and unoriginal. I also thought that them having sex for a magazine article was a mood killer for me. I like it when my characters spontaneous, unexpected sex. Not scheduled sex that was dissected in a magazine article. What also made me go “Eh” was that Lucas slept with two other women while sleeping with Carmen. One being a call girl and there was no mention of condoms being used. As soon as I realized this was happening while he was having sex with Carmen, all I could think of was “I hope he’s getting tested for STD’s” and “I hope Carmen is getting tested“. That wasn’t sexy or a turn on. It skeeved me out.
The secondary plotline with Lucas’s friend Nicolas was weird. I felt that it had no bearing on the story at all until the end. Nicholas was a rich friend who came in and out of Lucas’s life. Then, he started to figure more into it. Also, the same thing went for the storyline with Jays. Which tied into the storyline with Nicholas. It didn’t belong in the book and felt out-of-place.
The end of Mr. Nice Guy was meh. While I understood what happened, I was hoping, praying that there would be more. Instead, it was a lukewarm ending that halfheartedly wrapped up all the secondary storylines. While I understand not every book can have a happy ending, I was hoping for more of a resolution with Lucas and Carmen’s storyline.
What I liked about Mr. Nice Guy:
- The storyline. It has potential
- Carmen towards the end of the book
- That’s it
What I disliked about Mr. Nice Guy:
- Lucas. I didn’t like him
- Carmen the beginning of the book
- Lack of chemistry and sexual tension
I gave Mr. Nice Guy a 2-star rating. While I thought the storyline was interesting, I couldn’t get into the story. I didn’t like the main characters and couldn’t connect with them. I felt that there were zero chemistry and sexual attraction in the book. Also, Lucas having multiple sex partners at the same time didn’t do it for me. I was left feeling unfulfilled by the ending.
I would give Mr. Nice Guy an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is some mild violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I will not reread Mr. Nice Guy. I also will not recommend it to family and friends.
I would like to thank St. Martin’s Griffin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Mr. Nice Guy.
All opinions stated in this review of Mr. Nice Guy are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**