Review: The Bully by Willa Nash (Calamity, Montana #4)
Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.
Willa Nash is back with the fourth novel--and fifth overall release--in her small-town romance series, Calamity, Montana. The Bully is an enemies-to-lovers romance with a wee bit to a twist to it. This isn't your typical "bully romance" either. Instead, the bullying took place back when the main characters were in high school. That doesn't mean, however, that Nellie Rivera has forgiven nor forgotten how Cal Stark treated her when they were teenagers. Unfortunately, Nellie's boss happens to be Cal's best friend, so their paths still cross, but as long as their encounters are (VERY) few and (REALLY) far between, she's good. Then she learns that Cal's decided to move to Calamity now that he's retired from playing professional football at the rather young age of thirty-three. The small town is going to feel even smaller once he's around, and Calamity simply isn't big enough for Nellie and her nemesis. So, what's a girl to do? Ensure that he becomes disenchanted and heads for whatever. She just wants him gone, the sooner, the better. But Cal has zero intention of giving Nellie what she wants...unless it's to be together.
The tension! Gah! Nellie and Cal have known each other for almost two decades, and these two have a heck of a lot of history. I liked having those glimpses into the past by way of one of Nellie's journals because not only does it provide a lot of information, but we also get Cal's take on it and have a better understanding of how a promising friendship devolved into one girl hating a boy she now considers her greatest--worst?--nemesis. I was so darn fascinated by both Nellie and Cal, and yes, they oftentimes frustrated the heck out of me because they were the poster children for all things stubbornness. But their perceived and actual sins were deeply rooted in the each other's memories, so even though it was clear that there was something else going on between them--and by "something else," I totally mean insane chemistry--it's way easier to hold on to everything we've already come to believe than realize that not everything is what it seemed then and now. These main characters and theri story are among the most unforgettable in all of the books I've read by this author, and that's saying something. I'm giving The Bully five stars, and I'm eager for a return visit to Calamity soon!
Read my reviews for the Calamity, Montana series:
The Bribe (book one) - five stars - My Review
The Bluff (book two) - five stars - My Review
The Booty (novella) - five stars - My Review
The Brazen (book three) - five stars - My Review
The Bully (book four) - five stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 08 March 2022
Date Read: 27 February 2022
Learn more about Willa Nash.
Pre-order The Bully on Amazon.