REVIEW - Badger by C.M. McKenna

September 09, 2016


C.M. McKenna’s compelling voice has earned a devoted audience and multiple awards for her erotic fiction (as Cara McKenna.) Her page-turning literary debut, Badger, disturbs and titillates with the story of a recovering pill addict whose compulsive fascination with a Boston antihero spirals out of control.

Nearly twelve months sober, Adrian Birch feels like a nobody. But when her wrist is broken in a hit-and-run accident, she’s avenged by the Badger, a secretive street vigilante. Instantly obsessed, Adrian takes to staging suicide and constructing chance meetings to get his attention. Their resulting affair is harsh and needy, wrought with McKenna’s signature dark eroticism—until the connection gets out of hand and ignites the violent passions of the city.

Hailed for her “evocative,” “intense,” “deftly drawn,” and “engrossing” stories by reviewers at Publishers Weekly, USA Today, and Jezebel, McKenna now establishes herself as a rising star in neo-noir. Badger challenges the reader to imagine how an impulsive young man is killed, offering only the perspective of the fascinating and unreliable Adrian Birch. 

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"I'm a guy on a bike with impulse-control issues and a lot of warrants."

I want to thank my good friend Loyda for recommending this book to me. I am always on the lookout for books with unique storylines and characters. Badger really hit the spot! This book is about Adrian and Badger. Adrian is a recovering pill addict and is on the right track to fixing her life. She becomes kind of obsessed with the Badger, a secretive street vigilante, who avenges her after a hit-and-run accident. I was so intrigued by the Badger. I got as obsessed about him as Adrian. 

"I'm never going to be enough for somebody like you. And I don't mean that, like, I'm not good enough. I'm just not enough. I'll never care enough, or need you as much as maybe you might think you needed me."

After a couple of meetings they struck a very dysfunctional "relationship". They find something in each other that they haven't found in others. It was definitely not a very healthy friendship. Just like them I can't really label what they had together. However it was sometimes very beautiful and other times very heartbreaking. Especially after we get a better insight into the Badger's background. I wanted to hug him and never let go.

What I loved most about the Badger was that he was 100% honest and straight foward. He never lied or made any false promises. He had no filter so sometimes his words and actions really hurt. However he is different, he doesn't feel and act like other people. Something broke in him a long time ago that could never be fixed. I am tearing up just writing that sentence. Adrian gave his mind some type of peacefulness and calmed him down. But will they ever be enough for each other? You will have to read and see.

"I won't ever love you back, I'm not ever gonna make you happy."

This was a very emotional book, and it had me tearing up a couple of times. This story will stay with me for a very long time. Badger has crept his way into my dark heart. I am going to miss all the characters. There was no unecessary drama in this book. Everthing that happened made sense and fit the story perfectly. Do I wish I could change certain things? Yes, I do but at the end of the day it was perfect the way it was.

About Author:

Since she began writing in 2008, Cara McKenna has published nearly forty romances and erotic novels with a variety of publishers, sometimes under the pen names Meg Maguire and C.M. McKenna. Her stories have been acclaimed for their smart, modern voice and defiance of convention. She was a 2015 RITA Award finalist, a 2014 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award winner, a 2012 and 2011 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee, and a 2010 Golden Heart Award finalist. She lives with her husband and baby son in the Pacific Northwest, though she’ll always be a Boston girl at heart.

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