Bad Dad by Sloane Howell

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My son is my life. Nothing on earth matters but him.

Soon, I’ll have to send him out into society. The cruel machine that gnashes innocence and spits out the hollowed remains of a child’s imagination. It’s a place I know all too well, considering my past. I’ve worked hard to separate myself from it, but it looms in the back of my mind—waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

My son, Logan, wants to have birthday parties, make friends, play at the park—all the normal things that seven-year olds want to do. All the things I want to do with him.

I’ve put up walls around our life to shield us from danger. Giant barriers to ward off possible threats.

Cora Chapman crashes through them like a wrecking ball. She’s intelligent and hilarious with soft curves and a spark that ignites a flame deep inside of me.

There’s only one problem—she’s Logan’s teacher.

When my past wraps its tentacles around my throat and threatens to strangle the breath from my lungs, I’m given an option—fight for my family’s freedom, or die as they’re stripped away from me.

I can’t lose. I won’t lose.

My name is Landon Lane and I am a warrior.

Pet & K3’s $0.02

Pet: I have to be honest, when I started this I thought it was too close to the movies Soldier or Hitman, and I had so many questions, but by the end Sloane had won me over.

K3: Yes, it did remind me of the movie, I kinda thought it was going to go in the direction of Terminator. For me, I felt the beginning was a bit slow and yes, I felt like my questions were never going to get answered.

Pet: Sloan writes men really well. I loved Landon, Joe and Gus.

K3: OMG, Joe! He was my favorite. I loved his stiffness and his answers. He cracked me up. Landon was so sweet, I mean, considering his upbringing, he won my heart with his fierce love for his son and those he cares for. Logan, oh that kid totally won me over. He is such a sweetheart.

Pet: I was not a huge fan of Cora, but I really liked Janet. Which really isn’t a surprise because while she’s not masculine in any way in the story she does have a lot of characteristics that could be described as male.

K3: Cora, for me she was lacking in strength and her issues with her parents? I needed more of a backstory for that. I liked her but I LOVED Janet she is like your most favorite Grandma in the world. Cora was too wishy washy for me and immature.  

Pet: Like I said, I was not a big fan of Cora and her mother was even worse. Cora ended up annoying me more than anything else. She was emotionally all over the board and a lot of the time her responses to conflict didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t understand the hostility between her and her mom or why her military father didn’t reign her mom in when she was going off the rails. That woman was a total cunt.

K3: You hit the nail on the head with that. Cora’s mom was a giant twinkledickcuntface.

Pet: Landon was a mystery. He did so many things like sitting in front of Logan’s door every night and living off the grid that just didn’t make sense at first. I’m glad I stuck with the book because I did like the how’s and why’s you learn later.

K3: He was a mystery and just when you think you get his history something fucking interrupts him. Talk about delayed gratification!

Pet: I thought he was a lot more tolerant of Cora’s shit than he should have been. He was a man going against everything he knew he should do to keep his son safe for her and she just didn’t appreciate it.

K3: Right? He should have gone hulk on her ass or at least had Janet do it. He was very patient with her when he shouldn’t have been.

Pet: Usually insta-love stories don’t do it for me. I understand insta-lust, but insta-love not so much. BUT, I’m kind of okay with it here because Landon was kept emotionally isolated for years… when he fell, he fell hard. I can even kind of understand insta-love on Cora’s part, though not to the same extent. Her parents are completely emotionally unavailable and she was just starved for a little bit of love, though I assume she did interact with people in college, but okay…she could have fallen just as hard.

K3: I am alright with the whole insta-love thing because sometimes the best angst comes from those situations. Insta-lust happens everyday but insta-love? Not so much. Yes, Landon loved hard and fast and HARD being the operative word. I enjoyed his journey to understand emotions. Cora, I didn’t get. For her to feel the insta-lust for Landon, I get. She was a character I had a really hard time connecting with.

Pet: And, I’m just going to say it… my absolute favorite character of Bad Dad was Joe. I fucking loved Joe. I don’t think he was supposed to outshine Landon, but he made this story for me. His flat delivery of movie lines and his flat-out unemotional delivery that Landon was going to lose was really funny. However, I’m a little pissed off at Mr. Sloane for playing with my emotions… he knows what he did and I’m not going to go into it here.

K3: Joe is my FAVORITE! I adored Landon but Joe stole the show for me. I hope he gets his story, can you imagine him with a lady friend? “I’ll be back” and a  “Me Tarzan, you Jane”. Can you imagine. Joe is a great friend and has a huge heart underneath all that muscle and stiffness. I completely agree with you on that Pet.

Pet: My Decision… I liked the story more than I thought I would. I was so lost at first and I had so many questions. And frankly, I was surprised that Sloane was able to change my opinion, because the similarities to some of my favorite movies made me feel like it was a rehash of a story I already knew. Then I realized that wasn’t really a fair judgment to make since a ton of the stories we watch, read, or listen to follow the same frameworks. But he did it! He answered the questions, he explained the why’s and he gave me the background I needed to make this story work for me. And that is the mark of a good storyteller.

K3: I enjoyed this book. It was very entertaining for me. I enjoyed a majority of the characters. Like you, I was also lost at first and had so many questions that seemed like they weren’t going to be answered. A little slow to start with but then it picks up the pace and at the end has you hanging at the edge of your seat. I am a new reader to Sloane’s work and I have to say, I am excited to read more of his books.