The Pretty Boy vs The Bad Boy (On The Track Book 1) by Nicole Dykes

Nicole Dykes new series opener The Pretty Boy Vs. The Bad Boy gives us a rivals to lovers in the world of high speed racing that features lots of steamy times, some mild angst, and an HEA that will have you swooning!

From the blurb:

I’m the good one, the pretty one.
The one who follows the rules and always takes the high road.
I’ve hidden my true self for so long, I barely know who I am anymore.
But I don’t know if I can do it much longer.
I love the race, but I’m tired of sacrificing my soul to do what I love.

I’m the rebel, the bad one.
I follow no rules on the track or anywhere else. I’m the obnoxious bad boy the fans secretly root for.
I don’t mind playing my role. I’m good at it, and it pays to be the dark to his light.
Until the good boy starts to get to me.
I’m confused and unsure of what I want when it was all so clear before.

They say good always wins, but is that truly the case?
In the race between the far too pretty good boy and the angry bad boy, who will actually win?
Only time will tell.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"Who knew in the race between the bad boy and the pretty boy, we'd both win and lose so damn hard at the same time."

A rivals to lovers sports romance by Nicole Dykes? SOLD! I really enjoyed this new series opener. Sebastian and Axel were both likeable MCs. Sebastian for his morals and bravery. For standing up for what he thought was right and wanting to live his life on his own terms. And then there's Axel. He broke my heart. He's confident in his persona. His skills on the track speak for themselves. However, he's also incredibly terrified of losing everything he's worked so hard to get and being outed as a gay racer is a threat to all he holds dear. As a foster kid, Axel grew up with nothing. Now that he's made something of himself, he swears he will never let himself go back to having nothing ever again. Even if it means losing the man he's somehow grown to love.

"We both really is the end of something that could have been so damn great. If I wasn't such a goddamn coward."

These two had a lot of hurdles against them. What started off as a convenient and discrete hookup over the years slowly changed into more. But just like their relationship changed, people also change too. They are both older, more set in their careers. Sebastian is finally ready to live his truth, while Axel is still firmly keeping a terrified choke hold on his closet door. In the end they both have to decide if the fallout is worth it. Since this is a romance we know the books going to end with an HEA. And it does. In epic Axel fashion and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

First in series (On the Track). Rivals to lovers. Dual POV. 

It’s all an act, Sebastian has to play the good guy to Axel’s bad boy anytime they are on the race track or in public. Behind closed doors Axel and Sebastian become lovers, and they keep each other’s secret, strictly hooking up, no feelings involved. Until there comes a time where Sebastian wants to live his life out and proud, but there is no way Axel is ready for that, so the clock begins ticking for the end of their arrangement. 

Both these characters experience a lot of growth during the story, Axel has a difficult past that he can’t and won’t let go of, and Sebastian’s feelings about coming out publicly are compelling and heartfelt. 

Plenty of steam, and eventually some honest communication between them, allows for feelings to build. 

Both Axel and Sebastian respect each other's choices, and eventually get their swoony HEA. Looking forward to more as this is the first in the series and there are some seriously supportive secondary characters that deserve their own HEA’s.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

After a dearth of racing stories, we've been graced with several lately, but Nicole Dykes take the race car angel/devil story to a whole new level!  We learn a lot about the characters and they learn a lot about themselves and each other . I absolutely loved the angst around coming out, the clandestine nature of Sebastian and Axel's relationship, and the general mood of the book! 

Speaking of mood, Jenny is a kick-ass side character and I love that Axel's manager is married to a reporter!  I can't wait to see where this series goes next!

Rating: 5 Stars

Tatted_book_freak's Review:

As usual, Nicole delivers a sweet yet touching coming-out story, normalizing this sensitive topic matter.  As always, I love how she uses her platform to join together a fantastic community, giving them their time to shine. 

𝘖𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘥𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘴, 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘰𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬.

Axel and Sebastian shocked me even more this time with how their love affair began.  Especially with how the author paints their animosity, right up to Axel’s proposition. And did that initial scene set ablaze to the pages, never fizzling out until the very last word. I loved the execution of their relationship, how they slowly developed feelings throughout the years and coming to terms with their sexuality in the public eye.  

𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘦. 𝘛𝘸𝘰 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘯𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘪𝘵.

Nicole has a way of displaying honest communication between her characters. Learning their backstory, where they came from, added to the story’s depth. Sebastian’s struggles of being accepted with his true identity and for Axel to finally prove his worth with his upbringing, touched me, allowing me to feel their pain. Cannot wait to see what Nicole does with this series, though I already know it’s going to be great! 

Rating: 4 Stars

The Pretty Boy vs The Bad Boy is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, hardback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.