BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 29, 2017

Bea Reviews Bad For Her by Christi Barth

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Bad For Her, Christi Barth
Series: Bad Boys Gone Good #1
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 31st, 2017 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Doctor Mollie Vickers loves the tight-knit community of her tiny Oregon town. But she’s not a fan of the limited dating options. Sleep with a guy who tried to copy off her in junior high? Pass. Mollie’s sex life is flatlining… until a deliciously handsome man she’s never seen before stops to help her fix a flat tire.

As an ex-mobster, Rafe Maguire’s no saint. But he’s trying to turn over a new leaf. Although he probably shouldn’t kiss the hot doctor on the side of the highway. Or suggest a no-strings fling with a woman he has no business pursuing. Rafe’s life is too complicated for love—his new WITSEC-provided identity doesn’t fit him at all and there’s a U.S. Marshal watching his every move. He can’t tell Mollie the truth… but their chemistry is scorching and being good doesn’t mean he can’t be a little bad.

Mollie can’t resist the guy who looks rough, talks tough, and is loyal to the bone. But it’s obvious Rafe is keeping secrets. When the truth comes out, Mollie must decide if she could ever love an ex-mobster… or if this bad boy has truly gone good.

My Thoughts:

I've read and enjoyed several of Ms Barth's books and was excited to hear about her new series. But, I had concerns when I heard the hero was former Mafia. So many romances these days glamorize the Mafia and, too, I'm not a fan of hard core criminals as the hero (there are exceptions, but in general, no). But the blurb does say he's an ex-mobster, trying to change, and a romance blogger whose reviews I enjoy had good things to say about it, so I decided 'what the heck, give it a shot'.

Barth didn't glamorize the Mafia but she did downplay it. I very much doubt that someone like Rafe would last long in a real Mafia. He was...Mafia-lite. Which was odd. I was happy that he wasn't a hardcore criminal but I had a hard time buying him as a Mafia enforcer. That part of the story, the whole set-up for the trilogy, was weak. Without going into too much details, and accidental spoilers, the whole premise and all the details were, well, unbelievable. Granted, all I know of the mafia and the Witness Protection Program comes from entertainment - books, TV, and movies - but it just didn't ring true or believable.

What did work were the dynamics between the brothers and the romance between Rafe and Mollie. The brothers have their problems and they don't always get along but their bonds are strong, if a little rocky currently. Their lives have completely changed and they had little say in the matter, which has caused some problems between them. They tease each other, they fight, they grumble, but they stick together and have each other's backs. 

Rafe and Mollie were sweet together. Both of them are in search of second chances, while giving others second chances. They've each seen challenging times and had unconventional families. They start their relationship not as a relationship but as a fling. They're both just looking for a good time. Events escalate quickly, moving their fling into a relationship at the same time that their are complications with the brothers' witness protection. The result was an HEA for Rafe and Mollie but an ending to the story that was just too pat and easy and not very believable.

It may sound like I didn't enjoy the story but I did. I have reservations about some things, and the emotional payoff was weakened by how easily Mollie accepted certain things, but I liked all of the characters and their relationships. I liked how real certain parts of the story felt; yes, the story did have very believable elements, despite my complaints. Barth infused the story with humor and with a quirkiness that wasn't over the top. I loved the interactions between Rafe and his brother, between Mollie, her cousin, and their grandmother. The relationships and the humor kept me reading and have me wanting to read the next book. I'll be looking for book two, "Never Been Good".

Some favorite quotes ~

But no kiss. Mollie's eyes popped back open. Yep, Rafe was right there, face shrouded in darkness, all hard planes and shadows. Aka soooo darn tingle-inducing. "Did you get lost on the way to my lips?" "Sometimes it's about the journey, not the destination."

But emotional hang-ups didn't have to be logical. They just were.

What was that? It sure hadn't been just fling sex. It started out that way. But then it morphed into what had to be called real relationship sex. Bordering on making love. Omigod.

"Should I be helping?" "Hell, no." But it made her as cute a could be for offering. So far she'd shown him sass, strength, stubbornness, and now a sweet side. Along with sexy when she'd given him that unintentional boob shot. Yeah, the doctor was the whole package. The only thing missing - by a mile - was street smarts.

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