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

Monday, April 9, 2018

Review & Excerpt: Never Been Good by Christi Barth

Never Been Good, Christi Barth, Bea's Book Nook, Review, Excerpt
Series: Bad Boys Gone Good #2
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: April 3rd, 2018 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository*  | iBooks* |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Flynn Maguire isn’t really a bad guy. Sure, he worked for the mob, but he ran a legitimate business—on paper anyway—and it paid enough to keep his brother out of the lifestyle. Until they turned on him. Now he’s stuck in Witness Protection, tending bar in Nowheresville Oregon… and pissed the life he knew is gone. The only bright spot? Fantasizing about his quiet, secretive, beautiful coworker.

Sierra Williams is a woman on the run. All she wants now is to settle into small town life… and ignore the brooding, sexy bartender who can’t seem to take his eyes off her. Flynn’s bad-boy vibe pushes all her buttons, but Sierra fell for the wrong man once already. She can’t afford to let her guard down again. Except Flynn’s tough exterior is slowly melting away to reveal the sweet man beneath and their attraction is too strong to resist.

Sierra and Flynn are falling fast, but they’re both keeping so many secrets. The truth could ruin everything… unless a girl who’s a little bad is perfect for a guy who’s never really been good.

My Thoughts:

I do love a series or trilogy centered around family. When I saw this one also involved the Mafia, I had doubts but ended up trying the first book and enjoying it more than I anticipated. I was looking to forward to this one, the second book, and it didn't disappoint. "Never Been Good" was full of laughter, romance, witty banter, some drama, and secrets. I laughed, I fussed, I squawked at Flynn, and I hoped that Flynn and Sierra could work things out.

Flynn, the middle brother, was peripherally involved with the Mafia. His oldest brother, Rafe, was more heavily involved and the youngest brother, Kellan, wasn't involved at all. Flynn has been pouting since the brothers joined Witness Protection. Finding out he was expendable to his boss as well as finding out some family and Mafia secrets wrecked his confidence and his concept of himself. He resents the changes to their lives and gives his brothers a hard time.

Flynn Maguire hated a lot of things...Starting with his brother, Rafe, who had the dumber than dirt idea to throw them all into Witness Protection. He also hated his new life.

While Flynn hates his new life and the small town he now lives in, he tolerates his job as a bartender, and he is madly attracted to the pretty waitress at the bar where he works. When she injures her foot, he finds himself taking care of her, by his choice, and enjoying it.

That was the kicker. After spending years doing what people told him he had to, Flynn now did only the bare minimum. Sure, he could just hand her the brush. But this helping Sierra, was a compulsion, he couldn't resist.

Sierra has secrets of her own and is hesitant at first to let Flynn in, to get close. But as Flynn cares for her and they work on some community projects together, they become close. Becoming lovers is relatively easy compared to the secrets in their pasts. Oh, but I can't forget Sierra's house. The house is...teeny tiny. It's itty bitty. It had me in stitches and literally breathless while reading the love scenes, or should I say, attempted love scenes?

"Here? I thought I'd head up to bed, actually." After tossing him a teasing smile, she moved up two more steps.
A hamster could've caught up with her in a house this small. Flynn didn't even bother to lunge. He just leaned out a little and grabbed for her shorts as he made it onto the first step. Except that motion connected his shoulder with a shelf, and his head with the one above it. A picture fame tumbled off and onto the couch. A plant clocked him right above the eyebrow.
Flynn threw out the opposite arm to catch himself...just in time to remember the stupidly steep staircase didn't have a bannister.
"For being so tiny, this house is one giant cock block," he grumbled..."No. No way. This isn't going to work."
"You mean because of what I told you tonight?"
"I mean because your house wouldn't even fit a hobbit."...They'd make this work here, tonight, if he had to stand on leg in the shower to make it happen...This entire house was one giant chastity belt. 

Barth kept me wondering how Sierra and Flynn would deal with each other's secrets and how they could have a long-term relationship. I enjoyed seeing their romance blossom, seeing Flynn change and grow, and seeing the relationship between the brothers continue to evolve and become stronger. I can hardly wait for Kellan's story. That relationship will be a real challenge!

My review of book 1, Bad for Her

Sticky and wet. If he didn’t know better, he’d swear that the woman was trying to get a rise out of him. But Flynn did know better. Because while Sierra was just about the only person he felt comfortable talking to, she sure as hell didn’t flirt with him. Not ever. Only made bearable by the fact that she didn’t flirt with anyone else, either.

“I’m going to pick you up,” he announced. “Once you’re vertical, put all your weight on me. Then I’ll brush off the glass.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that.” Sierra spoke so quickly all the words merged together into one.

What the hell? Why did she sound . . . scared at the idea of him holding her?

Flynn put an arm beneath her knees and worked the other behind her neck and down her back. Glass nicked the back of his hand.

It didn’t matter.

Because he was finally touching her. He might as well have been lifting a dandelion, she weighed so little. Even though he consciously held her away from his body because of the glass, Flynn noticed everything. The firm calf muscle against the back of his hand. The heat of her back through the sticky shirt. The way it pulled taut against her small breasts.

He watched to be sure she kept one foot off the floor, and then stood her up. Flynn grabbed the bar rag from where he’d stuffed it into his waistband and wrapped it around his hand for protection. Sierra white-knuckled his left arm.

Slowly, carefully, he brushed her off from shoulders to ankles in long, sweeping motions. He kept an eye peeled for any dots of blood on her shirt that might indicate a nick. Instead, it was just the blood from the backs of his knuckles seeping through the towel. Flynn tried like hell to keep the whole thing professional. Medicinal. One coworker performing a safety check of another.

Yeah. That angle sure as hell wasn’t working for him.

When he finished her sides, Flynn came back around in front. Damn if her cheeks weren’t pink. “I’m going to carry you into the back now.”

“Oh, but Flynn, you—”

Whatever objection she was trying to get out he cut off by sweeping her back into his arms. This time, he did hold her close. Who knew when he’d ever have another chance? Flynn cradled her against his chest.

Holy hell. He almost stumbled in shock and decided that—if her ankle wasn’t broken—this would now rank as his best day since they’d moved to this dot on the map. Maybe even his best day in the last four dots.

Holding Sierra was like holding sunlight. Her warmth shot through him, reminding him how good it felt to be alive. How good it felt to be a man. That maybe life wasn’t a complete shitstorm after all.

Reminded him that no matter how hard he tried to be good and stay away from her . . . well, maybe he wasn’t good enough to be that strong anymore.

This rush of goodness was the way he’d heard some of the mobsters talk about doing heroin. Flynn had no doubt that Sierra was even more addictive. And dangerous. At least for him.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing my bad boy!

  2. The house teaser is too funny! I'm not sure about the mafia connection but the rest of this does sound pretty fun so I think I need to give this one a try!


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