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NEVER BEEN GOOD by Christi Barth
Series: Bad Boys Gone Good #2 Publication Date: April 3, 2018 Publisher: Avon Impulse Genre: Contemporary Romance Source: Pure Textuality PR Story Rating: 4/ 5 Romance Rating: 4/5
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.
Truth time, I choose this book for its hot as heck cover. I’m not going to say anything else, just look at it and try not to drool.
Now for the story. Never Been Good takes us to a small coastal town in Oregon where we’re introduced to a bartender, Flynn, and waitress, Sierra. Both Flynn and Sierra have relationship-destroying secrets they need to keep. It’s hard to be in a relationship when you can’t be yourself. Ms. Barth gives us a great glimpse into the minds of two people who are running and hiding for a similar, yet very different reason.
This book is written from alternating third person limited perspectives of Flynn and Sierra. Which provides an awesome opportunity for us to see what’s going on in their heads and watch as they take a chance on love and trust each other.
Sierra was a beautifully developed character. For the first 85% of the book, she was cautious and composed and just generally relatable. Then she turns into a different person, one who is rash and hypocritical. Without spoiling the book, she made a decision I didn’t think she should have. The book ended pretty abruptly, and I didn’t have time to forgive her for that. This is one reasons this book got 4 stars, not 5.
So much of Flynn’s identity revolves around not being who he used to be. The bulk of the book is his angst at being in witness protection, at not being able to tell Sierra about his past, about not feeling worthy of her because he can’t tell her everything. It was the same thing over, and over again. I liked Flynn, a lot, I wish I got to see more where he was himself and not so angsty.
Somewhere in the middle of this book there was a question. I didn’t have an answer at the time. To be honest, I still don’t and let me tell you, I’ve thought about it more than I should. So I will share it in hopes of someone being able to give me a definite answer.
Does anyone want to hear about the strange ads I got after Googling this? I’ve got a number for dates, dollars, hours… It feels like important information to have. I’ve been out of the dating game from way too long. Is this how the youngons are determining their relationship status now?
The other reason I could only give the book 4 stars is because I didn’t feel satisfied with the ending. It felt like a shaky happy for now. Like I said, Sierra changed at the end and there was no epilogue. I believe they have a happily ever after where they’re safe and all their dreams came true. However, that’s more my optimism and imagination than anything the book gave me. I’m hopeful the next book in the series will give me some insight.
Overall, it was a good book. It was engaging, well written and something I would recommend for anyone seeking a book to curl up with for the weekend.
If you enjoy reading about law enforcement and heroes with secrets you might also enjoy Stripped and No Angel.