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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: Never Been Good by Christi Barth

Flynn and Sierra were such a good couple! I enjoyed them a lot.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: April 3, 2018

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.

What’s it About? When the mob turned on Flynn Maguire and his brothers he had no choice but to join the Witness Protection program with his two brothers. He used to run a legitimate business for the mob, now he’s a bartender in a small town in Oregon. He’s angry at the betrayal and the loss of the life he knew but at least his new job has some perks. Namely his coworker Sierra Williams. Sierra just wants a quiet, normal life. She escaped a bad relationship already and Flynn has “Bad Boy” written all over him, only he’s not really bad, not in the toxic sense. When Flynn’s defenses aren’t up he’s actually kind of sweet. Definitely sexy, and making Sierra question her decision to stay away from him.

Overall reaction to the story? This series has intrigued me from the start. Brothers in WITSEC and having a difficult time adjusting? Yes please. I enjoyed the first book enough but I think Never Been Good is my favorite. We’ll see because there’s still one more brother left.

Flynn has been the most bitter of the three brothers about the sudden change in his life. He knows that it had to happen if they wanted to survive but at the same time, he kind of resents his older brother for making that decision for him and their younger brother Kellan. I understood how Flynn felt being ripped away from the life he was familiar with into a dull existence (Though I why he wouldn’t fall in love with the Oregon scenery I don’t know. I am in love with Oregon and I’ve never been there!), but I wanted to shake him and tell him “Enough already! Get over yourself man! You HAD to run and hide! If not you’d be dead! LET. IT. GO.!” He needed to get a grip on facts and let go of the past so bad. He’s just so mad at the world that he was missing the good things in his new life. I liked him though. That anger, bitterness, and frustration gave him something to overcome and a chance to grow as a character. Underneath all that was a sweet, protective guy that needed something or in this case someone to bring out that tender side of him. I think having Flynn behave like such a grump made those moments of tenderness all the more valuable and enjoyable.

Sierra was a quiet one and I was worried she’d be a doormat because she was trying so hard to be invisible to men. She had one foot out the door and her eyes on the lookout for trouble. Poor thing was just so ready to run that she was missing out on the opportunities for a good life just like Flynn. I loved that Sierra was observant, the quiet ones usually are, but she noticed things about Flynn almost right away after he quit putting so much distance between them. I loved that she had a sense of humor and strength hidden among all that nervous fear. She was fun and like Flynn, did a lot of growing during the course of the story.

Together these two were so much fun. They both let their guards down to show who they really were and I loved those versions of the characters. Flynn was fun, lighthearted, and caring. Sierra was sassy, funny, and protective. I think these two were better together than apart. There was a lot of laughter in their relationship which wasn’t there when they were apart. I loved their romance because of that. It could have been all angst, seriousness, and bleakness which would have made Never Been Good rather dull but Barth found the light side of these characters and that balanced out Flynn and Sierra’s troubles with the added benefit of making their relationship fun and at times terribly romantic.

Flynn’s brothers can be fun too. They care about each other but at the same time they just love to make each other mad. I loved the scenes with them together, watching them mend their shaky relationship in the new lives they’re in. I’m so excited about youngest brother Kellan’s story, he is quite the rascal.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Flynn and Sierra are such fun characters and the setup is entertaining, I really enjoyed this one.

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