Got it Bad
Christi Barth wraps up her Bad Boys Gone Good series with Got it Bad, the third story about three brothers who’ve ended up in a witness protection program. You’d benefit from reading the first two books in order to obtain a more thorough background of how they got from big city Chicago to small town Oregon, although the author does a good job of filling things in if you start here. So far I’ve found lots to enjoy in the previous books, and have been looking forward to finishing off the series and concluding some of the overarching plotlines. It all falls into place here with some action, suspense, and a sexy ‘workplace’ romance.
Kellan Maguire had no idea his two older brothers Rafe and Flynn were involved with the mob and no inkling of how fast things could change as they were swept up into a witness protection program. He just knows that the woman he met on the street who flirted with him turned out to be more than what she seemed. He’s had a crush on Delaney, their handler, from the start and she’s always gone out of her way to do her best for the three of them. Delaney has had their backs from day one, moving them from one place to the next when things got too hot or they screwed up the plan to stay under the radar. Now Kellan hopes to convince Delaney that it’s time to address the chemistry that sparked between them before things went sideways.
Delaney prides herself on a job well done, and in the case of the Maguire brothers, it’s been a long stressful assignment keeping them safe. The trial of the mob boss they turned on is coming up in a few short months and she wants to see them safely through that experience and out alive on the other side. She’s struggled with how to maintain her professional distance from Kellan, but when they have to pretend to be in a relationship to explain their meetings in a neutral location, it’s not long before they start up a real affair. Kellan is everything she’d want in a partner – funny, smart, sexy and supportive. As a federal agent who works with informants going undercover, she’s at the whim of wherever her next assignment will take her. Does she have to choose between her career and love or is there a way she can have both?
This is a great finale to the series! I’ve enjoyed getting to know the Maguire brothers, who each have very distinct characters. The relationship between the three of them is fraught with tension because of how Kellan was kept in the dark about their family’s mob ties. He was in law school before the sudden end to his career that has him now working full-time at a manual labor job in a cranberry processing plant. He’s bitter about how things have gone down but also realizes it’s up to him to prove that he’s not a little kid brother anymore. Rafe and Flynn will do anything to protect Kellan, but Kellan is through with the secrets and lies. He wants to be treated as an equal and the balancing of their brotherly connection makes up a large part of the story. Though Kellan can’t finish the law degree he started, he does figure out a way to use the skills he’s got and find a more satisfying way to serve their new community.
The sexual attraction between Delaney and Kellan leads to some steamy love scenes as they find ways to spend time together in secret. Delaney approaches their affair as a limited time engagement but Kellan wants it to be permanent. I love how Kellan is a man in pursuit but also cognizant of the risks for Delaney if anyone finds out about how things between them have changed. Delaney had always considered her career to be her top priority but her growing feelings for Kellan make her question what kind of future she sees for herself and whether there is a way to have both. One thing that helps to connect them emotionally is that they can be totally honest with each other. Delaney has to knows everything about Kellan in order to protect him, and she doesn’t have to keep her real job secret from him.
The brothers’ integration into small town life has been a slow but rewarding process. Though they miss some things about life in Chicago, the friendships they are making and the new love interests they’ve found have made them want to set down new roots and watch them grow. Of course, things can never go too smoothly and when aspects of their old life come to Bandon, the brothers are willing to do anything to protect their new community. This leads to some tense and suspenseful scenes until all is finally resolved. Got it Bad is a great wind-up to the series and it’s been a pleasure getting to know these brothers and their new community.