Kristin Hardy continues her Under the Covers trilogy with sassy, sexy bartender Mallory Carson. After working at a sports bar in the minor league town of Lowell, Massachusetts, Mallory has achieved her goal - a bar of her own - in snooty Newport, Rhode Island. Her place, Bad Reputation, is shaking up the nightlife - a la Coyote Ugly - with the female staff up on the bar struttiní their stuff. Nothing too bad, of course, but with just enough spice to keep the college crowd and young adults interested - and thirsty.
When Malloryís brother Dev, her long-distance business partner, gets wind of the naughty behavior, he asks fellow bar owner Shay OíConnor to keep a brotherly eye on Bad Reputation. Shay, the proprietor of OíConnorís Pub, is more than willing to lend Dev a hand. After all, his pub has been in the family for three generations. He knows just how important family responsibilities are. And as a fellow businessman, he has been concerned that Bad Reputation may be earning its name by attracting the wrong type of crowd.
As Bad as Can Be is the kind of story that starts off provocatively, builds heat, and simmers all the way through. Mallory and Shay create serious sparks, from their first anonymous encounter in the barís basement, to the very last page. Judging by outward appearances, Mallory is outrageous, outspoken and fearless, while Shay is serious, thoughtful and conservative. The truth is that Shay keeps his wild side under wraps, while Mallory canít bring herself to believe in a happy ending. The pleasure is in watching them bring all the aspects of their personalities together to form a loving couple.