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Synopsis: Grant Madsen’s got issues. He’s still battling his Mafia family and doing everything possible to keep his loved ones safe. With the cruising season coming to an end, he has to find another job soon or he’ll rejoin his father in prison. And he’s trying to convince his rebellious teenage nephew to stay away from their criminal relatives (you can imagine how that’s going). But worst of all, Grant’s parole officer has mandated that he attend therapy.
The only saving grace is that they’re couples sessions with his girlfriend, Sophie Taylor, a fellow parolee who’s struggling with a few issues of her own. Sophie desperately hopes her past with Grant’s brother won’t destroy her future with him. There’s a sleazy professor at work who revels in sexually harassing women in the psychology department. And her father still hates Grant.
Their psychologist has his work cut out for him.
When Grant’s ruthless father hints at a plot to get out of prison, Grant must use everything he’s learned in therapy and beyond to try to stop him. It’s a race against time -- and a race to rescue Sophie from the Mafia’s clutches once again. But this time McSailor and Bonnie refuse to play victims. This time the cuffs are coming off.
Jennifer Lane’s Bad Behavior picks up right where On Good Behavior left off. If you haven’t read On Good Behavior it is necessary to do so in order to understand why Sophie and Grant are in the position they are in.
After Logan’s death and Carlo’s attack on Sophie and her friend, both Grant and Sophie attempt to leave the past behind. Both begin to attend regular sessions with Sophie’s psychologist, Dr. Hunter and with Hunter’s help they begin to overcome their own personal demons. While things begin to fall into place, they are dealt two unexpected blows. The first surrounds Grant’s nephew, Ben, and his attempt to keep him away from his Mafia family, but when Ben finds out what his father did to Sophie, Grant knows he has his hands full. The second is regarding Grant’s father, Enzo and he has a special request: to talk to Grant. Will Enzo finally leave his son alone or will Grant be forced to work for the family one more time?
Ah, Grant how my heart breaks for you! Beta heroes can be hit or miss and Lane has given us a wonderful hero to cheer for. While some may view him as weak or dare I say call him a pussy, he’s not. I loved getting to know him in On Good Behavior, but adored seeing his growth journey in Bad Behavior. Here we have a character that doesn’t need to change, but rather one who has to face his past and gather the courage to face his abuser. I cheered for Grant when he reads Enzo the riot act, but at the same time worry about what Enzo has in store for him. It’s Sophie that surprised me and I’m not sure what to think about her. I liked her in On Good Behavior, but a few times in Bad Behavior she left me questioning her love for Grant. I won’t go into detail regarding what makes me think this because I don’t want to spoil things, but I was disappointed a few times in her even if she does realize her mistake early on.
I debated with the rating between a three and four and in the end decided on a three for one particular reason. While Grant and Sophie live and attend therapy together, the majority of the story takes place in these theraphy sessions. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I missed the Grant and Sophie interaction outside those sessions. We also have some external scenes where Sophie is at work and dealing with a work situation that I don’t see what it had to do with the plot other than to showcase Sophie’s new job at the university and expand the storyline. Don’t get me wrong I liked that we didn’t have a couple rely on each other and they aren’t one of those sickening couples that need to be together 24/7, but as I mentioned I really missed the solo scenes with these together.
Overall, I enjoyed Bad Behavior. Lane surprised me a few times especially with regards to Sophie’s father and it was refreshing to see Ben change his own behavior! I missed having more scenes with Roger and Joe, but in order to have character growth, I liked how Lane set things up. Just a quick note: there’s a lot of use and talk of psychology. This is very much Lane’s element and you can tell she’s comfortable with it. If you’re not too familiar with the history of psychology or its elements, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Don’t let it affect your possible enjoyment and gloss over these scenes if you can.
Fans of crime fiction will enjoy Jennifer Lane’s Bad Behavior. The final book in the series, On Best Behavior, is already available and I can’t wait to read it so I know how this series ends