Monday, December 4, 2023

New Release-Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: BAD AT BEING GOOD by A.L. Morrow

Bad at Being Good

by A.L. Morrow

Publisher: SourGirl Books

Cover Artist: Morningstar Ashley Designs

Release Date: November 28, 2023

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance, new adult

Tropes: brother’s best friend, friends to lovers, first love, bad boy

Themes: coping with grief, forgiveness, hurt/comfort, found family

Heat Rating: 4 flames  

Length:  73 000 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Available on Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books, B&N, and Smashwords

Universal Buy Link

No one is good all of the time. Especially me.


Six years ago, I promised my friend Kellan that I’d never mess around with his little brother. I accepted it. I didn’t regret it, and I didn’t think twice about it. Milo Sterling—the good student, perfect son, and promising dancer—was off limits.

But that was before.

Before we went away to college. Before Kellan died. Before I flunked out of school.

Now, I’m back home, and Milo’s different. He’s quieter and colder, no longer a boy but a man. And that hurt in his eyes? I put it there the night I failed to save Kellan. I have a lot to make up for. Falling for Milo, no matter how much I want him, would be one more thing to add to my list.

But promises are meant to be broken, and if there’s one thing I’m bad at, it’s being good.

Bad at Being Good is a best friend’s brother/brother’s best friend (dual POV) M/M romance featuring hurt/comfort, found family, coping with grief, and—of course—a happily ever after. Readers are advised to check the Author’s Note for content sensitivities.


“I’m sorry for your loss.”

I ignore the next person who tries to talk to me, exactly like I did the last. Dad’s eyes bore into me. When there’s a break in the people approaching, he steps closer and leans over my shoulder.

“Milo, stand up,” he scolds. “These people are here to support us. Snubbing them is rude.”

Mom comes between us immediately. She places her hand on Dad’s arm, but her gaze is warm when it turns toward me. “David, leave him alone. He’s going through enough right now. He shouldn’t have to worry about other people, too.”

At least Mom gets it.

Dad frowns but stands straight again. Sighing, he looks out across the church.

Then, he scowls.

“I can’t believe that piece of sh*t showed up.”

I glance over my shoulder in the direction of his stare, and I see him.

“Benji?” I whisper.

Our eyes lock, and I can barely breathe.

He came. I texted him the other night to make sure he knew about the arrangements, but he never replied. Still, he’s here, standing way in the back where people light votive candles. His hands are shoved in his pockets. He’s dressed in black. And although he’ll always be my idea of gorgeous, right now he looks like hell. Gauze is stuffed up his nostrils, and a bandage covers his nose. His bottom lip is split, and he’s got stitches by his hairline and bruises on his cheeks. My dad really did a number on him.

“How did he even find out about the service?” Dad grumbles.

Because I told him. I knew you wouldn’t, so I did.

“David, let it go. He was Kellan’s best friend. He has every right to be here.” Mom hooks her arm through Dad’s and takes his hand, holding him back before we have a repeat performance of their fight in the ER.

But she doesn’t stop me.

I’m on my feet, making my way to the back of the church before the next note on the organ plays. Unfortunately, Benji moves just as quickly. He beelines toward the door, knowing he’s been spotted.

“Benji, wait!” I call.

Dad’s voice echoes behind me. “Milo, get back here. They’re about to start. Milo!”

F*ck that. Kellan would want Benji to feel welcome. He’d want him to know he doesn’t blame him for what happened. He’d want him to be all right.

And you know what? I want that, too.

I move faster, jogging down the aisle, taking off after him, but he has too much of a head start. The door to the church swings open. He almost knocks over one of Kellan’s former coaches, but he doesn’t excuse himself or stop.


I know he can hear me. I know he saw me. If only he would hold still for a second and give me a chance to explain, to apologize for my dad …

I follow him through the front door and make it down the front steps of the church in time to watch his Range Rover pull out of the parking lot.

“Benji …”

No, he can’t go. He can’t leave me here. I have too much to say.

He needs to know it’s not his fault.

He needs to know I love him—that I’m in love with him.

But he’s gone.

Carra's Review
These poor characters have been through a horrible tragedy. They are still grieving, but both have endured, though each at a cost. There are a lot of emotions to unpack here, and much of the story is serious with each of them still dealing with the fallout of what happened. But there are also bright spots as they work through things, and a touch of snark with Milo’s best friend.

Milo is at the end of high school (note—he is 18, so technically an adult), ready to move on and hopefully continue his dance career. His father is not a fan of that idea though, and there is friction between them on this topic. Milo has been into Benji for a long time, though as the best friend of Milo’s older brother Kellan, Benji had promised to stay away and not start anything with him.

Benji is really not as bad as you might think. Sure, he got up to the usual antics guys get up to as they’re growing up…but once his best friend Kellan dies he does become a bit self-destructive. He blames himself, and it doesn’t help that Milo and Kellan’s father blames him as well. When he comes back home, Milo’s presence seems to settle him, though Benji still has his moments. He also has his own issues at home with his mother, but it’s good to see how much he cares for her.

There’s plenty for them both to work through, and some frustrating—and later surprising—interactions with Milo’s father. I’d say this is is medium angst, but in the end I was very satisfied with how everything worked out. There was consistent casual use of marijuana, which is entirely not my thing, and I felt like it was a crutch that Benji was relying on, though I understand other readers will not have an issue with it.

Bad at Being Good was a solid 4-star read for me, and I’d recommend it for any M/M romance fans, especially if you like the best friend’s brother/brother’s best friend trope. This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language, casual drug use (marijuana), and sexual content.

About the Author 

USA Today bestselling author A.L. Morrow enjoys dreaming up steamy scenes and spectacular settings—often along with a touch of magic or myth. She believes that love is love and likes reading and writing various genres of romance.

In her downtime (what’s that?), A finds delight in scouring for secondhand designer fashions. She briefly lived in a haunted mansion, once took a flight to visit Scotland for a day, and is prone to meeting minor celebrities in random hotel elevators. She resides in the eastern US.

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