Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Release Day Review: Bad Influence by K.A. Mitchell

Title: Bad Influence
Series: Bad in Baltimore: Book 4
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 251
Can a future be built from pieces of a broken past?

Jordan Barnett is dead, killed as much by the rejection of his first love at his moment of greatest need as by his ultraconservative parents’ effort to deprogram the gay away.
In his place is Silver, a streetwise survivor who’s spent the last three years becoming untouchable… except to those willing to pay for the privilege. He’s determined not to let betrayal find him again, and that means never forging bonds that can be broken.
No matter how hard he tried, Zebadiah Harris couldn’t outrun his guilt over abandoning his young lover—not even by leaving the country. Now, almost the moment he sets foot back in Baltimore, he discovers Silver on a street corner in a bad part of town. His effort to make amends lands them both in jail, where Silver plans a seductive form of vengeance. But using a heart as a stepping-stone is no way to move past the one man he can’t forgive, let alone forget….

Lori's Review

3 stars 

I live about 30 mins outside Baltimore and worked in Baltimore for several years, so I was excited to read this book where I wasn’t dependent upon the author to understand the setting. I find it hard to review this book though, there were parts that were fantastic and then some elements that really bothered me as a reader.

KA Mitchell writes the most lovable characters that overcome their circumstances. I absolutely fell in love with Silver and Eli. Although I hadn’t read the previous books in this series, I still felt like I got to know their history and personalities, and let me tell you, they are just two truly heartbreaking, lovable boys. Silver is an interesting character with a lot of backstory, problems/drama and witty thoughts/ideas. Eli is hilarious too…

(Note: if you’re one that doesn’t like a lot of characters, this book may not be for you… there are 4 couples plus some side characters that are featured prominently in Bad Influence).

Unfortunately, there were some key themes that were glossed over and/or left unresolved… [spoilers here: Just scroll over the blank space with your mouse or mark it with your phone to read.]

1 - Zeb’s rejection of Silver when he was a teen in need -- there’s a lot of back and forth about this throughout the book for Silver, like he doesn’t truly trust Zeb’s feelings for him, but he instantly gets over it near the end… What was the resolution? Silver was extremely angry with Zeb for years, and then, seemingly overnight, it’s all over? Zeb apologized, but was there ever a discussion on why he did what he did?

2 - Silver’s HIV status -- it clearly meant nothing to Zeb, which doesn’t feel realistic; shouldn’t the treatment of a mixed status couple be taken more seriously?

Finally, this book is loooonggg… There were moments where it seemed to drag (it finally got going around 70% in) and I had a feeling it could be cut by at least a third in length.

Having said all that, this was a solid read. I likely will go back and read the remaining books in the series.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. *

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