Review: Bad Influence by K.A. Mitchell

badinfluenceBad Influence by K.A. Mitchell (Bad In Baltimore #4)
M/M Romance
April 15, 2014

Reviewed by Helyce

Jordan Barrett disappeared the night that his parents found out he was gay, made him go to a conversion camp where he could have died from their methods and upon seeking help from the one person he thought he could trust, gets the door slammed in his face.  Out of that supreme disappointment in people who claimed to care about him, rises Silver-a street smart young man who falls into life on the street, using prostitution to survive.

Zebediah Harris runs far away after shutting the door in Jordan’s face.  He’d learned that Jordan was underage and as his teacher he was not prepared for the fallout that would bring should they be discovered. So he did the only thing he felt he could do and left town to pursue other interests.

Now years later, these two men find themselves back in Baltimore.  Silver doesn’t want to have anything to do with Zeb, except maybe some horrific form of revenge for what he did.  Putting his plan into action, however, falls to the wayside when Zeb and Silver find their way back to each other and in an odd way find a second chance at love.

Firstly, I am a huge fan of this author. Her Florida series and the characters in there are some of my favorites where m/m is concerned.  This book, however, did not bring me the sort of satisfaction I’ve come to expect when reading a K.A. Mitchell book. While all our previous couples are kind of front and center-something I usually like in a series-in here they kind of took over taking the focus away from our leads.

Jordan aka Silver has finally seemed to have gotten himself together.  After being turned out by his parents he did whatever he had to do to survive.  After a stint in porn and learning he’d contracted HIV he’s trying to live life on the straight and narrow.  When he’s out one night, he sees his ex-boyfriend, Zeb, in the club he’s in and immediately leaves. He heads over to the corner and runs into an old friend who is still turning tricks when Zeb catches up to him. They are arguing when cops arrive and arrest them both.

I really disliked that that this incident set the tone for the story.  Knowing Silver had gotten out of that lifestyle and was trying to get himself together only to get pulled backwards with a “wrong place wrong time” scenario just started the story on the wrong foot for me.  Lucky for him, his friends pull together, getting him out with the caveat that he must live with Eli and Quinn until his court date.  Silver is then treated like a child.  They keep tabs on him, he’s driven to work and in order to throw a positive light on his situation, he’s encouraged to get his GED to show his attempt at bettering himself.  Of course, Zeb is there trying to ingratiate himself back into Silver’s life. He offers to tutor him and well, second chance love-here we go.

Eli has been one of my favorite characters in this series and he gets a lot of page time here.  His photographs are getting noticed and he’s preparing for a show in this book.  But the references to him being “the little woman” were a bit tiring. Also, Silver’s friend Marco became a bit of a bore. Unhappy at home, worried about his family accepting him being gay, he was a hot mess and just didn’t add anything to this story-though because he’s had a part in this and the last book I’m afraid he’ll end up with a book of his own.

Our previous couples all play a part in ‘saving’ Silver and keeping him out of jail.  They overwhelm every part of this book.  Several of them seem to be experiencing growing pains in their own relationships. We are drowned in their doubts and vulnerabilities which just kept taking away from the lead couple.  Too much going on all at the same time.

Lastly, I think the romance totally fell flat in this book. It seemed that since we knew that these two would end up together they didn’t need to really work at it.  And in my opinion, regardless of the fact that Zeb had realized that Silver was underage his actions were unforgivable in my mind and I felt him responsible in part to everything that happened to Silver following that night.  He was the adult after all.

Rating: D

Previous KA Mitchell reviews

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