Book Reviews

Bad Influence (Bad in Baltimore 4) by K.A. Mitchell at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Rent Boys/Escorts/Porn Stars / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 12-June-2018

Book Blurb

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….



First edition published by Samhain Publishing, Inc., April 2014.

Book Review

It seems as if I've been holding my breath waiting for Silver's story since the first time I saw him dancing with Eli. Each tiny little glimpse, and the slightly longer one in the previous book, has really whet my appetite for his story. 'Bad Influence' is book four in K.A. Mitchell's 'Bad in Baltimore' series and I've got to say, I really adore these books and the men who play roles in them. I would dearly love for this not to be the end of the series, but I honestly have no idea whether the author plans on going farther. I can only hope that she will.

Jordan Barnett, aka Silver, has spent the past almost four years taking care of himself and doing whatever he needed in order to survive. Unfortunately, he's now paying for some of those choices and will continue to pay for the rest of his life. Due to Silver being sent to a conversion camp to make him straight when he was seventeen, and then running away, he definitely has some attitude and very much is all about taking care of number one. Which can be a good thing, or it can be bad. If you spend so much time only caring about yourself, it blinds you to the people in your life who truly care and want what's best for you.

It was difficult for me to empathize, sometimes, with Silver's thought processes, particularly when they were focused on Zeb and the past they shared. Mainly because Silver lied to Zeb all those years ago and pretended to be over eighteen. When they were caught, Silver was sent away by his ultra conservative parents and when Silver escaped and ran to Zeb, Zeb refused to help him and turned him away. I can see both sides of the story. Silver is still devastated that Zeb abandoned him and Silver feels Zeb should pay for that. Whereas Zeb feels Silver shouldn't have lied and put Zeb's teaching license at stake. The good thing is that as the story progressed I got to watch Silver begin to slowly mature and take responsibility for his own actions and choices instead of allowing Zeb to continue wearing his hair shirt.

“Do you want me out of your life?” Zeb said flatly.
Silver spun to face him. “No, I don't want that.”
“What do you want?”
He had to decide now? What if it was the same thing he'd wanted at sixteen? Zeb. Zeb and a house and a dog."

It was almost painful to watch Silver and Zeb work out their issues and try to trust again. Because the past few years involved trading sex for money, food, or a roof over his head, Silver has to learn the concepts of a real, adult relationship and my heart did go out to him in that struggle. I was delighted with the path the author took, which I shouldn't have been surprised about, and I was happy to see Eli, Quinn, Jamie, and Gavin get involved. If I had a complaint, which I don't, but if I did, I would've loved a little more insight into Zeb. He was a difficult man to get a handle on and therefore I didn't get the feeling that I knew him very well.

Great job, KAM, you brought Silver to life for me and I'm very happy to have known him.






DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 260 pages/96331 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-June-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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