Title: Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore #2)
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Buy Link: Amazon:
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel/150 PDF pages
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Review Summary: Another wonderful story from K.A. Mitchell with two characters who were hurt by life but the recovery process couldn’t have been more fun.
Sometimes it’s good to be bad. Real good…
Bad in Baltimore, Book 2
After Eli Wright came out, his parents threw him out. In the five years since, he’s made his own way, lived by his own rules, determined to never change himself—not for anyone. He’s not against finding Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now will do just fine.
Quinn Maloney’s reward for ten years of faithfully keeping his closeted boyfriend’s secrets? A hell of a wake-up call to go with his morning coffee. Not only did Peter have affairs, he went straight to marry his pregnant girlfriend—and Quinn was to never reveal their history.
With the baby’s baptism looming and Quinn expected to put on a polite front, he decides he’s had enough of playing the peacekeeper. One wink from a much younger, eyeliner-wearing guy in a bar, and Quinn’s found a perfectly outrageous date for the occasion.
The date goes better than he ever imagined. And so much worse, as Eli convinces everyone they’re madly in love. That wasn’t part of the plan, but the more Quinn learns about the man behind the makeup, the more he wishes it was true.
I met Eli in Bad Company and I thought he would make a terrific character in his own book and he is just as offbeat and crazy with the same qualities that endeared him to me initially: sweet, sensitive, vulnerable and quirky.
Quinn Maloney’s live-in lover of 10 years had been cheating on him and he found out when Peter told him that the woman he had been having sex with was pregnant with his child and he was moving out immediately so that he and his baby mama could be married. Apparently he had always wanted the white picket fence including everything that went with it – the wife and kid. Quinn had suspected that Peter had not always been faithful, but he never expected to be cast off for a woman.
Several months later Quinn was still feeling the effects of being dumped. Not only did he attend Peter’s wedding, but now Peter wanted him to be the child’s godfather. Being very close to Peter’s family who regarded him as a son made it extremely difficult to refuse as he didn’t want to hurt them, so instead he kept hurting himself. While out drinking one night his friend Jamie suggested that Quinn should show up at the baby’s baptism with a date who was gay, just to screw with Peter and make it clear to his family what their relationship had been for 10 years, since no one wanted to acknowledge the elephant in the room. When Quinn saw Eli on the dance floor he was attracted to him and knew that he would be the perfect date to erase any doubts about him and Peter so he hooked up with him that night. The next day he asked Eli to attend the baptism but didn’t tell him the entire story. Peter was livid when they showed up and it wasn’t clear if he was jealous because Eli was all over Quinn and well on the way to convincing the family they were in love, or if he was afraid he would be outed.
A few days later Eli had a falling out with his roommates because he was no longer working and could not afford his share of the rent in the apartment, so he gradually relocated his few possessions to Quinn’s house without saying anything to him about being homeless. Of course Quinn realized what was going on but was amused that Eli thought he was clueless.
I’m not sure what pulls me into K.A. Mitchell’s stories, whether it’s her characters, the plots, the prose or the dialogue – perhaps it’s all of the above – but I admit I am hooked on her writing and it’s a treadmill that I never want to get off.
The characterizations were wonderfully drawn as this author knows when to reel it in or go flat out. What endeared me to Eli was that he was a different man when Quinn was around and it scared him that Quinn knew him so well and had so much control over him. It wasn’t only the incredible sex but the emotions he evoked – Quinn represented surrender and safety to Eli and it was terrifying for him to cede control to someone else. He had been thrown out of his parents’ home when he was a teenager after they found out he was gay so he had had to fend for himself. He felt protective towards Quinn and hated that he let himself be used by Peter and his family. Everyone seemed to be covering up for Peter, and Eli knew he hadn’t changed his evil ways but Quinn didn’t believe him, until Peter did something unconscionable that devastated Quinn and brought him to tears.
Peter was pond scum as he was still trying to screw anything that wasn’t nailed down even though he was recently married and had a son, and K.A. knows just how to bring her characters to vibrant life even those that turn one’s stomach.
I loved how Quinn’s character evolved. When the story began he was concerned about growing older, but after meeting Eli everything changed. He couldn’t picture his life without Eli in it and he didn’t want to go back to his flat and boring existence “before Eli” who he described this way:
It was like The Wizard of Oz, instant beautiful color, only Quinn had been living in worse than black-and-white Kansas. He’d been trapped in a monochromatic world of beige, of nice, of going with the flow, not making waves. Eli was the whole super-sized box of crayons, with no rules about staying in the lines.
Unfortunately he had to grow a pair and wean himself away from his ties to Peter’s family even though he cared about them, or he knew he would lose Eli, and that was something unimaginable.
There were terrific lines in this book as there always are with K.A. Mitchell’s stories, starting with Peter calling Quinn’s underwear “slut panties.” 🙂 The prose and dialogue are some of the best I have read and really witty. 🙂 The pacing was fast but just right and some of the scenes had me in stitches. Just watch out for Nate whom you met in Bad Company.
K.A. Mitchel writes some of the best and most electric sex scenes even for someone like me who usually just skips over the sex in M/M books because I find it boring. What she does well is make her sex scenes incredibly funny and when Eli and Quinn kissed it was hot, funny and sexy, especially when Eli called Quinn “Daddy.” Eli played Quinn like a violin and their feelings for each other outside of the sex seemed genuine, despite or because of their differences in outlook and age (Eli was 23 to Quinn’s 35).
Bad Boyfriend has A LOT of sex and a bit of lite BDSM (mainly spanking) so be warned, but it is also a story about two characters who had to learn to trust and love again. Whether or not you’re a fan of this author I would highly recommend this book which can be read as a standalone even though it’s part of a series, because there’s enough background information about the first story. The supporting characters were fully fleshed out and you will enjoy most of them.
I’ll end this review with a conversation between Quinn and Eli:
“So you don’t bring guys home very often?”
“Try never. There’s barely enough space in that room for me.”
“I thought we fit.”
“Because you had your dick up my ass.”