Rating: 4.25 stars
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Gavin Montgomery is the wealthy son of a powerful Baltimore family. He believes the primary things he has to offer are his money and his body, and doesn’t think he is good for much else. One night, when trying to stop a drunk friend from falling off a bridge, Gavin accidentally tumbles in after him, almost ending his life. But fortunately Gavin is saved by police rescue diver Jamie Donnigan. Jamie manages to pull Gavin out of the river, landing himself right in the middle of a media circus.
At first Jamie just wants to put all of the chaos of the rescue behind him. He sees Gavin as nothing but a super rich party boy who takes needless risks (and thus ends up in the river). But as the men are thrown together, first by necessity, and later by choice, Jamie and Gavin realize that beneath all the facades they actually enjoy each other’s company. That is not to say that either is willing to admit his feelings. Both men are reserved and guarded and pretty much put on a front of not caring much about their relationship beyond the super hot sex. But soon Jamie begins to realize that he is developing real feelings for Gavin. But Gavin still acts like he doesn’t care about Jamie or having a relationship. So Jamie must decide if he is willing to open himself up and face possible rejection from Gavin. At the same time Gavin needs to trust in what they have built together and not be afraid to share his true feelings.
Bad Attitude is the third book in K.A. Mitchell’s great Bad in Baltimore series. We met Jamie briefly in the previous book, Bad Boyfriend, as he is Quinn’s best friend (and both Quinn and Eli make several appearances here). This story starts off with a bang as we follow along with Gavin as he tries to stop his friend from jumping, and to his shock, ends up hurtling in after him. We get to see Jamie at work searching for the missing men, and then the fallout they both face. Jamie must deal with the media and publicity for saving the life of one of the famous Montgomerys. And Gavin has to deal with a family who doesn’t really believe him that he wasn’t try to kill himself.
Once again we get Mitchell’s trademark heat and Gavin and Jamie are totally scorching together. They connect with sex before they connect emotionally and the early parts of the story especially are filled will with hot and steamy scenes. Both men are pretty much looking for a no-strings relationship, and for a while, that is exactly what they get. But slowly each man comes to have find growing feelings, yet each is too scared to really admit. Jamie is a working class guy and part of him still sees Gavin as a spoiled man living in a different world. Jamie is sure he doesn’t want a relationship, especially because Gavin refuses to share his feelings with him. And Gavin too is wary and uncertain about opening up.
So I really enjoyed this story but there were two areas that didn’t totally work for me. First, I found the book was very long and sagged a little in the middle for me. The beginning starts off very exciting with the rescue and the thrill of the early stages of their relationship. But there is a lot of middle here where not much happens besides the guys having sex, sort of getting to know one another, but then taking steps backward. I think if the conflict had been a little stronger, or if there had been more relationship development, it would have worked better, but as it is things just got a little slow for me.
The second thing is that I never really felt like I got Gavin. We hear a lot about how he sort of fades into the background, his family doesn’t really notice him or care about him. But we never really see that happening or given an explanation as to why. He is hesitant to trust Jamie, to share any of himself, or to be open with his feelings. But again, I was never really clear why. Jamie is much easier for me to relate to. We learn about his past relationship and loss he suffered. We get a good sense of him and how he feels about his job, his friends, and what he wants out of life. But Gavin just seemed hard for me to understand, and with things so muddy, I had trouble relating to him as he continues throughout the book being so closed off and reserved.
But overall I enjoyed this one and continue to love this series. The opening was great, the sex is hot, and I really liked Jamie. And I was so happy to see my dear Eli and Quinn once again. For fans of the series, you are definitely going to want to read this. And for newcomers, I think you can easily jump right in here (though I adored Bad Boyfriend so I’d definitely recommend that one as well). Another really enjoyable story by K.A. Mitchell.
P.S. Quick note that there is a minor menage scene between Jamie, Gavin, and a third person. It is early in the book before the couple are actually dating and definitely before they are in any kind of relationship. I found it super hot and thought it worked quite well in the story. But I just mention it for those folks who are wary of that sort of thing.