So, our challenge for this week was to find a book from on the Joyfully Jay Favorite Book Lists (or from one of those themes). I was shocked to see that KA Mitchell’s first book in the Bad in Baltimore series was on the Favorite Enemies to Lovers Stories list and hadn’t been reviewed yet on the blog! I am going to be completely honest here, I may be somewhat biased when it comes to K.A. Mitchell’s writing. This is one of those authors’ whose books I can’t ever seem to get enough of, and find myself often going back and rereading these books. So, it’s my pleasure to bring to you my review for Bad Company.
Kellan Brooks is desperate. His CEO father has just cut him off with just the clothes on his back after he broke off his engagement with a senator’s daughter. Told his father wishes he’d never been born and how he needs someone to make a real man out of him, Kellan plans the ultimate revenge against his homophobic father. Kellan seeks out his old childhood friend, Nate.
Nate Gray was Kellan’s best friend until Kellan outed him back in high school. If that wasn’t enough to hate him, having Kellan’s dad steal his father’s recipe for a soft drink that made Kellan’s family millionaires while Nate’s family struggled to make ends meet pretty much sealed the deal. As Nate sits drinking his beer, he never expects Kellan to walk back into his life, never mind ask him to pose as his boyfriend.
Despite his misgivings at having his former crush sharing his studio apartment and pull-out couch bed, Nate agrees to allow Kellan to stay for the month or two it takes for his father to restore Kellan’s bank account, even if it means acting the part of the boyfriend in public. As the two setup house together, Kellan finds himself blurring the lines between acting the part and wanting this all to be real. Can Kellan convince Nate that this isn’t all an act?
K.A. Mitchell is a master storyteller who creates characters that are lifelike complete with flaws. Kellan is selfish, immature, spoiled rotten, and an all-time master manipulator. As the only surviving son, Kellan has led the life of a playboy. Engaged three times, he’s ensured he never made it to the altar by making sure he’s photographed in compromising positions. When his latest engagement goes down in flames and risks his father’s company from getting the backing it needs, Kellan is given an ultimatum: get a job, stop whoring around, and find someone to make a man out of him and his father may consider giving him back his credit cards. Enter Nate…
Nate has harbored a lot of resentment towards Kellan since Kellan outed him in high school. Add in that Kellan’s dad destroyed his father when he stole his father’s recipe for a soft drink and his father lost his job and risked going to jail, Nate’s spent his life an editor criticizing Kellan’s father’s company. When Kellan dangles the opportunity for Nate to vindicate his father in exchange for helping Kellan get back at his dad, Nate sees an opportunity to get back at both father and son. Yet, when he crosses the line in forcing Kellan to show him how badly he wants Nate’s help, his guilt forces him to reluctantly agree to Kellan’s plan, so long as it is just in public that they have to act the part. Nate knows he can’t handle playing the role full time and manage to guard his heart when it comes to living with his former best friend and the object of many of his fantasies growing up.
As the two set out to take Kellan’s dad down, they both struggle to deal with their feelings of having the other back in their life. For Kellan, he begins to realize that maybe he isn’t as straight as he always thought he was. As the two are forced to share a pull-out bed, Kellan finds himself making any excuse he can to touch Nate.
For Nate, having Kellan around threatens to destroy his orderly life he has created for himself where he is in control. He knows what Kellan is doing and is determined not to be the one to take Kellan for a walk on the wild side just to appease his curiosity, but like Eve with the apple tree, there is only so much temptation Nate can take before he’s got to sample what’s being offered.
Add in secondary character, Eli, who is the epitome of sex-on-legs. Eli and Nate hooked up once, and Eli has been harboring a crush ever since, until Kellan moves in. Then Nate finds himself jealous of the attention Eli gives to Kellan, but is he jealous because Eli isn’t giving him attention anymore, or is he jealous because Eli is giving Kellan attention? You have to read it to find out, but I will tell you that Eli adds another layer of humor into the story. I was cracking up when he was describing to Kellan how when he and Nate finally do have sex it will be like sitting on a fire hydrant.
Which brings me to the sexy-times. Turn your A/C on, things are going to get very warm! While the sex scenes themselves were very hot, I loved watching Kellan find any excuse to touch Nate even more. The little touches when he thought Nate was sleeping, the guitar lessons where he could wrap his arms around Nate, and the kisses that had me drooling for more; this author knows how to build up the sexual tension to a boiling over point!
My only issue with this book was that I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. It ends sort of abruptly, and I would have liked to have seen a bit more. I know, I know, it’s the first book of the series and we do get to see more of Kellan and Nate in the other books, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them in this book.
Regardless, this book is still one of my absolute favorites. Flawed characters, great storyline, and sexual tension galore, this is the book to read!
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Favorites List Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win this week’s fabulous prize of books and swag from Samhain Publishing, as well as our amazing grand prize sponsored by Riptide Publishing. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Favorites List Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!