Rating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Life has never been easy for Scott McDermott. He survived the foster care system, but hasn’t had an smooth time of it. With some anger and self control issues, Scott has lost his most recent job and with the money he owes, his apartment as well. The one bright spot in his life has also brought him the biggest pain in the form of Liam Walsh. Scott and Liam were in foster care together and fell in love as teens, but were ultimately separated. Then they managed to reunite as adults and things seemed to be going fine, until Liam took off on Scott one day. Now after six years, Liam shows back up in Scott’s life unexpectedly. Scott knows he should keep far away from Liam as that only brings more heartbreak. Yet the connection between them is still so strong and Scott can’t bear to push him away.

After growing up with a drug-addicted mother, Liam got scared when it seemed Scott was using drugs as well and Liam knew for his own sanity he needed to get away. So he went as far as he could, joining the military to keep him from running back to his man. Now Liam is out of the service, having lost his leg, and working as an EMT while also singing with a local rock band. Liam never fell out of love with Scott, and now that they have reconnected, he wants nothing more than to be together with him again.

Scott and Liam have loved each other since they were kids. But life has been hard for both men and a lot of time has passed. Scott is wary of giving his heart once again to the man who broke it, but Liam isn’t willing to give up on them. The guys face other challenges as well, including Liam’s recovery, Scott’s financial problems, and Liam’s mother’s disapproval. Now Scott and Liam have to figure out if the love they share is strong enough to overcome the obstacles and bring them back into each other’s lives for good.

Bad Habit is the latest installment in K.A. Mitchell’s wonderful Bad in Baltimore series. The previous book in the series was released about three years ago from Samhain, and the entire series has since been republished by Dreamspinner Press. I read all the others in the original publication, so it has been a while since I caught up with this series and I was a little worried that I would feel out of step with things with so much time in between books. But despite not remembering all the details of this ensemble cast, I did find myself easily falling into things with this latest installment. For those of you who are new to the series, I would say that Scott and Liam’s story stands alone well. Scott appears as a side character earlier in the series, I believe, but I didn’t remember him and had no problem jumping in. However, there is a large ensemble of past characters from the series who are involved as side characters here, some playing a pretty signifiant secondary role as friends and sort of gay fairy godmothers to the guys. So knowledge of the other books is a bonus for sure.

This book is such a perfect lovers reunited story. From the minute we see them together, Liam and Scott just crackle with chemistry. There was never any doubt in my mind that these guys are meant for one another. There is almost a palpable longing for each other, even as Scott tries to keep some distance at first. They love each other so fiercely and fit together so well, it is hard to imagine either one with anyone else. Scott is prickly and edgy and Liam is the balm to his soul. You can just feel how he relaxes and eases in Liam’s presence. And for Liam’s part, while he seems to have things a bit more together on the surface, he has his own struggles and Scott is fiercely protective and determined to see him succeed. He has the right balance of helping to care for Liam, but also giving him independence and helping him find his own inner strength.

I also enjoyed seeing many of the past series characters return here. Jamie, from Bad Attitude, has probably the biggest secondary role, but we also see Eli, Gavin, and others here as well. If you aren’t familiar with the series, this may seem like just a clutter of random guys, but for those who have read the other books, I think you will enjoy seeing these guys show up again and sprinkle a little magic when needed.

I know so many people love a second chance romance, and if that is your crack, I really think you are going to adore this one. Even if it is not your trope of choice, Bad Habit is just so well done. It is just on that line of sweeping and romantic, with a hard and brittle edge that keeps things from being too sweet. I just loved these guys together and am so excited to see that the series is continuing to grow.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.