Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Scott and Liam have a history. It’s hard not to love them both right away and want to protect them as children in foster care. The author only spends enough time here to establish the relationship and how heartbreaking it is when they’re separated. When they find each other again as adults, they are together two years until it all falls apart. Six years later, they are throw together at work. The love is still there, but not the trust. In the end, the only thing that fixes that is time. It works a heck of a lot better as a hurdle than most of the manufactured crises a lot of authors seem to throw into a story as a plot device. This series does specialize in dysfunctional men meeting their match.
All ten characters from previous books show up, but this can be read as a standalone with no problem if you want to dive in. I know a lot of books say that, but honestly it’s been such a long time since I read the first four that I don’t remember the characters and I skipped the fifth one (I bought it, I just haven’t had time to read it before this review was due.) Jamie, is the only one that is pertinent. On the one hand, that made reading it really easy. On the other hand, it would have had a bit more depth if they were all more integral to the story than just being the gay adopted insta-family they become. I feel like fans of the series will just be excited to see their favorites included, even if for a few brief scenes. It turns out Jamie busted Scott when he was 17, but they eventually bonded over cars and have been friends for years. It seems strange then that Scott’s never met Jamie’s boyfriend or other friends until now.
Besides being a medic, Liam is in a band that plays at the bar Scott ends up working at. Liam has a boyfriend, Dion, who is steady, supportive, and understanding–the death knell for sure. Guess what happens. As time goes on in the story, the truth of why Liam left Scott and joined the military is obvious. Some of Liam’s time in the military: his guilt, loss, and nightmares are touched on. Although we get Liam’s POV a few times, it’s Scott’s POV for the most part, so it’s easy to empathize with him, but Liam really comes off as having handled everything quite badly. In fact, Scott is a better person than me because no way would I forgive so quickly, if at all. The hot sex happens quickly and continues throughout the story. The real plot actually comes from them learning to be with each other as adults, not just immature kids, whilst still navigating old patterns of behavior. Liam is living with his mother and her new family after his injury in the Army. He is still learning to deal with his relationship with her after his childhood. Scott still has anger and self esteem issues. There isn’t really a lot of angst, it’s more: fear of rejection, fear of hope. Sometimes you have to decide what you want, go after it even if it makes you vulnerable, and fight for it without letting others interfere. They worked out what they wanted for their future as children. Now, it’s time to work out what their new future as adults will look like. The author made me want them to be together and work things out.
The cover artist is Kanaxa and matches the rest of the covers in this series. It shows the cityscape (Baltimore) and an eye catching Scott.
Expected publication: November 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English
Series Bad in Baltimore #6