Book Review: Influenced: Shannon Youngblood Janae Keyes

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I have wanted him for years, but he’s a bad boy, a terrible influence.

People say I am a bad boy. I’m honestly just a guy who doesn’t give a crap about what they think of me.

When your life has been planned for you from the moment you were born, there isn’t room to be yourself. Born to accomplished Atlanta lawyers, Megan Reese has been given a path to take, under the watchful eye of her strict parents. There is no room for slip-ups in their world, and Megan has never been given the opportunity to be her own person until her childhood crush re-enters her life.

After eight years across the pond to avoid his life, and his parent’s incessant need for him to use his genius for good, Spencer Grant has returned to Atlanta to escape his mistakes in Europe. However, when fate steps in and tempts him with the sweetest Peach he’s ever encountered, Spencer finds himself wondering, is Megan influencing him to be a better person or is she the one being Influenced?

Elsie’s Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Megan Reese has known Spencer Grant her entire life, from an annoying kid to love-struck adolescence Spencer has been Megan’s vision of a knight in shining armor. Now she’s finished school and they are working as colleagues at the same law firm and things begin to heat up for the star-crossed lovers… Love is in their future if they can navigate familial treachery and secrets that Spencer would rather not have come to light.

This is the second novel that I’ve read by Shannon Youngblood and the first by Janae Keyes. I was surprised, but pleasantly so by this well-written novel that’s filled with angst, heartbreak and a fair amount of heat. It’s a real departure from Shannon’s usually darker fare and I enjoyed it. Influenced is written with solid main characters, with enough details to truly make you feel for both Megan and Spencer.

This is the type of IR novel I like, no stereotyping or fetishizing here. Any mention of race is incidental and not what drives the story. A formula I wish more authors who write IR would follow.

I hope this isn’t the last collaboration between Shannon and Janae and in the meantime, I’ll check out what each author does individually!

Is this book worthy of making into an audiobook? An emphatic yes! It’s sorely needed.

This book was gifted to me in exchange for an unbiased review!

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