Former Special Forces medical sergeant Russell “Red” McKinley knows a thing or two about wounds, like the fact some can take a lifetime to heal, if they heal at all. The scars Red carry run deep, and living with PTSD often means battling the memories of his past. Injuries he received while working an executive protection case with fellow Kings and co-owners of Four Kings Security, have once again forced past heartaches to the surface, but Red is determined not to let it derail his blossoming romance with sweet and sexy fashion photographer Lazarus Galanos.
Laz can’t deny there’s something special developing between him and Red, but Laz has wounds of his own. He’s hesitant to jump into a new relationship after his recent explosive breakup. Experience has taught Laz to doubt his judgement when it comes to men. Guys who seem too good to be true, usually are, and no one appears more perfect than Red.
When an attempt is made on Laz’s life, Red is determined to keep him safe. Laz may not be a client, and Red is still off duty, but Laz is one of their own, and nothing means more to the Kings than family. While an investigation is underway, Red and Laz are growing closer, but can they find a way to help each other heal and take a chance on love, or will their fears and insecurities cost them more than their future together?
FOUR KINGS SECURITY #2
M/M ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/CONTEMPORARY
RELEASE DATE: 07.28.18
COVER DESIGN: REESE DANTE
“You send your security officers to train in Miami?” Mason looked horrified, making Red laugh. Despite having lived in Florida for years now, Mason continued to be baffled by its residents. He was convinced something was in the water. That or the humidity was affecting people’s oxygen intake. Ace loved to poke and prod Mason just to hear him rant. It was highly entertaining.
“I’m sorry, but have you tried making a left turn in Miami during rush hour?”
“Nope. Too busy trying to figure out which of the ten cars driving with their hazard lights on during a thunderstorm actually has an emergency. I’ll give you a hint, none, because they’re not using the damn thing like they’re supposed to.”
“Well, we do live in the state of shoplifting turkeys,” Ace said with a grin.
“Someone shoplifted turkeys?” Laz asked, confused. He was so damned adorable.
“No, someone dressed like a turkey was arrested for shoplifting.”
Laz opened his mouth to reply, then closed it. He shook his head. “I got nothing.” The wind blew his hair into his face, the soft dark curls calling to Red, and he couldn’t help reaching out to tuck a lock of hair behind Laz’s ear, earning him a sweet smile. “Thanks.”
Red returned his smile and shoved his hands into his pockets, the urge to touch Laz overwhelming. Laz was a good half foot or so shorter than Red, which meant he had to look up to meet Red’s gaze, and for some reason Red found that endearing. He wasn’t sure why. At six-foot-three, most people had to look up when talking to him. Maybe because he liked how Laz felt tucked against his body. How well they fit together. One thing he did know was that the more time he spent around Laz, the more he wanted to bring him into his arms and kiss him.
“Well, hello, Officer Cooper.” Lucky swaggered over, blatantly checking Mason out like he always did, and like every other time, Mason ignored him. “You are looking particularly fine today.”
“Lucky,” Mason grumbled by way of greeting, folding his beefy arms over his chest, his bulging biceps straining against the shirt sleeves of his uniform, drawing Lucky’s hungry gaze. Red stifled a laugh and exchanged glances with Ace, who waggled his eyebrows. Mason had no idea how much he flexed when Lucky was around. For all his bitching about Lucky’s “manwhore” ways, he preened an awful lot around the guy. “When are you gonna get rid of that death machine?”
“Why? Are you worried about me?”
Mason let out a snort. “Yeah, I ain’t touchin’ that.”
“You should. Who knows. You might like it.” Lucky winked at him, and Mason rolled his eyes.
“How did you know we were here?” Red asked Lucky. It’s like his friend had an internal radar. Wherever a group of young beautiful people were gathered, Lucky was bound to be there.
Lucky held up his phone, his grin wide. “You uploaded the video to the cloud by mistake. I would have been here sooner, but I had to pull over because I couldn’t see from the tears, I was laughing so hard.”
Oh shit. Red cringed. “Oops.”
“Oops?” Ace punched Red in the arm. “Thanks a lot, asshole. You know what’s going to happen now, right?”
“I’m sorry.” He was. He really was. He wouldn’t wish what was about to happen on anyone, not even Ace. Okay, maybe sometimes he did wish it on Ace because… well, it was Ace, so he probably did something to deserve it, but this was on Red.
Ace’s phone rang, and when he answered, he didn’t bother with a greeting. “Fuck you. The both of you.”
Wow, that was quicker than expected.
Ace put his phone on speaker, Jack and Joker’s loud peals of laughter filling the air. Jabbing a finger at his phone, Ace hung up and glared at Red. “This is your doing. I hope you’re happy.”
He wasn’t. Not really. Okay, maybe a little.
“I can’t wait to see what Jack does with the video,” Lucky said, rubbing his hands together in glee. “Ooh, this means another training video.”
Ace spun to thrust a finger in King’s face. “Stop putting me in training videos!”
“What’s he talking about?” Laz whispered at Red.
Red leaned in to reply quietly so Ace wouldn’t hear him and give him another reason to yell. “Anytime someone catches Ace doing something like today and records it, King puts it in a training video on how to not do that thing.”
“I’ll stop putting you in training videos when you stop expertly demonstrating all the wrong ways to diffuse a situation,” King growled, swatting Ace’s finger away from his face. “Do that again and you’re going to be featured in a new video on broken fingers and how not to get them broken.”
Ace opened his mouth to reply, but King narrowed his eyes, his jaw muscles working, and his expression daring Ace to mouth off.
“So,” Ace said, pivoting toward Mason, “Tell ’em your good news.”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I am a BIG BIG fan of Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series. So much that I was apprehensive to start this new series. What if it isn’t as good? What if it is *gasp* better? But still, I had to read them because of course I did.
And I really, really liked book 1. There was a little tiny bit of Dex (THIRDS) in Ace (Four Kings book 1), but not a ton. I think just because they were wise cracking guys. So eyes wide open with book 2. Again- I really, really liked it.
Red and Laz started flirting in book 1, so we knew what was coming. And the ride getting there was fun. This book picks up a few months after the last and it has been a few months since Red and Laz have seen each other. But neither forgot. And then they do see each other with some meddling by Ace.
But then someone is trying to kill Laz. Like, who would do that? He is the nicest guy with no enemies except his vapid ex boyfriend and that is just too obvious. So while The Kings assign themselves bodyguards to Laz, Red assigns himself to personally guard Laz’s body.
I LOVED Laz in this book. He is a different guy in the bedroom with Red, you really see how he cares so much for his friends and he is wanting to make a name for himself in the fashion photography business without connections.
Red is still recovering from a gun shot wound even though the doctor cleared him. But he is also still dealing with PTSD from his time in the military. And because his last partner couldn’t deal with the PTSD and left, Red thinks Laz might do the same.
So (attempted) murder mystery, PTSD, new relationship…. a fast paced story with the feels and the romance and the sexy times. Ace provides a lot of comic relief, but doesn’t take over the story at all. I actually thought all 4 of the main guys were equally well represented- with Red and Laz getting the most page time obviously.
At the end of book 2 we find out the couple for book 3. Which we figured out already. So now I am totally shifting 2 characters in my head hoping they are book 4.
And a big shoutout to the author for calling out piracy in her own way. ART IS NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE FREE!!!
4 pieces of eye candy
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
Facebook Author Page: http://facebook.com/authorcharliecochet