I think I’m falling for my bodyguard co-worker. Now I need protection… from myself.
As a former SEAL intelligence officer, I’m supposed to be smart. Unfortunately, those smarts don’t apply to love. I did a nice thing and took my heartbroken fellow bodyguard out for a Valentine’s dinner. Just us bros. But my plan worked a little too well, and a night that ended with a scorching kiss has turned into the most awkward morning at the office ever. Now we’re working together as bodyguards on a remote mountain movie shoot. And we’re roommates.
I’ve never been attracted to a guy before, but something about Avery calls to every protective instinct I have. We’re not dating, but every night alone together, I fall a little deeper. It’s also Avery’s first time with a guy too, and while we’re both enjoying all sorts of new things together, I worry my heart will be broken when we return to civilization.
No matter how badly this may end, I can’t seem to stop wanting Avery. All of him. I want to see who he’ll become if he ever manages to get out of his own way. I want to be his biggest cheerleader, best friend, and the guy he comes home to. But going from secret hookup to forever after is a big ask. Are we both brave enough to take the leap?
ROCKY START is book four in the A-List Security series. It features TWO highly protective SEAL bodyguards, a double awakening, an exploration of the sexy, lacy kind, and all sorts of brand-new emotions. Get ready for all the high heat, big feels, and found family feels readers expect from this fan-favorite military romance author. Join A-List Security for this lower-angst series featuring former SEALs and celebrity clients. Happy endings and no cliffhangers guaranteed!
This book was not quite what I was expecting. One of several things you can count on with an Annabeth Albert book is fantastic characters. Quite often she writes military, and this book is, as the rest in the series is former military. But the characters? Not at all what I was expecting, and I found I enjoyed that more!
Avery was quite the interesting character. A bit clueless in a way that made you laugh. Having lost his arm during his time in the military, it would be easy to think that he has little self esteem due to that, but really it was due to a lot of internalized homophobia, and watching him work his way out of it, with the help of Malik was fascinating. It wasn’t instant, it was one compliment at a time, one cuddle at a time, one reaction from Malik at a time, even every time he looked in the mirror and saw himself looking sexy. Avery learned to love himself at the same time he was learning to love Malik.
Malik, so perfectly represented by the cover model, was not only a sweet man, but one who clearly cherished his partners in all things. He didn’t just buy Avery sweet and sexy things, he worked to make Avery believe in himself, as much as in them as a couple. Even with his PTSD, he was so giving to others, Avery, his mother, other vets suffering following their service.
Both men had only been with women, so this is a bit of a bi/gay awakening for them both, but honestly it was hard to see how they would have worked with anyone else. Malik stood beside Avery as he took the nearly crippling step of standing up to his family, and telling his mother flat out that he was gay.
This is a VERY steamy book, but not overdone. The sex scenes in the book were well placed, and really helped to forge the path that Avery was going down of learning he was loved, sexy and wanted. Also, I laughed when he admitted at one point that he was a bit of drama.
Not just a happy ending for the couple, but a happy ending for each of the men in their own right, learning what brought each of them joy and passion, outside of their budding relationship. Their relationship flowed seamlessly from co-workers to friends to friends with benefits to lovers, and never felt forced.
The author mentions that she wrote this during a time of extraordinary grief in her life, and it is so obvious how much passion she poured into this couple as she dealt with such a major event. This was a saving grace for her, clearly, and it shows as you read it.
I enjoyed these two so much. Worth every minute, and a re-read.
4.5 pieces of eye candy