Tough Luck, the latest from author Annabeth Albert, is the first in her new A-List Security series. The series has at its center a newly established company formed from a group of men who served together on a SEAL team. As they’ve retired, the men are brought together by their Lieutenant, the owner of the firm.
It’s a terrific concept as it allows us to meet a range of complicated men, with different personalities and backgrounds who regard each other as brothers.
First up is Cash “Money “ Erwin, recently retired. Not by choice, exactly, more because of a “reduction in numbers “ move he got caught up in. Now he’s out, crashing on his Lt’s couch and trying to figure out where to go next.
That’s when Duncan Love, his former Lieutenant and close friend, asks for a favor. Duncan has been trying to get Cash to join his new company, A-List Security without success, now he needs help with security for his younger brother, a former Hollywood Star with a stalker.
Albert’s two person perspective works smoothly to help the reader get into the mindset and immediate emotional issues of each man.
We are aware of Cash’s inability to move forward. He’s stuck because he just doesn’t know what to do next, so ingrained has been his military service and lifestyle. That includes always being part of a team, and having your directions and goals already planned out. A future alone and goalless is confusing and unclear.
We get this man immediately. And the more he reveals of his adolescence and background, the greater the clarity of the character. Cash is a amazing gift of a man.
When Albert introduces us to the former actor Danny Love, it’s in a remarkable scene. For both men. It sets the tone for establishing a relationship of trust , respect, and eventually friendship. That’s a lot for a man who’s a addict, and has come to expect the worst reactions from those he meets because of his past behavior and status. Including people his older brother might have sent to “take care” of his issues. Danny has successfully completed rehab and has now been clean for a while. However, he understands that his former friends and lifestyle definitely contributed to that addiction. And avoids both.
Danny is a well thought out character, not just defined by his addictions but by a upbringing with toxic parents who contributed to his damaging adolescence and negatively impacted his outlook in adulthood.
Their romance is one of sexual exploration, communication, and personal growth. It’s sweet, tender, and very sexy.
The stalker element is a big mystery that I thought got resolved a tad too quickly , which is why the story didn’t get a full 5 🌈. For all the buildup, there was no history or explanation into the perpetrator or their actions. Or what happens to that person. It just finished. It felt incomplete to me.
The relationship and romance? Stellar. Love both men and how the author leaves them. Excellent ending.
Tough Luck is a fantastic contemporary romance and a great start to a new series. Can’t wait for the next one, Hard Job, to be released. I’m highly recommending this!
A-List Security series:
✓ Tough Luck #1
◦ Hard Job #2 – July 7, 2022
My best friend’s little brother needs a bodyguard. Now I’m the one in danger…
I’m a SEAL. Or rather, I was. Retired at the grand old age of thirty-eight, I’m at loose ends. My best friend wants me to join his security team. I’m not sure I’m bodyguard material, but he needs someone to protect his kid brother. How hard can spoiled brat duty be?
Somehow, I missed the part where former child star Danny Love went from dorky TV darling to all grown up and disturbingly attractive. All the gossip about his wild ways fails to mention that he’s trying hard to clean up his act. But now he’s got a stalker.
Hiding out together in a remote mountain cabin, alone, the temptation keeps building. I’m feeling things I never have before. Secrets I’ve kept even from myself bubble to the surface every time Danny looks my way with those puppy dog eyes.
I’m a SEAL. We leap into danger. So why is it so terrifying when that danger comes with the softest pair of lips I’ve ever known? At some point we’re going to have to return to Hollywood and our vastly different lives. Will Danny still want me around when he doesn’t need me for protection? Can I be brave enough to give him a reason to?
TOUGH LUCK is book one in a brand-new SEAL bodyguard series. It features an age gap, steamy first times, and all the high heat, big emotions, 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 the celebrity clients who win their hearts. Happy endings and no cliffhangers guaranteed!