Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
This is the second book in this bodyguard series, written like the first with alternating points of view for each chapter. You could read it as a standalone or read it first, and then go back and read the first one if you want to know more about Linc and Wyatt’s story, even though this happens afterward. Elijah is damaged by past abuse and a Hollywood stage mom. Luckily his grandfather helps shield him for a few years before his death. The studio hires the security agency to protect Elijah after he’s attacked by a fan at a red carpet event. Enter Shepard as Elijah’s new bodyguard.
The book has something to say about actors as commodities, powerful people who act above the law, and mental health–although please know Shep’s diagnosis as a sociopath is a fictionalized version and not true to life. A conversation between Mac and Shep really illustrates how wrong in the head Shep is…so is it bad that I am on team Shep? Both of them are actors trying to blend in for their own survival, but the key to knowing why they work is that Elijah is a narcissist and hates uncertainty; once they are together, Shep makes sure he is certain of everything and is the center of his attention. I liked that the reader is never allowed to forget Shep is a sociopath. His pretending to be normal is always there. Elijah is sometimes surprised to be reminded life isn’t all about him and his dramas. He’s lucky to have Wyatt and Charlie as friends, but I wonder how well they really know him.
What I liked the least was the premise that Shep had to extract information from Elijah in order to help him. They are already exploring their sexuality together to find out what they like and don’t like. There seemed no need to make up this type of scenario just for the sake of a kinky scene with a child victim of rape. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t super hot though. The secondary characters didn’t add much here except for Lucifer, who though used as a foil, could have been more nuanced. I would like to see more of Shep’s twin brother. What I liked the best was Elijah taking back his agency and moving on with his life, letting the expectations of others go to do what he wants to do. Be prepared that this security agency all of the sudden turns into a vigilante group, so if you like your heroes wearing white hats, this might not be the book for you. This sets up the couple needed for the next book. There are many tropes here to enjoy: age gap, voyeurism, first time, and hints of Daddy with some topping from the bottom. Really it’s more that Shep runs everything except the bedroom, which is left to Elijah. This is an entertaining, over the top, revenge story that has sexy, albeit dark moments.
The cover design by We Got You Covered Book Design matches the first in the series. It shares the shattered glass image, signaling the books are about damaged lead characters, but adds the film to be a representation of Elijah and the industry he works in. The colors are bright and eye-catching.
Sales Links: Amazon
Published December 4th 2019
Series Elite Protection Services #2