My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed book one in this new ex-military bodyguard series from Annabeth but I absolutely fell in love with Duncan and Ezra in this one!
The rock star falling for his bodyguard trope isn’t a new one, in fact I’d just read Lauren Blakeley’s One Time Only which has the same theme a few days earlier, but here Annabeth manages somehow to take a fresh approach.
What the reader gets is a surprisingly sweet, but also a bit angsty, romance as Duncan, the former Navy SEAL Lieutenant son of a famous Hollywood star, fights to keep his relationship with his brother’s best friend on a professional basis.
Poor Duncan, my heart ached for him. Like his younger half-brother Danny in book one, he’s not had any kind of decent upbringing, thrown off to boarding school, private tutors and nannies, his parents are feckless and unfeeling and it’s left him clinging to his reputation in the Military as a man of honour, something his father is not.
Which proves conflicting when his friendship with Ezra becomes something much more, their chemistry is obvious but it’s the kindness and support each offers the other which makes it special.
Ezra is also much more than just a rich rock star, he’s constantly trying to keep hold of his friendships from before he was famous, the ones he knows are by his side because they want to be not because of what he can do for them.
His parents had him later in life, so he also worries about them and he’s rapidly approaching burnout when Duncan takes over as his Security Chief. Their opposite personalities cause clashes, but they also connect deeply too when both realise there is a longing within the other for someone they can rely on.
I loved everything about this book and didn’t put it down once I started reading it. Both Ezra and Duncan go through some changes, working together by having proper conversations – and a few sulky moments it’s true – to try and find a way forward.
Their secret relationship brings the tension to the plot and is used well by Annabeth to cause moments of friction between them which arise organically and never feel deliberately placed. There’s the usual 70%/Third Act hiccup but it’s thankfully resolved pretty quickly by the two men actually having a grown up discussion!
And the sex between them is a glorious mix of control and tenderness as Ezra discovers Duncan’s touch starved nature fires him up even more. The scene where Duncan gives up trying to be in charge and lets Ezra just love him is beautiful.
Now there’s just Harley’s book to come and the hints we’re given for that one have me salivating!
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.