The Billionaire’s Bodyguard by Erin M. Leaf (3 Stars)

An entertaining short story with a mix of murder, mystery and romance.

Alex Roman, billionaire investor, finds himself in need of a bodyguard after receiving strange and threatening letters. Fortunately, his best friend, Jesse Emerson, has just returned from serving in the Air Force as a security expert and is more than willing to help him. Alex has been in love with Jesse forever, and this might just be the opportunity to make that clear.

Alex and Jesse are both really nice people, and the affection they feel for each other is apparent from page one. They would do anything for each other and have looked out for one another their entire lives. Alex has been in love with Jesse, and believes that at some point, Jesse will realize that he loves Alex back. As circumstances allow them to spend every minute of their days together, it becomes harder and harder for Alex to wait around for Jesse to see what’s in front of him. Alex takes a chance and fortunately, Jesse is open to the possibility that he does love Alex as more than just a friend.

In addition to watching Jesse try to determine what is happening with his love life, we are also dealing with the mystery of who is trying to kill Alex. There are certainly plenty of suspects. Unfortunately, the mystery was just too convoluted for such a short story. It became a bit too much and overwhelmed the romance. There were also some open loops at the end leaving me wondering why certain things happened.

If you enjoy mystery stories with best friends turning into lovers, this could fit the bill.


Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
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Tempest (Playing the Fool #3) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock (5 Stars)

The action and intrigue continue in the lives of Henry and Mac.

Henry and Mac’s ongoing escapades from the first two stories are brought full circle, and the investigation of Mac kicks it up a notch. The evidence is piling up against Mac, forcing him to hide out at his parents along with Henry and another guest.

This story definitely had a more somber tone than the first two. I always struggle when one person is afraid of falling in love because they don’t want to take a chance on getting hurt. However, I was definitely sold on this reason for Henry. We were living in his head while he went through the painful reasons behind his feelings. The upside to understanding his battle so deeply is that the win is so much more enjoyable.

All of the loose ends around the murders and the investigation into Mac are wrapped up in an exciting and satisfying ending. I really liked Mac’s family, and the time spent at their home helped with some of the character development. We also got some very steamy scenes.

The only thing that didn’t work for me was getting inside the head of a third character. I didn’t like the character’s voice, found it to be distracting, and felt it took time away from Henry and Mac.

The two authors worked seamlessly together in this entire series. Although there was a solid happy ending for the couple, the end of the story left an opening for future adventures with Henry and Mac.

The perfect conclusion to this amazing series with Henry and Mac finally accepting their love for each other.

Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
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The Merchant of Death (Playing the Fool #2) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock (5 Stars)

Henry and Mac become entangled in mystery and murder, but that’s not as dangerous as their romance.

This is the second story in the series, and the first one, The Two Gentlemen of Altona, definitely needs to be read first. Henry and Mac pick the action right back up from the first story, and we get to learn so much more about both of them. Henry had a traumatic childhood with his drug-addicted mother. The tragedy that befell his sister is what drives him to keep conning. Mac finds himself under investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility. We learn more about his real friends and his family life. Henry and Mac clicked on such a base level, and I truly believed that they were meant to be together. I enjoyed watching them spend more time together.

The plot focused on sinister activities taking place at a local care home. Henry infiltrates the home dressed as a woman and finds himself in the middle of the nightmare and in desperate need of Mac’s help. Seeing Henry dressed as a woman worked for both Mac and Henry and certainly lead to some interesting sex scenes.

Although Henry and Mac make some progress on their relationship, we aren’t anywhere close to seeing a happy ending. However, there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.

An exciting continuation of the adventures of Henry and Mac.

Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
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A Hunted Man (The Men of Halfway House #2) by Jaime Reese (5 Stars)

A touching and suspenseful story with two caring people who were fortunate enough to find each other.

After serving 10 years of his life in prison, Cameron can only hope he’ll find somebody who will truly love and accept him. Fortunately, Hunter might just be the right man. Now they just have to survive long enough to catch the real criminals.

I really enjoyed this detective story about Hunter Donovan, Assistant State Attorney, trying to take drugs off the street, and Cam Pierce, the man he fell instantly in love with. I loved how the author managed to weave Cam’s initial arrest 10 years ago with the current drug and corruption problem taking place. There’s also a bit of a mystery trying to determine who is causing trouble within the department.

Cam is such a touching character. Although the last decade has been extremely rough for him, he’s still such a sweetheart. He looks for ways to bring beauty to the world with his landscaping. He’s so helpful to the elderly couple that own the diner where he works. I thought the author did a wonderful job making sure we adored him, felt his pain, but also saw him as a man who desperately wants to move on with his life. I liked that he had real reasons for doubting that Hunter would stick around, but he never did anything stupid to try to intentionally drive Hunter away. Having served in the Marines, Hunter was a very strong character who wanted to make the world a better place. However, he finally realized that he wasn’t finding time to take care of himself.

This slow-burn romance had Hunter and Cam spending quite a bit of time together getting to know each other before moving their relationship to the next level. The steamy scenes were extremely well done. You could really feel the heat between these two. I adored Hunter’s dad, and it was nice to see Matt and Julian from the first story since they run the halfway-house that Cam is staying in.

Although it’s part of a series, it isn’t necessary to read the first story, but I found it very enjoyable and would recommend it.


Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Book Blurb