3.75 stars – An enjoyable romantic suspense novel about an MI6 agent posing as a bodyguard for a young Russian musician (and a good addition for anyone looking for a m/m “bodyguard/client” romance.)
What I liked: I hadn’t read Elsborg before and this was a good intro. I though her writing was overall smooth and very readable. The MCs were very appealing, good dialogue, taut action scenes, and the sexy times were very sexy.
It’s also a nice slow burn. There’s some insta-lust, but the MCs don’t act on it, partially because they drive each other nuts, but then slowly warm to each other throughout the story.
It’s also nicely long, at over 300 pages, and the action scenes were spaced out, so even though there were some pacing dips (especially when the sexy times got more plentiful), things didn’t slow down too much, so for those who like sinking into a nice longer work, this will fit well.
What worked less for me: I dug the MCs, and I liked how they opened up to each other, but something felt flat to me, but it’s hard for me to put my finger on it.
There were some shortcuts that I could see why they were used, but I’m never a fan of. (E.g. the novel is told in alternating POVs between the MCs, but then suddenly jumps late in the novel to a villain’s POV. This is done to fill in a story gap, but to me, it’s jarring, and I always wonder if the story could have been told without it.)
Another example is that occasionally things would slide into telling paragraphs to cover a timespan, which also seemed jarring compared to the style before, which felt more immediate. (e.g. “And then they played at the beach and made love for hours.” It was there to tell us they were having fun and being intimate, but lost the immediacy of showing us.)
There were a couple things washed over at the end and not really explained.(show spoiler)
But in the end, I did enjoy the book. (I read it on the beach—it was a GREAT beach read.) I really liked how the action was spaced out to keep things interesting, and I did like the characters and their progression a lot. I especially liked how Zak grew more and wasn’t someone in distress a lot and how he was able to meet Logan, and take care of him as well.
Also, because it’s Samhain, there are excerpts at the end, but they don’t hit until 96%, so you get a lot of mileage before that.
Recommended especially if you like romantic suspense, and a nice longer read, and are okay with some questions not being answered, but can just go with the flow. It’ s a fun flow to ride.