Rating: 3 stars
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When Jonathan Stevens pulls Kai out of the path of the vehicle barreling towards him, his only thoughts are for saving the beautiful man. Getting a date out of the situation is only a bonus. Jonathan is immediately enthralled with Kai and wants to get to know him better, but he’s afraid to get too close. He doesn’t want Kai knowing about his past and his nightmares, but it may be too difficult to keep those from the man he wants in his bed.
Kai Stromwell is a successful, almost-billionaire who is looking for a man who wants him for him and not his money. He is immediately taken by Jonathan and can’t wait to get to know the bodyguard. When Kai’s sister is threatened by an ex-boyfriend, Kai makes use of Jonathan’s expertise to help protect her. But when Kai’s life is in danger and the list of suspects point closer to home than he expected, it’s up to Kai and Jonathan to figure out who is telling the truth and who is trying to kill him before it is too late.
Teasing Jonathan is the third, and reportedly final, installment in Amber Kell’s Mercenary Love series. I’ve enjoyed this series from the beginning, but this final book is my least favorite of the three. Not to say that I don’t like it. I just don’t enjoy it as much as the previous two books.
So, let’s start with the characters. I really do like these men, but they could have used more development, especially Jonathan. Jonathan is haunted by events from his past to the point of losing sleep. He’s a bit broken and sad. He’s protective and caring. But there could be so much more to him. The PTSD aspect is hit upon, but his past is never really explained. Yes, he is ex-military, but what actually happened that caused the nightmares? I also would have liked to see him in his actual steps to healing instead of just talking about what he was doing – the drugs, the therapy. He is a decent character, but incomplete. I liked Kai best out of the two. He’s trusting and giving, but he’s not gullible. He is in need of Jonathan’s strength and protective nature. And when his world falls down around him, Jonathan helps hold him up. He’s a little too trusting and gullible for my tastes, more the damsel in distress type, but it works for this story.
Their relationship is extremely rushed in this story. It goes from zero to I love you in no time. It’s a little awkward and not very believable. But the sweetness and immediate attraction is pretty consistent with this author’s work. And whereas, it’s a fast growing relationship, the characters are very likable and adorable together.
I liked the plot, but I’m a little disappointed with the resolution of conflict. The mystery is entertaining in the way that it’s difficult to figure out the whodunit. But my problem lies in the why. Why did the antagonist do it? Was there motivation other than Kai’s money? And how was it pulled off? There’s so much that was left unanswered. It’s disappointing.
So, in the end, this story is good, but could have been better. For a finale to a series, I expected so much more, but instead Teasing Jonathan fell flat. I’m a fan of Kell’s work, her lovable characters, and her angst free, fun stories. This isn’t my favorite of Kell’s books, by far, but it is good. And as always, I look forward to what she has up her sleeves next.