Rating: 3 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
A year ago, Andrew lost his lover of more than thirty years while on a job and the bloody nightmares still haunt him. It took a friend, Frederick, to pull him out of the bottle by giving him a job as his driver and bodyguard and a new chance at life. But just because Andrew isn’t swimming in alcohol anymore doesn’t mean he’s better, and Frederick won’t let him forget it. When his ploy to get Andrew to see a shrink backfires, Frederick invites Andrew to a dinner party as a friend, not an employee, to get him out and socializing again. While there, Andrew spots the beautiful man across the room who cause the first stirring of attraction he has felt for anyone since his last lover.
When Andrew and the mystery man end up seated by one another at dinner, things take a turn for the worse. The man, Michael, turns out to be the psychologist Frederick wanted Andrew to see. As dinner progresses, Andrew and Michael find they enjoy each other’s company and when Michael asks Andrew out in a non-patient manner, he accepts. But he hasn’t dated anyone other than Rory in over thirty years, and even agreeing to the date feels like cheating. As much as Andrew wants Michael, he struggles with moving past the guilt of finding a new lover.
I’ll be honest, this book was just okay. It wasn’t soul shattering and it wasn’t horrible; it sat somewhere firmly in the middle. I like that the author was bold enough to come out of the gate with two over-fifty main characters. Characters over the age of forty don’t get enough time in the spotlight and for two of them in the same book… that’s a rarity. Admittedly, I’m more of a May/December girl, myself, but I don’t shy away from December/December. It’s just that this story was so dadgum depressing. I get that Andrew lost the love of his life—they were together for thirty years. And I get that it’s only been a year; a thirty-year relationship doesn’t just disappear. But Andrew moped throughout this entire book. Like the entire book.* (*read in slow, dramatic voice because that’s how I typed it.) He has issues—like PTSD, talking to dead lover issues—and one, says he’s fine, which he’s obviously not, then two, absolutely refuses to get help, which he most certainly needs. Then he finds this guy he’s deeply connected to and he agrees to go out with him. Understandably, he’s nervous—the guy has only dated one other man in the past thirty years. So then what do they do? Talk about his dead partner. Head. Desk. I get that Michael is super patient because he’s this amazing psychologist. Kudos. He’s a prince, truly. But in my head I keep thinking that eventually this guy is going to get tired of sharing his bed with a ghost. Then what?
Maybe the biggest problem with this story is that it’s not long enough. Readers aren’t given enough information to be fully vested in Andrew and Michael’s relationship. What we get is sad, depressed Andrew and White Knight Michael with a whole mountain of baggage standing between them and no hope of overcoming any of it in this short of a story.
And finally, the title is deceiving. Other than Andrew actually being a bodyguard, the title makes no sense. He’s not Michael’s bodyguard. Michael is a psychologist, so he’s obviously not guarding anyone’s body. They barely touch and not for any sort of chaste reasons so there’s no guarding of anyone’s bodies going on other than the guarding of Frederick, the criminal lawyer who employs Andrew, but he’s just the friend.
It’s not all bad. The age thing is a plus. The meddling friend with good intentions made me laugh. And Michael is a pretty good guy. I’m disappointed by the depressing mood played throughout the story and the lack of any sort of resolution. If I had it to do all over again, I unfortunately this is probably a book I wouldn’t pick up again.