Rating: 3.5 stars
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Renner Bastion is the boss. He owns manufacturing plants, but his employees keep their distance. All employees with the exception of Milo, the security guard that has taken it upon himself to make sure that Renner stays safe during his time in New Jersey. Renner was supposed to have moved on by now to his other business interests, but Milo is keeping Renner interested in staying put. Getting involved with Milo would break all of Renner’s self imposed rules of not dating employees and not dating anyone under 30. And, oh yeah, Renner doesn’t even think that Milo dates men.
When Milo saves Renner from a mugging, a deal is struck. When emotions are running high, Milo not only admits that he is attracted to men, but that he has his eye on one certain man back in Boston and is at a loss as to how to approach him. Milo is intimidated by Renner’s wealth and confidence and gorgeous looks and thinks the man would never have a real conversation with him, let alone anything else. Yet the men find themselves spending a few days together where Milo will teach Renner how to relax, as his latest cardiac event dictates he must, and Renner will teach Milo the art of seduction. Someone is bound to get burned.
I did start out a bit hesitant with this book as Tessa Bailey is a new-to-me author and Wound Tight is book four in a series that featured m/f pairings previously, but is listed as a standalone. The set up here right from the start was a hurdle for me to get over. Milo saves Renner from being mugged and right there in the street he just opens all of his secrets to Renner about realizing that he likes men, not knowing how to approach one specific man in particular, and then a deal is made between the men. This was the book that I hung in all the way through and kept thinking once we moved on from that initial set up it would smooth out, but the set up was the entire foundation for the book and it was a stretch for me.
I like characters like Renner: the wealthy, gorgeous, closed off man that works too hard until that one man comes along. Milo is the perfect foil to Renner as he is less secure, but he is witty and takes Renner on in all the ways. Renner is more attracted to and becomes more attached to Milo than he wants to be. But, the idea here is that Milo wants a chance with Travis, a man he knew from his hometown of Boston, and Renner is going to teach him the art of seduction. I never did gel with this storyline. Travis was the first man Milo had been attracted to, which helped him discover his sexuality. There was friendship between them, but every time Renner and Milo get close, Renner brings up Travis, even though Milo is clearly into Renner. Even the conclusion of the Travis storyline just didn’t pull this all together for me.
When the men are together they are crazy hot. Renner is the boss in the bedroom and out, and he comes complete with a full arsenal of dirty talk. Yet, I kept feeling like the men were apart somewhat even when they were together. There was just something missing for me here with the way they were interacting and then Renner has a story of why he was so closed off to having a relationship that didn’t have that impact I was looking for either.
The men make this deal, yet I didn’t really feel that Milo learned anything about the so-called art of seduction and Renner surely never relaxed. And as far as this being a stand alone, I kept feeling like I was missing pieces of information. From the reason Renner was at the NJ plant in the first place, to a storyline involving his step sister and her husband, to Milo’s former military buddies being the reason he took the job in NJ in the first place. Then the ending wraps up with these characters that I didn’t know who were featured in other books.
So if you have read the previous books in this series, I would say to check this one out. If you haven’t and are looking for a new author with two men who can bring well matched banter with crazy, sexy heat, maybe look into it as well.