When Mason Cooper gets temporarily suspended from the police force for drug use (he accidentally forgot to mention some cough medicine he was taking), he is feeling at a loss. Mason is no good left alone to his thoughts, especially as he is so conflicted over Eduardo “Lucky” Morales and the way things got left between them. So he approaches the guys at Four Kings Security to see if they have any temporary work. Mason is familiar with most of the team from when he used to date Ace, one of the Kings. Of course, not only is Ace Lucky’s cousin, but Lucky is one of the Kings as well, meaning there is no way to avoid the guys running into one another.
Lucky has been just as turned around as Mason over their relationship. Usually Lucky does nothing but casual, but his night with Mason is something he can’t get out of his head. And the fact that they left things on bad terms is making it worse. But Lucky is a professional and he will do his best to work with Mason.
Things end up going much smoother than either man expected. The sexual tension and attraction is still there between them, and once they talk through the conflict, they are able to move ahead with their friendship. And the more time they spend together, that friendship begins to move into more. Neither man usually does relationships. Lucky grew up struggling with his immigrant family and has learned never to expect good things to last. And Mason has secrets from his past that mean he will never be fully at peace, so there is no way he can have a real relationship. But despite their reservations, Mason and Lucky are finding themselves falling for one another. Now the two men are building something real together, something neither expected. But Mason’s past may just catch up with him, and when it does, it may cost them their lives.
Join the Club is the third book in the Four Kings Security series and I actually think this one was my favorite so far. I felt the other stories got lost a little between the suspense and the romance, not quite balancing between them and losing the suspense thread a little in favor of the romance. In this case, I don’t think the story tries to do too much, and so it worked a little smoother for me. Rather than setting up one suspense/investigation plot as a major thread (and threat), we see Mason and Lucky undertake a series of jobs for the Kings. It is a nice way to get a feel for the work they do and I enjoyed seeing this day to day. So while there is a suspense element here, it is never really the focus and it blends nicely into the resolution of the story, leaving the romance front and center.
I liked Lucky and Mason together and there is a nice lovers reunited feel. I did wish we had a better recap of what went wrong between them in the past. If I am remembering correctly, this conflict played out in the prior book, Be Still My Heart, and so while I read that book, I didn’t remember the details. Given that both men are torn up about what happened, I really missed not actually remembering details of the incident and I think a more thorough recap would have been useful. Once they move past this however, I enjoyed their developing romance. This series is full of banter and good natured teasing and playfulness, and we see that between these men as well. It makes a nice balance as we explore some of the deeper issues in both Lucky and Mason’s pasts.
So I found this to be another nice installment in the series. Next up is King’s book and we get a teaser for that in the epilogue of this story. I am really looking forward to his story and continuing with the series.