Declan did bodyguard work for mobsters and bad guys for years before his retirement. Unfortunately, he retired to playing poker, and that led to him losing his life savings…plus more…to a mobster he used to work for. Rather than throw Declan off a roof, “Big Paolo” decides to send him to upstate New York to do a security gig instead…unpaid, of course. A wealthy man’s son has been threatened and he wants some extra muscle around in case something bad happens. Needless to say, Declan is less than enthused.
Sebastian is a scientist, devoted to his work in green energy and environmental/climate change. His wealthy father sent him off to schools for the gifted when he was a child and is now paying for Seb’s home and lab. Seb’s experiments are run at his father’s corporate labs, and they return the data to him. Not concerned with the threats against him, Seb just wants to be left alone in his lab. When a rough looking, but handsome, older man shows up and says he’s Seb’s new bodyguard, he’s intrigued…and attracted.
Soon, the men begin getting along quite well, and they settle into a companionable routine, but the threats against Sebastian become very real. Now, Declan must keep the man he’s falling for safe while they try to figure out who is behind everything…and why. What’s going to happen to Declan and Seb when the truth comes out?
I really enjoyed this book! I love stories about bodyguards, and if they happen to be older than their charge, that makes it even better. That’s why I quickly snatched up Guarding His Heart andI was certainly not disappointed.
Both Declan and Sebastian are good, strong characters. I love how Declan is a gruff, rough around the edges man from a less than ideal background. I also really liked how, even though he wasn’t pleased to be there in New York, he actually threw himself into keeping Sebastian safe. Speaking of Sebastian, I thought it was kind of adorable how he was so dedicated to his work. I think it was his desire to help the world that really grabbed me…sort of a naïve optimism. The chemistry between the two men was palpable, and I feel, almost instant. My favorite parts of the book were when they allowed themselves to be vulnerable together. Declan tells Seb about his past, and Seb begins to trust/rely on Declan to keep him safe.
I was impressed with the way the author set up the mystery of who was threatening Sebastian and why, and although I figured out who was behind it, it was the why that threw me. I like to be thrown. Cookie cutter whodunnits may be okay for a comfort read, but Guarding His Heart was an exciting treat. I also enjoyed how Declan had a nephew in the area and is able to connect with him. There’s a genuine love between the men, and even though Gray wasn’t exactly on the up and up, he was still (what I consider, at least) a decent guy.
I’m pleased to say the plot runs smoothly, is obviously well researched, and is nicely nuanced. It played to me like a movie would. The action is great. The growing relationship between Declan and Sebastian was equal parts sweet and sexy, and just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…BOOM…there’s a puppy! YAY!
The ending tied everything up neatly, and as soon as the reason why Sebastian’s life was in danger–and who put there in the first place–was explained, I was able to take a nice, deep breath and just enjoy it. This is the first book in a new series, and I consider it a great start. I think this will be a series to watch for, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.