Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Avery thinks he’s finally hit the jackpot getting an actress girlfriend. But when she breaks things off right before Valentine’s Day, he’s a bit broken hearted. When his friend and coworker, Malik, offers to take Avery out on Valentine’s Day, Avery accepts. Eating at the fusion restaurant is better than he ever expected, and neither man wants the night to end. Back at Malik’s place for gaming, one question leads to a kiss and then so much more. But Avery freaks out; he’s straight and he can’t wrap his brain around how much he enjoyed their encounter. Things are awkward between them, and while they do work things out, it’s not exactly easy between them. Getting assigned together to work security at a weeks-long remote movie set doesn’t help anything. Especially when they have to share a room.

Malik quickly realizes he’s most likely pansexual, so it’s easier for him to accept his attraction to another man. And he understands where Avery’s reactions are coming from. Malik wants Avery to get out of his own way and realize that he deserves to be happy. His patience with Avery’s push and pull helps Avery start to accept that his wants and desires are okay.

As the two men explore their new relationship, Malik is floored by how Avery hits every one of his buttons. Malik loves, more than anything, taking care of Avery, his needs and desires, and making the other man happy. Malik allows Avery to be himself, to find out what turns him on, and encourages those things. Whether it be lacy lingerie or turning on the sass to get a spanking, praising Avery, or calling him sweet names. Their weeks together allow both men to figure themselves out.

But the end of the shoot is looming, and Avery staunchly refuses to talk about what happens next. Both men want more, want a real relationship and forever, but they can’t seem to communicate. When Malik finally corners Avery, their conversation is cut short when disaster strikes. It’s the wake-up call Avery needs to get out of his own way and go after what he wants: a future with Malik.

This is the fourth book in Albert’s A-List Security series, and the books stand on their own pretty well. This book even more so, in my opinion, as we saw barely more than a passing mention of these two characters in past books. But it encompasses the themes we’ve seen before: former military men working for A-List Security, and filled with revelations and exploration as the MCs find out what makes them tick.

As with the rest of the series, this book is told in alternating first-person POV, and I think it worked especially well here. Avery, in particular, was going through a lot mentally as he had to readjust his entire world view. Growing up the son of a famous football player, he had certain views on what makes a man drilled into him. It’s the reason for a lot of his choices in Avery’s life, including joining the Navy and becoming a SEAL. But the real Avery, the one he is deep inside, is so vastly different than what he’s been living his entire life that it takes a lot of work before he’s able to unpack that. Malik’s patience, understanding, and support goes a long way to helping Avery work through it all.

Malik, for his part, is more readily able to accept his shift in his perception of his own sexuality. He also derives great joy in taking care of and even spoiling Avery. I loved his need to take care of Avery, and I really enjoyed watching all the ways he found to do it. But Malik’s not without his faults. He’s stubborn and prideful in some ways, especially when it comes to asking for help. But having Avery’s assistance helps him get past that as well.

What really struck me is the chemistry between the MCs. Right from the start, it sizzled and sparked, practically leaping off the page. Their first sexual encounter could have been strange because of the speed with which they jumped in, and yet it felt completely natural for these two. Likewise, everything they discovered sexually about each other, including Avery’s love of lacy things, felt like it made perfect sense. But just as much as the sexual things worked between them, they were forging a relationship outside of the bedroom as well. Leaning on each other when they aren’t normally ones to lean and sharing aspects of their lives they wouldn’t normally share. I loved the progression of their relationship and thought Albert did an exceptional job with them.

Overall, this one is my favorite book out of the series. The two MCs wormed their way into my heart from the start, and I was riveted to the page throughout. These guys simply fit so well together. If you like characters coming to terms with their sexuality and exploring light kink, along with endearing MCs, then this book is definitely for you.

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