Series: Bodyguards Inc, 02
Author: R.J. Scott
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: Novel (202pgs)
ISBN: 9781311342478, B00LCA8612, LLBEx01
Publisher: Love Lane Books (27th June 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3½ – 4 Hearts
Blurb: When Bodyguard, Ben Collins, finds Daniel Lincoln in a room, hiding, and hurt, he doesn’t immediately think Daniel is the victim of abuse. Daniel is good at pretending and being a finalist in a TV singing competition he seems like he has it made.
But something about Daniel calls to Ben’s need to protect and he hands Daniel a card to contact him if ever Daniel needed help. Abruptly, after one frightened phone call from Daniel, Ben is racing to Daniel’s aid and what he finds is a horror he can’t imagine.
Daniel is trapped in a relationship where anger and controlling hate are the only emotions he is given. When his boyfriend crosses the line and leaves Daniel vulnerable and broken there is only one man that he wants to call.
The sexy bodyguard who promised he could help him.
Review: This story is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. Ben hates being a bodyguard at a TV singing competition but he does what he has to do, when he comes across one of the contestants hurt he jumps to his own conclusions. Daniel just needs to place third but being injured could jeopardize his singing, dosing himself with over the counter pain pills is becoming a habit. Daniel needs someone to keep him safe, Ben is the one he eventually turns to and the truth finally comes out, Daniel’s ‘loving’ boyfriend, Cam, has finally gone too far and Daniel needs all the protection he can get.
This is a great story that shows the vulnerability of an abused man, the secret hope, and desperation of an abuse victim and the courage it takes to finally say ‘no more’. Ben comes to Daniel’s rescue when Daniel needs a knight in shining amour the most, his ex-boyfriend, Cam, won’t take no for an answer and Daniel has to confess the truth of his relationship. Ben has a soft spot for the young rock singer, he has to try to put his feelings aside while he guards the young man but rescuing Daniel and getting to know him has him wanting to be more than just a bodyguard.
I have to say that this is a pretty powerful story of abuse and addiction, the mind-set that people can fall into when in a terrible relationship and the huge amount of bravery it takes to start to get your life back on track. Daniel had already started on his journey when he needed the extra support of Ben; Cam had refused to just let his cash cow disappear and resorted to manipulation. Ben and Daniel’s budding relationship isn’t ignored and we can see the growth between the two men as Ben supports and encourages Daniel to take steps to stop Cam for good. Their romance is fraught with doubts and danger, but it is also filled with reassurance and support as they turn to each other and begin to build a solid base for them to start from.
I really liked how this story was put across. It doesn’t make light of the pain pill abuse or the domestic violence. It has a victim who knows he needs help, but also knows he needs to help himself first. And we have the rescuer who doesn’t take over, but encourages and guides. We then also have the abuser losing control, as he loses control of his victim. Mixed in with all of that we have Daniel’s supportive parents and the record label doing what they can to protect their investment so nothing is ignored or left at the wayside. This is a wonderful story that has a romance blossoming from the ruins left by abuse and two men who couldn’t have deserved love more.
I recommend this to those who love knights in shining armor, victims who fight back, justice being served and love blossoming into something strong and protective.