Love in Xxchange 5: Ex’s and O’s by Bailey Bradford

Title: Ex’s and O’s            Word Count: 294 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Adam Masterson paid a steep price for doing the right thing, but it might be more than worth it if he can get through tough cop Les Stanton—and if they can survive one man’s plans for vengeance.

He tried to do the right thing…

All Adam Masterson tried to do was the right thing—stop a psychotic man from hurting anyone else. While he may have succeeded, he also put himself in the crosshairs of the man’s wealthy father, and Adam soon finds himself battered, homeless and unemployed. When his mother is also evicted from her home, Adam packs up his car and takes Charlene, his mother, with him as he heads to Texas to plead for help from someone he isn’t sure will help.

…so they might have a chance together.

When officer Les Stanton pulls over the beater car with Montana plates, he already knows who is in the vehicle. His friend Josh has been complaining about his partner, Nick, helping out the too-attractive blond from Montana. Les soon finds himself irresistibly drawn to Adam. Even his fear of Charlene can’t keep him away. Now, if he can just let go of the past and learn to trust, he and Adam might have a chance-unless one wealthy man swearing vengeance destroys them both.

My Review: Tough as nails Officer Les Stanton has always thought of himself as straight. Until he meets the spunky blond named Adam who he stopped for speeding. Les recognizes the name from his friend Josh, so he is surprised at the bruises he sees on Adam’s face.He remembered that Josh told him that Adam had been run  out  of town after taking down his would-be rapist. It just so happens that the rapist’s Dad Mitch Rollins Sr. is very rich and has quite a few people in his pockets. A few of his goons roughed up Adam, before he got away with his mother Charlene. 

Les decides to take Adam to the hospital where Josh works as a nurse so he can patch him up. Josh’s partner Nick and Adam are really good friends and this makes Josh a tiny bit jealous since Adam is so gorgeous and twinky. Josh is just as much a twink and he sees him as competition. After seeing how downtrodden he is, Josh decides to cut him some slack and offers Adam and his mother Charlene his old apartment to stay.

With the help of friends , Adam soon gets himself a job at the club Xxchange. Adam doesn’t mind the work , he just hates that he has to fend off the owner’s brother. Adam decides to put him in his place and almost breaks Randy’s hand in the process. When he is called to the office , he is almost sure that he will be sacked. He explains himself to his boss Xavier telling him he was just defending himself. He is in the process of showing Xavier the bruise on his buttocks, when Les walks in. The possessive beast rises up in Les and he just can’t stand anyone else seeing the man who he wants for himself. Les is furious when he sees Adam’s bruises, he just wants to kiss them away.Les is surprised at the feelings Adam incites in him, he never really thought about his sexuality since he is a virgin. Adam is happy at the possessive traits he sees within Les, it makes him feel special and definitely wanted. That night he goes home with Les.

Adam makes Les  want to share all his secrets. Les opens up to Adam and tells him that he is a virgin. Adam can’t believe that this big sexy cop is untouched, he knows that there is a story there. However, Adam decides not to push and accepts it for the gift that it is. Their first time together is explosive and Les knows that he has found someone very special in Adam. Les wants to explore with Adam, but he feels vulnerable to let someone so intimately in his body. He enjoys himself thoroughly with Adam and he realizes that there is no shame in the passion between two men.

Things are going great for them and the sex is out of this world. It has certainly opened up their eyes to having a more long-term relationship. It doesn’t take long for things to go south though. Chase Murphy , the PI who helped Adam send the would be rapist to jail shows up thoroughly beaten, but tries to warn him. Before he can get the words out, Chase falls unconscious. Les is worried that Adam and Charlene is in danger and offers his home as a sanctuary even though he is a bit uncomfortable around Adam’s mom. Adam is scared out of his mind that he has put his friend’s lives in jeopardy. Les lets him know that they will face things head on , because he loves Adam and wants to spend his life with him.

That moment was the turning point for Les where he decides to reveal his whole self to his lover. Les had a horrific childhood and his mother was a monster. She purposefully made Les and his brother sick by slow poisoning them. She succeeded in killing his brother and Les was able to expose her to the authorities before she killed him. It is no wonder he has certain trust issues and is standoffish with Charlene.

After Les’ revelation , things definitely progressed in their relationship when Les realized that their was no judgement , just unconditional love. Their is definitely a storm cloud hanging over their happily- ever- after  and this comes in the form of more thugs sent by Mitch Rollins. This time they are sent to kidnap Les and intimidate Adam in their  home. With the help of friends Josh and Nick, the situation is thwarted. Adam is frantic with the need to find his man and is happy when Les is finally found. They are happy to hear that this whole debacle is resolved with the death of Mitch Rollins who was gunned down when he tried resisting arrest. They can finally move on with their lives without fear. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

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