Title: Troubled Waters Word Count:284 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Blurb:Scout Duffy doesn’t know what’s worse. The fact that his scorching one-night-stand is his bratty new client, or the fact that he doesn’t even remember Scout. But beneath all the bravado, Scout can see Emery is terrified, and he’ll do anything to protect him from his attacker. If only he would lower his walls and let Scout into his heart as easily as he lets him dominate in the bedroom.
Being out and proud his whole life means Emery Klein has never been safe. But now his charity work and social media fame has put a target on his back from bigots, and his friends force him to hire a private bodyguard. Emery doesn’t need to be judged by some straight former-boxer , but his attraction to the gorgeous hunk is insatiable. When Emery finally recognizes Scout, they can’t keep their damn hands off one another, if only for as long as Scout’s in town.
There’s a reason Emery never looks too closely at the men he sleeps with, just like there’s a reason Scout lives out of a suitcase in motel rooms. Will two men hiding from hurt realize the love that could heal them both is right in front of them? Or will Emery’s attacker take everything before they have the chance?
Book Two of Pine Cove. Troubled Waters is a steamy, standalone MM romance novel with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cliffhanger.
My Review: Emery Klein is no stranger to having bathroom hookups at the gay hotspot ‘Aquarium’ in Pine Cove. His hometown may be small, but it’s very well rounded and has quite a few LGBTQ friendly establishments. Aquarium just happens to be one of his favourite places to blow off steam. He has his target locked and loaded once he spies the butch sexy looking marine type on the dance floor. Emery sashays his fabulous twinky Asian ass over and offers his proposition. ‘No means yes and yes means harder’ , when Scout Duffy hears these words from the magnificent cutie in front of him, he’s flabbergasted yet intrigued. Emery sees the spark of interest in the man’s eyes and pushes his game. He encourages Mr. Sexy to take him to the bathroom and have his kinky way with him. Before they get down and dirty, Emery gives him the safeword ‘guppy’ in case either of them want to stop their kinky fun.
Scout realizes that they haven’t even exchanged names, but the little firecracker has him so hot and bothered he can’t think straight. Being an ex-boxer turned bodyguard is a very demanding job for Scout. He decides to enjoy this gift that the beautiful sexy little twink has offered. They both come together in a fiery passion. For Scout , it’s his first time experiencing this exhilarating and fun side to sex. It is certainly a memorable moment for him. Emery is surprised that he’s found this specimen that exudes such dominance, but also handles his body with such care. Although this hookup proves to be orgasmic and all that he’s ever dreamed, Emery tries not to focus too much on the man or take in any details. He stares at the lone wolf tattooed on his partner’s arm , but that’s all he would possibly remember. As soon as their passion culminates, Emery gives his partner a kiss as a thank you and walks away. Scout is in orgasmic bliss and stupefied at their kinky encounter that he misses his chance to go after Emery.
After leaving the club, Emery goes home alone to find his door ajar. Emery is scared shitless and is ready to run, until he thinks of his poor defenseless little hedgehog being left behind. Emery is able to free the hedgehog, but he is left with a mild concussion when the stalker in his house gives chase. He ends up on his best friend’s Ava’s couch where she informs him she has hired him a bodyguard. Emery is left feeling vulnerable after his attack. There are rips in the armour that has always protected him. He is certainly not enthused to meet his bodyguard and refuses to curtail his lifestyle, no matter how many hate mail he receives.
Scout is ecstatic to be reunited with Emery, when he realized its the guy he can’t stop thinking about. All his protection instincts come to the fore when he thinks how scared Emery must be. This soon turns to devastation when Scout sees there is not even a flicker of recognition in Emery’s eyes. Scout is definitely hurt, but he knows it’s for the best since he needs to maintain a professional distance. Emery is such a brat, he takes out all his frustrations of the upheaval in his life on Scout. A man who Emery believes has lived an all American lifestyle and is the quintessential picture of machismo. He unfairly judges Scout on stereotypes and preconceived notions that he’s drawn based on his outward appearance. Scout sucks it all up until Emery pushes too far in his game of trying to seduce ‘the straight guy’.Scout has had enough and uses the safeword that Emery gave to him when they hooked up the first time. Emery is stunned silent as the pieces of random memories start to fall in place.
Emery has been primed by life to always enshroud himself in armour. His flamboyant ways proclaim him as loud and proud, but he uses it as a way to keep people at a distance. When he finds Scout, their encounter is not only passionate but meaningful.For the first time Emery is open and honest and letting someone in. He explains his insecurities that he’s always been plagued with concerning him being Asian and ‘fem’. He explains why he challenges gender binaries through non conforming. He embraces his ‘fem’ side and it sets his beautiful soul free.
There are unexplored depths to Scout, Emery soon finds out. When Scout talks about his father’s physical abuse against him as a child. How he was forced to become unnecessarily aggressive through boxing as a means to protect himself and his mother. He was never seen to be ‘manly’ enough for his father. Not ever really knowing his own self worth. This is one of the reasons he enjoys when Emery praises him as a Dom. Finally, he knows he’s doing a great job and it pleases him to know he’s taking care of Emery.
Emery and Scout have a fun loving, playful relationship with Emery usually being a brat. Scout loves this side of Emery and he truly embraces it wholeheartedly. They are a match made in heaven, turns out they are two halfs of a whole. Emery finally gets his fairytale ending with Scout spoiling his ‘princess’ with his bling bling. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.