Protecting Braden (  Custos Securities 2) by Luna David

Title: Protecting Braden        Word Count:328pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Zavier “Cade” McCade, former Army Special Forces and creator of Custos Securities, finds himself in a situation he never thought he’d be in—he’s fallen in love with Braden Cross, the gorgeous pastry chef he’s guarding. Cade has lived his life as a protector: of his country, his family and friends, his clients, and now, the man he’s in love with. He thrives in dangerous and stressful situations. But nothing could prepare him for Braden’s decision to put himself in danger.

After a vicious attack from his stalker leaves Braden fighting for his life, Cade will stop at nothing to see the man responsible punished. Time passes, but Braden’s attacker hasn’t given up and Cade’s afraid he never will. As Cade and the most trusted members of Custos Securities track Braden’s assailant, Braden struggles to rebuild his life and re-establish the fragile trust he and Cade had worked so hard to build. Braden knows if he’s going to survive the chaos surrounding him, he’s going to have to give Cade everything he has—mind, body, and soul.

More determined than ever to hunt down the man that nearly killed the love of his life, Cade will do everything in his power to ensure that he and Braden will be able to live the life of their dreams with nothing and no one standing in their way. Meanwhile, hidden just out of their reach, an increasingly deranged stalker watches…and waits.

Author’s Note: Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, it is highly recommended that you read book 1, Trusting Cade, first. For those of you that prefer warnings—trigger or otherwise—use the “Look Inside” feature to find them within the first several pages. For those of you that prefer to be surprised, avoid the front matter of the book. . . Happy reading!

My Review:  The second book in the Custos series is just as exhilarating as the first one. It picks up where the first one left off. Braden is laid up in the hospital in a coma after being held captive and beaten by his stalker ex Eric. Eric is in the wind and Cade his lover is in warrior protective mode. Cade is overjoyed when Bray finally comes out of the coma. Bray is a bit overwhelmed and jumping at shadows after the traumatic event that he had to endure. Bray stays in the hospital for awhile and Cade is the there by his side throughout it all. The juxtaposition of seeing how dominant and caring Cade is makes for a super hot read.

It is slow going for Bray’s recovery and it soon becomes apparent that he is suffering from PTSD when the nightmares and panic attacks starts. It is hard for Braden at first,  he feels like a burden to Cade because of how clingy and dependent he has become. It takes awhile for him to adjust and be peaceful in his own skin. It takes Cade’s brand of passion to soothe his soul. Bray knows that he needs his lover’s big hands all over his body to take away some of the lingering fear and stain that he feels. Cade and his men are on constant protective detail to Braden, his nana and  his best friend Maya.

Cade and Braden’s relationship is solidified even further when he meets Cade’s family. Bray is nervous at first, but  he falls in line seemlessly when he realize how warm and down to earth they are. Cade starts making permanent plans for their life and partnership. He decides to open up a branch of Custos securities and to get a bigger home for him and Bray to live in. Braden is ecstatic to be making these plans with his overprotective man . Their bliss is short-lived however, when Eric makes a reappearance in their lives.

Braden is kidnapped again and Cade is hurt this time. Through his pain , Cade still manages to be a super hero and find Bray through tracers. By the time Cade gets there with his men , Bray has been shot in the stomach. Cade loses control and  pounds Eric to dust and ends up killing the madman after Eric made another attempt to hurt Bray. Finally, it is over but the recovery is not as easy this time around.

There is an instant where Braden actually flat-lines and it is a heart-rending  moment to see how devastated Cade becomes. It takes too strong men Cooper and his brother Gideon to bring him around. It is testament to the strength of their love that it takes hearing Braden’s heartbeat to get Cade focused again. They have a long road of recovery for both of them mentally, physically and psychologically ahead of them. Their love has definitely withstood many trials, but through it all they have remained strong and protective of each other.

Braden and Cade both decide to delve deeper in the dominance and submission realm of their relationship. Cade offers him a contract, but Bray refuses something so formal. He trusts Cade implicitly to know how far to push his boundaries sexually while keeping his every need in mind . This works out perfectly for them and definitely adds a super hot element to the sexual chemistry that’s already a living entity between them. Braden relishes the power he feels when he fully submits to Cade. 

When they move into their dream home, Cade finally proposes to Bray who willingly accepts to become Braden McCade. Flash forward two years, Cade and Braden are still totally in love with each other and their circle is now completed with twins Harper and Hunter McCade had by surrogate Maya. This was the best ending possible. I really enjoyed Cade and Braden’s epic love story and I look forward to reading the third in the series. I give this my ratings of 5- bring out the vibrators, because this has every little nuance that I could ever need in a great romance.

Trusting Cade ( Custos Securities 1) by Luna David

Title : Trusting Cade         Word Count : 380 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:At 38, Zavier “Cade” McCade has it all: a military career he can be proud of, a successful business, and a close knit group of family and friends. A former Army Special Forces Captain, Cade leaves the military to create Custos Securities, a burgeoning protection agency that provides unparalleled security for both civilians and corporations across the U.S.

After a string of disastrous relationships—and a narrow escape from an abusive partner—Braden Cross is finally putting his past to rest. Combining both his passion for baking and his knack for business, Braden owns the Sugar n’ Spice Café with his best friend who concocts exotic coffees and teas that pair perfectly with his decadent confections.

When a stalker sets his sights on Braden, the young pastry chef’s world is turned upside down. More frightened than he cares to admit, and not knowing where to turn, Braden is relieved when Cade steps in to offer his protection. Caught up in a maelstrom of threats, break-ins, and vandalism, the two draw closer together. Braden eventually realizes that he can trust Cade with his life, but he finds himself wondering… can he trust him with his heart?

Author’s Note: 111K words/approx. 444 pgs. For those of you that prefer warnings (trigger or otherwise) for your books, please use the “Look Inside” feature to find the warnings within the first few pages. For those of you that hate warnings–don’t “Look Inside” . . . Happy reading!

My Review: From the very first moment  ex army Special Forces Captain Zavier McCade, meets Braden Cross he knows they are meant to be. Braden raises all the protective instincts that Zavier possess.  Braden has been through a lot in his past  relationship where his last boyfriend almost killed him when he beat him and raped him for the last time. Through strength of will and a desperation to live, Braden had the forethought to tape the whole event. He used this as blackmail to get his bastard of an  ex Eric to leave him in peace by threatening to expose him for the monster he truly is.

Braden is content being single , he feels truly free when he is baking for his cafe which he co-owns with his best friend Maya. He runs ultra marathons and tries to be as healthy as he can  be by keeping his type 1 Diabetes in check. 

Braden has to face reality when his best friend Maya discovers some letters that he has been hiding. Maya sees the danger in the letters that he has been receiving from a stalker. Braden has to face up and realize that he needs help from security professionals. It so happens that Maya’s brother Cooper co-owns  Custos Security with his best friend Zavier McCade. They step in and take control of the situation so that Braden can feel safe again.

From the very first moment that Cade meets Braden,  he realizes something within himself that he has never experienced before. For him , it’s love at first sight and all he wants to do is to protect Braden and take care of him. This comes as a surprise to Cade, because he is used to dating guys who have a similar body type to himself. Braden is very small in stature and comes off as being delicate. Cade’s interest in Braden is noted by Maya and she warns him against hurting her best friend.  Braden also notices Cade’s interest and feels a bit intimidated by his size. Cade is physically imposing and this scares Braden, because he is afraid of all that strength being used against him.

It doesn’t take long for Braden to realize that Cade would never do anything to harm him physically or emotionally . He takes care of Bray like no other, always putting his needs first. Bray starts feeling really comfortable around Cade and reciprocates his feelings. It is amazing to watch their love blossom into something indestructible. They really start feeling comfortable with each other and this boosts Braden’s self esteem.  Cade is very positive that Braden will be his future husband. Cade can definitely picture his sweet Braden fitting in seemlessly in his life and with his close knitted protective family.

Before they can take their relationship to the next step, disaster strikes when Braden is kidnapped by his deranged ex Eric. Eric viciously beats Braden causing him to fall in a diabetic coma from insulin deprivation. Cade heart breaks when he sees all the bruises on Braden’s body. He stays by his side and prays  and hopes for the best. Cade’s security team continues the search for Eric , but his main focus remains on getting Braden well. Everything is left hanging in the balance with Braden’s recovery, but the strength of Cade’s love for his sweet man can surely overcome anything. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. I can’t wait to see what happens next.