PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.
Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.
Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?
What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.
The story is from Ruben’s point of view. Ruben is quite a complex character. Newly divorced and a recovering alcoholic. He moves to New York to work for his brother in low end security company. This is where he meets Andy Bauer. I like liked that Ruben questions his attraction to Andy and doesn’t jump straight in as happens in other gay for you stories. Ruben does a lot of soul searching trying to understand why he is attracted to Andy and struggling with staying on the 12 steps program. Andy is a mysterious character. There isn’t a lot of depth to him but that is probably because the story is from Ruben’s view point. There is a long slow build up to the first kiss and during this time Andy is pursuing Ruben. Andy is very touchy-feely and watches Ruben, I found that mildly creepy.
I was never quite sure if Andy was a good guy or not and that kept me interested. I must admit the financial mystery/conspiracy aspect did nothing for me. It ran in the background up until towards the end things started happening again. The ending was a surprise, from the financial mystery aspect which was good although I still didn’t completely understand it. But that is on me. I liked the happy for now ending for Ruben and Andy fitted well with their characters.
This is the first book I’ve listened to narrated by Christopher Kipiniak and I liked it. The voices he gave Ruben and Andy suited them and were easily distinguishable. His portrayal of the four female characters was excellent. They were quite varied in age and backgrounds, his brother’s girlfriend, Andy’s young assistant, Ruben’s sponsor (an elderly Jewish lady) and Andy’s mother (a society wife).
This is a long story. Due to circumstances I ended up listening to it over a week. I managed to to easily pick up where I left off in the story without needing to go back and get my bearings. I will listen to it again because it’s a well crafted story with strong main characters and I am sure there is more I will discover.
Overall Impression: 3.5 of 5 stars