Review: GUARDED DESIRES by Lexxie Couper

Guarded DesiresGuarded Desires by Lexxie Couper
Heart of Fame series, book 3

Format: ebook, 242 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2013, July 16
Source: Bought an e-copy at the Samhain eBook-store

My rating: 4,5 of 5 stars – Awesome Read

Desire like this wasn’t in the script…
Small-screen sex symbol Chris Huntley is on the fast track to becoming the next big action-blockbuster movie star. When his latest movie takes him to Australia for a red-carpet premiere, he thinks he’s ready for anything. But nothing could have prepared him for his raw, carnal response to his Aussie bodyguard. Sexual attraction to a man is a first for Chris. Now he realizes why his relationships with women have never felt quite…complete.

Liev Reynolds is comfortable with his bisexuality, but his attraction to Chris is an inconvenience he must ignore. For starters, there’s his professional ethics. Then there’s the long trail of female broken hearts in Chris’s wake.

Hard as they both try to keep their minds on their jobs, desire and a little matchmaking tip them over the edge. But Hollywood endings aren’t real life. And when the truth leaks out, their careers aren’t the only collateral damage.

Warning:
A hunky Hollywood sex symbol. A smoldering, stubborn Australian. A desire so powerful it cannot be denied. A kiss. And a photograph. This “isn’t” your normal boy-meets-boy story.

My Review:
Even though I knew I was going to buy and read this book from the moment it was announced (right after I finished MUSCLE FOR HIRE, book 2 in this series) I started it with a healthy amount of trepidation. Why, you ask?

Because it was my first ever m/m romance without any ménage elements and without any female involvement in the romance and sex. If you know me or have taken a look at my shelves you will see that this is a first for me and it is not without a healthy dose of hesitation that I step outside my comfort zone. But as I said on FB: for Lexxie Couper I am willing to tread these unchartered waters.

What appealed to me a lot in this book was the gay-for-you theme. I loved the way Chris, a sex symbol for women and heterosexual as far as he knows, reacts to his initial sexual attraction to and later feelings for Liev. And it made me read those parts with a smile on my face. The confusion, disbelief and denial worked perfectly for the story. It also formed a great contrast to Liev’s reactions to his attraction to Chris. Liev, comfortable with his bisexuality, is much more at ease with the attraction and feelings Chris evokes in him. This all created a wonderful dynamic of chemistry and sexual tension

I really liked Bethany. With her character Lexxie Couper gave me something I wasn’t expecting at all and it serves me right because I shouldn’t make assumptions, certainly not about a m/m romance. However, I suspect that my reason for liking Bethany and her role in the book, will be the reason seasoned m/m readers will dislike the part she played in this story but I don’t care, I liked her character and the role she played in the development of the romance. I also loved the snippets about Aslin and Rowan. I really loved their book and characters and was happy to get a glimpse of them and their HEA.

It’s not a surprise I love Lexxie Couper’s writing style. The unapologetic explicitness and blunt directness in her writing are what I adore and click with. In GUARDED DESIRES it really suited the more raw feel sexual tension between two males creates. This sexual tension was exquisitely written. And of course there is always the dry humor. It shone through in the dialogues, especially the ones between Chris and Liev.

So what did I think of my first m/m romance reading experience you ask?
Well I truly enjoyed reading this book but cannot say I’m hooked on the subgenre. Whether I’ll read more in the subgenre will depend on author and series because IMHO this one worked for me because it was a gay-for-you written into a favorite series by one of my very favorite authors whose writing is totally up my alley!

Fave Scenes:
– the first kiss, against the door in the restaurant > holy moly, that was a smokin’ hot one!
– the BJ > I’m not explaining which one, you’ll know it when you read it. And no it’s not *that* one. I’m talking Liev and Chris. Describing this scene as scorching, smokin’ or combustible…all understatements!
– the ‘snuggle virgin’ convo scene > funny and HOT!
– the scene at the wildlife park > I loved Chris in that scene! He was magnificent!

Fave Quotes:

He was a sex symbol, women wanted to sleep with him and he slept with women. That was the way it was.
Which explained why he was petrified watching the Australian bodyguard his brother-in-law had arranged to protect him while back in Oz draw closer. Because he’d never ever had his dick harden at the sight of a man. Harden, for f*ck’s sake.

Liev didn’t do conflicted and complicated.
Liev did simple.
But there was nothing simple about the way Chris Huntley was looking at him. Nothing.
And there was nothing simple about the way Liev’s body was reacting to that look.

He’d known the man was a firefighter when he wasn’t working as a bodyguard, but now all Chris could do was picture him half-undressed, glistening with sweat, his hands wrapped around a freaking massive hose jutting out from the region of his groin. Subtlety, it seemed, was not one of Chris’s newly confused brain’s strong points.

When the actor’s fingers fumbled with Liev’s belt buckle, Liev thought he’d pass out. When Chris yanked the buckle free, when he reached for Liev’s fly, black swirls of need erupted in Liev’s head.

And then Liev had kissed him back, and Chris’s head had exploded with raw, elemental lust, total, complete rapture. Nothing had mattered any more except that lust, that euphoria. He’d given himself over to every urge and want and longing that filled him. He’d touched the man, flesh to flesh, and was engulfed in new lust and rapture all over again the second Liev’s erection pressed to his.

“Why the hell would I be pissed you slept with my brother-in-law? You’re both grown men and I like you enough to know family get-togethers wouldn’t be a living hell to experience. I’m pissed because you’re too gutless to accept what seems to me to be something pretty special, and I’m the one dealing with the fall-out because Rowan has her hands full looking after our baby girl. By the way, Rowan says if you don’t stop breaking her brother’s heart she’s going to kick your balls so far up into your ass, you’ll need a mining team to find them again. Her words, Reynolds, not mine.”

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