Gifted (Guardian Angels Security #2), Sean Ashcroft
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Publisher: Sean Ashcroft
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, Bi Character, Mystery, Romance, Series, Virgin
Purchase At: Amazon.com
The last thing closeted musician Quinn needs is to walk in on his hot, British private investigator fresh from the shower before he gets his towel on.
And that’s not even the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to him today.
Quinn: Private investigators aren’t supposed to be hot.
But with his sexy scar and devil-may-care attitude, Fox hits all my buttons. I’m not allowed to be gay, but he’s perfect enough to make me want to break the rules. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s the only person who seems to care about how miserable I am.
With my career on the line and no one else to turn to, Fox makes me feel safe in a way no one else ever has. Maybe I can be myself if he’s sticking around? Maybe the rules aren’t as important as I thought they were.
If I can just finish this album and keep my contract, maybe I could keep him, too…
Fox: After all the hell I gave my business partner for falling into bed with a client, I’ll never live down how much I like Quinn. Tiny and adorable, just my type, and in desperate need of someone to take care of him.
I want to take care of him in every possible way. Between his cruel uncle, callous record company, and whoever’s trying to ruin his career before it even takes off, I want to bundle him up in bed and make him forget all about it for a few hours.
He’s impossible to resist, and I’ve promised him everything’s going to be all right. Now I just need to find a way to make that happen…
Gifted is a full-length, complete gay romance with a HEA ending, and the second book in the Guardian Angels Security series. It contains: an unfortunate incident with an adult video, multiple peanut butter cups, steamy scenes, a motorcycle named Blaze, a picnic under the stars, and true love conquering all.
I met Fox in Guarded, Miles and Gray’s story. He’s Gray’s business partner. While Gray’s specialty is mostly as a bodyguard, Fox’s is as a private investigator. Most of Fox’s jobs involve catching cheating spouses. He even had one case where he had to find a stolen parrot. His latest case has him driving to Los Angeles to find out who’s leaking songs of a specific artist, Quinn O’Rourke, before their official release date. The record company is convinced it’s Quinn doing it for publicity. Five minutes with the man and Fox knows in his heart that’s not the case.
Quinn is a singer who hasn’t quite gotten famous yet. He’s in L.A. trying to keep up his end of a contract with Harmony Records. He’s in the middle of recording an album when the leaks start occurring. His manager, his Uncle Vincent, is riding him hard, as are the execs at the record label. All Quinn wants to do is write songs but he’s not even allowed to record any of his own music.
I felt sorry for Quinn right off. His uncle treats him horribly, constantly reminding him that he’s the reason Quinn even got a contract. Quinn is absolutely miserable. He’s stuck in a city with no friends, having left the ones he did have back in upstate New York when he came out to California. He lives in a modest apartment – that his uncle has a key to – and is barely given enough money to even live on. He’s gay but he’s forced to stay closeted because of his homophobic jerk uncle. The uncle makes sure he has nobody, that he’s kept under his (Vincent’s) control.
But then Fox comes swooping in and he just happens to do it in the middle of one of Vincent’s tirades. For the first time probably ever somebody stands up for Quinn. Probably for the first time ever Quinn sees a little fear in his Uncle Vincent’s eyes.
Quinn was nothing like I imagined… He was a sweetheart. A pocket-sized sweetheart I wanted to protect from all possible harm.
I wanted to throttle Vincent O’Rourke for what he’d done to this wonderful, bright creature. I’d watched him in his element, and I’d seen him at his most vulnerable, and this was the first time I’d seen him happy.
Little by little Quinn and Fox get to know each other. Fox wants nothing more than to carry sweet Quinn away and protect him from everybody. It certainly helps that the twenty-three-year-old Quinn is exactly Fox’s type. He’s small at 5’3″ – Fox loves small guys – and he needs a savior, a protector, somebody to listen to him, to talk to. Fox may have been hired by the record company to (basically) get dirt on Quinn, but what it does is having Fox wanting to wrap the man in his arms and never let him go. In a way Fox thinks it’s funny because he gave Gray hell for sleeping with a client (Miles) and here is Fox falling head over heels in love with one. His falling for Quinn makes him even more eager to find out who’s leaking his music, especially after photos of lyrics written in Quinn’s private notebook are shared all over social media.
Like Gray in Guarded, not doing much guarding even though he’s a bodyguard, Fox doesn’t do much investigating and he’s a private investigator. Also like in Guarded, the bad guy is glaring right off. In the real world, anybody with a brain would know who it was. It wasn’t (again, like in the other book) a scenario where you’re thinking, “Nah, that’s just too easy. It can’t be that person.” Yeah, it is that person. It was so predictable. There were so many things that kind of had me rolling my eyes as I waited for Fox to do something. I really liked Fox, but I kept thinking, “You’re getting paid to investigate yet you’re not investigating at all.”
One thing I really did like was how Fox brought Quinn out of his shell, and I’m not just talking about sexually. Oh, he definitely did that, but he brought out his confidence. It’s obvious that he’s been beaten down emotionally by the record label and his horrible uncle. The poor thing wasn’t even allowed to eat occasional junk food. I smiled big when Fox introduced him to the greatest thing on the planet – peanut butter cups. I swear I should own stock in Hershey with the amount of Reese’s I buy every year. 😉
There was something about Fox. I’d cried in front of him. I’d seen him naked.
We were basically married now.
Was that as ridiculous as it sounded? I had no idea.
I like Fox and Quinn as a couple. What I didn’t like was something that Quinn did around the 74% mark. He basically threw Fox under the bus. I get it. I understand it. Fox didn’t even fault him for it. But it was so wrong. Had I not been so far into the book – and eager to read the next one – I probably would’ve DNF’d.
I really like this author’s writing style – this is my 3rd of theirs in a few days – but one thing that absolutely drives me nuts are the amount of italics used. I get wanting to emphasize certain words or phrases. I’ve done it several times in this review. However, they’re literally everywhere. They didn’t stand out as much in Troublemaker. They’re glaring in the Guardian Angels Security series so far. Granted, give me italics over !!!!! everywhere, but still.
Overall, I did enjoy this, but you really have to leave reality at the door if you go to read it. The sex scenes were good. Quinn was a virgin but Fox was amazingly gentle and caring. Hell, he was that way throughout the whole book. The next one in the series is Glittered, Logan’s story. Logan’s bi but I don’t think he’s figured that out yet. 😉