Rating: 5 ‘Malibu’ Stars

Publisher: Emmy Sanders

Genre: Gay Erotic Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Age Gap (15 Years), Bi Character, Disability (Physical & Emotional), Escort/Porn Industry, Opposites Attract, Romance, Series

Length: 328 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Amazon

Blurb –

Falling for his client was never part of the plan.

Adult entertainer. Escort. Camboy. Surfer-bro. Malibu.

I’ve been called many names, yet no one knows the real me. Filming at Elite 8 Studios gave me the fresh start I was looking for, but now, my past is calling, and even working three jobs isn’t enough to keep me afloat. With my anxiety and panic attacks getting worse and my debts on the rise, something needs to change.

When I’m offered an outrageous sum for a new escorting gig, I can’t pass it up. The catch? I’ll be living in the client’s penthouse for the next six months. And I’ll be his—exclusively.

I’ve been warned Henrik is difficult, but all I see is a man who’s protective, caring, and lonely underneath that hard shell of his. He’s also blind. And yet, somehow, he sees me for exactly who I am.

Turning to this man I barely know for comfort is a bad idea—and falling for a client is even worse—but I can’t seem to stop. With only a few months left on our contract, can I convince Henrik to give us a real shot?

Or will I lose the only man who sees the real me?

Malibu is an age gap romance between older client and younger escort, with hurt/comfort, mental health struggles, plenty of sugar daddy jokes, fiercely loyal friends, and one very HEA. It’s book 2 in the Elite 8 Studios series but can be read as a standalone.

Review –

The first thing I’m going to say about this book is that Malibu deals with a lot of emotional issues on page, including panic attacks. There’s also descriptive talk of past conversion therapy that some may find disturbing. Parts are a little heart-wrenching.

I read Dix (Elite 8 Studios, #1), and then I read Virgin Hearts (Plum Valley Hearts, #2), where the Elite 8 gang were introduced. I think I’m on track now.

I started reading this author’s books because I wanted to read Malibu. It ended up taking me down a ‘What book/series do I read next?’ type of rabbit hole. No matter. This is the book that caught my attention. I wasn’t disappointed.

Malibu, 27, is having a hard time. He’s forced to financially take care of his estranged mother when he’d rather spend the rest of his life never hearing the woman’s name again. She was a horrible human being, and her abuse caused long-term issues for her son. The saddest part for Malibu? She has dementia and doesn’t even remember the horrors she put her son through when he was younger. It’s not fair because he remembers every single thing the woman did or said, and it’s affecting his life every day.

I get that it’s hard to paint a seemingly ordinary, inoffensive woman with dementia as a villain, but that’s exactly what she is to me. I shouldn’t have to justify my lack of visits. I shouldn’t have to explain myself. I shouldn’t have to tell them over and over and over again that I don’t want to talk to the monster that lived outside my closet. I pay for her to be there. To be taken care of. Isn’t that enough?

With his egg donor’s care home taking all his resources, he’s working three jobs and still isn’t making ends meet. He only has a place to stay because of Dix, who invited him to sleep in his and Niko’s guestroom. All that hurt my heart. I’d seen a lot of it in Dix, but the reader is really getting the picture now.

Malibu’s mother used her religion as an excuse to abuse her child. She was determined to get the ‘gay’ out of him, no matter the cost. She, and those who helped her, were beyond cruel. As a result, Malibu suffers severe panic attacks, and has been diagnosed with a panic disorder, and later, PTSD.

Nobody in his inner circle knows this, not even Dix.

Henrik, 42, is a very wealthy businessman. He’s also blind. He spends a lot of money hiring long-term escorts to stay in his fancy penthouse so he won’t be alone. It’s not really even about sex (mostly). It’s because he doesn’t want to be lonely. He has his best friend and personal assistant, but Benji has his own life with his husband Gary. Henrik has just fired the latest escort (as he should have), and is need of a new guy. This is where Malibu, or Mal as he likes to be called by Henrik, comes in. The amount of money being offered to Mal is more than he’d ever earn in a lifetime. He’d be able to pay off all his debts and still be able to ensure his evil bitch of a mother is taken care of. It’s a six-month assignment, with an exclusivity clause. No problem. Mal accepts the position and takes a leave of absence from Elite 8, the company he does porn for.

Mal is not who Henrik was expecting and vice versa. As difficult as Henrik’s been known to be with his escorts, he’s not that way at all with Mal. He’s caring, something Mal doesn’t expect. They begin a friendship of sorts right off the bat. You’d think since Mal was hired as an escort that it would be all about sex for Henrik. That isn’t the case at all. He isn’t to be at Henrik’s beck and call, and he’s encouraged to say no if Henrik wants sex and he doesn’t. Mal’s not used to that, but it’s refreshing because he’s not under so much pressure to always be ‘on’. It’s so easy to be himself with Henrik. This scares Mal.

Regardless of how each man is starting to feel for the other, the fact that Mal’s getting paid to be there is hanging over both their heads. Mal needs the money. There’s no getting around that. Henrik has more than he could ever spend. But what it boils down to is both wonder if the ‘arrangement’ is the only reason the other man stays.

While I wouldn’t call this a slow burn as far as sex because Mal and Henrik have sex kind of early on, I will say that it wasn’t just sex. They cooked together, did daily crosswords. It was all so domestic. And honestly, the sex wasn’t even center here. It was Mal and Henrik getting to know each other, and ultimately falling in love.

Dix, Tink (Alex), Niko, and a few others from Studio 8 are in this quite a bit, which is a good thing because there are times when Mal really needs his friends. Jerome, the boss at Elite 8, even made an appearance or two.

There are also Henrik’s parents and sister. When the parents were first mentioned, I expected them to be those kinds of parents; the kind that don’t allow their grown children to live their own lives without interference. They ended up surprising me by not being that way at all. They just worry, and Henrik has a habit of not taking or returning their calls.

Another thing I have to mention is Mal’s love of all things feline. I’m a huge cat lover, as was my late sister who never met a cat she didn’t want to snuggle. My youngest son is the same way. Mal volunteers at a no-kill cat shelter, showing a much softer side of him. He also brings Henrik into his feline craziness, something that showed a softer side of Henrik.

This is kind of a small spoiler, but I can’t not mention it. When Henrik hires Mal he neglects to read his file that’s sent over by the agency he hires him through – the agency’s not legal, but they get around it. By not reading Mal’s info, he’s not aware that Mal is Malibu, a popular sufter-bro porn star. In Dix and Virgin Hearts, the fact that one of the characters was a porn star wasn’t a big deal. It was understood that it was a job, nothing more. That’s not the case in Malibu. Henrik is extremely protective and more than a little jealous when it comes to Mal. When he accidentally learns Mal’s true profession, things don’t exactly go well. Mal thought he knew because Henrik has a file that states very clearly that Malibu works for Elite 8 Studios. It never even crossed his mind that he didn’t know.

Let’s just say Henrik doesn’t handle it well.

For what it’s worth,” Mal says calmly, taking a deep breath. “I needed your money, but I never wanted it.”

Thankfully all of that didn’t drag out for page after page. Sure, it took a little while for the two guys to get it together, but Henrik’s aware he’s made a huge mistake before Mal is even out of his building. The problem? Mal won’t take his calls. The way he forced him to talk to him was super sweet.

Another thing that really worked was how Henrik handled his blindness. He didn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself. He got on with his life, having long accepted that this is how it’s going to be whether he likes it or not.

This is a classic Cinderella/Cinderfella slash Pretty Woman story. The rich man falls in love with a very poor one who’s an escort. They’re as different as night and day, but they work. I’ve loved Malibu since Dix and Niko’s book. I love him even more after reading his own story. I also loved Henrik. He tried to be so gruff, but Mal broke through his walls fairly quickly.

I absolutely loved this. The next book is Tink’s/Alex’s.

You gotta confess to your sugga beau?”

I sigh, hanging my head. “Could you not call him that?”


Hello, Alex. Nice to hear you.”

Just so you know,” Alex says, “I’m not afraid to punch a blind guy. Although I’d warn you first.”

He’s been a bit of comic relief in the books so far. You seriously can’t not love the little perv. 😉 I’ve since read Tink’s book, and let’s just say that had I read it first, I would’ve likely walked away from the series. My upcoming review explains why.

As for Mal and Henrik, they worked hard to get their HEA. To say it was all beautiful would be a major understatement.

A fantastic book.