Title : Guarded
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, BDSM/kink
Length : 344 pages (e-book)
Published : April 7, 2014
Rating : ★★★★
On the surface, rock star Jordan Kane has it all. His band No Rules is burning up the charts and headlining a world tour. His bodyguard doubles as a hot, kinky boyfriend who knows just how to push all his buttons. But behind the scenes, he’s suffocating.
Jase Hewitt never imagined he’d have a shot at bedding the larger than life rock star – never mind dominating him – but now he’s worried he’s in over his head. Jordan’s kinks run deep, dark, and sometimes dangerous, putting Jase’s desires to both pleasure and protect him at odds.
They might have a fighting chance at finding the safe, happy medium between what Jordan needs and what Jase is willing to give, but there’s one problem: Daniel, Jordan’s childhood best friend, the band’s talented guitarist — and a volatile, hard-partying drug addict. Jordan is determined to save Daniel from himself, but Jase has been there, done that, and desperately wants to protect Jordan from the inevitable heartache of watching an addict self-destruct.
When Daniel goes off the rails again, Jordan calls off the tour to get him help. Tension within the band skyrockets and pressure from the record label sends Jordan into a dark spiral. Now his band — and his life — are balanced on a knife’s edge, and Jase is the only one who can pull him back… but only if the echoes of his own tragic past don’t push him over first.
It doesn’t take long for Jordan Kane and his bodyguard, Jase Hewitt, to realize they are sexually attracted to each other. Once Jase realized the rumors about Jordan’s kinks were real they both began to have some of the best sex ever. Of course, it’s not always the best thing for a bodyguard to sleep with the rock star he’s meant to be guarding, nor is it good to sleep with your employees. Their relationship serves to further complicate the interpersonal politics of Jordan’s band, No Rules. Jordan’s lifelong friend and former boyfriend, Daniel, is an addict struggling with his life. Jase has seen abuse up close and personal before as he watched his boyfriend use and abuse for years and ultimately commit suicide. When problems in the band come to a head Daniel has an overdose. Jase finds that awfully convenient. Jordan is not at all appreciative Jase points out Daniel’s obvious manipulations and that there has been a pattern of them. Jordan immediately sends Jase away. Both men find themselves somewhat adrift. Neither man is really ready to admit how much their relationship meant, but they are not doing well on their own.
When Jase is called back to work for Jordan they find themselves at a crossroads in their relationship. Both men are ready to admit what they have is so much more than sex. Jase isn’t with Jordan because he’s an employee, he’s there as a boyfriend and Dom. With Daniel slowly getting better in rehab, Jase and Jordan have a somewhat idyllic time of composing music and exploring their various sexual kinks. They find themselves really happy. When Daniel attempts to manipulate the situation from rehab he finds it no longer works. When Jordan and Jase stand as a united front they all do better. Of course, nothing idyllic can last for very long. Daniel is eventually released from rehab and the band is nominated for some musical awards. Things seem good. There is new music to be made, awards are won, and sobriety is within Daniel’s grasp. That’s when it all turns to shit. Jordan and Jase find their relationship tested in ways Jase can’t live through again.
I was riveted to this story. I truly resented the things that made me stop reading. I took my big expensive e Reader to the pool so I could finish. Not only did I really like the story itself, there were a lot of themes I found interesting. I found it incredibly refreshing to have the sub be in financial control of the situation. Too many books have super wealthy doms with poor young subs. In addition to that the concept of the Dom being there for the needs of the sub were further played out in the relationship with Jordan obviously having more personal issues than Jase, even to the extent of using Jase as though he were a drug. Something there simply to take him away from reality. That coupled with an unflinching yet not unsympathetic portrayal of an addict and the destruction they cause to everyone around them made for a fascinating read that I literally did not want to put down.
Whereas I did absolutely love this story there were some aspects of the crafting of this book I didn’t love. I felt the foreshadowing to be really obvious. I do like feeling smart and knowing where a story is going, but I don’t like to see the plot unfold before me after the first couple of chapters. Daniel’s personal trajectory, Jordan’s out of control spiral, and the ultimate line up of the band were all things I felt I saw coming far too soon. I was frustrated. In spite of that the story itself was excellent. I would also like to say I enjoy books with multiple first person perspectives.
Rated 4 stars by Faye