Title: Pent Up
Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 290 Pages
At a Glance: I enjoyed the little twists and turns the story gave me. And the great reveal…well, I didn’t even see it coming. I loved it.
Reviewed By: Lynn
Blurb: 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.
Review: I literally threw myself at this book when I saw it up for review. Why? Well, it’s Damon Suede, duh. Having read everything by him, I was quite intrigued by the blurb and couldn’t wait to get reading. This story has a little something for everyone: action, mystery, a budding romance, and lots of soul searching. I loved it.
When we first meet Reuben, he’s down on his luck. A recovering alcoholic who’s recently divorced, he’s moved from Miami to live and work with his younger brother in New York City. Totally out of his element and having not quite come to grips with all that has happened, he finds himself taking a job as a bodyguard for uber rich Andrew Baur. Let the fun begin.
Even after reading this book and mulling over it for a few days, I’m not real sure how I feel about Reuben. My first impression was to feel sorry for him. Being in a new city, leaving all he knows behind, getting over his divorce, and on top of all that, trying to stay sober. That’s a lot for one person to handle. As the story progressed, I could see that Reuben can definitely hold his own. He’s not one to back down from anything. I loved being in his head as he questions what the hell is going on with Andy. I especially loved seeing him wonder why he’s fantasizing about Andy too. He’s straight for god’s sake, what is wrong with him?
Andy was even harder to figure out because we weren’t in his head; we can only go by his actions and Reuben’s impressions. To me, he came across as a spoiled brat who gets want he wants, no matter the cost. He’s got the money. He’s slippery, secretive and definitely hiding something. For most of the story I wasn’t impressed with him at all. As we get a little deeper into his situation, though, I felt he redeemed himself a little. Not to make me like him more, but I think I understood him a little better. And besides, Reuben has to live with him, I don’t.
I really liked the mystery aspect here. It wasn’t front and center, but was always lurking in the background. The further we get into the story the more layers are peeled away. With confessions, revelations, and a little snooping, it all comes to an action filled climax. I enjoyed the little twists and turns the story gave me. And the great reveal…well, I didn’t even see it coming. I loved it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely call Pent Up a GFY story. I loved going on the journey with Reuben as he comes to realize that, yes, he is attracted to a man. His struggle to keep sober was real and, at times, heartbreaking. I really liked seeing two men at total opposite ends of the spectrum getting together and literally saving each other. It may be cliché, but it worked.
On a final note, my new favorite saying is “cock snot”. Thank you Damon.
You can buy Pent Up here: