Balancing Act by Andrew Grey

Balancing Act by Andrew Grey
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Freelance computer genius Trent Marcus took a web development job he wishes he hadn’t, and now he’s in a world of hurt. With his safety threatened, he needs someone who can protect him from his client, who responds to “no” with threats and intimidation.

Personal trainer and silver fox Collin Fitzpatrick gave part of his leg for his country, and now his ex is selling his home, so he needs a place to live quickly. He hears from mutual friends that Trent has a room he can use and needs Collin’s help. Neither Trent nor Collin is looking for a relationship, but attraction ignites for Trent, and it’s returned, to Trent’s surprise.

The last thing Collin expects is for his protective instincts to blossom into something much more. Trent’s care and genuineness combine to heal the heart his ex left shattered. As the task of keeping Trent safe becomes more paramount, so does the realization that failing could cost both of them everything.

Trying to get his fledgling web design business off the ground, Trent takes a lucrative job that seems interesting at first, then when he recognizes the danger in what he’s being asked to create the excessive pay suddenly seems far too good to be true. Watched and hunted, Trent realizes all too quickly the physical danger is almost as bad as the potentially criminal danger and he rushes to seek help from a friend. A mutual acquaintance, Collin, is suggested to Trent. Collin is ex-Army, a personal trainer who sometimes moonlights as a bodyguard and is currently at a loose end with his home being sold by his ex-partner. The two men hit it off and soon they both realise they want far more than just a simple, work-based agreement between them.

I really enjoyed this story and even though it’s the second book in the “Jocks and Geeks” series it is completely independent and stands very well on its own. Collin and Trent both know mutual friends (the original couple in the first story) and so that is the link that puts them in each other’s orbit. Otherwise, the whole story is Collin and Trent’s alone and I loved that. It also is a brilliant thing readers can pick this story up and have no knowledge of the previous book and I strongly feel it won’t affect the read for them at all.

I also really loved how even though Trent is clearly the “geek” and Collin the “jock” neither of them are bland or boring – straight from the cookie cutter mold you’d expect from this sort of stereotype. Collin lost part of one leg serving his country (it was a big part of his being dumped by his now-ex) and I thought this really added a huge amount of dimension and complexity to the whole “jock” or gym junkie persona. I loved how Collin was still shown to be a strong, masculine and beefy guy when so many people might look differently at him. I adored this. I also really found it amusing that for all his genius, computer skills and intelligence, Trent was so clearly in this whole mess because of his innocence and “stupidity” in taking on then getting in too deep with this job. It felt so damn realistic that this highly intelligent, techno-whiz could be the smartest person in the room – but equally the stupidest. It really tickled my funny bone and made the whole story so realistic and amusing to me in a warm and wonderful way.

Obviously, the chemistry and sensuality between the two men also skyrocketed off the page pretty quickly after they met each other. I really loved just how well they fit together. Each was strong, smart and totally capable, but they equally were so much like a lock and a key – slotting easily into the places in each other’s life exactly where they needed it. Collin was physically imposing and willing to show protective and aggressive behavior when needed, and Trent had ample space where Collin could rest, find his feet after losing his home and relationship and get his head back on straight. I really enjoyed how each could fulfil the other in emotional and intimate ways – and not just in the bedroom though they certainly fit perfectly together in there as well.

With a solid plot, plenty of action, chemistry and conflict this was a delicious read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would eagerly read another and a part of me is hoping maybe Martin (a secondary character and mutual friend shown in both this and the previous book) gets his happy ending some time soon.

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