“Don't underestimate the power of being underestimated.”~Tim Fargo
When Max Connery learns his new assignment is to bodyguard a prince who is being stalked, he expects to be dealing with a difficult young man of privilege. When he meets Prince Lucien, he immediately realizes he's wrong. Prince Lucien looks and acts nothing like Max envisions a prince to be. Underestimating Max's abilities, the royal bodyguard objects loudly and is swiftly convinced that he's wrong; but the prince likes Max and wants him to take the job.
The prince and Max start with a briefing, beginning the attempt to discern what led to the situation and who is responsible. Lucien has been receiving hand-delivered notes which make them even more disturbing. Another puzzling aspect is the notes don't seem threatening; they sound more like someone being concerned about Lucien's welfare. Possible suspects are listed and investigated, but no one stands out. The notes keep coming, but Max doesn't tell Lucien. Max won't leave the prince's side, so they end up as boyfriends which will explain the constant togetherness, even going as far as Max joining the swim team in which Lucien participates. Although it's against the rules, Max and Lucien take the relationship way past protecting Lucien. They discover the best way for Max to guard Lucien's body is to be on top of it.
When people start dying, the connection to Lucien's note writer is not apparent at first; but it soon becomes blatantly obvious the person stalking Lucien is far more disturbed than they originally thought. He is taking his protective feelings for Lucien to the point of killing anyone he perceives is causing Lucien harm. The stalker has upped his game, but Max is still no closer to solving the puzzle; he has no clue who the murderer is.
This is a suspense-filled mystery, threaded with a hot, but not insta-love relationship. Max and Lucien are close in age and both gay so it's not surprising they would be attracted to each other. I like the way Max holds back and gently leads Lucien into their passionate sexual encounters. Max gives Lucien time to sort out his feelings concerning himself; what he wants; and how he feels about Max. If you enjoy stories with suspense, intrigue, murder, bodyguards, princes, and passionate sexual encounters, you may appreciate this story. Thanks, RJ, for the exciting escapade.