Rocky Start (A-List Security #4) by Annabeth Albert

Rocky Start features a double coming out. Two straight guys who believe themselves to be straight rethink that. A real contrast in stereotypes.

From the blurb:

I think I’m falling for my bodyguard co-worker. Now I need protection… from myself.

As a former SEAL intelligence officer, I’m supposed to be smart. Unfortunately, those smarts don't apply to love. I did a nice thing and took my heartbroken fellow bodyguard out for a Valentine’s dinner. Just us bros. But my plan worked a little too well, and a night that ended with a scorching kiss has turned into the most awkward morning at the office ever. Now we’re working together as bodyguards on a remote mountain movie shoot. And we’re roommates.

I’ve never been attracted to a guy before, but something about Avery calls to every protective instinct I have. We’re not dating, but every night alone together, I fall a little deeper. It's also Avery’s first time with a guy too, and while we’re both enjoying all sorts of new things together, I worry my heart will be broken when we return to civilization.

No matter how badly this may end, I can’t seem to stop wanting Avery. All of him. I want to see who he'll become if he ever manages to get out of his own way. I want to be his biggest cheerleader, best friend, and the guy he comes home to. But going from secret hookup to forever after is a big ask. Are we both brave enough to take the leap?

ROCKY START is book four in the A-List Security series. It features TWO highly protective SEAL bodyguards, a double awakening, an exploration of the sexy, lacy kind, and all sorts of brand-new emotions. Get ready for all the high heat, big feels, and found family feels readers expect from this fan-favorite military romance author. Join A-List Security for this lower-angst series featuring former SEALs and celebrity clients. Happy endings and no cliffhangers guaranteed!

ReedKaye's Review:

This is such a contrast in stereotypes and reality. Two former military men who believe themselves to be straight, while working together as security, are attracted to each other.
While neither of these two have been with another man before, they seem to figure out things pretty easily. Malik is more willing than Avery to come out about them, but Avery really holds back.

Avery’s real person doesn’t fit the stereotype Seal. He is more prone to enjoy his feminine side, liking more the feminine submissive personality.

Malik was an intelligence officer, and he more fits that by his way of taking control. He works hard at building Avery’s self-image.  

As their relationship develops, so many situations happen that lead to them coming out.  

Megan, Avery’s sister, is super supportive.  She is busy planning her wedding and pushes Avery into being a part of it.  

Tiffany, who is a friend of Megan’s and an actress, is working on a film that Avery and Malik are working at. Tiffany plays a big part in supporting their relationship.

Most entertaining is the parents. Malik’s mom, being a single mom, is very close to Malik and pushes him to be better. She is funny as a take-charge person. Avery’s parents are more worried about public appearance but manage to accept the relationship with a little pushing from Megan.

I appreciate the author wrapping up the ending, letting me know their lives forward. I feel they perfectly fit in their new roles and together.  

Overall, an interesting double coming out.

Rating: 4 Stars

SNik's Review:

Fourth in series (A-List Security), but can be read as a standalone. POC representation. Dual POV. 

Malik and Avery work well together as security and bodyguards, and when they hang out on Valentine’s Day and share a steamy kiss, it begins a relationship that neither one of them expected or is prepared for. 

Both Avery and Malik are likable characters that have overcome plenty of obstacles when their friendship grows into more. I really appreciated that Malik was so accepting of his attraction to Avery, so supportive and thoughtful towards Avery and genuinely caring towards him. Avery’s fears and self-discovery are certainly relatable and he has his own inner bravery when learning new things about himself and taking care of Malik’s needs as well. 

Really, a romantic story with Avery and Malik building something together, learning each other's desires and growing as a couple that fit together so well. A relationship that strengthens your partner and allows you to bloom is just all the swoon and this story delivers with Avery and Malik. 

The lingerie and dirty talk brings the steam while the constant support and caring brings the romance, just overall, worked for me in every way. This author and this series does not disappoint, HEA for sure.

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

I love how Malik and Avery click as friends before becoming more!  I also love how refreshing it is to find a character grow into himself after years of listening to others and dealing with self-doubt when he finds a partner who loves and supports him!  From co-workers and reluctant roommates to so much more... Rocky Start is a wonderful double bi-awakening featuring lace and lingerie, finding yourself and embracing your own happiness.  It bursts with romance, sweetness, steam and a bit of kink discovery.  I particularly loved the dirty talk, lingerie and Avery's journey to understanding himself better!

Rating: 5 Stars

Zakiyya's Review:

Malik is instantly loveable – he’s sweet, kind and infinitely patient.

Avery has to go through a nice character arc for you to love him, but that is what this story is about – learning who you are so that you can be the best version of yourself.

I love how relevant Avery’s concerns and misconceptions were and how Malik was ever so ready to help him figure things out – it made it all seem all the more real…💙💙

Rating: 4 Stars

Rocky Start is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.