Malibu (Elite 8 Studios Book 2) by Emmy Sanders

There's no such thing as a knight in shining armor for Malibu, but perhaps the wealthy businessman paying for his companionship can be something better. Henrik isn't sure what is different about Malibu from all the other men he has paid, but with the feelings he starts to have there is no way he can let Malibu go once their contract ends.

From the blurb:

Falling for his client was never part of the plan.

Adult entertainer. Escort. Camboy. Surfer-bro. Malibu.

I’ve been called many names, yet no one knows the real me. Filming at Elite 8 Studios gave me the fresh start I was looking for, but now, my past is calling, and even working three jobs isn’t enough to keep me afloat. With my anxiety and panic attacks getting worse and my debts on the rise, something needs to change.

When I’m offered an outrageous sum for a new escorting gig, I can’t pass it up. The catch? I’ll be living in the client’s penthouse for the next six months. And I’ll be his—exclusively.

I’ve been warned Henrik is difficult, but all I see is a man who’s protective, caring, and lonely underneath that hard shell of his. He’s also blind. And yet, somehow, he sees me for exactly who I am.

Turning to this man I barely know for comfort is a bad idea—and falling for a client is even worse—but I can’t seem to stop. With only a few months left on our contract, can I convince Henrik to give us a real shot?

Or will I lose the only man who sees the real me?

Malibu is an age gap romance between older client and younger escort, with hurt/comfort, mental health struggles, plenty of sugar daddy jokes, fiercely loyal friends, and one very HEA. It’s book 2 in the Elite 8 Studios series but can be read as a standalone.

SNik's Review:

Second in series (Elite 8 Studio), can be read as a standalone but might be more fun if read in order. Age gap. Hurt/comfort. Dual POV. 

Malibu is deep in debt and with his friends' help he is barely keeping it together, so when he gets an enormous offer for an exclusive escort gig he can’t say no. Henrik is wealthy enough to pay for companionship so he does, it’s about having someone in his life, not just sex, but of course these men only stay with him because they are being paid. 

When Henrik and Mal meet, there is an instant connection, each man with pasts they constantly work on overcoming and the ability to bring comfort to each other, which is meaningful and honest. Henrik is possessive and protective towards Mal, allowing Mal to open up about his past and desperate hope for a better life. 

Together these two men find intimacy, someone to banish the loneliness, a partner that can support them, and a friend they can share their time with. Supportive secondary characters, conversations about mental health, that it's okay to leave toxic people in your past, and all the feelings of two men falling in love. Henrik and Mal need to overcome that their relationship starts as a business transaction with a time limit, but these men are in tune with each other and find their HEA.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Autumn's Review:

Malibu is the second book of this series, even though we see some of these characters in other series. This one can be read as a standalone. 

This book has everything. Be sure to read the TW though, because this book has some hard subjects. 
It was written so well; I didn't want to put it down. I loved Mal. His hurt, his pain, and panic were raw and deep. Hen was perfect with his own flaws, and they fit perfectly together. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Angel's Review:

"I needed to be someone else," I tell him. "And I wished for it do badly, it became true."

Instant tears when I read that part, this book tore me apart in the best way. 

Malibu; Mal has worked at Elite 8 Studios for years, and while he has made friends he doesn't feel as though he can be completely honest with them. Everyone made assumptions about him being a certain guy, and he never corrected them, he wanted to believe so badly he could be Malibu. But that's not the guy he is, he's Mal. When his boss offers him a job to be an in-house escort for a client who has been known for going through escorts before their contracts are up; he's a bit weary. Yet when he meets Henrik, he doesn't understand why so many people have had trouble with the man. He just wants his escorts to respect and follow his rules. He's also sweet, caring, thoughtful, attentive and easy on Mal's eyes. Mal knew that falling for his boss would be a bad idea... But he couldn't help himself.

Henrik is a blind man who owns and run his own company that he built from the ground up. His best friend helps him through his day-to-day life, he also helps him write up contracts for his escorts. Mal is the next escort in a long line of men that have been through his home. He's never been attached or had any feelings for any of his escorts, until Mal. Henrik wasn't expecting to grow attached to Mal, he wasn't expecting Mal to cook him food, and to rub essential oils into his temples when his headache got bad. He also never thought he would be a cat person, but Mal changed all of that, for the better. 

I thought from the very first moment Mal and Henrik met that they had a very honest and open companionship. Yes, technically one was the employer and the other the escort, but their relationship was very honest. I loved their dynamic, Henrik (Hen) was the grumpy aloof one and Mal was the calm (yet, anxious one) they balanced each other out really well. I enjoyed the moments where these two men helped each other through their toughest times. 

I wanted to hug Mal, and I wanted to have some words with his mother, what kind of parent does that to their own child?? 

I also really adored the side characters. I was two chapters in and I was already hoping they would get their own story. Especially Alex! I also loved Benji's character, he was such a great friend to Henrik. And he called him out for the right reasons. 

And while there was a certain moment I wanted to shake Henrik for hurting Mal, I fell in love with these characters. The part where they give the kittens a bath was so adorable!! It was my favorite! 

This is the first book I've read by Emmy Sanders and now I'm hooked! 

'Or maybe I wish we all had that: someone to look out for us. Someone to help us survive. Help us thrive.'

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Henrik and Malibu's story is an entirely different vibe from Dix, the first book in the series, but it was written perfectly for the characters!  The dance between Henrik and his history and Mal, with his baggage, brings you a story that ups the angst factor and brings in so many levels of both communication and need.   There is some real hurt/comfort, exploring mental health and watching them grow closer together, while feeling very separate... and it was wonderful to read.

Mini spoiler: The angst does lead to some hurt, but it's intrinsic to the story and I think it gives both me an healthier HEA!

Rating: 5 Stars 

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