Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Last Guy Breathing (The Guy 3) by Skylar M. Cates


Henry Clueley doesn’t want to be in Glamour, not after moving far away to overcome a difficult, if privileged, childhood. He’s no longer that pudgy kid desperate to escape his hometown, but it still holds painful memories. When his recently widowed mother needs him, however, “dependable Henry” does the right thing—even if it means leaving the IRS to take a boring corporate position. Things don't stay boring for long. Soon Henry helps the local sheriff’s department unravel a crime. Posing as half of a fake couple seems like a fun idea... until Henry learns he already knows the deputy playing his other half.

Deputy Locke may be new to the Glamour Sheriff’s Department, but he’s fought his way up in the world and is determined to make a good impression. He keeps his private life quiet, even from his beloved younger brother. Locke knows better than most the need to protect what’s his.

Henry resents the arrogant, gorgeous cop, and Locke thinks Henry is sheltered and spoiled. Their secret and steamy encounter only adds to the animosity. As they join forces, Henry thinks a relationship with Locke would be catastrophic, but the white-hot passion between them makes it hard to resist.

Dani's rating:

This is my favorite book in the series thus far!

We're back in Glamour, Arizona with Henry, who's moved back home to help his mom following his father's death, and Locke, a Glamour police officer whose favorite past time is giving Henry speeding tickets.

Henry recently lost weight but is still insecure about his looks. Henry is a people pleaser and a good boy secretly yearning to be bad.

Locke is all about control; he's a closed book, a kind man with a sarcastic, abrasive exterior who doesn't trust people and keeps his heart under lock and key.

Cates weaves a dash of mystery and suspense into this sexy, believable romance. I tend not to like mysteries in my romance books, because they usually take over the story or are a lame throwaway that has me rolling my eyes.

Not this one!

The mystery here is interesting and the who-done-it not immediately obvious. As Henry and Locke work together on a possible fraud case at the financial firm where Henry is employed, their relationship turns from frenemies who fuck to friends who make love.

The steam level is sweltering as the guys go at it (appropriately!) in a steam room as well as more traditional places. There's lots of dirty talk and passionate kisses. (Handcuffs may or may not be involved.)

But the relationship isn't sacrificed at the altar of sex (although that is a worthwhile altar, indeed). Locke and Henry talk and come to understand each other. I loved seeing their relationship grow and change.
Both of them knew love could break your heart . . . if you got very lucky, love could heal your heart too.
Locke's relationship with his younger brother, and Henry's friendship with Anthony (of Anthony and Dean from the first book) and Anthony's sister Gina, flesh out the story.

Both MCs are well-developed, complex characters. I liked that neither man was entirely sympathetic.

Henry, hurt and humiliated by his father for years, wore his uptight detachment like a cloak. Locke, having to raise his brother essentially alone, pushed Henry away with his smart-ass, cruel remarks (motivated by fear, of course, but Henry didn't know that).

The mystery floundered a bit at the end when the main part of the case was closed, but it was still gracefully done.

The writing was strong, the plot well paced. The last chapter provided wonderful closure and a swoon-worthy HEA!

I stayed up way too late reading this book, and I honestly cannot wait for the next in the series.

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