Review: Kissing Alex (Bodyguards Inc. #6) by R.J. Scott

Martial arts expert Lewis is the kind of bodyguard who slips under most people’s radar. Quiet, reserved, but constantly on alert, he’ll do his job, keep his charges safe, then relax by reading Shakespeare in his spare time.

When he’s given a case involving a spoiled celebrity singer, Lewis isn’t all that impressed. The job is nothing but babysitting a pretty boy, and he’s used to diplomatic postings with depth and challenge. What could he possibly have in common with the man he’s being forced to look after?

Alex became the envy of many when he and his fellow bandmates won second place in a huge TV talent show. He has more money than he knows what to do with, no life goals, an ex-boyfriend selling a sex tape and now, someone who wants him dead, or at the very least maimed.

Can Lewis keep Alex safe, even when things usually in his control go to hell? Is running to a remote Scottish island the only way for them to stay alive?

"Have you ever kissed someone, and it feels like home, and passion, and possibly all at once? The kind of kiss that has you pushing over the edge of something vital and important."

Kissing Alex is a fun standalone read (#6 from the Bodyguards Inc series) that did a fantastic balancing act between sweetness and a bit of bite. Sometimes I just want an undemanding escapist read to sweep me up into the romance and to go with the flow, but this also has dollop of witty exchanges, some shared and some private observations. There's some edginess too, a pretty perfect combination.

R J Scott delivers a story that paints glorious word pictures of the wild Scottish weather and the remote island on which the namesake of the book Alex and his bodyguard Lewis find themselves. The enforced isolation brings some soul searching for both men and time to re-evaluate.

The setting and the people are beautifully captured. This story has a simple charm told from both Alex and Lewis' perspectives, whilst each of them moves from begrudging sufferance (to contemplating whether the other might feel the spark between them), and weighing up if having a casual relationship or something more serious is viable.

The pace of the story was just about perfect which makes me forgive the occasional errors that jolted me out of my reading bliss. Some things in the UK are different, we don't have cream and sugar, frosting or cell phones (we have milk and sugar, icing and mobile phones or mobis) and I know it is a very small thing to grumble about, but it had me doing double takes each time it happened, which was quite a lot actually with the cream and sugar thing as those guys were drinking more than a few hot beverages whilst mulling over what they should be up to next.

It just so happens that Lewis is the Laird of the island of Stoirmeil and he takes his responsibility for that and his role as big brother seriously. It was lovely to see his change in personality between professional bodyguard to caring big brother. Lewis is also super duper smart, and my goodness isn't that sexy? Both Alex and I thought so. Lewis' siblings and friends were able to poke gentle fun at it and the impossibly difficult questions he set for the island's local quiz night. There's my other minor niggle, at the start of the story it said Lewis was so clever he escaped Stoirmeil at a young age to study at Cambridge university, then later in the book it said he lived and studied at Oxford. I know Oxbridge is a shorthand for the top universities in England, but it was stretching believability to imagine that he attend both red brick universities the rivalry between them is intense. Other than that I had no grumbles about the story in fact I was delighted.

Lewis assumes that because Alex is in a boy band from a talent show that he's probably got more beauty than brains, but actually Alex is a smart cookie too and has a love of reading. Guys that love to read, leave me weak at the knees; so I was truly rooting for these two to get together.

I loved the way stereotypes and assumptions were put to scrutiny and often found to be in error. This happened on quite a few occasions and I really enjoyed the insights. The secondary characters were well sketched and I was rooting for them too.

Having said all of that, it is a light read, like one of the amazing cakes that Lewis' younger brother Davy can rustle up. It left me wanting another slice or several, so I'll be sure to check out the other books in the Bodyguard Inc series that I have somehow missed until now.

Highly recommended, the characters are interesting and the island of is a treat.

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