Review: Diamond in the Rough by Charlie Cochet

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Author: Charlie Cochet
Series: Four Kings Security #4

Pages: 271

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For Ward “King” Kingston the role of protector, forged by fire and tragedy, is one he takes seriously. When King is asked to safeguard the son of a four-star general and friend, he is pulled back into the world of government black ops on a mission that raises painful memories from his past. The moment King meets Leo, amid the chaos of a lockdown at a secret black site, it’s clear he’s never faced a challenge like this—one that will test his unwavering sense of control.

Leopold de Loughrey is a misunderstood genius whose anxiety and insecurities are sent into overdrive when he is forcefully recruited to work on a top-secret project. Terrified of what his role as “invaluable asset” means, Leo’s stress leads to disappearances, arguments, and blowups that threaten the project and Leo’s future. King’s arrival is a calm in the storm for Leo and his frenetic thoughts.

King and Leo couldn’t be more different, yet as they navigate the dangers of a secret multi-agency operation and face unknown threats, their differences could be what saves them. Neither man believes a happily ever after is in the cards, but their hearts might just prove them wrong… if they can survive a deadly betrayal.

Last book of the saga. Yes, there is another one; but that is just an extended epilogue (or so I think). Sadly, the covers are not getting any better. Quite the contrary. I didn’t like any of the previous ones (except for the cover of Ante up), but this one is just painful to the eye. Too much yellow. Too much processing through a computer. The result is mighty weird. If this were the cover of the first book, I doubt I would have picked the saga. And that would haven a damn shame, because it is great. Enough about the cover, though. Let’s get our hands all over the leader of Four Kings Security!

As we were hinted in the last book, King was approached by his former General to help him with a delicate matter. The stellar programming mind of his son has been forcefully requested by the Army to help them with a very secret and groundbreaking project. The problem is that the soldiers there are not prepared to take care of someone like Leo, so the General asks King for the favour of keeping an eye on him to make sure he is OK. Ward soon discovers that the General’s son is far from OK and taking care of him becomes a very personal matter. One thing leads to the other and, obviously, to the bad guys making a move against Leo…

The last book of this saga was frankly a disappointment. A waste of the wonderful characters called Lucky and Mason. So I was a bit afraid of this new story and also eager to wash that foul taste from my mouth. I must say that, after reading it, the purification process has been thorough and I am again completely in love with the saga. This book brings again to the table the dishes that made me stick to my chair: good characters, superb banter, cute romance and a side of suspense for a greater flavour. The only but I would put to this book is the fact that the main couple is not really the star of plenty of those meals. A big chunk of its greatness rest in the shoulders of the amazing cast of secondary characters, being Ace the one that carries more weight in a graceful manner. This is my weird way of saying the book is good thanks to the friends and family of King.

Is there something wrong about the main couple that makes me consider them less than the rest? Not really. Except that it is a bit weird. I do believe in their love, but I have a conflict with it. Most of the time, it is not a lovers love, it’s more like a big brother taking care of the younger one kind of love. A very special young man who looks at the world in a different way. King’s behaviour is really sweet and warming, but his exchanges with Leo are more like a kid meeting a superhero than two adults starting something serious. The only times when I could shake that feeeling were during the sex scenes. It was such a big contrast, that those intimate moments felt a bit… wrong. But I admit that maybe I’m reading too much into them and not really being fair with Leo.

As a possitive note, I will say again that the relationship is very sweet and it is reasonably well paced. Plenty of cute moments and weird speech outbursts that remind me strongly of those early days with Felicity and Oliver (yes, I’m talking about the TV show Arrow). Leo might be a bit awkward, but it seems that grants you the freedom of touching King’s muscles without consequences (bad ones, I mean… good ones there were plenty). The books of this saga are not only built over romance, they also have some mystery to unravel. This fourth one is no exception, so we have several scenes where the guys have to run for their lives and show their soldiering skills. And there is also a point that made me frown a little. We know that King knows plenty of ways to kill a person, but I bet he knows plenty more to incapacitate one. Why is he so fond of just showing methods from the first skillset? His choice of killing is weakly explained and I think there should have been more discussion about it.

But, without any doubt, what makes this book great is the hilarious banter among the Four King guys. And when I say that, I’m saying that this book is mostly great thanks to Ace. Yes, I will never miss a chance to talk about MY book boyfriend so I can remind you all that he is off-limits and I’m in the process of getting rid of Colton (I´ll stop know before making a fool of myself… too late?). I could spend plenty of lines describing how great he is, but I guess you just need to look at the reviews of the previous books. I will just point out that magnificent epilogue where my man is compared to no other than the superhero Hawkeye! Thanks Charlie for comparing him with my favourite superhero! I was already hooked, but now I’m totally his.

Oh my. I wrote all that, didn’t I? But I’m very loyal to the characters I like to the point of being a bit crazy (or a lot if you prefer something closer to the truth). But the saga is almost over and that means I’m going to have to say goodbye to Ace sooner rather than later, so allow me a bit of lunacy. I can’t promise it won’t happen again, though.

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