Stacking the Deck by Charlie Cochet
The Kings: Wild Cards, Book 1
Ex-Special Forces Communications Sergeant Jacopo “Jack” Constantino heads the cybersecurity department at Four Kings Security, working with his tech-savvy team to provide clients with state-of-the-art security systems. But life for Jack is pretty uneventful—despite the exploits with his brothers-in-arms—and he finds himself longing for a little more excitement.
Be careful what you wish for.
Two years ago, Fitz Harlow captured Jack’s heart and walked away with it. Now he’s back.
Fitz spent the last two years picking up the pieces of his life after a disastrous relationship. After much therapy, and ice cream, Fitz leaves the fashion world behind and returns home to St. Augustine to open his own high-end salon, Hair Comes Trouble. Now Fitz finally has the quiet, peaceful life he’s wanted for so long. There’s only one thing missing, or rather, one man missing, but Fitz has his doubts. With Jack, he’s not just gaining a boyfriend—he’s gaining a boyfriend, his family of mischief-magnet ex-Green Berets, and one highly opinionated Belgian Malinois.
Fitz and Jack discover their connection has only grown stronger over time, thanks in part to meddling friends, but just as they start to pick up where they left off, someone takes exception to their reunion. Danger hides in the shadows, a stalker determined to keep Fitz out of Jack’s life, no matter the cost. With the odds stacked against them, can Jack and Fitz win a battle against an unknown enemy, or will Jack lose Fitz forever?
The Kings: Wild Cards series is a spin-off of the Four Kings Security series.
Well, I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of you,” Colton said. “Now, about calling Jack.”
“Damn. I hoped you’d forgotten about that,” Fitz muttered. At this rate he was going to need several more margaritas. The only reason he’d accepted Colton’s invite to come tonight was because Laz assured him Jack wouldn’t be joining them. It sounded ridiculous, but Fitz wasn’t sure he was ready to face Jack. What the hell would he say?
“Babe.” Laz brushed a lock of hair away from Fitz’s brow. “I have never seen you look at anyone the way you looked at Jack. Not even your ex, the hairless nut sac.”
The low growl that escaped Fitz was an instinctive reaction to the mere mention of his asshole ex. “That’s an insult to nut sacs everywhere.”
Colton chuckled. “Jack will understand.”
“I don’t know.” It wasn’t that Fitz didn’t want to call Jack. Hell, he’d thought about it at least once a day for months. He’d thought about Jack far more than he was willing to admit to his friends, especially after leaving his ex, but that wouldn’t have been fair to either of them. Fitz had needed to get his life together. But even after he’d moved on from the humiliating disaster that had been the longest relationship of his life, he couldn’t bring himself to call Jack.
“What’s holding you back?” Colton asked gently.
This conversation called for more alcohol. Fitz finished off the rest of his margarita in an effort to fortify himself. The slushy goodness was delicious, and he might have asked Colton to slip in a couple of extra shots earlier. “Jack isn’t like all those other jerks I’ve dated. He…”
“Is an adult?” Laz offered with a sly grin.
“Oh, I know! Pick me!” Colton waved his hand in the air. “Knows how to spell misdemeanor?” Colton snickered when Fitz chucked a pillow at him. He held his margarita glass away with one hand and swatted the pillow away with the other.
“Hasn’t had Botox!” Laz pitched in.
Colton waggled his eyebrows. “Has never been arrested?”
“You know what? You two bitches can kiss my gorgeously perky ass.” Fitz joined in the fun, reminding Laz of some of his hilariously bad exes, one of whom included a PA who’d been in the middle of professing his love to Laz during a photo shoot right before a spotlight fell from the ceiling. Nothing says love like using your man as a shield after mistaking the bursting light for an explosion.
What a fantastic beginning to the spin-off series from Four Kings Security! It’s got action, suspense, humour and a steamy romance. Jack and Fitz are so cute together. I loved their relationship progression.
We also get to see a lot more of Joker (YAY!) and his friendship with Jack. I’m looking forward to his book. Gio seems to push all his buttons. Also Chip is the best dog!!
I loved whenever the whole gang got together. It’s is so much fun seeing the Kings and their boyfriends. I would recommend reading Four Kings before this one as it has so many familiar characters.
“Hey, in my defense,this group keeps multiplying. We’re like bunnies. But instead of baby bunnies, we end up with boyfriends.”
I can’t wait for Frank and Joshua’s book! Fitz playing matchmaker is just hilarious.😂
ARC provided by the author via Gay Romance Reviews in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
About the Author:
Charlie Cochet is the international bestselling author of the THIRDS series. Born in Cuba and raised in the US, Charlie enjoys the best of both worlds, from her daily Cuban latte to her passion for classic rock.
Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found devouring a book, releasing her creativity through art, or binge watching a new TV series. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
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