Title: Valor on the Move
Author: Keira Andrews
Release Date: September 9th 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 250 pages
Reviewed by: Jewel
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
He’d give his life to protect the president’s son. But he never expected to risk his heart.
Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. Codenamed “Valor” by the Secret Service, Rafa feels anything but brave as he hides in the closet and tries to stay below the radar in his last year of college. His father’s presidency is almost over, and he just needs to stick to his carefully crafted plan. Once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef.
It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself. Besides, it’s not like Shane Kendrick would even look at him twice if it wasn’t his job.
Shane’s worked his way up through the Secret Service ranks, and while protecting the president’s shy, boring son isn’t his dream White House assignment, it’s an easy enough task since no one pays Rafa much attention. He discovers there’s a vibrant young man beneath the timid public shell, and while he knows Rafa has a crush on him, he assures himself it’s harmless. Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission.
But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?
Rafa Castillo is the very closeted 21 year old son of a conservative republican president. He’s made it his mission, until his father is out of office, to fly under the radar and fade into the background. No trouble, no shenanigans, nada. Oh, sorry, no Spanish, either. And that is at his mother’s insistence. Though they are Latino, his parents have eschewed their roots in favor of blending with their very white and conservative party. So, no Spanish and anything Latino is played down. Tragic, that. So Rafa, at least outwardly, has always done what was expected of him.
The problem is, Rafa doesn’t want the life his parents have laid out for him. Rafa wants to be a chef, and not be the clone of his father his parents want him to be. They seem to have his whole life planned for him and look down on his “hobby” of cooking. But Rafa has dreams of culinary school and living a normal life. And maybe finding a man with whom to share that life. But when he sees the new agent that has been assigned to his detail, he has to try very hard to not trip over his tongue. The man is a walking wet dream! Sadly, it could never work. But that little detail doesn’t stop young Rafa from fantasizing. He’s only human, you know.
Shane Kendrick is a 40 year old Secret Service agent who was just assigned to protect Rafa, code-name “Valor”. He’s heard how boring the kid is, but it could be worse, he could be having to constantly worry about Valor trying to ditch his detail. All the other agents refer to Rafa as “the mouse” because you never hear a squeak out of him. This is the easy detail. Rafa is respectful and considerate, always. He does what he is told and appreciates the job the Secret Service does.
Shane doesn’t really do relationships, either. In his line of work, when you are on call all the time and can get transferred at a moments notice, he just doesn’t want to make the effort. He hasn’t really met anyone he wanted to wake up to every day, anyway, so he scratches the itch when he needs to and goes on. Rafa isn’t even his type! And way too young, of course. Plus the fact that even getting to know the young man could get him reassigned. So, yeah, not going there. Nope. (hint: they go there)
But the more time Shane and Rafa spend together, and the more they get to know one another, the stronger their pull is. Valor on the Move is a slow, slow burn and when the inevitable finally happens, it’s so sweet! And Rafa gets very chatty when he’s nervous.
I would consider the ending to be more HFN, rather than HEA, since Rafa is really young. But the HFN is kind of awesome and worth the wait. Rafa and Shane are delicious together. I enjoyed the story quite a lot, and even though Rafa seems as young as he is, he’s also a very determined young man, so they have a chance.