Pent Up (Renee’s Review)

pentupTitle: Pent Up
Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 20, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary/Mystery
Page Count: 290
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level:  3 flames out of 5
Rating:  3 stars out of 5

PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.

Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.

Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?

What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.

Pent Up is…..interesting. It grabbed my attention and held it from start to finish. The MCs are unique, and the story is the complete opposite from “overdone.” And it’s safe to say that I love Damon Suede. But there were things that didn’t come together to click into place with this one.

Ruben is in his early 40s, a recovering alcoholic, and newly divorced from a woman he cheated on with an amazing frequency. He is a Colombian-American who has moved from Miami to NYC to crash on his brother’s couch while he gets his shit together. His brother gives him a job working as a security specialist in his rent-a-cop type of security establishment.

Andy is an extremely wealthy, single, heterosexual man who shows up to Ruben’s brother’s place of work to hire a rent-a-cop type of security specialist for…..well, we don’t really know why. He feels unsafe in his line of work in venture capitalism. He may have made some enemies. Andy is shady from the get-go, and since we only have Ruben’s POV, we don’t get to see his motivations. Oh…and Andy likes to go to strip clubs all the time. The kind with boobies and hoohas. He’s pretty well known as a “whale” at one in particular.

I normally don’t have a problem with 1 or 2 unlikable MCs. That leads to some of the best storylines. But I gotta say that I never got around to liking these two. I grew to dislike them less. Because Suede writes well enough to do that. But these two were THAT unlikable for me that I could never be pushed over the edge into “like” territory for Ruben and Andy.

Now, I don’t know if this was a result of the editing process or whatever, because I don’t remember Suede’s writing style being like this, but the writing was completely disjointed and choppy from one thought to the next, one paragraph to the next, in a lot of places. Even sometimes within the same sentence. I had to reread a lot of parts of this book because I had NO IDEA what the hell was going on.

Steam factor: The dirty talk was outta control! HAWT! And then it went too far. Then it was EWW! Could be just me, personal taste. But it was like when you’re looking at porn, and you’re in this hot scene and then one guy hocks into another guys mouth. Just gross! Moment over. No longer sexy. Went too far! Yeah, well, the dirty talk and the sex ventured into Grosstown just a smidge for me.

There was a mystery to be solved, too, after all. Why did Andy need a bodyguard in the first place? I wasn’t really interested in that plotline to be honest. And it was because of all the shady-ness surrounding Andy.

The only thing that saved this book for me was Suede’s storytelling. He can write. He can weave it and keep you coming back until the last word has been read. And that’s talent. So I’ll give it 3. It’s unique!

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Advanced Review Copy

Advanced review copy of Pent Up provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.


I love boys who love boys! I’m in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.

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