Review: PENT UP by Damon Suede
Author: Damon Suede
Title: Pent Up
Release Date: November 20, 2015
Formats: paperback, ebook
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.
Before writing a review I prefer to check out other reviews for the book to avoid repeating what everyone else says, and I have to admit being completely confused about the response to Pent Up.
Most of the reviews I’ve seen focus on the romance. I agree, the romance was awesome. Lots of tension, lots of build up. And lots of heat when they finally figured everything out. I liked that their dynamic was a little wonky and unbalanced. Smooth, they were not. Made their journey more real. Many reviewers mention not warming up to one or more of the leads, which is unfortunate. However, I didn’t have that problem. I loved the complexity of the characters. They were flawed, they didn’t always do what I wanted them to do, yet I found them incredibly interesting anyway. I had no idea what to expect because there was no template to follow. Reuben was a recovering alcoholic hanging on by the skin of his teeth and Andy was a little shit sometimes. So what? They fit.
But what I liked even more was that the romance was only a fraction of this book. Pent Up has so many layers that it is hard to know where to begin. There’s a real sense of danger. That’s rare to find. Is Andy a good guy or a bad guy? For once, the blurb doesn’t spoil it. Reuben doesn’t know. We don’t know. You may think you know what’s going on, but I assure you, you don’t. The truth is so much better.
The mystery itself starts out slow, allowing the characters to breath a little and get to know each other. They have a lot to unpack. Reuben specifically didn’t take Andy seriously, so there was a greater sense of urgency to catch-up when things turned pear-shaped. Andy was being cagey, Reuben didn’t know what he was doing, and anything could happen. What could be better?
I admit that I don’t know much about venture capitalism so some of the specifics of the business went over my head. Because of that, some of the dialogue exchanges were confusing, almost like a different language. Considering that this was a solo POV novel, the fact that Reuben didn’t understand what was going on, there was no way for him to explain it to us. I’m fine with that. The important bits took care of themselves. The twist at the end was both expected and odd at the same time. I loved the unconventional resolution. Again, not knowing the money market, I didn’t really understand the logistics, but Suede sold it, leaving me, Reuben, and Andy very happy.
Overall, if you are looking for a romance for the sake of a romance, this may not be the book for you. If you want a romance that is all that and more, then I suggest giving Pent-Up a go. Personally, I think it’s Suede’s best yet.
*review originally posted HERE*