Guarding January by Sean Michael ~ Book Review by Josie Goodreads

Guarding-January Title: Guarding January

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Rating: 5.00 of 5 Stars


Lord January is at the top of the charts, only comes out at night, and is usually covered in blood. Say what you will, but the man knows how to put on a great show. But when the Vampire King is let out of rehab, the last thing he expects is someone forcing him to eat real food, hang out in the sun, and generally be a human being.

Rye Sommers, the best bodyguard in the business, has been hired to babysit a rock star whose biggest threat surprisingly isn’t all the hard drugs, desperate groupies, and crazy fans—it’s Lord January himself. But the closer Rye gets, the more LJ turns into sweet, gentle, caring Jeff Smart. He may still be the super-skinny, pierced and inked genius Lord January, but he is slowly shaking his death wish as he sheds the loneliness and exhaustion his stage persona saddled him with.

But as Rye falls in love with the real Jeff, he finds himself in over his head. He knows he can keep Lord January away from the drugs and the groupies, but saving Jeff might force Jeff to choose between his career as Lord January and his very life.

Josie Goodreads’s View:

Playing Lord January, Jeff Stewart’s superstar alter ego, is killing him but he doesn’t know how to be anyone else. Jeff’s whole career is built around the blood spewing vampire and he knows he’s a walking dead man. Can his new 24/7 personal bodyguard Rye Sommers change anything? Or is Rye just delaying the inevitable overdose?

Sean Michael’s Guarding January is an intense gut wrenching emotional page turner. It’s been a long time since I was scared to turn the pages, frightened of what I would find, but I was with this book. It’s a MM romance so I was trusting for a happy ending but half way through I really couldn’t see how Jeff and Rye were ever going to get there.

I’m a reader who can’t stand horror in any shape or form and the character of Lord January was horrible, he was poisonous and toxic. When Rye meets Jeff for the first time it is just weeks before Lord January’s next big tour. Jeff is leaving rehab after his last overdose, he is weak, stick thin as he doesn’t eat, and convinced that he can’t tour without the drugs, knowing deep down the next time he touches drugs he will die but also accepting that it’s inevitable as he can’t be what people expect of January without the drugs. Rye, hired by Jeff’s manager Donna, sees the scared and defeatist young man behind the January image and is drawn to him from the very beginning. As Rye coaxes Jeff into eating, and living again, a possessive protectiveness takes over and Rye becomes determined to save the young man even if it means the end of Lord January’s career.

I loved Rye; everyone needs someone like him in their life. A protector, someone to keep the bad things away, and Jeff needs Rye desperately, even if at first he doesn’t realize it, or even like it. Rye immediately sees and understands that Jeff can’t carry on playing January; the im-age will kill him in the end and the longer he spends with Jeff the more impatient and desper-ate he gets in his need to kill off January and save Jeff. Rye becomes everything Jeff needs, he stands between Jeff and the world, and slowly Jeff starts to live again.

Like many readers I have read lots of Sean Michael books, most of them his BDSM lifestyle stories and I didn’t really know what to expect of Guarding January. I didn’t know if Sean Michael could pull off a really good non BDSM full length novel but he does, and it’s re-markable. Guarding January is a sweet and slow emotional roller coaster and I loved every page.

The characters of Rye and Jeff are allowed to develop gently and realistically, we get to see what’s going on inside the minds of both men, and inside Jeff’s head it’s heartbreaking, he’s so damaged and lost, when we first meet Jeff he can’t even remember the last time he had an erection, the drugs have done so much damage. The two men become friends first with Rye’s priorities being Jeff’s’ health and well-being, the relationship stuff came later. If work and RL hadn’t come between me and my kindle I could have read this in one sitting, with a stiff drink at the ‘oh god how is Jeff ever going to be okay again’ stage. Even with the break in reading I still thought about Jeff and Rye constantly, they played on my mind.

This was an amazing story, one of the best I’ve ever read from Sean Michael and I can only hope for more like this. If you love rock stars and bodyguards or simply like Sean Michael pick this up now, or when you finally do you’ll kick yourself for waiting.

Buy Links

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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