TITLE: Royal Service
AUTHOR: LJ Collins
SERIES: Men in Love and at War
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Carmen Waters
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense; Erotica
LENGTH: 178 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 3, 2017
PRICE: : $4.99 -e-book
Wherever Berkeley goes, or whatever he does, drama follows. Having recovered from the ordeal of being the victim of an internet scam, his life returns to normal working at a five-star hotel selling VIP vacation club memberships to wealthy clients, and being with the love of his life, Captain Rick. That is until he finds Rick cheating on him with a woman. Feeling sad and lonely, Berkeley is enticed by the prospects of high earnings and a jet setter lifestyle when he’s approached by one of his clients to be a high-class escort.
Whilst he revels in being treated like a prince, he has to accommodate some strange and unusual sexual requests, and before long he’s caught up in a web of espionage between a transport conglomerate and a client who is developing a futuristic technology that will change the future of transport forever. Only Berkeley knows how he’s going to weave his way out of his new-found problem.
This book, is book 5 of the Men in Love and at War series. It may be beneficial to read the other books in the series first to get to know the characters and setting a little better because we’re not given much information at the outset of the story as to who they are or where they’ve come from. I went into this story blind not knowing it was a continuation of a series and although I got through it without any real issues, I feel it would have enhanced my reading experience by knowing what happened to the characters before we got to this point in their lives.
Set in a town called El Sauzal on the island of Tenerife, we meet the main character of the story, Berkeley. After breaking up with his boyfriend Rick, Berkeley, through his job selling memberships to a private vacation club, meets Peter Moore. Peter owns Royal Service which is a high-class escort agency and with some hands-on persuasion, he convinces Berkeley to come work for him. Berkeley’s first client is Sebastian who’s a multimillionaire living in the south of France. Sebastian doesn’t do relationships and whenever he needs some company he enlists the services of Peter’s agency. When Sebastian and Berkeley meet, they find that they actually get on really well and enjoy their time together. Sebastian later requests that Berkeley accompanies him on a trip to South America. During this trip Berkeley discovers that Sebastian has developed a new technology for travel which is similar to teleportation. Sebastian sees this as the future of travel, where someone can be anywhere in the world within seconds. A few weeks later, Berkeley’s asked to go to London to meet a new client who has asked for him. Here, he meets Frederick and straight away there’s a connection between them that is completely different to what he had with Sebastian. With Frederick, he feels more comfortable and relaxed and like he could actually fit in Frederick’s life and be happy. Frederick tells Berkeley that he’s the spokesperson for a group of people in the travel industry and that they know about Sebastian’s technology and want to stop it going further than the stage that it’s at as millions of jobs are at risk. He has been told by his bosses to convince Berkeley to steal the data from Sebastian and pass it on to them so as the research can be discredited.
As a character, Berkeley comes across as quite arrogant and materialistic, he only really thinks of himself and the money. Even though he enjoys being with Sebastian and Frederick and they are paying for his services, he always wants to do things on his terms. The story did flow well, but it was written almost like two halves, the first part where Berkeley becomes an escort and takes us through his experience of meeting new clients and dealing with their often strange requests and then the second part where he becomes an industrial spy and business guru. This had me slightly conflicted about the story because I didn’t know where it was trying to go. There were some twists which added excitement, but there were also some parts that were so cheesy I wanted to cringe. Although everything in this story is wrapped up and finalized, it’s left open for more books in the series to follow, the ending felt right for the story, and I’m happy with how the author completed this little adventure in Berkeley’s life.
In the end, I can’t say I loved the book, but I also didn’t hate it. Maybe if I had read the previous books in the series, I would have been able to connect to this story more, but I was left feeling indifferent. Will I read the other books in the series? The answer is maybe, I wouldn’t rule it out and it certainly hasn’t put me off reading other work by this author because it actually was a good story concept.
***The ARC was provided by eXtasy Books. My review is an honest opinion of the book***