Book Review: Roaring Waters by C.J. Baty

Roaring Waters
by C.J. Baty
M/M Contemporary/Mystery
The Warfield Hotel Book 3
4 Stars

Damien Fitzgerald has lived through hell and is determined to never let anyone get close to him again. A fervent reporter, he throws his life into his work and doesn’t care whose toes he steps on. But someone else does. He’s got a stalker, and the messages are growing increasingly threatening. He turns to his best friend, Justin Warfield and his lover, Private Investigator Marcus Drummond. Seems like a good idea until Robert Wyler becomes part of the package.

Robert Wyler, the manager of the bar at the Warfield Inn, has always been misunderstood. Sure he takes care of his body, wears his hair long and likes tatts, but that doesn’t mean he’s domineering. A cold exterior hides the more passionate man inside. Men like Damien Fitzgerald get on his nerves. Too good looking. Too arrogant. But when Justin and Marcus needed his help to guard the man from a stalker, Robert couldn’t say no.

Damien and Robert have a history. Whenever they are near each other sparks fly. Can Damien and Robert get past their prejudices to find the real men hiding underneath. Will they find love before the stalker gets to Damien and their chance at happiness is destroyed forever…

Review 4 Stars

Investigative journalist Damien Fitzgerald has recently left a very abusive relationship and is determined to let no one that close to him ever again. He throws himself into his work and tries to forget about a social life altogether. His friend, Justin Warfield and Justin's lover, Marcus, a private investigator are both worried about him. More so now, when he has become the victim of a stalker. But who could it be? His abusive ex-lover? Someone named from his latest exposé?

Text messages, threatening phone calls and death threats are just the beginning and soon Damien is suffering panic attacks and anxiety that he thought he'd had well under control.

Justin and Marcus ask their bar manager, Robert Wyler to act as a sort of bodyguard for Damien while Marcus does his best to investigate who is behind the stalking.

Robert and Damien do not hit it off straight away. Robert thinks Damien is arrogant and aloof, when really he is trying to hold himself together. Robert is large, muscle-bound and covered in tattoos and Damien mistakenly thinks that Robert is into BDSM and he wants to run a mile. He'd been in abusive BDSM relationship before, but his previous lover was really just a domineering, abusive man pretending he was into BDSM. He wouldn't have known a proper, loving, consensual BDSM relationship if it bit him on the nose!

They are thrown together more and more and when they finally do get together, Damien gets cold feet and calls the whole thing off altogether. Are they just fooling themselves, or can they really make a go of it?

I hadn't realised it was part of a series before I got my review copy, but luckily enough this is a self-contained story with some recurring characters, who are introduced again anyway, so you won't miss out if you read this one first.

It's a well-written compelling tale with a good balance of romance and mystery. There are some flashbacks of Damien's time in that abusive relationship, although not particularly graphic, it does hammer it home how bad Damien's past was and now he's trying to recover.

Both Robert and Damien were well-drawn characters and you got to read inside both their heads, which is always a bonus for me. The slow pace of their developing relationship suits these characters and the love scenes flow quite naturally.

Robert is so understanding and tender with Damien that some scenes were very emotional. Damien has been through the wringer and Robert is just the man to help him get back on track.

A very satisfying read. Oh, and thanks to the author for explaining the title in the book. I would have been wondering the whole time what it meant!


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