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SPOILER ALERT!

High Roller (Sin City 4)

High Roller (Sin City 4) - Tricia Owens I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars
This was book 4 in the series Sin City and was about Max and Ethan, owner and bodyguard working for the former’s agency Elite Poole.

I gave this a low rating mainly because I felt like a little more history should have been given about the couple’s past. It is very hard to get into the novel without having read the first three novels. This novel did not feel like it could be read as a standalone (although I saw somewhere it could very well be read as a standalone). I felt that I should have read the first three before reading this one.

If not for the blurb, readers might have inferred that Ethan was a kept pet awaiting his Master and then wanting to join his master for a meeting. He goes to the meeting dressed up smartly and due to the lack of details about the first three novels, you basically have to infer what their relationship and what they do for a living and what in the world this meeting was about that Ethan has to arrive dressed so smartly for.

I really felt I was missing something without reading books 1-3 and half way through this one, I was frustrated because I was so lost and was losing the desire to chase down books one through three. I think just a little more cohesion and hinting at what happened in the first three novels would have helped.

Ethan persuades his Master, Max , to let him be the bodyguard for Slot Bandit, Rexum, whom, uh oh, he may have a bit of je-ne-sais-quoi for. He feels that he must protect Rexum despite Max’s reservations and reluctance to assign him to Rexum as his bodyguard. He thinks he’s just relating to Rexum’s feeling about his ex-wife. At first I liked Ethan, but found myself annoyed by how he kept messing up as he allows himself to be sexually attracted and flirted with by Rexum.
He continually, naively continues to let Rexum push the limits despite Max’s words of caution and nearly loses Max in the process. Finally, towards the end, he picks himself up and proves himself to be a likeable, albeit easily swayed character. It makes you wonder how he and Max got together to begin with as his behavior feels oddly inconsistent. Maybe it’s meant to display his naivete and draw on the first three novels, but I strongly feel the lack of inference to the prior three novels to build the characters in the reader’s mind hurt this novel to some extent.

All’s well that ends well as Ethan and Max overcome the issue of Rexum and remain together. Strong master Max even displays a bit of heart-warming non-Master persona by admitting his strong feelings for Ethan.