Book Reviews

The Primary Pest (Iphicles Security 1) by Z.A. Maxfield

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Bodyguards / Military/Former Military / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 28-December-2021

Book Blurb

If infatuated bodyguard Dmytro wants to come clean to his reckless young client Ajax, he's going to have to get dirty.

Dmytro Kolisnychenko was a soldier and translator for the Ukrainian mob—until he lost his happy home life to an enemy with a homemade bomb. Now he wants only two things: to spend every precious second he can with his daughters and to provide for them by protecting people who can’t protect themselves. Even spoiled rich kids like Ajax Fairchild.

Ajax Fairchild isn't the monster Dmytro thinks he is. He's surprisingly intelligent, resourceful, and funny. He's also gorgeous and enjoys dating mature men. The first time they're alone together, Ajax makes Dmytro an offer that's hard to refuse.

Dmytro hasn't got time for a romantic dalliance, and Ajax is a client. But as one coincidence after another ruins Dmytro's plans to keep Ajax safe, and they're driven from one town to another on the central coast, trouble following hot on their heels.

Can they trust each other enough to stay one step ahead while Dmytro's partners at Iphicles Security find Ajax's stalker and neutralize the threat? What if trust leads to love?

First edition published under the title 'Three Vlog Night (Plummet to Soar 3)' by Dreamspinner Press, June 2019.

Book Review

'The Primary Pest' (original title: ‘Three Vlog Night’) is filled with humorous observations about human nature, stars two secretive men initially full of considerable disdain for each other, and while it is only loosely linked to 'Plummet to Soar', the idea of a “plummet” and its consequences are still very much at the center of this story. In case you are confused about this reference to 'Plummet to Soar - in the first edition that was the title of the first book in the series. In fact, Ajax’s reaction to reading 'Plummet to Soar' is at the root of all his problems, which are considerable. He goes from a fairly famous online personality with the occasional fan issue to a hunted man trying to deal with death threats. Who better to protect him than Dmytro – a former soldier, ex-hired muscle for the Ukrainian mob, and dedicated father of two young daughters who are all the family he has left? The result of these two men meeting is not what either of them expected – and had me thoroughly entertained!

So on one hand there is Ajax, a man who has a public persona and earns a living by hanging out on Instagram and influencing people by being seen with influencers. Then he reads ‘Plummet to Soar’, a self-help book that has already gotten lots of people in trouble, and Ajax recognizes the ugly truth about what he does. Needless to say, he doesn’t like what he sees and what does he do? He goes on an online rampage, letting everyone see “the real him”, and making fun of his audience to boot. Ouch! His super rich parents are the ones to decide he needs a bodyguard, and Ajax ends up “saddled” with Dmytro, the guy their security service selects to protect him.

On the other hand, there is Dmytro and to say that he is a man with issues is probably an understatement. He has turned his life around by working for a respectable security company, but he is not really what you would call a good guy. Even though his motives are all aboveboard now – wanting to provide for his two young daughters by protecting those who can’t protect themselves – his past will not let him go easily. The skills he learned as a soldier stand him in good stead as a bodyguard, but the somewhat warped morals of the Ukrainian mob are a different matter.

Neither of the two men expect to get along with the other when they first meet - Ajax does not want a bodyguard and Dmytro doesn’t think much of spoiled little rich kids. The attraction is immediate, but between mounting danger in the form of multiple threats and both men’s reluctance to trust each other, things do not go well at first. As they begin to understand what might be behind the threats and figure out that only working together will keep them safe, trust grows into more and they become a formidable pair.

If you like watching men going from distrusting each other to falling in love, if you think that running for your life can be a good bonding experience, and if you’re looking for an action-packed read that is funny, full of twists and turns, and stars two very intriguing characters, then you will probably like this novel. It’s filled with the spirit of “plummeting to soar”!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. The first edition of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 255 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 21-December-2021
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link