Your audiobook is waiting…

Troubled Waters

Pine Cove, Book 2
Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Series: Pine Cove Series, Book 2
Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4.5 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Scout Duffy doesn’t know what’s worse. The fact that his scorching one-night stand is his bratty new client, or the fact that he doesn’t even remember Scout. But beneath all the bravado, Scout can see Emery is terrified, and he’ll do anything to protect him from his attacker. If only he would lower his walls and let Scout into his heart as easily as he lets him dominate in the bedroom... 

Being out and proud his whole life means Emery Klein has never been safe. But now, his charity work and social media fame have put a target on his back from bigots, and his friends force him to hire a private bodyguard. Emery doesn’t need to be judged by some straight former boxer, but his attraction to the gorgeous hunk is insatiable. When Emery finally recognizes Scout, they can’t keep their damn hands off one another, if only for as long as Scout’s in town.  

There’s a reason Emery never looks too closely at the men he sleeps with, just like there’s a reason Scout lives out of a suitcase in motel rooms. Will two men hiding from hurt realize the love that could heal them both is right in front of them? Or will Emery’s attacker take everything before they have the chance? 

Troubled Waters is a steamy, stand-alone gay romance novel with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cliff-hanger. 

©2019 H.J. Welch (P)2019 H.J. Welch

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent story!

Emery was a cute and fun character in the first book, so I enjoyed getting to know him more. On the surface, he is a drama queen diva, but there is so much more depth to him. He is getting death threats and seems to have a stalker. His friend convinces him that he needs a bodyguard, and who shows up but the faceless guy he was with the night before. Scout remembers Emery, but Emery never really looked at faces in an attempt to distance himself from others. They had chemistry for sure. Right off the bat, they seemed to gel with each other and that scared them both. Scout wanted to be able to focus on his job and Emery didn't want to get attached or have feelings for anyone. Luckily, these guys realize that communication is important, Scout helps Emery with his stalker situation, and they get an HEA. I really enjoyed the story. There were elements of mystery, action/drama, mild kink, and heat. It was the perfect balance for a story.

I did a re-read of this using the audiobook, and Nick J. Russo did an awesome job! The character's voices were great, and I fell in love with them even more than I did on paper.

I am voluntarily reviewing an ARC provided by LesCourt Author Services

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So good!!

I’m loving this series. The first book was good, but this one was so much better. I loved Emery and Scout‘s story and of course the narration was great. Love Nick Russo’s voice. So excited to start the next book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Emery & Scout

I am a huge HJ Welch fan and I adored the first book in the Pine Cove series, but this book I struggled with when I read it. I enjoyed it much more as an audiobook though as Nick J Russo did such an amazing job of bringing both the characters to life. His portrayal of Emery especially changed how I felt about this story as I couldn’t warm to him at all when I read the book, but did more so when I listened to it.

I love Scout, he’s strong, protective, caring and to be honest he’s an all round gorgeous teddy bear. Emery, as I’ve said, I struggled with. Although I warmed to him, overall he was just too bratty and immature for me. I know that some of the bratty attitude was a cover up to keep people at a distance so he couldn’t be hurt, but it left me feeling as if I never truly got to know him. Even after reading and listening to the book I still struggle to see what Scout initially saw in him because I never felt I got to know the real Emery. The story telling was fantastic as always though. I also loved Kamran who was a secondary character in the book and I’d love to see him get a book of his own.

I’m really looking forward to book 3!

I received an arc of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sooo good

I love, love, love snarky, bratty characters paired up with gruff ones. Emery and Scout are one of my favorite couples!! This audio was so good. Nick J Russo narration was on point! Highly recommend this series!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Troubled Waters, the second book in Pine Cove series, hooks you from the beginning and keeps your engaged throughout. Emery and Scout will make you laugh and frustrate you with the things they because of their insecurities but you just can’t help but root for them. The narration by Nick J Russo was excellent as always. I look forward to reading/listening to the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Emery and Scott are combustible together!!

Awesome Narrator!! I loved the story as it unfolded  and how well the emotion of the different scenes were brought to live by his narration in this story. 

Delightfully steamy m/m romance with a bit of suspense and awesome characters. I have been waiting for Emery's story since reading the first book in this series and i was not disappointed.  I really liked the MC's and found the story-line engaging.  The writing flowed and i enjoyed seeing glimpses of people we have met previously.

Emery and Scott are combustible together and i loved the creative ways they found to communicate with each other.  Lots of fun and yet these guys also learn to communicate.  There are several miscommunications and that seemed fitting with their experience with relationships.

This is the second book in the Pine Cove series and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.  I personally really enjoyed the first book and would recommend both to you for your pleasure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Love222
  • NJ, United States
  • 10-29-19

Great narration

I loved reading this one and sometimes with a character like Emery a narrator can completely ruin the story with over the top voices etc. I am so happy to report that Russo does not do this here. He really brought the characters to life in a great way and made it a truly enjoyable listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bodyguard and the Brat

Emery is a internet star getting threats. Scout is the man assigned to protect him. Unknown to Scout Emery was the one night stand he had the day he arrived in town....and Emery doesn't recognize him at all. I spent a lot of this story feeling sort of bad for Scout. I felt like he had to work a little to hard, and was so easy to forgive Emery each time, or take the blame on himself for things I think he didn't need to. I guess he's just the best person ever. I really liked him though, and was rooting for him the whole time. Story kept a good momentum though and seemed to go quick.

Nick Russo did such an awesome job on the narration, he is very talented.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Narration!

This was a good story about a bodyguard protecting a high maintenance femme celebrity. I really liked Scouts character. He was very sure of what he wanted and really sweet to Emery. Emery was a spit fire, you really didnt like him much at first but when Scout peeled back his layers and got to his heart, there was a guy craving to be loved. There was some high drama toward the end that wrapped up nicely.
Once again Nick Russo knocked it out of the park. I love his narration, even timbre, great repertoire of voices and such emotion! He made a good story great!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kp
  • 10-28-19

Loved It!

I really enjoyed this fast paced, action packed romance. Emery and Scout are combustible together. Their chemistry jumps off the page. I liked how their relationship evolved. They grew to trust and love each other.
This book had drama, humor, steam and romance. The characters are interesting and likeable. The story was entertaining and definitely kept me glued to the book.
I loved listening to Nick J Russo bring these guys to life!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cassi
  • Cassi
  • 11-07-19

Even better than the first

While I enjoyed the previous book this one I connected with and got into a lot more. Scout was great and I adored Emery. The bodyguard trope is actually one of my favourites and I loved how different they were too and when they came together it was HOT.

Nick did a fantastic job narrating this and I love listening to him. Always a pleasure

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Allison's Book Corner
  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 11-06-19

Loved it

I really enjoyed this audiobook.
I loved the story and the narration was great.
Definitely a must listen.
I can’t wait to listen to more of this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gwen
  • Gwen
  • 11-06-19

Bratty and the Brute

This is my first book by HJ Welch, but won’t be my last. I like the story, second book so it’s focused on Emery from Pine Cove. He is out and proud, outgoing and outspoken but a bit much sometimes. His bodyguard, Scout is an ex boxer and a sexy bulky man, he doesn’t flaunt. He protects. They have a hot romance though Emery sometimes goes cold. Their first encounter was awesome and very well interpreted. Great narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for alias11
  • alias11
  • 11-06-19

Suspenseful, sweet, and sexy

I really enjoyed this suspenseful, sweet, and sexy story. The first scene was so, so hot that it really captured me and made me want to know more about these two mens' stories. The story builds with clues along the way that you really don't recognize for what they are until the end. The ending is really explosive and - yeah - there is some real homophobic ranting that occurs. All's well that ends well, but even though you expect an HEA, there are some tense moments that make you wonder if they are really going to get there.

Mr. Russo does a fantastic job with the narration. The voices are great, and he really expresses the emotions well, especially Emery's more flamboyant, feminine moments. He also really showcases the gritty parts and Emery's fear.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mari Cardenas
  • Mari Cardenas
  • 11-06-19

Really enjoyed this one!

I was a bit wary about this book at first, but H.J. Welch did a fantastic job balancing the chemistry between Scout and Emery and the suspense of finding out who was stalking Emery, and let me tell you, it was quite a twist that I didn't see coming at all, and maybe because of that, I enjoyed it all the more.

Loved Scout and Emery and though things weren't all that great at the start, seeing that Emery didn't remember Scout had been his one-night stand just before the first attack, and Scout feeling a bit hurt that he hadn't been all that memorable for Emery, they managed to move past that. I also liked that Scout wavered between giving in to his feelings and his job as Emery's bodyguard, it made it more realistic to me.

Nick Russo was awesome as always, he brings a lot of emotion into his narration and his voices are just so distinct and I was thoroughly impressed at how the suspense of some scenes came through in his performance. This has got to be one of my favorites of his in my ever-growing list from his narrations. Very recommendable!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lisa Hughes
  • Lisa Hughes
  • 11-05-19

just superb

I loved this book so so so much. Emery is my spirit animal and he and Scout are such an odd couple, but perfect for each other. It's sassy and sexy, sweet and steamy and just plain marvelous

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-05-19

Another good addition to the series 😊

The story centres around Emery, a snarky, bratty internet celeb and the bodyguard, Scout, who's assigned to protect him. There's humour, heat and growth between the characters. There is a bit of a sub/dom relationship that develops (not my favourite trope), but it worked very well for our MCs.
As always, Nick J. Russo does a wonderful job of bringing the characters and story to life! He has a very good range of voices, so it was very easy to distinguish between the characters. Also, he's able to realistically channel the character's emotions. A great way to experience the story 😊

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joanne1988
  • Joanne1988
  • 11-05-19

Really good.

Emery is bratty queen and he owns it, Scout is an ex boxer now bodyguard yet they fit together so well. I would say this book is low angst and a really enjoyable listen, I've loved every book in this series so far and there are still many characters I hope get there own story.

The narrator did a great job bringing this characters to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Erryn Barratt
  • Erryn Barratt
  • 11-04-19

Two lost souls find each other

Emery Klein is quite a character. He’s out, proud, and loud. He wears his gay on his sleeve and isn’t afraid to show himself. For all to see, he’s happy and joyous. He’s also a social media influencer – something I admittedly know very little about. In that sense, this book was a huge revelation for me. I had always seen these people through the lens of the Kardashians. That an influencer could use their position for good? That they could use their ability to reach out to the vulnerable and give them hope? Mind blown. I probably should have seen it, but now I’ll view things differently. Oh, to be sure there are vapid and selfish people who want the adulation, but apparently there are people out there who use their celebrity for good.

Like I said, Emery does this and it endeared him to me. Of course so did the hedgehog Sonic. Anyone who can love such an…interesting…creature must be a good person, right? His one fault? The inability to connect with people he has sex with. He has close friends and chosen family (many of whom I met in the first book and it was nice to have them back!). What he lacks is the desire to have more than what amounts to one-night stands. From the start I could see the toll it takes on him. Heck, the opening scene was…interesting (okay, and also kind of explosive – I’ll never look at guppies the same way). But while the encounter meant everything to his partner, Emery let it blend into all the others.

Or so he tells himself. He might not remember faces, but he does remember someone who dominates him. He’ll do just about anything to repeat that particular experience.

Scout Duffy is also a man who runs from his feelings. He’s had a few one-night stands as well, but his job keeps him on the move, going for assignment to assignment. Town to town. When he agrees to be the bodyguard of some gay social media influencer, it’s not the gay part that bothers him. He’s convinced Emery is just another guy whose whole focus is taking a good picture of his food – or of himself. Scout immediately recognizes Emery as the guy he banged (so to speak), but Emery’s lack of recognition hurts. More than he’s willing to admit.

But the threat to Emery is very real and Scout figures he can tuck away the lust and focus on the job. Until Emery finally recognizes him and then all bets are off the table. Hot times ensue. Ethics are pesky things, though, and Scout must, he believes, choose between protecting Emery or making hot damn love with him. As a boxer, Scout was all brute strength and very much in the closet. He’s out now, but certainly doesn’t advertise the fact. Being with Emery means changing that. For the better? Hard to say.

There is a lot of drama in this book. More so even than in the last book. The sleepy town of Pine Cove isn’t as dull as it might seem. The eventual standoff scene uncovers how deep hate can really run. Suddenly Emery’s safety is jeopardized and Scout realizes the depth of his feelings for the man.

I enjoyed this book. There was a lot to take in and it worked. Watching the men connect was fun but the deeper emotions came much later. Of course a happy ending is guaranteed, but I still wondered how it would all come together with Emery attached to Pine Cove and Scout living an itinerant life.

Nick J. Russo is a great narrator and he’s perfect to helm this series. He always delivers a solid performance and this book was no exception. If you enjoy snarky twinks and the dominant men who love them then this is the right book for you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Meph666
  • Meph666
  • 11-03-19

Beautiful story with amazing narration

Absolutely loved this story, such a great follow up to book one. There's the same small town with great characters but even more added to the mix. From the first chapter there is a hot chemistry between Emery and Scout, then once we dive into the story there is drama, tension, mystery and a lot of attitude from Pine Cove's favourite brat.
Emery has gained himself an unwanted follower and Scout has been hired to protect him, also unwanted by Emery. That is until things escalate and there's no denying the danger he's in.
Between the two of them is sizzling sexual tension, right from the beginning but there's a little more to their history than Emery remembers and Scout doesn't have it in him to reveal all. Emery clearly loves and cares for those close to him but has walls up against anyone new which has occurred because of bullying and how he fits into society. He is bratty and snarky which was occasionally a little much but a perfect match for Scout. Scouts main aim is to keep the man safe, whether they get close or not. The plot thickens as they struggle to discover who is after Emery but with Emery not being the most willing person in need of protection makes Scout's job much harder. He clearly has the brains and the brawn to protect him whilst also needing to protect his own heart.
I love Pine Cove in the way it's full of love and acceptance which you can feel from so many characters, those important to this story as well as regular town folk.
HJ Welch has built up a really great storyline that has several elements working well together and it was a constant guess who as to the suspect. It all crashed together with drama and action with a healthy dose of attraction and friendship from those who love Emery and want what's best for him, whether he likes it or not.
I definitely recommend listening to Troubled Waters. It can definitely be heard as a stand alone but I loved book one too so am recommending the whole series as you gradually get to know all of the characters in Pine Cove.
Again, Nick has done a fantastic job with narrating the characters and the story. Emory is given the perfect voice with attitude sass and vulnerability whilst Scout has his protectiveness, determination but softer side. There's a lot of emotion with highs and lows that Nick gives a great amount of detail to and really draws you into the story right from the start. Very easy to listen to!