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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 listeners say about Troubled Waters

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

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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 person found this helpful

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  • 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 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • N
  • 01-10-20

Emery the brat

DNF after 2.5 hours I really disliked Emery, he was a rude brat who threw around his judgments of people. The constant ranting about straight white men was tiresome and all around he just wasn’t pleasant to read about. I’m all for a sassy queen but he was straight up nasty a lot of times. He didn’t want to really take any precautions with his safety and just came across as very unlikeable. He was a walking talking stereotype and if I’d known he was a social media influencer I never would have purchased the book. Emery went out of his way to try to make Scout uncomfortable, because he assumed scout was straight. Scout was sweet but weirdly into Emery very quickly, his offence that Emery didn’t recognise him after one lay in a club really baffled me. Why was he so obsessed and acting so hurt? It was like they’d been in a relationship or something and it was strange. He didn’t really have a backbone and let Emery walk all over him. Why didn’t he just open his mouth and say he was gay instead of bottling it all up unnecessarily. I wish I had the patience to continue this book as I did like the first book but I just can’t do it. Nick J Russo did a fantastic job at narrating as usual.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Debbie Attenborough
  • 04-09-20

excellent book 2, excellent narration!

This is book 2 in the Pine Cove series, but you don’t NEED to have read book one, Safe Harbor, before this one. But you NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED (emphasis on the long E and there IS a difference!) to read it. Cos, you know, that is a darn sneaky book and because I bloody well said so! This is maybe not so sneaky, cos everything is laid out for you, but still a fabulous read! Scout is surprised when his awesome hook up turns out to be his new client. But Emery doesn’t remember him, so Scout keeps quiet. He wants to keep Emery safe while they figure out who is sending the threatening emails. Something deep in him NEEDS to keep Emery safe, and he needs to keep his hands off. But when Emery remembers, he goes all out to get Scout back in his bed, in his life and his heart. He just needs to stay alive long enough. We met Emery in book one, he is Robin’s best friend from school. He is out and proud and very fem. He is who he is, and stuff everyone else. He is an Instagram star, but he is so much more too. But people don’t see that side to Emery, he doesn’t let many people in. Scout is very much a man’s man: big and bulky, ex-boxer, but he loves fem guys. That’s why Emery caught his eye in the club, that first time. Why Emery continues to push Scout’s buttons while they try to figure out what’s going on. Why Emery continues to PUSH Scout, in every which way. Why Scout pushes Emery to open up, to talk to him. Why Scout’s heart breaks when Emery pushes him away. Why Scout’s heart damn well stops when he realises the danger Emery has walked into. I loved this; I really did! I’ve been in such a book slump for a while, and this book, this deliciously sexy, heart stopping book, was just the book I needed to get me out of it! Emery is such a character! I loved him in Safe Harbor, and I fell in love some more with him here. He is so much more than the image he presents to the world; he really is. You don’t see that in book one, but here you get the full Emery experience and I loved it! Scout is quite a character too, just not quite so in-yer-face as Emery is. Emery is very clear about what and who he wants, and so this book is somewhat more explicit than book one, but I ain’t complaining, no ma’am, I ain’t! A tad more violent though, what with car bombs, and nutters, and things but I think they are needed here, they really are. Both guys have a say, and both voices are very different. I need to listen to this now! I heard Emery’s voice in my head, but it wasn’t *quite* right, and since we don’t get Emery is all his glory in Safe Harbor, I need to listen to hear him fall apart when Scout touches him, when it all goes down, and when things are settled after. Ava, Robin’s sister, plays a part here, and Robin, Dair and Swift, (eldest brother to Robin) pop up. So pleased about that! There is the blurb at the back of this one for the next book, and THAT threw up a surprise! So, can’t wait to get my hands on that little baby! I read this in one sitting, I was totally engrossed! Nick J Russo narrates and he NAILS it, he totally does! 5 full and sparkly stars 5 stars for the narration **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee Slate
  • 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 😊

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.