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Roughed Up

Up to Trouble Book Three

by Hank Edwards

A well-earned island vacation. A missing boyfriend. An out of jurisdiction agent racing against time.
Mark Beecher and FBI Special Agent Aaron Pearce are relaxing on the island of Barbados, filling their days with sun, surf, and each other. At a restaurant off the usual tourist route, Mark sees a woman he believes may be in danger and wants to try and help, however, Pearce reminds him they are not citizens and have no legal power on the island.
But Mark can’t forget the woman, even after they return to the restaurant but are unable to find her again. Following an argument with Pearce about his inability to let it go, Mark slips away to investigate on his own. He locates the woman, but she is in trouble, and when Mark tries to intervene, he’s taken captive as well. Mark is drugged and hidden away to await a sex slavery ring auction.
When Pearce is unable to locate Mark, he makes a report to the Barbados Royal Police Force. The detective he speaks with asks a lot of questions that make Pearce realize he’s most likely the prime suspect in Mark’s disappearance. With no official legal power on the island, Pearce begins his own investigation, determined to find and rescue Mark before the man he loves is taken off the island and lost forever.

This book is on:
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Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Alpha Character, Badass Hero
Word Count: 45100
Setting: Barbados
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters

From the expression on Mark's face, his thoughts had taken a darker turn as well, and Pearce wondered where they had gone. Maybe Mark was feeling the same way Pearce was.

“You okay over there?”

“Huh?” Mark’s gaze was distant behind the lenses of his glasses. “Oh. Yeah. I’m good. Just taking it all in.”

“Yeah? Not thinking about anything in particular?” Pearce speared a bite of fish and looked around for the waiter to order another beer.

Mark shrugged. “Well, maybe. I was thinking about that girl at the bar.” He gave Pearce a small smile. “Can’t get anything past Special Agent Pearce, can I?”

“Sooner you realize that and just say stuff up front, the easier it’ll be for both of us,” Pearce said.

“Yeah, yeah.” Mark shook his head. “I keep thinking about how she tried to talk to me as we were leaving. I can’t figure out what she was trying to tell me.”


Pearce cocked his head. “She spoke to you?”

Mark widened his eyes. “Didn’t I tell you?”

“No. How did she speak to you? I was right there, and I didn’t hear her.”

“Well, she didn’t actually say anything, not with that guy right there. But she mouthed something to me.”

Pearce took a breath and let it out. “She mouthed something?”

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me,” Mark said.

Pearce shook his head. He was on vacation, damn it, and he didn’t want to get involved in whatever was going on in that run-down bar with that girl who had made bad decisions all her life. But he knew Mark wouldn’t be able to relax for the remainder of their time on the island if they didn’t do something. And besides, now that Mark had brought her up again, Pearce himself was starting to wonder if the girl might be in trouble.

“Do you want to go back there tomorrow?” Pearce tried not to let his minor aggravation come through in his tone.

Mark seemed surprised. “You’d do that with me?”

“If it will help you relax and enjoy the rest of our trip, I would do that with you.”

“Well, yeah, that would be great, actually. Just to see, you know?”

Pearce put his fork down and wiped his mouth. “One condition.”

Mark sat back. “There’s a condition?”

Pearce nodded. “If we go to that bar and she’s not there, do you think you can let it go and enjoy the rest of the trip?”

Mark sighed and slouched in his chair. “Yeah, okay. I see your point.”


About the Author

Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer. He is a fan of absurd comedy, as evidenced in the sizzling and hilarious Charlie Heggensford Fluffers, Inc. series, as well as Plus Ones, his wacky rom-com and Murder Most Lovely: Lacetown Murder Mysteries Case One, the first book in a rom-com murder mystery series, co-written with Deanna Wadsworth. He also loves a good suspense story, which inspired his Up to Trouble series, featuring FBI Agent Aaron Pearce and his lover Mark Beecher who met during one case and have gone on to solve others. His love of chills and thrills prompted him to create the Venom Valley series, which combines vampires and zombies with Old West cowboys, as well as the humorous and spooky seven book Critter Catchers series, featuring a slow-burning out-for-you storyline. He has also written a number of standalone stories, such as the humorous murder mystery Repossession is 9/10ths of the Law, the sexy crime thriller Buried Secrets, the medieval time travel gay romance thriller Destiny's Bastard, as well as the chilling and spooky Wicked Reflection.