Book Reviews

Filthy and the Beast (Love Unexpected 4) by R. Cayden

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Age Gap / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Barb on 28-October-2022

Book Blurb

There’s no way in hell I’m falling for a man called the Sledgehammer.

Enzo is a lot of things.
A big grump of a jock.
Twenty years my senior.
My employer.
I’m living with the retired boxer while he recovers from an injury, just here to earn a good paycheck after my life fell apart.
Getting emotionally involved with the man isn't my job, but my gaze keeps lingering on his thick muscles and the storm clouds in his eyes.
For a million reasons, my geeky heart shouldn’t flutter when Enzo walks in the room.
But then he grunts my name, our eyes lock, and the world turns upside down.

Book Review

What an enjoyable story! This was so much better than I expected from the title, which in my opinion should have been named, “Flirty and the Beast.” However, it seems the word “filthy” is simply the naming convention for the series.


Though neither character was filthy, Enzo sure was a beast, at least in a physical way: big, muscular, a man of few words, and wearing a permanent scowl—until he meets Damian and readers are shown that on the inside Enzo is soft and kind and totally unprepared for the sweet whirlwind who comes into his life to help him while he’s incapacitated with a back injury.


Damian needs both a job and a place to stay and Enzo is alone in a big old mansion and rarely asks for help. Their common friend, Reggie, manages to arrange for Damian to move in for a while until Enzo is able to take care of himself again. Little does he know he is the catalyst for two lost souls to find each other and overcome their ostensible differences, including the fact that Enzo is straight. 


Among my favorite tropes, there’s not much better than age gap and sexual discovery. But add in flirty banter, a sweetheart of a young man who still hasn’t decided what his life’s career will be (though he’s leaning toward sex therapist), and a washed-up, has-been boxer with a horrible reputation, but a big heart, then mix these all together and you have a super-satisfying cocktail mix for a lovely MM romance. 


There’s plenty of drama here: misunderstandings, a tough guy who finds it hard to share his emotions, poor judgment calls, a mugging, and a past that’s hard to shake. And the sweetness: friendship, sexual discovery, an unfolding of the truths of long-held secrets, a loving uncle who’s also a dog lover, and a family of the heart.


This story captured me within the first ten percent and I couldn’t resist turning page after page and neglecting my normal routine. The characters are three-dimensional, the story unusual and interesting, and the sexy times are well-done and do not overpower either the action of the story or the slow-building romance. Plus, there’s a wonderful subplot about the plight of pit bulls and their need for rescue to a loving home—one Enzo provides initially before Damian jumps in to help as well.


The book definitely stands alone but characters from previous stories are present and I’m intrigued enough to go back to check out their romances. R. Cayden is a new author to me but this will not be my last story from them, for sure.




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


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 285 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 30-September-2022
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link