Title: Mr. and Mr. Smith (Tough Love #1)
Author: HelenKay Dimon
Publisher: Loveswept / Random House
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Genre(s): Action / Adventure
Page Count: 210
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Secrets and seduction make for an explosive combination in HelenKay Dimon’s edgy, thrilling new series, which kicks off with a novel about two men who can handle any threat—except the one posed by desire.
Fisher Braun knows how to keep a secret. As a covert paramilitary operative, his job—and his life—depends on it. He’s at the top of his game, ready for action and always in control. No enemy has ever brought him to his knees, but one lover has: Zachary Allen, the man currently sharing his bed. The perfect package of brains and brawn, Zach is someone worth coming home to, and Fisher hates keeping him in the dark about what he does. But the lies keep Zach safe. Until the day Fisher loses everything. . . .
Zachary Allen is no innocent civilian. Although he plays the tech geek, in reality he’s deep undercover for the CIA. In a horrible twist of fate, the criminal enterprise he’s infiltrated has set its sights on the man whose touch drives him wild. Zach would do anything for Fisher—except blow his own cover. Now, in order to save him, Zach must betray him first. And he needs Fisher to trust him with all his heart if they want to make it out alive.
As Mr. and Mr. Smith begins, we are thrown head-first into a helluva crisis with Fisher discovering his boyfriend Zach has been kidnapped by Pentasus, a nefarious crime group. But when Fisher and his brother-in-arms Nathan rush in to the rescue, Fisher discovers Zach on the other side of a gun, deep undercover for the CIA, or is he?
The chemistry between Fisher and Zach is palpable and the first part of the book – when Fisher is absolutely convinced that Zach is working for Pentasus and started their relationship solely to gather intel – sizzles with sexual tension. At this point, I am thinking I love this book, tell me more … BUT … yes, there is a big but coming (why am I hearing Peter Griffin in my head?) …
- Zach helps Nathan and Fisher escape to their ubersecret HQ,
- Zach must return to Pentasus quickly so his cover isn’t blown, loads and loads of arguments about this, the boss’ bosses are brought in, more strategy meetings, hot headboard banging sex between Zach and Fisher, more discussions about reaching out to their German counterparts for assistance, more discussions about the structure of Pentasus, sad tender “this may be the last time” sex …
… and then, BOOM, we are back into an exciting conclusion that just pulses with potential doublecrosses, gripping action and lots and lots of gunfire and explosions. The premise of the plot is great – a gripping situation with two men who have found each other in the most improbable of circumstances – but the story loses every bit of drive for a long section in the middle, and then redeems itself beautifully at the end. Dimon does a good job of introducing additional characters and situations for future books in this series, while still giving us an ending that feels right for Zach and Fisher and I am looking forward to the next book in this series.