The Talented Mr. Rivers (Crabbypatty’s Review)

The Talented Mr. Rivers
Title: The Talented Mr. Rivers (Tough Love #2)
Author: HelenKay Dimon
Publisher: Loveswept / Random House
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Genre(s): Action Adventure, Romantic Suspense
Page Count: 214
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

As the son of an international crime lord, Will Rivers only inherited one thing after his father died: trouble. The Pentasus organization deals in kidnapping and murder, and Will wants no part of the power grab that’s tearing leadership apart. But the only way he’ll be able to escape is with some help from his former bodyguard, Hunter Cain, whose sculpted body and brooding looks keep Will awake at night. Somehow, Hunter has resisted the tension between them . . . until, suddenly, he gives in.

As a German intelligence officer working deep undercover, Hunter has a very good reason to keep Will in the dark about his identity and his intentions. Although the sex is hot, Hunter’s true feelings are a growing liability. Now the only way to save Will from his old life is to push him deeper into danger. But when two strong men are each determined to protect the other, the heat isn’t just combustible—it’s a firestorm.

PLEASE NOTE: Although “The Talented Mr. Rivers” is the second book in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. However, I’d recommend reading the first book to get background information on Pentasus and the Rivers family.

I read and reviewed Mr. and Mr. Smith, the first book in the “Tough Love” series and LOVED the MCs and the beginning and ending of the book. The middle is a long boring sequence where nothing happens, other than nefarious plotting and planning and lots of hot man sex. Then HelenKay Dimon brings it with a truly gripping ending.

Fast forward to “The Talented Mr. Rivers”, and the beginning of the book held my interest. The middle is a long boring sequence where nothing much happens, other than nefarious plotting and planning and lots of hot man sex. But, the ending seemed overly convoluted IMHO.

We briefly met Will – the youngest brother in the psychotic Rivers family, toward the end of “Mr. and Mr. Smith”. Will and his bodyguard Hunter are very attracted to one another, although neither man trusts the other. Smart move, since Hunter is deep undercover for the BND and has been working with the CIA to bring down Pentasus, the family criminal enterprise. Will’s involvement with the family business seems negligible but after the death of his sister Stacia and his brother Peter’s disappearance, there are other players in the game who think Will is getting ready to run Pentasus.

But once Hunter brings Will to a CIA safe house … the plot seemed to falter and the pace of the book slowed down. There is an extended period of plotting with Zach and Fischer from “Mr. and Mr. Smith” and plenty of smokin’ hot sex between Will and Hunter, but honestly at times I just wanted to slap Hunter around for being such an asshat about relationships. Communication is a wonderful thing – use your words rather than suffer in silence and doubt. Aarrgghh.

By the time the final showdown rolled around, it felt almost anti-climatic to me. Will and Hunter get their HEA although I’m left to wonder if the two really have much in common in order to build a successful long-term relationship.

Tough Love Series

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Galley copy of The Talented Mr. Rivers provided by Loveswept / Penquin Random House LLC, via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

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