Book #72: The Talented Mr. Rivers by HelenKay Dimon

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HelenKay Dimon’s suspenseful, provocative series of double agents and dark desire continues with a novel featuring two men bound by a dangerous job—and by the cravings they feel for each other.

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.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.

Okay… so, to start off,  this book is part of a series that has spies and homosexual relationships. If you don’t like M/M or LGBTQ in any way, stop reading this. This doesn’t bother me. In fact, there are so little of these kinds of books out there (aside from the internet), that I find it refreshing and exciting to read. I have two siblings who are a part of that community and friends.

That said, I didn’t really care about this book. No, there were no stereotypes (YAY!). However, there were no female characters (alive anyway). I’m not saying that you have to have a representation of female characters all of the time in a m/m fiction, but it would be nice to see one female doing whatever. It would say that a female could be in a book and not be a love interest for the alpha males.

Now on to the alpha males. Every spy in this book is male and possibly gay (not sure about one character…). That isn’t a big deal, but they all acted like typical alpha males. They are men in a field where they need to be strong. Even the only other protagonist who isn’t a spy leans on the alpha. This isn’t a big deal because the world, occupation, and family background need these men to be strong to survive.

I understand that.

However, their posturing left me wanting to have a singular woman to reign them all in and smack them side the head. Hey, not saying a woman has to be the one to do it, but let’s be reasonable here… women tend to have to every now and then.

The writing is well done and the sex scenes are very steamy. However, I don’t recommend this book as your first in the series. There is another previous book and it probably has more information with the world. I got stuck scratching my head trying to understand just what was the antagonist like. I wasn’t sure about the family business as a whole. I knew I was supposed to dislike them and the business was very immoral and shady, I just didn’t have a clear idea.

That said, the book was probably a poor choice at my end. I should have read the first one before requesting this one. I believe if I did that, I may have liked this one more. It doesn’t deter me from trying another HelenKay Dimon LGBTQ romance or any LGBTQ romance in general. I just didn’t care for this particular book.

And since most places have a star rating of 5, I am giving this book a solid 3. The writing isn’t bad and the book might be better if I had read the first one first. I just wanted to put the rating out there so that no one thinks I’m giving it a two (usually a book with errors on top of poor characters) or a one (a book that I hardly ever finish).

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