3 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hopelessly Crying m/m Military Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Scorching/high heat

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon

release day review


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.

So I picked this up because I thought it’d be a take on the movie… and I guess it is? Sorta? Two spies telling lies to one another at least… But that’s about it as far as that comparison goes.

We have two CIA agents, Fisher who doesn’t know Zach is CIA and Zach who targeted Fisher because he knows he’s CIA. They are on the same “team” but not… it’s confusing. In any case, the story opens with Zach being taken prisoner and Fisher running to the rescue only to find out that Zach set the whole thing up to “capture” Fisher…

Of course Fisher’s mad and then Zach has to try to explain and still keep his cover… there’s a lot of talking, a lot of shooting, a lot of planning, then some really out of place f***ing, some more talking and the end.

No really. That’s about it.

There were parts to this that I did really like. I liked the careful way Zach tried to show Fisher he’d told lies to the bad guys – it was clever – but parts of it felt so ridiculous. Like when the head bad “gal” Stacia flaunts over Fisher’s head that she knows he likes to “bottom” for Zach. Like he should be ashamed of that. Or that Zach would talk about it like that… it didn’t feel authentic. It was trying to be gritty and came off sounding school-playgound-like-taunting.

HelenKay Dimon is a new author for me.  Her writing and the editing were fine. The story was definitely “exciting” and fast moving. The romance is what I was missing.

The sex scenes were ill-timed and felt gratuitous. I was not drawn in to these guys as a couple – at all – we saw only a few snippets of them being “real” and the rest was them arguing or f***ing.

The intrigue and spy stuff was the bulk of the book and not that interesting to me because I read romances for the romance and put up with the rest of the stuff.

So… though I might take a look at further books in the series, it will be with the eye of “you get one more chance” because this didn’t sell me.

If you’re a spy-novel fan and want some hot man on man action randomly thrown in, this is for you. If you’re looking for a romance where the characters seem to love one another and build a relationship. Keep looking.

3 of 5 stars


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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review


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