(alternative title: Mr. Fine INDEED, where do I find myself one of those to keep guarded in my room? *–*)
Good night, everyone! Welcome to a very special moment in the form of my review for the third book in the Tough Love series, by goddess HelenKay Dimon: Guarding Mr. Fine! ❤
You see, this book holds a special place in my heart because the first volume of the series was my first ever spies gay romance ❤ I looooove action/adventure books and sadly is still hard to find good ones in the diverse shelves, aka my favorites, so it was a huuuge moment for me to have virtually met HelenKay’s work *–* I’ve read and reviewed all books so far and since I had finished The Talented Mr. Rivers I knew I just had to have Guarding Mr. Fine ❤
Now that I’m done with all the raving, let’s go to the particulars: I have received this book from Loveswept, the publisher, in exchange for an honest review and this is the moment of truth! [haha]
As an agent with the CIA’s special activities division, Seth Lang lives for risk—and yet he’s stuck playing bodyguard to the U.S. consul general in Munich. Although Seth’s last assignment nearly killed him, babysitting some desk jockey in a suit sounds way too easy. But when he lays eyes on the new top man, tactical expert Rick Fine, Seth’s thrilled to see just how hard this job is going to get. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Quiet has a body worth guarding—and he requires hands-on attention day and night.
Dispatched to a German consulate to expose the murder of his predecessor, Rick finds himself in an extremely vulnerable position. He needs a man like Seth—in so many ways. This mission will inevitably plunge them both into jeopardy, but each new threat only brings them closer. Rick just hopes that he can keep his deepest, darkest secret hidden—or else risk imperiling a relationship they’re both fighting for their lives to protect.
Me after finishing this book:
Before we start, you may want to check out my reviews for books one and two of the Tough Love series =) This is a companion series, meaning that each book is a standalone connected to the other on a minimal level, so you don’t have to read them in order. BUT, if you, like me, is a chronological order freak, here we go:
Mr. and Mr. Smith, Tough Love #1 (review here!)
The Talented Mr. Rivers, Tough Love #2 (review here!)
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader =)
I gotta be honest here: after The Talented Mr. Rivers, I didn’t think it would be possible for Dimon to deliver a more perfect book and I was kind of sad. We meet Seth briefly in the previous books and I didn’t like him, so reading a book in which he was one of the main characters sounded bad, you know? Oh boy. I was SO. WRONG. This book actually became my favorite in series and I thought nothing would rob Will’s place in my heart… Until Rick came along. What’s up with Dimon’s bottoms that enchant me so much? And this sounded so wrong hahahaha! FIVE SHINY PRETTY STARS!
The narrative followed the pattern for the previous books in the series: third person, switching between Seth and Rick’s points of view. Dimon’s wonderful writing style reached it’s fullest with this book, seriously: fast and fun dialogues, sexual tension just a blink away from exploding, brilliant humor and awesome references. ALL THE PACKAGE TO MAKE ME FAINT.
The plot was surprising. I never walk into a gay romance expecting anything regarding subgenres inside the book – for example, this is a thriller/action/gay romance. I don’t usually expect anything of the thriller/action parts because I came for the romance. Makes sense? Good. Hahahha
Dear Annelise, what if we didn’t understand and you’re just assuming we did? You’re awful.
My bad? ;D Okay, let’s try again, more words and more meaning now. If you follow me for a time (it can be a week), you’ll have probably already stumbled on gay content over here. I really REALLY love gay romances, especially male/male ones to be clear, and any book that promises me it, I’m reading. If the book also happens to be a drama or a young adult, or an adventure, those are elements that I will analyze as they are showed to me. I don’t walk into a gay romance/mystery book expecting the mystery to blow my mind, so if it does, nicer for the book, but if it doesn’t, that’s okay. I think now it’s clearer, right? Hahaha
As I was saying, the plot was surprising. I suspected the culprits, but kept changing my mind, as everyone acted weird on that embassy! =O It was a lovely surprise and only counted more points for the book, haha!
The characters were the. Best. Part. Seth and Rick were so intelligent and witty, I couldn’t get enough of them! Especially Rick, haha! The guy was a walking perfection – Seth himself said so several times. And he ALWAYS had a comeback answer to Seth, no matter the situation. How can I cope with that? I did complained that there weren’t many dialogues on The Talented Mr. Rivers and goddess Dimon heard me more than right! *–* I don’t even know how I’m going to select the right passages for the quotes section, as 80% of my ebook is highlighted HAHAHAHA
On a more deep level now: Seth evolves emotionally so much during the story, it was beautiful. And I loved that he took the risk because of himself, not for someone else. He changed to be happier, not to make someone else happy. THIS IS EVERYTHING. Also, Rick is a winner in life for having turned out as he did. With such a problematic past, anyone would forgive him for being petty or downward an asshole. #justsaying Both men are so complex and have so many faces that it was delightful to keep peeling off their layers ❤
To wrap the blabbering part of the review, I’d like to talk about the sex scenes and say a small rant. Sex scenes: I love when characters have fun during sex. Like, there is desire, there is desperation for the touch, the craving, the sexiness, okay. But Rick and Seth truly had fun while they got lost in all the previous emotions and they joked around with each other pretty much almost they got there, if you get my meaning, haha! It was so refreshing, I loved it!
And the small rant: Rick’s name is actually Richard. Richard. It’s such a lovely and beautiful name! Like, in one of my favorite male names ever! AND ALL WE HEAR THROUGH THE WHOLE BOOK IS RICK. It’s not that I don’t like Rick – I’m a big fan of Ricky Martin, for example – but OMG, WHY?! I was so sad when I realized I’d never hear/read the Rick’s full name again on the book I almost cried.
I have to be honest: I’m not this cover’s biggest fan. While the shadows make all sense and the orange in the title has EVERYTHING to do with the plot (especially after you read the book), I didn’t feel like the models portrayed well Rick and Seth. Especially because Seth has oriental ancestry. I did like their position, tho, as it is very realistic, haha!
Noowww, quote time!! Because nothing is better at convincing you that the book is good than the book itself! #what This time, only killer dialogues, because seriously, this book:
Rick: Admittedly, this whole tough alpha thing you’re doing right now is hot. Like, fuck-me hot. Clearly it appeals to me since I dropped my pants without even getting your name the last time we met, but here in this building, there is one rule.
Seth: Enlighten me.
Rick: I’m in charge. You show some respect or you’re on a plane to Yemen.
Seth: For the next however long this mission takes, I will be at your side. Always. You sneeze, I’m there to wipe your nose.
Rick: Sounds sexy.
Seth: You want sex, I’ll handle that, too.
Rick: Okay, but I’ll probably need to work now and then.
Rick: So, under this protection-with-a-side-benefit-of-sex plan you’re going to get naked, we’ll have sex and somehow you’ll still hold on to your gun and keep me safe?
Seth: My talents are endless.
Seth: It took all I had not to hit him with a chair.
Seth: But honest.
Seth: I still hate your relocation plan.
Rick: It’s smart.
Seth: I’m perfectly capable of hating smart things.
If you like gay romance, complex characters, great steamy hot sex scenes and loads of action in your books, this series is the perfect pick!
Thank you so much for reading and thanks a lot to Loveswept for another delightful review invitation! You guys rock ❤