Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dirty Deeds by HelenKay Dimon

No dirty deed goes unnoticed in a seductive game of cat and mouse. But for Alec and Gaige, the wrong move could get them killed.

Alec Drummond didn’t make his billions by playing nice—or by playing much at all. When it comes to pleasure, Alec only has time for whatever’s quick and easy, which is exactly what he gets from his company’s hot new computer genius. But Gaige Owens isn’t some pushover. He pushes back, and it’s giving Alec a rush. The question is, could Gaige be the one who’s leaking trade secrets? Just to be safe, Alec keeps him close at hand... night and day.

Gaige never thought he’d roll over for a man like Alec again, but who could resist sex this mind-blowing? Then there’s the draw of Alec’s mysterious side: his cutthroat ambition, his covert CIA connections, and the murder in his past. For Gaige, a deeper look proves an irresistible temptation. But when Gaige and Alec are stripped of their defenses by an unseen danger, everything they don’t know could bring them closer together—or tear them apart. Only one thing is certain: Before it’s all over, someone’s going down.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Mystery/Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is not your typical mystery. It's surrounded with espionage, sabotage, and more secrets than anyone should have.

Alec is competent, successful, and ruthless. However, he also seems a bit lonely. When faced with a situation where he needs to overcome his extreme isolation (self-imposed) at his own house by inviting an unknown spook into his house, he's skeptical and wary. Alec and Seth have a hate-hate relationship, but when Seth, the CIA operative, comes to Alec, there isn't much choice – Alec has to help him.

Seth was kind of a smarmy character for me. He was hard to know and even less likeable. He was a very flat character.

Gaige is the more complex of the three, for me. He was smart, witty, strong, and seemed like a good guy who was trying to do the right thing. While he does have a slight chip on his shoulder, he is the better problem solver and knows how to get things done.

Gaige and Alec develop a relationship, but both are wary of them. So, while they have some chemistry, I thought this was more about the mystery and not so much about the romance. I think that helped the story be more successful. There is betrayal and sneakiness, a lot of confusion and overall, the story rounded out well.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

UGH... I just couldn't like this book for any reason. I tried, I just couldn't. There was so much inner dialogue or monologue that I was bored. I couldn't connect with any of the characters and the storyline just wasn't clicking with me. Even the sex wasn't doing it for me and THAT is saying a lot. I found myself skimming and TRYING to get into it, but it wasn't happening. Alec and Gaige's story just wasn't working for me, but I am sure it will be enjoyable for others.

The first in a Tough Love spinoff series, this is an exciting secret agent suspense story. Gaige is a hacker sent by the CIA to infiltrate billionaire Alex’s corporation after the world’s seed bank is threatened. With the usual secret agent threats from moles and double agents, Gaige and Alex don’t know who to trust as their investigation becomes increasingly dangerous.

I found this story much harder to get into and much more difficult to follow than the Tough Love books. I have to admit that I still don’t completely understand what Alex’s company actually does and I only kinda understand the function and the importance of the world seed bank. I didn’t guess the bad guys and I’m not sure there are enough clues in place for readers to follow and solve the investigation on their own.

I enjoyed the interaction between Alex and Gaige. These two characters have great chemistry and they provide great banter. As partners, they balance each other well. The initial lack of trust between them adds suspense to a story where I ended up suspecting all the characters at one point.

I felt like the ending kinda spiraled out of control, the final action scenes exploding with all the subtlety and realism of a Bond film. At times, this feels like it would work better as a film and it is definitely a story written for fans of blockbuster action movies. It is exciting, tense, and dramatic, but it isn’t terribly plausible and there isn’t a whole lot of depth to the character development.

This is the first in a new series – although it is connected to the Tough love series, which I read and enjoyed. I think having read the original series helped with the background and the espionage elements. This got even more complicated and... well, wait till you get to the ending!

Relationship-wise, I have to confess that I am not a big fan of inner monologues, and they feature here too much for me. There are times where they are invaluable, but others when they frustrate. I recognise that the trust issue has to be in their heads, but sometimes it has to be expressed. Maybe the plot was much more thriller than romance, and that wasn't quite what I was expecting.

I enjoyed the story overall, and think Ms. Dimon has a wonderful imagination of all things espionage, so will look out with interest for the next installment.

HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a divorce attorney—not the usual career transition. Now she writes full-time and she’s much happier. The author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and short stories that have twice been named Red-Hot Reads and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, she’s on the board of directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dirty Deeds (Dirty #1) by HelenKay Dimon to read and review.

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