Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Public Enemy, Undercover Lover by Amanda Meuwissen Blog Tour

Second chances come in many forms – career changes, criminal reformation, fatherhood, even sex with a former enemy.

Isaac Ford seeks help from the detective who put him in prison – now security consultant, Andrew Wen – after an unexpected prison break weeks before his release. Despite an almost twenty-year age difference and being on opposite ends of the law, the attraction between them culminates in a one-night stand that teeters Isaac between turning himself in and returning to a life of crime. His decision is made for him when he discovers a young man waiting for him at his safe house – the son he never knew existed.

Months later, Isaac has been reconnecting with his son, Dalton, and started a security consultancy of his own, looking for a fresh start. His past catches up to him, however, when he runs into Andrew at the police station, both seeking information on a new thief. Andrew isn’t happy Isaac left that night or that he’s been encroaching on his business, but the passion between them rekindles as trying to one-up each other turns sexual. Neither plan to let anything more come of their tryst until Andrew finds out about Dalton, who he knew in college, and a theft at Dalton’s job forces Isaac and Andrew to work together.

Dalton playing matchmaker complicates things. What’s worse is how easily Isaac and Andrew keep giving in.

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The warmth that spread through Isaac’s chest surprised him, but he didn’t have much time before Dalton would be back, and Andrew discovering he had a son was just as bad as any enemies.

Then a bitter thought crossed his mind. “Did you track me again?”

“No. I just come here.”

That might be true. This was closer to the persona Isaac remembered from when Andrew was a detective. Sympathetic, earnest, almost sweet. It was just as well that he’d found his way off the force.

He looked like he had half a mind to take the empty seat in front of Isaac but hesitated with a bite at his lip. “I know we’re still at odds professionally, and I’m sure you’ll infuriate me to no end trying to steal more jobs from me in the future, but... I never actually apologized for Christmas.”


“I get why you left,” he pushed on. “I wasn’t exactly hospitable, and you still kept your end of the bargain. You’ve been a model citizen ever since. You know, besides shameless shenanigans in uniform and invasion of privacy,” he whispered. “But I won’t talk if you don’t.”

The smile that alighted Isaac’s face in response surprised him too. He tried to think of a comeback, only for Andrew’s eyes to fall to the empty seat again and notice the second drinking glass.

“Are you on a date?”

“No,” Isaac said too hastily. “It’s not a date.”

“If it was one of your associates, you wouldn’t care, but you’re anxious. Stealing more clients from me already? Or maybe you are planning a job, and you just use security as a front.”

He was teasing again, Isaac could tell, but that's what all the naysayers said: that Isaac was faking it. Once word of the new thief finally spread, they’d all say it was him. A few skirts of the law were one thing, but he couldn't risk going back to jail, not when he had Dalton.

Dalton – who was out of the bathroom and headed for their table!

“Listen, now isn’t the best—”


Andrew spun around when Dalton called his name.

When Dalton called his name.

“Dalton? Oh my God, how are you?”

They hugged, completely unabashed in their open display of affection.

“Why are you never on Facebook?” Dalton squeezed Andrew tightly. “I can hardly keep up. Did I hear you quit the force?”

“Almost a year ago now. I started a security firm.”

“That’s awesome! And kind of funny. My dad does security too. Dad? What’s with the face?”

Dalton’s eyes landed on Isaac, and when Andrew turned to see that no, there was no other man in line of sight to be the bearer of that endearment, his jaw nearly hit the floor.


“Do you and Andrew know each other?”

“How do you know each other?” Isaac threw back, because if they’d slept together, he would have an aneurism right there in the café.

“Andrew tutored me in Art History in college. How do you know him?”

The actual answers flitted through Isaac’s mind.

He was my nemesis.

He’s the detective who put me in jail.

We fucked on his living room sofa half an hour before I met you, and I helped him through two orgasms yesterday.

“We... dated,” Isaac sputtered – and what the hell was he thinking?! “Briefly.”

‘WHAT?’ Andrew mouthed in disbelief, but he must not have been able to think of a better answer either, because he screwed his face into embarrassed shock for Dalton’s sake and said, “Yeah! Very briefly. Boy, that must sound super weird since he’s your dad.”

“Not... weird,” Dalton said, glancing stoically between them. He had Isaac’s knack for hiding his emotions unless he wanted others to know them. “I mean, we’re all adults. You’re a good guy, Andrew, and Dad’s—”

“A criminal,” Andrew blurted, unable to keep his floundering word-vomit under control any better than Isaac had. “That’s why we broke up! Detective, thief... you know...”

“Conflict of interest,” Isaac saved him.


“Sure.” Dalton nodded as if that made perfect sense, which it did, but that didn’t alleviate any of the awkwardness.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

First off, I want to thank my blog colleague who signed up to review this book but was unable to for personal reasons. Even though I enjoyed Meuwissen’s Coming Up for Air, I initially passed on Public Enemy, Undercover Lover since I wasn’t in the mood for a BDSM read. But circumstances being what they were, I figured I’d give it a try and I’m so glad I did. Very, VERY loosely, this struck me as a mix of Leverage (I rarely watch television, so I’m talking the original, not the reboot) meets White Collar with a bit of hate sex thrown in at the beginning and a whole lot of sexual tension throughout to ramp it up. And I enjoyed the heck out of it!

For some readers, the prologue is going to be a bit jarring for a couple of reasons. Initially, it felt like I had missed another book because of the obvious animosity between Isaac and Andrew as well as the references to past events. That feeling was further complicated by a jump in time from one scene to the next that isn’t initially obvious – I so would have recommended a “six months later” header for clarity. But for readers who dislike sex early in a story, be prepared because the book starts with a steamy bout of hate sex and that’s pretty much their pattern for a good chunk of the story, at least until they realize that they don’t actually hate one another. I hesitate to call these two enemies because there’s a healthy respect for one another, even in the beginning when they were on opposite sides of the law. I didn’t even get the feeling that Isaac was ticked that Andrew arrested him – disappointed for getting caught perhaps, but not angry since Andrew figured out Isaac’s coded messages rather than getting lucky by being in the right place at the right time for the arrest. That said, the competitive nature of their relationship absolutely adds to the sexual tension between them and makes it well worth struggling through the first couple of chapters to get a feel for their relationship.

I have to get something about Andrew off my chest. Fortunately, he learns that once a thief, always a thief isn’t always true. However, once an opportunist, always an opportunist is a lesson he was hard pressed to learn. It was beyond frustrating that Andrew kept forgetting that bit of insight and couldn’t seem to stop running his mouth in front of his ex-girlfriend. The ex-girlfriend who was the reporter who tanked his law enforcement career. Seriously?!?!? I wanted to gag him every time he ran into his ex and then throttle him afterwards for the word vomit he was unable to control. Maybe Ford should have leveled up on their play and introduced a gag.

Speaking of gags… Terrible segue, I know, but to address the main reason I passed on the book in the beginning, the BDSM is primarily power exchange – which I enjoy and wouldn’t have passed on had I known that the focus was on domination and submission. What I wasn’t in the mood for were formally negotiated scenes in clubs with a focus on bondage and discipline (and I do enjoy those stories as well, just not at the moment). Fortunately for me, the impact play is limited to a couple of sensual spankings that occur to ramp up the heat. And my inner voyeur loved that one of our leading guys discovered a previously unknown exhibitionist streak. HAWT! What I’m trying to say is that if you’re looking for hardcore BDSM, it’s not here, but if the BDSM element was holding you back from picking the book up like it was me, don’t let it. While there may be more than their fair share of sex scenes in the book as Andrew and Isaac seem to have a lot of tension to work out, there’s also an intriguing mystery to be solved and I’m sorry to admit that I did not figure out who the bad guy was. Nope, I fell for the decoys, twice. But I’m not broken up about that, just disappointed that Public Enemy, Undercover Lover isn’t the start of a series because I would love to spend more time with Andrew, Isaac, and their crews, seeing them team up again for future investigations.

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual and happily married 35-year-old geek. Primarily an M/M romance author with a focus on urban fantasy, she has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed Creative Writing major from St. Olaf College and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Public Enemy, Undercover Lover by Amanda Meuwissen to read and review for this tour.

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