Series: End of the Line #1
Published by Loveswept on May 24th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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. Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
At the start of Mr. and Mr. Smith, Fisher Braun and Zach Allen have already been involved for several months. They’re living together, though Fisher has been hiding the relationship from his superiors at the CIA. He has no choice but to reveal it, though, because Zach has been kidnapped and Fisher isn’t going to stop until he gets Zach back. Zach already knows off of this, though, because he also works for the CIA. This all in the cover copy, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
What did come as a bit of a surprise for me, though, was how hard Fisher fought that knowledge. Fisher is led to believe that Zach is the enemy, so his early actions made sense, but even when he’s presented with solid evidence to the contrary, he refuses to even acknowledge it, much less consider it.
I didn’t necessarily agree with my feelings, though. Not to give anything away, but even though neither man knew the other was in the CIA, so, yes, they both lied, Zach betrayed Fisher. I don’t use that word lightly. Every lie is not a betrayal, but Zach’s actions merit its use. So Fisher’s reaction wasn’t completely unexpected nor was it completely unrealistic. Especially since the entire book took place in the span of about 24 hours, give or take a few. But it did drag down some of the book for me. This back and forth and bickering on much longer than it needed to, at least in terms of actual book real estate. Not necessarily in storyline timing. And his feelings were valid, it just got a little repetitive in the middle. Anytime anyone said something, Fisher would shut it down by reminding them that Zach had lied.
There was a lot here to like. I loved the relationship between Fisher and Zach, when Fisher would let his guard down enough to let a little bit of it out. And I liked starting the book with a couple who’s already established. It was different; a reminder that the story doesn’t end after the first ‘I love you.’.
Overall, this was a fun, sexy start to a promising new series. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, The Talented Mr. Rivers. The chemistry between Will and Hunter was jumping off the page any time they were in the same room together; I really want to see it ignite.