Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon (Tough Love #3)
Published by: Loveswept
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Erin
What to Expect: Car chases, explosions, an exciting mystery, and men who would rather cut off a limb than have a feeling.
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.
Guarding Mr. Fine is the latest in HelenKay Dimon’s Tough Love series. We met Seth Lang in the previous books, as a member of a CIA black ops organization. He’s reassigned to play guard duty for Rick Fine (I love romance hero names), the supposed new Consul General for the American embassy in Germany. Rick is CIA himself, and is there to investigate the possible murder of the previous Consul General. Oh, and he’s also the guy Seth had a blazing-hot one night stand with in Berlin just before the start of the assignment.
I really liked this entry in the Tough Love series. I think, plot-wise, it’s actually my favorite book in the series so far. You’re not sure who the bad guy is until the end, and she juggles enough possible candidates to keep you guessing. I enjoyed following the twists and turns of the investigation, and meeting some new secondary characters. Dimon really has a gift for writing like an action movie, with terrific visuals and impressively choreographed fight scenes. There’s one car chase/shootout that particularly sticks in my mind – I’m typically not very visual, and I felt like I was right there.
The romance is incredibly happy-making. Seth thinks he can come in, waving his dick around, and intimidate Rick into listening to him, but that doesn’t quite go down as he planned. Seth “I have muscles, a gun, and daddy issues, why do I need feelings” Lang is immediately smitten with Rick. He tries to bluster his way through it and set limits on their relationship, but he ends up falling deeper and deeper. Rick is happy to let things unfold naturally, because he understands concepts like “keeping it casual” and “relaxing and enjoying himself,” unlike poor Seth. However, Rick has secrets of his own, and he doesn’t want Seth to fall too deep before they can talk things out.
One of the central conflicts in Guarding Mr Fine could be resolved by them using their words, which is a little annoying, but they are spies and sharing information doesn’t come easily. It turns out that Rick was responsible for a disastrous mission that has haunted Seth for his entire career, and Seth needs to come to terms with that. To be honest, I found this subplot the least interesting thing about the book. I was way more into the mystery and…well, all the sex. I’m a simple girl.
(By the way, I thought that it was nicely against stereotype that Seth, who is half Chinese, is the bluff, tough, gun-toting muscle, and Rick is the nerd who is a secret badass.)
If you like this series, I think you’ll love this book. And if you haven’t read the series, this is a perfectly good place to start. It stands alone and sets up some new characters to be followed in the upcoming books.
What you might not like: If you don’t like ultra alpha heroes, this series probably isn’t for you.
What I loved: Men who are allergic to feelings, well-choreographed fight scenes, cool car chases, beautiful descriptions of Munich, and did I mention the feelings allergies?
Erin is a full time contributor to Binge on Books. She is a voracious reader and reviewer who has been been reading romances since she stole them from under her neighbor’s mom’s bed while she was at work. You can read all her reviews here.
Connect with Erin on Twitter: @booksandjoe