riversThe Talented Mr. Rivers

Published by: Loveswept

Format: eARC

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Buy here: Amazon

Reviewer: Erin

What to expect: Espionage, badassery, forced proximity hotness, and lots of terrible feelings!

The Talented Mr. Rivers is the next book in Helenkay Dimon’s Tough Love m/m romantic suspense series. The events of this book follow the first book, Mr. and Mr. Smith, almost immediately, so this is a series you’ll want to read in order. And if you liked that book? You’ll love this one. Here we have more alpha dudes fucking and fighting their way to freedom, killing people and sharing their innermost feelings along the way. It’s like Jack Reacher, but with 100% more gay sex.

(Note: I have never seen Jack Reacher, so I’m guessing. If there’s gay sex in it, please let me know ASAP.)

Mr. Rivers is the story of Hunter Cain, a German intelligence officer who had gone deep undercover at the Pentasus crime syndicate, run by the Rivers family, as a bodyguard for the youngest son, Will. Will was different, not involved in the family business. He’d been sent away and protected from the worst of his family’s crimes. After the Rivers compound and the Pentasus organization was literally blown to pieces in the last book, Will has disappeared. Hunter can’t let go if his bodyguarding duties that easily, and takes off to track Will down. FOr purely professional reasons, of course…

If I had to describe this book in one sentence, it would be “Hunter has feelings and it’s horrible.” He’s going to track Will down, who he’s attracted to but like, just physically, right? No feelings here. And then they get holed up in a safehouse and can’t leave (forced proximity ahoy!) which is fine, because Hunter is totally professional and won’t let his pants feelings get in the way of his job. And okay, maybe the sexual tension is too much, so what if they bang to, you know, get it out of their system? That will work, and then Hunter will be rid of his horrible feelings forever. Spoiler alert: no. It does not work. Hunter is a sweaty, angry, mess of feelings and it’s awesome.

One of the things I enjoy about this series is that it avoids the big guy/little guy dynamic you see in a lot of m/m and the protector/protected dynamic you see in a lot of romantic suspense. Will may not have the physical bulk and military training that Hunter does, but he has a brilliant analytical mind and was raised by an organized crime family. He can fight, he’s a perfect shot, and he knows the game. He can more than hold his own with Hunter.

This book is essentially a forced proximity story, with Hunter and Will holed up in an apartment while various government organizations and criminals decide what to do with them. Hunter and Will don’t really know how much to trust each other, but they’re forced to rely on each other. The plot revolves around using Will as bait, which Hunter is fine with. Really. Fine. Because he doesn’t have feelings.

There is a lot of political intrigue and double-crossing and violence in this book, which I enjoyed, but the real draw for me was Hot Mess Hunter and the way he slowly, painfully opened up to Will, and how Will came to terms with his own family’s legacy.

If you like the kind of book this is, you’ll like this book. If romantic suspense/ultra alpha dudes isn’t your jam, this isn’t the book that’s going to change your mind. I liked it, and I can’t wait for the next one!

What you may not like: There aren’t any women to speak of in this book. It’s alpha dude piled on top of alpha dude, like a big slab of beefcake.

What you will love: Lots of action, of the sexy kind and the violence kind; twisty spy stuff, Hunter’s terrible feelings, Will’s hot competence, and a hard-earned HEA!

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