Series: End of the Line #1
Published by Loveswept on May 24th 2016
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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.
Even as a one-night stand in a bar slips unexpectedly into a routine of living together, Fisher Braun doesn’t question this too much until a kidnapping goes wrong and betrayal hits him square in the face of Zach Allen with whom he thought he’d something real. In a case of double crossings, undercover identities and an operation gone wrong, Zach and Fisher (both hardened men) must learn the hard way what happens beyond trust is shattered and the difficult consequences of keeping a personal life apart from the soul-sucking demands of their CIA superiors.
I requested for this not particularly for a HEA as I usually do, but rather to satisfy a burning curiosity about how men in a partnership dealt with their emotions – away from a sports setting – and how women authors perceived and wrote them. And how, apart from the M/M sex – which I wasn’t entirely too interested in, to be honest -, the tone and voice would differ had this been a M/F book.
It turned out that my initial suspicion about the male form of emotional repression was right (regardless of gender orientation) and this book confirms it when 2 men punch out their frustration rather than articulate what’s exactly wrong in their relationship. The hard-edge, grittier, more unforgiving bits of alpha male personalities came to the fore in Zach and Fisher, lending the story a weightier, gruffer and sombre feel than the usual kind of crackling chemistry that runs through the usual M/F pairings that I always read about.
Clearly, ‘Mr. and Mr. Smith’ isn’t a book for everyone despite the ongoing action and suspense; the whole clandestine operation feels a little dopey at times, and the main characters are clearly too stubborn for their own sakes, but it has already left me wondering about the direction in which HelenKay Dimon will take this series.