dirty deedsRating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

When billionaire businessman Alec Drummond catches Gaige Owens breaking into his server room, Alec is furious. Alec is known for his iron control and his business brilliance and few people dare to cross him. Certainly not a hacker that Alec has never heard of. And when Alec learns who put Gaige up to the break in, he is even more angry.

For his part, Gaige isn’t so thrilled to be there either. But it turns out the CIA has leverage over him and if Gaige wants to stay out of jail, he has to do what they say. And it turns out that they want more from both Gaige and Alec. There is someone messing with the world’s doomsday food supply and somehow Alec’s company is caught up in it, or at least someone is trying to place the blame his direction. The CIA is insisting that Alec let Gaige work with him to attempt to figure out who is behind it all.

Alec isn’t a man to trust easily and he has no desire to let Gaige roam free within his company or his computers. The only way to make this work is if Alec keeps Gaige at this side all the time. And while he won’t let himself really admit it, the fact that Alec is totally hot for Gaige does play a part. Neither man is interested in any strings, but both are eager to act on the fierce attraction between them.

As things heat up between the men personally, they begin to dig deeper into the case. The CIA wants to control everything, but neither Gaige nor Alec is a man to be told what to do. Even as the men try to figure out if they can trust one another, they continue to investigate what is really going on with the seed bank. As they get closer to the truth, their lives are at risk. Now Gaige and Alec must do whatever it takes to find out the truth and stop a global crisis.

Dirty Deeds is the first book in HelenKay Dimon’s Dirty series and I am really excited about this one. The book is a spinoff of sorts from Dimon’s Tough Love series, which I really enjoyed. Alec appears in the third book in that trilogy, Guarding Mr. Fine, as main character Rick’s sometimes lover who also happens to do occasional jobs for the CIA. Much to my delight, CIA agent Seth Lang, the other hero of that book, also appears here as major side character. I adored Seth in that series and was thrilled he got his own book, so I particularly enjoyed his role here. I think you can easily read this book without having read the other series as the plots do not overlap. However, be warned you will probably find Seth a total asshole here, while those like me who have enjoyed his smart assed self in the other books are likely to find him more endearing here, even as you root for Alec and Gaige to outsmart him.

The romance part of this romantic suspense is handled nicely, though both men would likely grimace at the term “romance.” Both Alec and Gaige have some major trust issues (and understandably so), and while they are happy for a chance to engage in some hot sex, neither man is interested in more. I think Dimon does a nice job here bringing the men from sort of enemies who are purely looking for sex, to two men with a strong connection emotionally as well as physically. These are both some strong, aggressive men, and while Gaige is willing to defer to Alec in the bedroom, they are both men who work hard and play hard. So there is an nice connection between these guys and I enjoyed watching them come together over the course of the book.

I’ll admit, I wished for a bit more intensity from the suspense end. I was totally fascinated by the seed bank that stores the world’s food supply in the event of a major disaster. The idea of someone messing with our doomsday survival chances was terrifying and exciting, but it takes a while for the suspense end to really heat up. I felt like most of the book was cat and mouse games and some power plays among Seth, Gaige, and Alec, but not really much in the way of suspense and intrigue. Even once things picked up late in the book, I never quite felt the “world could be coming to an end” intensity that I was expecting and that seemed to be indicated by the plot. That said, the story does resolve nicely and the set up here was one I found quite unique.

Overall I am really excited about this new series from Dimon. She writes enjoyable romantic suspense and this looks like a great start to the series. I am definitely looking forward to more.

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