Review: Guarding Mr. Fine (Tough Love #3) by HelenKay Dimon

In this steamy novel of seduction and international intrigue, two brave men are stripped of their defenses—and exposed to dangers and desires that simmer below the surface.

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.


I don't want to nitpick the stuffing out of this thing. In the simplest terms, I was disappointed which is unfortunate but it is what it is and mine is but one opinion.

Mainly I didn't like Seth. I found his professionalism grossly lacking. I understand love clouding one's judgment and the need to be overprotective of a loved one, but when it's essentially instalove... that's a harder sell for me. He's that guy that walks into a room and feels compelled to prove he's swinging the biggest meat. Pretty much every conversation he engages in has the potential to turn into a throwdown and there seems to always be a thread of contention. I'm not big on anger balls. I'm not averse to some alpha dynamics but the alphahole schtick got WAY too heavy handed for me especially considering Rick outranks him.

I can go for domineering (see every Crossfire review ever) but when the one he's trying to protect at all costs is black ops CIA? Does that guy really need his "bodyguard"/"boyfriend" (of about 15 mins) to dictate every move he makes? It made Rick look like a damsel in distress and I don't even like my actual damsels to need saving when they're in distress! I'd put these two at Level of Cray-2: we get it you're in each others pocket 24/7.

A little less testosterone, please.

My second complaint, and there may be a bit of cyber foot stomping here, is under no circumstances should a reader of a suspense thriller be able to figure out who the bad guy is by 7%!

I care not that this is first and foremost a romance but the window dressing is thriller. Is it too much to ask for at least a mediocre mystery plotline? A little subtlety would've been appreciated. I want to be made to work for it and the clue dropping was about as subtle as ole Spicey.

Even though I found both the MCs to be far too trusting of someone they'd fucked once in a back room of a club, their sexual chemistry is undeniable. There are some sweet moments between them, particularly that shower scene was sappy in a way I like. I found some of the bedroom power games weird but they like to bone often so whatever. I probably would've found all the boinking hotter had I connected with either one of them but I didn't. They're both annoying to varying degrees and 2D. I did like Rick more than Seth. He's cheeky and irreverent but not nearly as cheeky and irreverent as Nathan.

I LOVED Nathan! He was the highlight of the book.

The endgame is predictable on both the romance and the whodunit fronts. Some of the thriller aspects didn't particularly add up which wasn't exactly a shocker given the aforementioned SEVEN PERCENT (implied exclamation point) but the spy lingo was good.

Guarding Mr. Fine can be read as a standalone. I've not read the two prior books and was able to keep up just fine. 

I would recommend it to those in search of crazy possessive MCs. I'm looking at you, fans of The Calmes. Also, those who enjoy escapism infused with loads of testosterone fueled sex should add this to the TBR immediately.

A review copy was provided by NetGalley.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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