Thursday, December 22, 2016

Playing Dirty by Helenkay Dimon

8 hrs 55 minutes| Avon | Romantic Suspense | Bad Boys Undercover #1 | 1/27/15

Things are moving pretty fast between Shay Alexander and Ford Decker, the hot IT professional who just moved into the Dupont Circle property she manages. What Shay doesn’t know is that Ford is actually an undercover operative for Alliance, a clandestine black ops organization, and he’s been tasked with watching her while Alliance searches for a deadly toxin her cousin stole. Ford has been trained to  be prepared for anything…. but he wasn’t prepared to fall in love with his mark.

This is the first romance I’ve read where the hero and heroine are in an established relationship from page one and I kind of liked getting past the meet cute stuff. But I really hated that for most of the book Shay has no idea about Alliance and what Ford really does, even when it starts to directly involve affect her. Every time they were alone together I was screaming at Ford:

I’ve been listening to The Scandalicious and The Nerd Herd podcast and they always talk about heroes doing a grovel and for me this hero had to have a big grovel...and he did.

Lying for Your Own Good aside, I really enjoyed this book. There was a lot of Rule of Cool, action, and twists as Ford begins to suspect there is a mole within the Alliance organization. I really want Weston Brown, the ex-marine enforcer of the Alliance team story next.

The narrator of the audio is Christian Fox who I think has the perfect romance hero voice and is really good at creating different male voices. Ford is the leader of  the 4-person Delta team, and Fox managed to give each team member a unique voice. For one character he had this uncanny way of just removing  most of the base from his voice.  That said his accents and female voices aren’t great. In the book Alliance is made up of former CIA and MI6, so there are a lot of Britsh voices and I’m pretty sure one of the British guys  was just him doing a Sean Connery impression.

There seem to be a lot of teams within Alliance so I imagine this series is going to expand and possibly have an overarching story line, with only three books and a novella out I say this is a great series to get in on the bottom floor.


I really dislike the title of this book, I mean the protagonists aren't really bad boys. Also, Playing Dirty is such a popular title for romance novels.

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