Mine by HelenKay Dimon
Book Three of the Holton Woods series
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
She doesn’t depend on anyone for anything. He intends to make her his completely.
Natalie Udall thought her position at the CIA was secure—until protecting her team earned her an armed escort into certain danger. Natalie can’t stand the idea of being secreted away in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, especially since it means sharing close quarters with the controlling bodyguard enlisted to keep her alive.
Gabe MacIntosh joined the military to support his son, trained as a sniper and dealt with death on a regular basis. Now retired and operating a security firm, his first assignment is to protect a CIA agent on the run. She’s strong willed and difficult—and all Gabe can think about is exerting his domination and stripping her of every expectation she has.
Natalie has no intention of giving in to Gabe’s straightforward demands of dominant sex with no attachments—even though the very idea of giving up control thrills her like nothing ever has…
What I Liked:
That cover. It is super steamy looking. If you don't like the cover, then ignore it. The book is really, really great.
I so enjoyed this book! Steamy, smart, engaging, and heartwarming, this novel had it all. It's definitely on the sexy, more erotic side of romance, which I actually found myself loving. I'm typically not an erotica person (I cannot handle threesomes, voyeurism, things like that). This book is probably mild in terms of erotica, but more steamy than your average romance novel. Definitely one of the hottest romance novels I've ever read! I really enjoyed it - but not just the chemistry and romance. The story was so good too!
Natalie doesn't want a bodyguard. She is forced to leave the CIA, and she is told that she needs protection and to lie low, in case people don't want her spilling any secrets that she has from working with the CIA. Natalie is great at her job, and doesn't like that she had to leave, or that she needs a bodyguard. She and Gabe have been working on the details for quite some time, and the chemistry between them has sizzled. Now that they are actually in hiding, the chemistry explodes. Protecting Natalie is Gabe's job, and he never screws around on a job, but he has been waiting too long for this chance. Gabe is demanding in every way that turns Natalie on. But will Natalie be able to walk away when the danger is over?
Oh this book! It's not just about the sexy times, even though I probably have made it sound like it is, as well as the cover is screaming "sexy times here!", and the synopsis. But there is so much more going on! Natalie and Gabe are in a cabin in Montana, hiding from possible threats to Natalie's life. There are people that want her "silenced", since she is no longer with the CIA but know a lot of intel from working with them. And then there is all the personal problems that both Natalie and Gabe have - especially Gabe. There are a ton of heartbreaking things that are happening to him. I won't get into the specifics because that would be super spoilery, but his personal issues are pretty important, and very deep. I like how Dimon goes into tough realistic issues - not too heavy, but very well written and emotional.
This book opens with Gabe's POV. I so like Gabe! He is very direct, but in the beginning, he is very short with Natalie. He used short phrases and sentences to answer her, and was a bit curt. But he slowly loosened up, let her in, and some of his walls came down. Gabe is actually a nice guy (though he doesn't like it when she tells him that), and he is a good person.
Natalie is a runner - she knows how it feels when a man who should care about her hurts her. She likes Gabe, and likes having sex with him, but does not want to date him or get serious or committed. But she finds herself worrying about him, getting invested in his personal life and problems. I love how headstrong and independent Natalie is, yet how comfortable she is with her desires and self. Natalie and Gabe are such a great pair because they are two fires, pushing each other, taking no crap from each other. They fight a lot, and it's so indicative of how much passion simmers between the two of them.
Ah! The chemistry is off the charts hot. I think Gabe and Natalie may have met in previous books of the series? This is book three of the series, so I may have missed out on something. We start off this book knowing that Gabe is attracted to Natalie, and that Natalie is attracted to Gabe, but both of them don't know that the other is attracted to them. So when they're holed up in a cabin in the middle of a snowy nowhere? Sparks fly and collide and explode. The two of them are so hot together! I love how every scene is different, and represents something different.
There is a subplot dealing with Gabe's youngest brother Andy. Andy is gay and used to be in love with this guy who worked with Natalie, named Eli. Eli is now with the love of his life, Wade, who hates and does not trust Andy. This subplot was interesting, though very sad for Andy, as we know he has no chance. But I like that Dimon includes this more personal view into a different character's life!
The emotional issues in this book were so incredible. The romance was swoony and beautiful. I loved seeing tough-guy Gabe metaphorically get down on his knees and bare his soul to Natalie. And the chemistry and steamy scenes and "erotica" part of the book was so, so hot. Gabe is brooding and naughty and fiercely protective, Natalie is clever and distrustful and guarded. Basically, this book was excellent on all fronts, and I am so glad that I gave it a shot. Any of HelenKay's books are so good and well-written!
What I Did Not Like:
I can't think of any dislikes, I think! I've actually read and reread some of my favorite scenes in this book so many times. It was/is that good!
Would I Recommend It:
If you're an adult romance novel lover, you will totally enjoy this book. One couple, one steamy romance, one fantastic relationship. Natalie and Gabe overcome many obstacles to be able to trust each other, care about each other, love each other. While this book is hot enough to be classified as erotica, it has such a great story, with wonderful and heartbreaking emotional twists (some of which have nothing to do with the couple's relationship). And it's HelenKay, so you know the ending will be satisfying (and it was)!
4.5 stars. I'm rounding down, though I have no good reason. This book was excellent, scorching hot, and easily an adult romance novel that I see myself rereading over and over.
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