The Fixer (Games People Play #2)
Avon / December 27, 2016 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital
He’s known only as Wren. A wealthy, dangerously secretive man, he specializes in making problems disappear. A professional fixer, Wren hides a dark past, but his privacy is shattered when Emery Finn seeks him out—and what she wants from him is very personal.
Some people disappear against their will. Emery’s job is to find them and bring closure. Wren is the only person who can help solve Emery’s own personal mystery: the long-ago disappearance of her cousin. Just tracking down the sexy, brooding Wren is difficult enough. Resisting her body’s response to him will prove completely impossible.
Anonymity is essential to Wren’s success, yet drawn by Emery’s loyalty and sensuality, he’s pulled out of the shadows. But her digging is getting noticed by the wrong people. And as the clues start to point to someone terrifyingly close, Wren will have to put his haunted past aside to protect the woman he loves.
I loved the premise of this book. And Wren. However, I have to admit, I think my favorite character was Garrett. I loved his charm and humor, how he was almost a foil to Wren, but all that is only the surface. Not to say that isn't who he is—just that the man has hidden depths. The same can be said of Wren, only the opposite. Our hero is stern, mysterious, seriously hot, and powerful (in every way)...but he has the people skills of a grizzly bear. It's actually super adorable.
Emery is also the opposite of Wren in some ways, yet they match. Their separate yet shared experiences...the way they fit together... it works.
I had some issues with the book—some are personal and I know won't bother others. I think but for those similar histories, I would not and could not have actually seen Wren and Emery together, despite what it says on the page. Wren is 35, Emery is 24. It's a lot. They also have vastly different living circumstances and lives in general. That being said, what ties them together is huge. Life altering. So yes, with the particular circumstances of The Fixer, I get it.
What I loved is that the book takes you through a cold case, but you also see how it brings Wren back to life in the present. It opens him up emotionally, and helps Emery, too.
I actually found this book to be much darker and more grim than the romantic suspense books HelenKay Dimon writes with what she calls “high dead body counts.” I'm not sure what that says about me, but let's tuck that away for now. I liked that both characters had their own personal support systems, more than each other, although they do depend on each other most. Wren falls fast, and he falls hard. For a deliberately emotionally stunted person, it's quite entertaining. And hot. The following is a scene where they're a coffee shop. Emery thought Wren would be trying to distance himself and be too staid to let loose a little in public.
He wanted a challenge? Fine. She put her hands on either side of the table and gave it a little shake. “Do you think this table could hold us?”
He didn't even blink. “I'm willing to test it.”
Okay, that was pretty hot. This side of him proved tough to resist. Emery wondered why she was even trying.
Along those lines, there are some great zingers. Emery loves poking the bear (hah) - and unlike basically every single other person alive, isn't intimidated by Wren. She's actually ... kind of an asshole to him. (It works for them though, so there you go.) Emery also isn't malicious about it through the course of the book, and that matters a lot too. She baffles and befuddles him, and their conversations lead to some zingers. One that had me laughing out loud was this scene:
“Don't try to adorable your way out of this.” Man, he was right on the edge of making her forgive him without more begging. “Can we land?” ... “Will you have the plane land if I ask you to?”
“Of course.” He shot her one of those what-are-you-thinking frowns. “You're not a prisoner.”
From the look on his face she thought he probably believed that. “We'll debate that and your boundary issues later.”
So—it's not much, but the culmination of the rest of the scene, their prior interaction and conversations... Wren is so dry. And straightforward. I loved how they both often just put their thoughts out there. I love books set in DC, intrigue and power players, so I'm very excited about this new series. I'm hoping Garrett definitely gets his own book, and am eager to see where this series goes.
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