May 4 2014 9:00am

First Look: HelenKay Dimon’s Mercy (May 6, 2014)

Mercy by HelenKay DimonHelenKay Dimon
Berkley / May 6, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

After she infiltrated his business and betrayed his trust, a disavowed CIA agent must seek sanctuary in the bedroom of a man who will either help her, kill her, or bring her to her knees…

Becca Ford is on her own. Eight months after she headed up a sting operation to take down millionaire club owner Jarrett Holt, the other agents in her special ops team have been eliminated under odd circumstances, and she needs a place to hide.

Jarrett is a man who prefers darkness to light. He deals in the only truly valuable currency—information—and his supper club caters to an exclusive clientele. It was an uncharacteristic moment of weakness when he let a woman into his life. But it’s not luck that the criminal charges did the evidence.

When Becca returns to the club seeking his help, Jarrett doesn’t want to hear her story. But he does want her body, and demands that she give it to him. He’ll keep her safe—for now—but it’ll be in his bed and on his terms, until he says they’re done. 

You're going to want to clear some time out of your day and read this book. It's an erotic romance, first and foremost. I really loved the unusual characters and storyline. With Mercy every aspect of the book fits. The title, the cover, the characters all match up nicely. HelenKay Dimon is an excellent writer and storyteller, and I'd definitely be interested in reading more books from this world.

Becca is literally a kickass heroine. She's a highly trained covert operative—in fact, she's in black ops. It's very entertaining and enjoyable. Think Burn Notice, but our super spy is a girl. I loved it.

It was also really nice that Becca could hold her own, but she was also willing to give and knew when to do so. There's a lot that stemmed from the miscommunication in the past, which is reasonable and believable, but I really liked that Ms. Dimon addresses it and has the characters acknowledge it. She doesn't use it as a crutch or something to further the tension just for the sake of adding drama.

There's more than enough of that to go around. Jarrett is an unusual character because he has an unsavory past. (It's actually not as bad as I thought, though—based on the whispers and build up, I thought it was going to be something really dark.) Or, maybe it's dark but the fact that while not ignored, the book doesn't dwell on it makes that better. I don't know, but Jarrett is who he is, and unapologetic about it. He knows he had a horrible past, and has done things he wouldn't like to do again—but he rose above that and has established himself as a major player in DC. Very impressive. And sexy.

The secondary characters are very well done, and I liked how Jarrett, Wade, and Bast had such an obvious and close relationship. Ms. Dimon excels at writing the “dude-bro” relationship—but in a grown up way. The way the guys rib each other is natural and realistic, and vastly entertaining. What really makes it impressive is how there's depth there too. While the guys give each other shit, they call each other on bullshit and you know would be willing to do anything for the other(s). 

Beyond the obvious there are some excellent quotes that I just have to share with you. Jarrett is this dark, allegedly shady man, but an absolute romantic at his secret core. He's definitely angry and bitter—with right to be, but he loves Becca.

Despite the lies, despite handing him over to the feds and tearing his life apart. Despite everything and regardless of the passage of time and the festering anger, he loved her. Right down tothe dark and lonely place in his soul.

And it fucking sucked.

Also fitting in with this story is the dark humor. Like this stray thought that Becca has:

Leave it to Elijah to screw up getting killed. The man didn't even have the decency to be dead.

And lest you think Jarrett is the only one caught up in feelings, there's this from Becca, which really sums up Jarrett, and her relationship with him so well.

He was a mess she couldn't untangle now. Not on top of all the other blows from today. She'd crawl off and try to heal. Part of her wanted to tuck away her love for him somewhere safe and never look at it. That way it couldn't disappear or die. The other bigger part of her wanted to shake him until the hard shell covering him smashed into pieces.

I told you she's a badass. There isn't much about her that's passive, but she's so well rounded. 

And this last part—which yes, does sum everything up perfectly. (Of course during the course of an argument.)

“Because I love you.”

There, she'd said it. She'd felt it for so long and with such intensity, it was probably right that it come out during a fight. That summed up who they were. Two people yelling about their love while they argued.

I didn't love that the Wade and Elijah relationship felt a little like series bait ... but I do hope Wade stands strong and Elijah crawls. :D Jarrett does a great job of it in Mercy, so I have high hopes. I also liked that the secondary romance was organic to the story. It makes sense that Wade and Elijah spend time together, and that Elijah goes to find Jarrett. 

All the characters are so fascinating. This definitely isn't a light, fluffy read, but it isn't dark or too heavy either. Mercy is an engaging read that you won't want to put down. In fact, I already know I'll be re-reading it.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Mercy by HelenKay Dimon, available on May 6, 2014:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound - A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet

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