Friday, 30 April 2010

Review - Leave me Breathless © HelenKay Dimon

Leave Me Breathless

Author: HelenKay Dimon

Publisher: Kensington Brava

Buylink

PERMISSION TO APPROACH
According to Judge Bennett Walker, trying to kill him is a dumb idea. They might make him wear a big black nightgown to work, but it covers a lot of muscles, and he’s definitely packing beneath it. He’s also an ex-prosecutor and an ex-GI Joe. So when his brother brings in Callie Robbins to protect him, Ben has a few issues. First, he doesn’t need a bodyguard. Second, she’s a 130-pound girl—more smoking hot than smoking gun. And third, what if his body wants her guarding the night shift?
Callie has no problem brushing aside Ben’s disbelief. She left the FBI to escape the boys’ club, but she can be deeper undercover and twice as lethal as any beefy John Doe. As for whether someone’s after Bennett or not, the death threats and car bombs look pretty convincing to Callie. Of course, she might get distracted, sitting inches from the sexiest judge in DC for ten hours a day. Keeping him safe is no picnic. Keeping it professional—that might be impossible.

 

"I don't need a bodyguard."  Judge Bennett Walker delivered his observation as he unclipped the top of his black robe and stripped the garment off his shoulders.

Callie Robbins had to fight hard to keep from rolling her eyes.  Three denials in two minutes.  Yeah, she got it. The big tough guy in the flower print tie somehow thought he could stop a bullet simply by pretending it didn't exist.

Gavel or not, she was not a fan of pigheaded stupidity, even if it did come in a six-foot-three package of smoldering eye candy.  And this guy had the smoking hot thing down. A square jaw and light brown hair that fell in a soft line over his forehead were just the beginning of the impressive package.  She'd heard about the broad shoulders he hid under the required work outfit.  Watching his white shirt pull across his chest, she now could vouch for his linebacker form.  Thirty-eight and sat on his butt all day but there wasn't an ounce of fat on the guy that she could tell.

Still, all of the idol worship surrounding him in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, struck her as overkill.  From what she could tell, Ben Walker was a prosecutor-turned judge-turned-superstar in the uber-wealthy area north of Washington, D.C.  He wielded a heap of power and had all of the female courthouse clerks scurrying around to catch a peek at him.  But, really, he was just a man.  And from Callie's one-hundred-twenty seconds of experience, a very stubborn one.

"If there's nothing else..." Ben let his voice trail off as he slid into his oversized leather desk chair.

Callie didn’t bother to respond to the not-so-subtle dismissal because he wasn't talking to her.  Hell, he hadn’t even sent a small glance in her direction since she'd dodged his gaggle of admirers in the outer office to follow him into his private chambers.  No, the judge saved all of this wrath and attention for the other man in the room, his older brother by one year, Mark Walker.

"This isn't up for discussion, Ben."  Mark said in a clear attempt at reason.  "You have a target on your back."

"I'm not the one in danger."

Mark shook his head. "Your job is to rule on cases.  Leave the law enforcement decisions up to me, will 'ya?"

Callie knew Mark could handle the worst.  He had turned his tenure at the FBI into a position with an undercover division within Homeland Security charged with protecting high profile targets in the D.C. metro area.  Callie wasn't sure what the job entailed, but she knew it was a big one.  The kind where her record would likely disqualify her for regular duty, which explained why she was an independent contractor doing Mark a private favor on this job.

Since the judge hadn’t acknowledged her presence except for a brief nod after Mark's introduction, she decided to force the issue.  She was standing right there next to the judge.  Hard to imagine he could miss her, what with his big brain and all.

"Did you forget the part where someone blew up your car?" she asked.

……..

"Look, Your Honor," she said in the least respectful tone she could muster.  "Your girlfriend has security protection.  You've refused it.  From what I can tell, that makes her the smarter of the two of you."

He smiled.  "Emma Blanton is not my girlfriend."

Not exactly the response Callie expected, but at least he finally bothered to stare at her for more than two seconds.  And without throwing her in jail, that had to be considered a success.  "You and your girlfriend would be barbeque right now except that the bomb went off too early."

Ben folded his hands together in front of him on the desktop.  "True, but she's still not my girlfriend."

Talk about fixating on the wrong point.  "Fine.  What do you want me to call her?" 

"You could try Judge Blanton."  Ben glanced at his brother. "And the bomb was meant for her."

© Leave Me Breathless, HelenKay Dimon 

 Review

As soon as I read the blurb on this book I knew I had to read it, not only am I a romance suspense fan, but think hot sexy Judge having to toe the line with a female bodyguard in tow trying to keep him alive – how could I resist.

Well it didn’t happen like that exactly, Judge Bennett Walker’s life is under threat and according to his brother Mark he needed a bodyguard and he would trust no other with his safety than ex- FBI agent Callie Robbins.

From the moment Callie and Bennett locked eyes the sparks flew, Bennett wanted Callie under him more than having to follow her direction, while Callie just wanted to get on with her job and not be bogged down by any unexpected attraction.

Someone is after Bennett and with no known reason for the threat and none that can be identified – Bennett's brother and Callie close ranks around him when the threats comes too close for comfort. The threat is closer than they think and someone will get hurt before this person is caught.

I really enjoyed my first outing with Ms. Dimon, not only did I like the storyline of the judge needing a bodyguard, but the romance between Callie and Bennett intertwined with an unknown threat was a wonderful start as my first journey with  Ms. Dimon, as an added bonus there is the secondary storyline of a romance between Bennett’s brother Mark and his co-worker Emma  which I was more interested in if truth be told.

The characters were as expected, there was the opinionated bad boy Judge Bennett who felt like he could do it all and take on the world at the same time. He was crafty and when he made a decision he goes after it with tunnel vision. Despite warnings not to muck about with the help Bennett wanted Callie and brother or not, no one was going to tell him what he could and couldn't do.

Callie took a little bit longer for me to like and even up to the end I think I only tolerated her, because for a woman playing in the big leagues, I found her judgemental attitude a little more than I could stand. That said she had a whole heap of baggage carting around with her and once those were ironed out, she ended up being a great match for Bennett, as he needed someone who could hold their own, and she gave him as good good as he dished out.

Mark was the dark horse of the book and lived his life in the shadows – his on off and on again romance with Judge Emma Blanton was the highlight of the book for me. I love a tortured hero and a woman who knows when to give an ultimatum.. 

Emma and Mark didn’t get enough page time for my liking, but what I got was filled with love in the shadows, mixed messages and emotional entanglement all round and I wanted more.

The main characters were really well thought out, some of the background history needed a bit more definition, but not knowing, I am hoping leave room for Ms. Dimon to revisit these people and tidy up some of the loose ends found in LEAVE ME BREATHLESS.

The suspense was the thing that brought the two storyline together and I felt it was very low keyed and I didn’t really take it seriously.  That said, I didn’t however  know the who done it until the end and the book had enough tension filled scenes to fill the gap and move the book along nicely.

If you love Romance Suspense – LEAVE ME BREATHLESS hits all the right button. The characters are a mix bag and it’s love or hate with some of the support cast. The few love scenes tossed in were spontaneous and not over the top – just the right amount to suit the plot. 

I really  liked Ms Dimon’s  style and will be reading more of her work in the future.

 

8 Speak To Me:

Chris on 30 April 2010 at 14:03 said...

I do like the turnabout of the male judge and the female bodyguard. But dang, I have NEVER seen a judge who looks like Bennett!

Smokinhotbooks on 30 April 2010 at 16:49 said...

HelenKay Dimon is on my TBR list, although I don't read much romantic suspense anymore I just know I'll enjoy her writing style.

P.S. Love the new bloggy header.

Blodeuedd on 30 April 2010 at 19:43 said...

Since I haven't mentioned it, I like the new header :D..oh and how I want those shelves ;)

Erotic Horizon on 30 April 2010 at 23:18 said...

@Chris..

I know what you mean about th plot line - I was attracted to that as well..

I also thought he was kinda young, but apparently they appoint them young in them there woods..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 April 2010 at 23:20 said...

@KC..
I will confess - I came upon HelenKay Dimon by accident, but I have added her to my Read More Of list..

She did a wonderful job with the character developemnt..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 April 2010 at 23:21 said...

@Blodeuedd..

I know what you mean - but shelfs only look that good in the shops, once they come home - it's a toss up between chaos and madness..

E.H>

The Book Pimp Blogs on 2 May 2010 at 02:33 said...

I just read your review and we were definitely on the same page with the book. I agree totally more of Mark and Emma's story would have been great. Isn't funny how sometimes the secondary characters just want to take over the story!

Erotic Horizon on 2 May 2010 at 20:56 said...

@TBPB..

Mark and Emma did try to take over that story - but I didn't mind I wanted more of them..

I will be reading more of Kay in the very near future..

E.H>