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review 2017-05-23 18:31
Review: Enemies Like You by Annika Martin & Joanna Chambers
Enemies Like You - Annika Martin,Joanna Chambers

NOTE: The authors recently released a free “prequel” novella, Enemies with Benefits, prior to the release of this book. It is actually the first eight chapters (about 25%) of Enemies Like You. So if you have read the prequel, the authors direct you to start at Chapter 9, which is what I did. If you have not read the prequel - no need to pick it up. 

 

CIA operative Will is set to kill his enemy, Polzin. It's a personal kill since Polzin is responsible the deaths of so many of Will's brothers-in-arms. Kit has been deep undercover for two years, forced to protect Polzin as his bodyguard. Kit must keep the dirty Russian alive until he completes his own, secret objective: locate the Roc file. Now the pair face off in a deadly match that neither can walk away from.  

 

Will and Kit begin the story as two sides to the same coin. Both ultimately after the same goal - eliminate Polzin - but with opposing methods and reasons. I’m glad that through their relentless pursuits, each learns the truth about the other, allowing the pair to team up and work together. I appreciate that the authors didn’t drag out the stand off between the pair, rather they used each encounter between Kit and Will to slowly wear both down. This ultimately changes both men, giving them the space to grown and open up. And I loved watching the pair evolve before my eyes, maturing and joining. I loved how each scene brought them closer together and changed each just a little bit, until they are a solid couple in love by the end. I look forward to more challenges and Kit's "Kate persona" taking on Will, but I like that Kit has a soft, vulnerable side as well. 

 

The espionage story is a good one. Like a classic spy thriller, there are several players in action, and the reader doesn’t fully understand all the pieces until nearly the end. I enjoyed watching Will and Kit figure out every step and finally getting to the end game. I was, however, a bit disappointed in the ending. I felt there was a distinct lack of closure on a specific character and what happened after the final showdown. Whether the authors were deliberately obtuse, or I was supposed to make assumptions based on the little information offered, I felt it was almost anticlimactic after so much effort and time went into finding the Roc file. I just felt a lack of closure on the storyline, but maybe that is on purpose and subsequent titles will go into more detail. Or maybe it is supposed to be enough that Will and Kit ended together and have their HFN. But I wanted more, now!

 

Enemies Like You is a promising, sexy start to what I hope will be a formidable series. I don't read a lot of suspense romance, but this story had a great balance between action, suspense, storyline, and romance. The pair can be dangerous and have an edge, but also be generous and kind to one another.

 

My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot

Review copy provided by author

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2017-05-17 11:46
Liked the writing.
Enemies With Benefits: a prologue - Annika Martin,Joanna Chambers

But had to suspend disbelief over the male/female disguise - this really does not work in real life. 

 

Also the butch protag who is apparently too stupid to live.

 

Also didn't like the sub/dom vibe with the humiliation.

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-02 03:47
ARC review book available May 15 - small spoiler in the review
Enemies Like You - Annika Martin,Joanna Chambers

They're dangerous men. Absolute enemies. And totally hot for each other.

Will has never met anyone like Kit. He’s arrogant. Gorgeous. Lethal. The most expensive bodyguard money can buy. And Will can’t seem to resist him. A simple command in Kit's cut-glass accent makes Will want things he’s never wanted, do things he’s never done. Their red-hot chemistry is off the charts. Just one problem: Will has vowed to kill the billionaire that Kit is hell-bent on protecting. And Kit has secrets, too—his own reasons for sacrificing his soul, piece by painful piece, to keep one of the worst men on earth alive. This is a stand-alone hot contemporary M/M bodyguard/spy romance.

Review:

Dear Joanna Chambers and Annika Martin,

 ARC of your book landed in my lap at DA. I did not request the book, but when I saw that it is “from enemies to lovers” contemporary and Joanna Chambers was one of the authors, I was too intrigued to refuse it.

I am not quite sure how to grade this one, to be honest, but first and foremost here are the couple of things authors tell us in the beginning and readers should definitely know. The book is written from dual POV, we get to hear from both Will and Kit. Since Kit is British and Will is an American, the book is written using both – British and American spelling and usage. It did not bother me, but beware if it does bother you.

What did bother me a little bit was the book being written in the present tense. I am now way more used to the books written in the present tense than I was before I started reading m/m genre and there were quite a few books written that way that I really enjoyed. While I did not hate the use of the present tense in this story, it did feel a little awkward to me. Opinions may differ of course.

I am also a little bit torn on what I should consider spoilers for the purposes of this review. Of course whatever in the blurb is always a fair game to me, but the blurb does not tell you almost anything so I guess readers I am asking you to be prepared to learn a little bit more than what the blurb discusses. I am not going to do any major reveals that ending gives you, but I do not see how I can discuss the book without talking a little bit more about who Kit really was especially since it is revealed early enough in the book.

So, if you read my reviews before you know that I enjoy the stories where the characters like their jobs and perform them in the somewhat believable way. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but more often than not I tend to like the characters who are competent in their chosen profession.

I have to tell you right away – please don’t look for the believable spies in this book. Of course this comes with the huge caviat that I am as civilian as they come, but the spy who comes to kill the target and ends up having sex with the bodyguard … Well, you get the picture. Oh and conversely the bodyguard who decides to save the killer of the man he is supposedly protecting… I hope you get the picture as well.

However I honestly did not think that the story even tried to portray competent spies – no least because Will (American guy) is not really a spy. He is former military and he is on the revenge mission to kill the Russian Billionaire Kit is supposedly protecting and Will because of that temporarily aligned himself with CIA. What can I say, you are either able to suspend disbelief or you don’t.  I have to admit that I had to give myself a pep talk after very hot sex encounter between Will and Kit in the beginning of the story, but then it got a little bit easier.

Oh, Will’s second attempt to kill Polzin also ends up in him having very hot sex with Kit in a completely different venue. If you think he does not make a very competent killer, you would be correct, but he surely tried poor guy.

In any event of course Kit is not really protecting Polzin of course. Kit is a British Agent and is only protecting Polzin till he finds the certain file with very important information and then he would be very happy to kill him himself, but before that he can’t allow Will to do it.

Will learns this information about Kit a little bit earlier than in the middle of the book and the dynamic between them changes somewhat because they actually find a way to work together.

Please trust me on this, there is a whole lot of information I am not giving you here (as I said before I did not feel revealing Kit’s real occupation was too spoilerish) and this makes writing this review pretty hard because I cannot talk much about the plot.

So what did I like about this book besides extremely hot sex? Actually I liked how powerful emotional connection between the characters sort of sneaked out on me and it all started from pure lust, because the guys literally knew nothing about each other when they first met. I just thought it was interesting how the writers managed it. I really liked both characters despite the issues I had with them working for the spy agencies. Kit may have been really a spy but he was not really a spy either (read the book to find out what I mean J) and Will never thought he was suited for the work and they eventually just clicked.

Also, where adventure plot was concerned, the authors managed to surprise me in a major way, even if it was totally over the top it was enjoyable.

As an aside, bonus from me as a Russian speaker for not overused couple of Russian pet names and perfectly used as well.

Grade: B

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review 2017-04-28 01:58
Quickie Review: Enemies with Benefits by Annika Martin and Joanna Chambers
Enemies With Benefits: a prologue - Annika Martin,Joanna Chambers

CIA operative Will is set to kill his enemy, Polzin. It's a personal kill since Polzin is responsible the deaths of so many of Will's brothers-in-arms. Kit has been deep undercover for two years, forced to protect Polzin as his bodyguard. Kit must keep the dirty Russian alive until he completes his own, secret objective. Now the pair face off in a deadly match that neither can walk away from.

 

Wow! What an exciting start to the new Enemies with Benefits series by Annika Martin and Joanna Chambers! While short in length, the story is packed with dangerous action and extremely sexy times. Both Will and Kit are utterly fascinated with and inexplicably captivated by the other, all the while understanding how dangerous their liaisons truly are. I love the grit of their passion; the unquestioning desire to take and be taken. Will and Kit's story is far from over... there is no HEA or HFN, there is only a beginning and the promise of something much, much more.

 

I am hooked on Will and Kit after this quick novella. It's dark and rough around the edges, and I can't wait to dive into their first full-length title.

 

My Rating: B+ Liked It A Lot

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review 2017-03-05 03:10
Humbug - Joanna Chambers

From time to time I look through the collections on my Kindle and delete everything I've read already. I just did that the other day and guess what my first reaction was when I saw I've already read this.

I've read this??? When??? ...and... What was it about again?

After I looked at the blurb I remembered at least that I've actually read some kind of a "A Christmas Carol" themed story last year. That also is quite a good giveaway that I've read it somewhere around Christmas.

So this is the perfect example for a not-bad-but-literally-forgettable story and I'll settle for 3 stars.

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