Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Review: Leave Me Breathless by HelenKay Dimon
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
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 Bennet 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.
This novel is a very good eye full of the comings and goings, the behind-the-scenes activities in one particular courthouse written by an author who has been there, done that. The fact that judges are often in harm's way is not news to anyone. The difficulties in protecting them can often be overwhelming. Ms Dimon has written a very erotic and suspenseful tale about the death threats again two judges--life-long friends who have been chewed up and spit out by the rumor mills as lovers, and who might have been killed in a car bombing if they had been a few feet closer when it exploded. Both judges refuse to be intimidated, especially Judge Walker whose experience in the Marines and as a former prosecutor convince him that he will survive beyond the threats and the fear. His brother, owner of a security company, is not so sure. And it is on his insistence that the former FBI agent, Callie Robbins, is assigned as Judge Walker's "personal assistant." Both Judge Walker and his brother Mark bring a lot of personal baggage to this situation. Working through that as they try to work together is often difficult.
This story obviously highlights the stresses and conflict that judges deal with outside the courtroom, but it also highlights the issues that they must deal with in their own personal lives and some which come from former situations that can "bite them in the backside." Both Ben and Mark have commitment issues but neither is willing to own up to them, admit them, or deal with them. Callie has to deal with her own history--anger over the men at the FBI who outwardly accept women as co-workers but who still look upon women as good for either bedroom or kitchen duty. She has a need to prove her own worth as a professional. The dialogue is bright and informed, the characters are intelligent, well-trained for their professional responsibilities, but flawed and hurting just like everyone else. The love stories between Callie & Ben, and Mark & Judge Emma Blanton are delightful and erotic; the suspense of finding the person who is trying to do away with both judges is a parallel story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.
I think romance readers will find a story that is fun to read and worthy of the time and effort. I think it is a very good read, and I think the mystery story is good enough to keep mystery romance fans engaged and interested right to the last page. Some surprises here, but that is the nature of good writing. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.