Title: Houseboat on the Nile
My Rating: B+
Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: Spy vs. Spook #1
Main Characters: Mark and Quinn
Release Date: March 2012
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Of course, just because they don’t like each other doesn’t mean they can’t play mind games on each other. Or sleep together. But when an explosion at Mark’s apartment sends Quinn to the morgue to ID a body, he has to reevaluate his position on denial.
You need to go into this knowing that this is not your normal book and these are most definitely not your normal spies/agents. At the heart of the conflict in this novel is the competition between the different alphabet agencies in DC. Mark is WBIS, while Quinn is CIA. Mark has a reputation for being a tough, but extremely good at what he does...and he is tough. Whoa, this guy does not allow for betrayal of any sort even within the agencies (and on one level, I found that was a little appalling.)
But I did fall in love with both of these guys, although it did take a little bit. The first quarter of the book, the reader is deep into the politics of the alphabet agencies and all the double-agents and politics of the different cases going on. Once the book settled into the relationship between the two main characters, I liked the story a lot better. The book is written in an interesting way, too. First it's told in 1st person point of view from one of the heroes, then it goes on to repeat the same scenes in 1st person point of view from the other heroes view. Overall, I really liked that once I settled into the rhythm of it. It's a completely different style than I've ever read before, but it made it so that the reader knew every detail about how these guys felt about things.
For so much of the book, there is a back and forth to the relationship between the guys. Just like their work relationship, they are pretty contentious with each other, but for these two, a lot of that boils down to simmering sexual chemistry. It was fun to read about that ratcheting up as they became deeper and deeper entwined. It was also really entertaining to see what they would come up with next.
I feel like in this book that I got to know Mark better, which is intriguing in and of itself just because Mark is the more closed off of the two characters. But I loved him. His protective nature, especially with the rent boys, just melted my heart. This is not a guy that makes connections easily, but when he does, they are deep, long-abiding connections. How can you not love a guy like that? But by the same token, when he makes enemies, he doesn't forget and he has several enemies in this book.
Like I said, this book was unlike any I've ever read before, but I did ultimately enjoy it and immediately got online and bought the rest of the trilogy. I later found out there are following books about the rentboys...I love that because I really did get attached to those guys.