Stranded by HelenKay Dimon #Review #HolidayDelight

Posted December 13, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Holiday Delight, Reviews / 16 Comments

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Stranded by HelenKay Dimon #Review #HolidayDelight

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Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on November 21, 2015
Pages: 141
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Intense Enemies to Lovers romance for a pair of shadowy black ops killers set in the wilds of Alaska? I’m there! The story jumped right in, gripped me by the throat, and didn’t let go to the fast satisfying end.

The story opens with trained merc, Cabe, on one last assignment for his former boss before he calls it quits. Funny how being shot and nearly dying will end a career like that? And here he is faced to face with the murdering betrayer who did the job. Cabe trained Brax and opened himself up for the first time in his life for the chance of a relationship and so the pain of the bullet and surgery were nothing to the shattering his heart took to watch Brax pull the trigger.

Brax has one chance to get this right with Cabe. Putting a bullet in his lover to save his life and seeing the pain of betrayal on Cabe’s face was the hardest thing he had ever done. He was never able to explain because of the danger and secrecy that shrouded that mission, but now he has a small window of opportunity before he has to ghost away. Christmas is a time of hope and he dearly hopes for Cabe’s forgiveness and understanding.

But as the anger, hate, distrust, and other factors pile up, the two hurting men are on a course of destruction and a permanent parting.

Whew boy! I do like my dangerous lovers who have it in for each other. Nothing like a little homicidal reunion to brighten a holiday read. Cabe has every reason to want to put a bullet into Brax the second he sees him, but deep down he is burning with the need to know why. Why did Brax betray him? And Brax is desperate to tell the truth, but needs Cabe to give him a chance. It’s a game of cat and mouse between two trained killers. It’s raw and emotional. There is a hint of suspense whether their mutual enemy has found them or whether their former boss has changed his mind about helping. But for the most part, it is the pair of hurting, angry men figuring out whether they have anything left to salvage their relationship.

I really liked this story though it was a fast one, but I do have to say that I constantly felt like I was dropped into the middle and there were pieces I was missing. I checked, but couldn’t tell if it was related to another book or series. There was another character, Sean, who left me puzzled and wanting to know more about him. If it weren’t for this sensation of feeling like I was missing stuff and the first half of their story, this would have been a perfectly satisfying read.

But all in all, I liked what I got. Intensive holiday romance ala trained killer-style. M/M Romantic suspense fans should check it out.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read the book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #394 RS



Usually, each holiday read has reminded me of something I can share from my past or even present traditions when it comes to the Holiday season. Nothing leaped out at me, at first… Then it occurred to me. I won’t even go into the convoluted thinking that had me arriving at just the tradition I wanted to share.

While I love the holidays for many reasons, most of my reasons are centered around celebrating the holidays. However, there is one activity we do that really has nothing to do with the holiday and more to do with the fact that we are all off work and out of school for a few days together. This can be dangerous. How do we handle this rare phenomenon? We-ll, we have a few options. One of those is games. For a group of competitive people, games can be high entertainment involving broken furniture, raging competitors, and sometimes a little blood is spilled. And by games, I refer to old-fashioned card or board games. It can get ugly folks. The growling, teasing, flush of victory, and agony of defeat. Leftovers from the holiday meals are pulled out as well as all the tasty treats left in stockings. Sometimes music from the new Christmas batch or even a movie is turned on in the background. But the focus is on the chose game. So over the years, we have enjoyed some very fun game nights and it is a grand time to disconnect from all the tech around us and plug in as a family. Pictionary in its hey day was big for us, Clue, Uno, Poker, Sorry, Life, Skip-Bo, Nertz, Monopoly, Taboo, and the list goes on.

So do you get out the board games in your home or at the relatives’ homes? Do you have favorites or maybe games you will never play again? Do share!games

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Lover Of Romance
6 years ago

oh I do like reading romantic suspense with M/M themes. So I might try this one out. I love those fun family traditions. When it comes to games though….we are a card family all the way. Occassionally a board game like Monopoly or Life. I do like Scrabble but haven’t played it much. However its the card games like Rook and Rummy and Knock on Wood, that we love the most. We have fun with it, but not super crazy. Although my mom is super competitive….the rest of us just out for fun and time with family hehe But of… Read more »

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

Sneaking cards? Say it isn’t so! Haha! We have a few in our group that operate under the theory that it’s not cheating unless you get caught.

I have some favorite m/m romantic suspense, too. Love the exciting, action moments. This one was good for that.

6 years ago

This sounds like a original reason for the enemies to lover plot. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Brax to shoot him and then not have the chance to explain. Makes me curious how he will get the chance to explain. And the fact that they are both dangerous and killers sure sounds like it adds some suspense to the story. It’s a shame you felt like something was missing. Maybe there will be a next book? We usually don’t play a lot of games on christmas. No matter how many memories I drag up I can’t… Read more »

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Oh yes, shooting the guy you love and then having to get him to listen to your explanation without trying to kill you for it was certainly what grabbed my attention. 🙂 Visiting family should definitely involve the eating and talking. 🙂 I still wish my grandmother had written down all the delicious holiday food recipes that she made. I’m not sure why we always tend to get out the games around Christmas when we don’t play them much during the rest of the year. It happens sometimes during our Thanksgiving, too. Maybe its because the children can’t go outside… Read more »

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Nothing like a little homicidal reunion to brighten a holiday read. omg I should not have been drinking for that. lol I didn’t realize she had written any m/m. I still haven’t gotten into those yet but I do have a huge thing for the enemies to lovers trope 😀

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

Sorry to make you spit. Okay, no, actually, I laughed. This was one of those that I could really buy the enemies part. I mean, he shot him!
I’ve only read a few books by her. I think she wrote one other m/m in a series that was mostly m/f. I read the first one in the series and then didn’t get around to the rest. Distractable, that’s me!

6 years ago

I haven’t read any M/M unless you count BDB Lover at Last-which I loved. This sounds really suspenseful. The fact you thought you were missing something is a bit troublesome for me however! Glad you liked it well enough. I also enjoyed reading about your Christmas vacation traditions. I think the last board game I played was Apples to Apples a couple of years ago and I couldn’t even tell you how it’s played. It was at Christmas time as well with all my family.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

This was suspenseful. At first, I had no idea what was going on- who was the good guys or anything. I like that, but also feel disoriented, too. This one is quite a bit spicier than Qhinn and Blay got. These two are still attracted even while there is all that hate and anger going on. Whew! Do they get it on. Oh yes, I’ve played that game. My niece and nephew always pick it when they get to choose. And thanks, I’m glad you enjoy reading these. I just wanted to do a little something more for the holiday… Read more »

6 years ago

I so want to play more board games

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Blodeuedd

From what I understand through the family grapevine, I think everyone is voting on Monopoly and Rummy this year, but we shall see. They change their minds a lot.

Mary Kirkland
6 years ago

I love enemies to lovers and when it’s two kick ass guys who could kick each other ass at any time, yeah, sounds good to me.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Oh I know, be still my heart! This was an exciting enemies to lovers. I enjoyed that they were two trained black ops assassins which upped the ante.

Red Iza
6 years ago

I love enemies to lovers stories, and a romantic suspense ? Bonus ! I used to play Triomino recently with my mom, but she doesn’t remember how to play any more. The whole family played “petits chevaux” – apparently it’s a French game only, a cross and circle game. Else, we played Monopoly but I’ve been offered a “black stories” game card for my birthday : it consists in solving weird deaths enigmas that really happened !

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Red Iza

Oh yes, a good enemies to lovers makes a great romantic suspense plot. I noticed that in one other book I read earlier this year by Elle Kennedy. Maybe I should start looking for this combo on purpose. 🙂

That is lovely that you were able to share some time with your mom over a game before she couldn’t remember. I’ll have to look up petits chevaux. I love learning about new to me games. Ooh the real life deaths game sounds intriguing.

6 years ago

It is hard when you feel like bits and pieces are missing, but I love romantic suspense

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

That was probably the only down side. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t eventually work around, but it gave me an off balance feel and a niggling sensation that I needed to go back for an earlier book- only I couldn’t find evidence that there was an earlier book.