The Enforcer (Games People Play #2) by HelenKay Dimon
Series: Games People Play #2
Also in this series: The Fixer, The Negotiator (Games People Play #2.5), The Pretender (Games People Play #3)
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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Security expert Matthias Clarke hunts down people who don’t want to be found. His latest prey: the sole survivor of a massacre that killed his brother years ago. Kayla Roy claimed she was a victim of the carnage. Then she disappeared. Matthias thinks Kayla may have actually been the killer—and he wants justice.
Kayla Roy never stays in one place too long and never lets a man get too close. But keeping Matthias at arm’s length may be impossible. Dark and enigmatic, Matthias draws Kayla in from the start. She knows nothing about his connection to her dark past, or his thirst for vengeance. She only knows their attraction feels overpowering—and very dangerous.
Matthias’s suspicions about the sensual Kayla clash with his instinct to protect her, especially when he realizes her life is in danger. But Kayla’s not looking for a savior—especially one who seems hell-bent on tempting her down a lethal path.
Matthias Clarke owns a security company, and he’s the adopted brother of the hero from Book 1 of the series, Wren. All the brothers had profoundly lousy childhoods, and Matthias’s past comes back to mess with his life in this story. His biological mom, who has shown no interest in him up to now, comes begging for help. She wants to catch the person who murdered a house full of college students, one of whom was the brother he never met. The only survivor of the massacre was Kayla Roy, and Matthias is suspicious that she may have been involved in the murders somehow. He tracks her down and uses false pretenses to get to know her. The more he learns about her, the more he doubts she could be involved, but if she’s not guilty why has she been running away for years, and why is she hiding so many secrets? For her part, Kayla feels drawn to Matthias, but she’s afraid and knows if she lets herself go, it could be her downfall.
This book is full of some pretty dark issues, not least of which is the massacre that began the whole thing. (Trigger warning, there is a pretty graphic description of Kayla finding the bodies at the start of the book.) The plot is fairly fast paced, which I enjoyed. There is a lot going on here, and while sometimes it felt like too much, I thought all the threads were satisfactorily resolved by the end. I also appreciated that while Matthias lies longer than I would have preferred about who he is and why he’s there, it comes out early enough that Kayla has time to adjust. I also liked that Garrett from Book 1 has a presence in this book, because his humor and banter add some light balance to the darkness of the subject matter.
In the end, I didn’t particularly like Matthias OR Kayla, though. They both do some pretty unsavory things, and they both are pretty prickly. In particular, there’s a big twist towards the end that was frankly pretty unbelievable and made me really dislike Kayla. It was just darker than I wanted, and for that reason I wasn’t as invested in the relationship as I should have been.
I am absolutely down to keep reading this series despite my lukewarm response to this book, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the brothers are like.
Games People Play Series
Grade: 3 out of 5