Dirty Games is the second book in the Dirty series, which follows the Drummond brothers. While I have not read the first book, Dirty Deeds, there was enough background in Dirty Games that I did not feel like I was missing anything.
This book features MCs Finn (the Drummond brother) and Justin, an employee of Drummond Charities, and is set mainly in Morocco. Justin runs the the charity at a camp site in Morocco that provides needed food, medicine, and other services and supplies to refugees. Justin is prickly and runs the camp with an iron fist. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t caring. He uses his own money to obtain supplies and services for the people who may not qualify through the charity but are in immediate need. When he notices some discrepancies in shipments, he sends for help from Alec, the eldest Drummond brother and Justin’s boss. Alec sends Finn, “the wrong brother”, to assist Justin in investigating the matter. Justin is immediately displeased, to put it lightly, and the two clash from the moment Finn sets foot on the camp site. Finn resents Justin’s hostility and lack of confidence in his ability to handle the matter.
Underneath all that tension is reciprocated attraction. The passion both feel for each other manifests in scorching sex. While they continue to bicker at each other, they also develop real feelings beyond just physical attraction. It doesn’t help that they have a history of sorts from six or so years ago that neither will admit to the other. When Finn finds himself in danger over and over again, those feelings can’t be denied.
Set in the backdrop of a country under political strife, these two men learn to navigate the tricky bureaucracy of being gay (Finn & Justin) in an unwelcoming climate and being tantalizing bait for kidnapping (Finn) while fostering a romance that, even in a perfect world, is hampered by their own personal baggage.
What worked for me was the setting of the book. I enjoy reading stories that take place in foreign countries, mostly because I get to learn something new about a place that I mostly likely will never visit. I also enjoyed the suspense. Just when I thought things were going smoothly, the author threw in a curve ball.
What didn’t work for me was Justin. He’s way too angry and down right mean to Finn, even when they seem to call a truce. I get that he has some major chips on his shoulder that make him extremely wary and his first instinct is to push people away, but I felt like he was way overdone. Finn, however, was very much likable, and I feel like he deserves someone better than Justin.
Overall, despite some flaws I had with one of the main characters, I did enjoy the suspense and the setting.