Battle of the Bulge (OHellNo 4) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Battle of the Bulge by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, OHellNo series 4
MY NAME IS MITCH HOFER. I’m a world-famous swimmer from Australia, best known for three things: my gold medals, my looks, and filling out a swimsuit with my…eh-hem—bulky equipment. Let’s just say there’s a reason my nickname is “the Bulge.” But beyond the fame, sponsors, and glory, there’s more to me than people know, including one hell of a mess I’ve gotten mixed up in. Life-or-death stuff, so bring in the professionals. Just don’t give me a chick bodyguard. Especially a young hot one who distracts me at every turn and hates my guts…
MY NAME IS ABI CARTER, and I hate Mitch Hofer. Yeah, he might be the sexiest champion swimmer in the world, but I’d give this guy a gold medal for being a first-class jerk. Unfortunately, my boss has given me a choice—guard Mitch or get another job. And I really need the money. I can be professional, but if Mitch says “chicks can’t be bodyguards” one more time, I just might strangle him myself. Still, something about the way Mitch keeps looking at me makes me think there’s more to his story. It’s almost as if he’s trying to drive me away. But why?
I picked up the first in Ms. Pamfiloff's OHellNo series a few weeks ago when it was being offered free through Prime. It was interesting and kept my attention, but there were a few things that just didn't sit just quite right, so I didn't really want to continue. But, this one came to my attention, and as a former competitive swimmer/lifeguard/lifeguard trainer/basically a water creature and wishing I could be a mermaid, I couldn't ignore the opportunity of a romance novel with a competitive swimmer being our male lead, and I'm very glad I didn't.
Ms. Pamfiloff takes on the classic trope of a bodyguard romance, but puts it in reverse here, with our male lead being protected by our female lead, and not liking it one bit. While Mitch comes across as a less than stellar lead at first, we're quickly drawn into exactly why he's doing it, and he does actually become someone I'm cheering for. I would say that I'm not as much of a cheerleader for Abi, I can't quite pinpoint it, but I think she's so quickly flipping through judgements that it's somewhat hard to keep up with.
The plot line itself was fantastic, and I will confess, I was a little worried to turn off the lights last night (may have been a 2:05am finish), but still primarily focusing on the relationship between Abi and Mitch. The plot flows in tandem and slightly secondary to the character's relationship, which is the perfect blend in my opinion.
The romance scenes themselves were hot and steamy, and I'll be a little selfish here and say I wish there had been more of them and the book just a little longer so I could get more of their story (and those scenes, I can't deny it).
A definite steamy read with some of my favourite tropes flipped on their head, and a perfect summer read.
Rating: 4/5

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