Everything I’d hoped it would be and then some

Enemies of the State (The Executive Office #1)Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, when I tell you that The West Wing is my favourite TV series of all time and that when Marc Harmon’s Special Agent Simon Donovan was murdered during a store robbery gone wrong just after kissing White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg, I cried for about an hour, you can hazard a guess at how much I was pinning on this book.

Well, Tal Bauer gave me everything I wanted and then some. This book is explosive, it’s thrilling, it’s emotional, it’s heart breaking, it’s tense, it’s passionate, it’s sexy, it’s about two men in their 40s falling in love unexpectedly with the glare of the world upon them.

Jack and Ethan were beautifully crafted, for all he’s a Republican President (and that was a bit weird), Jack is just the kind of guy you’d want in the White House top job and Ethan, oh how much do I want my own Ethan?! Strong, reliable, dedicated, determined, unassailable, loyal.

I actually did guess fairly early on who the mole, the bad guy on the inside, was going to be but it didn’t stop me from hoping throughout that I’d be wrong and the President wouldn’t be betrayed.

The action and attention to detail is superb, the spy and thriller elements worthy of a book on their own without the added bonus of the experience of an openly gay secret service agent falling for a man who’d always considered himself straight. I loved that Jack was clear he was in love with the person and the fact Ethan was a man didn’t really register for him. They were friends first.

There’s also a whole host of brilliantly drawn side characters and I can’t be the only one wanting to know more about the relationship between the mysterious Marine and the Saudi intelligence head?

Never boring, this book kept me up until 3am reading it. It just is that good.

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Mixed feelings with this not quite romance story

The Truth About GoodbyeThe Truth About Goodbye by Russell Ricard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a tough one for me to review because it took a while to really get into the story and to find the unique selling point which made me want to carry on reading it.

Sebastian’s use of Broadway and other musicals references to highlight his inner dialogue was a bit wearing at times and, at others, perfectly in keeping with the emotional dissonance he was feeling over moving on from his husband’s sudden and quite sadly tragic death.

I also wasn’t sure why it was set in 2008 to be honest, even with the time lapse jump at the end to be able to include the USA’s decision to allow same sex marriage.

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Superb follow up for this new spin off series from Sloan Johnson

False Start (Wilmington Breakers, #2)False Start by Sloan Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve said before how much I enjoy a good sports romance. While the real world seems to sadly lag behind when it comes to top level athletes and sportsmen being able to be out safely and successfully, these novels provide the joy and the hope things might reach that state eventually.

This was both a later life and a sort of second chance romance, two of my favourite tropes, both men coming with plenty of baggage and fears about being vulnerable.

I loved both Nix and Linc, they were uniquely drawn characters with their own distinct voice. The steam level is on the lower scale but when they do get together it’s beautifully passionate. It’s also mostly low angst too, these guys talk it out, albeit with some reluctance.

There’s a moment of sadness too but it’s not drama lama-ing for the sake of plot. Now I’m hoping that Sloan has set us up with Blake and mystery man John for book three.

Oh, truly gorgeous cover too.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an unbiased and honest review.

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