Title: Enemies of the State (The Executive Office #1)
Author: Tal Bauer
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Page Count: 324
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
A rogue Black Ops unit with the president in their crosshairs.
A Secret Service agent who will break every rule.
A president falling for the one person he shouldn’t—a man.
Newly elected President Jack Spiers’s presidency is rocked from the very beginning, and he’s working furiously to keep the world from falling apart. Between terrorism attacks ripping apart Europe, Russia’s constant posturing and aggression, and the quagmire of the Middle East, Jack is struggling to keep his campaign promise—to work toward a better, safer world.
For Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach, Jack is just another president, the third in twelve years. With Jack’s election, he’s been promoted, and now he’s running the presidential detail, which puts him side by side with Jack daily. He’s expecting another stuffed suit and an arrogant DC politician, but Jack shocks him with his humor and humanity.
There are rules against a Secret Service agent and one of their protectees developing a friendship—big rules. Besides, Jack is straight as a ruler, and a widower, and Ethan has always avoided falling for straight men. Ethan keeps his distance, but Jack draws him in, like gas to a naked flame, and it’s a lure he isn’t strong enough to turn away from.
As the two men collide, rules are shattered and the world teeters on the verge of war, and a rogue Black Ops unit bent on destruction sets Jack in their deadly crosshairs. Ethan must put everything on the line in order to save the man he’s come to love, Jack’s presidency, and the world.
I honestly don’t know how I can possibly do this book justice. It. Blew. My. Mind.
I am a total sucker for men in uniform, especially those that wear it as well as I imagine Ethan wore his when he was in the army. Ethan is the special agent in charge for newly elected president Jack Spiers. I totally geeked out reading about the inner workings of the secret service, from how they operated, to the way the author orientated the reader to the environment, to all things procedure. I just gobbled it up. And it was very obvious that the author knew exactly what they were talking about. This is not fantasy. I worried, a bit, when I read the blurb, that this would be another book about completely improbable situations for the POTUS to fall in love with the secret service agent in charge. Not the case! It felt so freaking real, I could not put the book down for hours!
The story is told in dual POV, and there are snippets with POVs from side characters who remain mysterious for the majority of the plot –some of them being the villains. Jack, the President, is in his late 40s, and I loved him from the get go. He is a widower and feels very lonely in the White House, especially because of the formalities that prevent him from befriending his personal detail. Ethan is the ultimate professional but he feels so bad for Jack and bends the rules quite a bit to become his friend.
And here folks is where the magic happens. The gay-for-you is perfection. Jack is straight and has never felt attraction towards another man. Ethan is gay and even though he’s always been a player and not the commitment type, he starts having feelings towards Jack. These feelings could jeopardize not only his professional standing but Jack’s safety. Ethan knows this but can’t stop himself.
I honestly cannot go into the plot anymore because I’ll ruin it for you if I do. There’s such a perfect balance of action, mystery, love, and politics here. Just the right amount. I never felt that some part of the plot dragged or that I wanted less of this, more of that. Just perfect. The action sequences were honestly like watching a movie. The detail with which they were written is unreal. The sex scenes? Keeping in mind it’s a gay-for-you, Ethan and Jack took things slow, and went through a proper sexual exploration. The sex scenes were sizzling hot and super emotional. The feelz. Oh my god, I just wanna rave about this shit. There’s danger from all over, and the things both characters go through for each other are out of this world.
Not a very coherent review, I know. But trust me, you will love this book. And what’s more? There’s an HEA but the story will continue. I CANNOT wait for the second book.
I highly recommend this book to all mm fans.