Title: Hayashi’s Hero (Dawn Endeavor #2)
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Paranormal M/M, shapeshifter
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Summary Review: Kisho and Morgan find each other amid the dangerous missions of a genetically altered Seal team.
Genetic manipulation has created the first super soldier, the Circ. Able to transform into hulking, inhuman beasts at will, the second generation of Circs, under Project Dawn Endeavor, is much more dangerous than the first. Psychically gifted, the secret four-man team who once worked for the U.S. Navy now belongs to the mysterious Mrs. Sharpe. Bent on cleaning up science gone wrong around the globe, Mrs. Sharpe sends the men of Dawn Endeavor out on behalf of the United States government. But there’s more to her agenda than patriotism. If only the team knew what she really had planned.
Kisho Hayashi lives in two worlds. Reality as he knows it is a team of men closer than brothers, Circs he would die for, Circs he would kill for. But in dreams and waking wisps of potential tomorrows, Hayashi is haunted by a single male face that confuses and worries him. He’s a trained weapon, comfortable in the beast that lives within his soul. But for a man who sees snatches of the future, he should know better than to think he can outrun his own destiny.
Kisho Hayashi is a Navy Seal and his Seal team is all the family he has in the world. But Kisho is gay and knows in his heart that any hint of his real feelings to his Seal team will end the life he loves so much. Kisho was abondoned on the streets of Okinawa at the age of 5 by a venegeful grandfather unhappy with his disobedient daughter; his father, an American serviceman, didn’t even know of the boy until many years later and then he did everything a loving father could do to repair the damage.
This is no ordinary Seal team, each member having undergone genetic manipulation to create a super soldier, a Circ. They have enhanced strength, skin like armor, animal-like instincts, fangs, talons, and the ability to self-regenerate. Some of them can even read minds or foretell the future. In their normal state, they look like any other well trained Navy Seal, but when ‘changed’, the beast is unleashed and the ultimate soldier easily dispaches the enemy.
The mission throughout this book is to find and capture Captain Delancey, the Seal team’s former commanding officer who betrayed the team members and defected to the other side for personal gain. He will have to answer for his crime!
The plot of Dawn Endeavor 2: Hayashi’s Hero is very complicated. It took me a couple of chapters to get my footing, sorting out the members of the team and their abilities, and how they related to each other and their support staff back at headquarters. Some of the plot deals with Mrs. Sharpe and how shadowy her background is and what exactly her motivations are. We find out a good bit about how genetic experiments harmed most of the volunteers, and how our Seal team controls and then unleashes their inner beast. Into the mix comes a new man, Morgan Reynolds, who is not a Seal and not a Circ. Does he have what it takes to earn the respect of Kisho and his team members? And what about those piercing green eyes? Kisho has been dreaming of those eyes for months, bewildered that they haunt him most of the time.
I liked Hayashi’s Hero. It is futuristic and deals with those hunky military men I love to fantasize about. The world building is good: It doesn’t bore you with too many details, just enough to involve you in the story, and there isn’t any ‘telling’ in the conversations. Details come out as a matter of life situations the characters deal with. There are also several paranormal scenes, but whether they are abilities that they are born with or from the genetic experiments, I’m not sure. However, you’ll enjoy them, and for you lovers of dominant/submissive roles, the team and the beasts have a pecking order. Morgan learns that sometimes the alpha dog has to submit to earn a place with the team.
The sex scenes are also very good. The lovemaking between Morgan and Kisho is described in human and Circ details – you’ll just have to read the book to understand what I mean. Some of you might be concerned about sex between a human and a Circ in his changed form, but it didn’t bother me. I never thought about the Circ as some sort of animal, just an enhanced human.
I did have a few issues with the story. One of the team, Jesse Fallon, is married to Olivia, covered in the first book, and Gunnar is sparking Ava. Both men are jealous and protective of these women time after time after time. Finally I just wanted to say, ‘enough already!’ Also, the dreams of the future haunt Kisho and make him reluctant to keep trying to refine his skills. Mrs. Sharpe tells him several times that what he is seeing doesn’t always mean that it’s going to happen, so what good is seeing into the future if it isn’t real? That part didn’t make sense, but otherwise, the plot and subplots fit really well.
I’m rating this as a 4.5 out of 5. I started out thinking it was a 4 and then a 4.25, but after reading it a second time, I like my final rating.
Hayashi’s Hero is the second book in Marie Harte’s Dawn Endeavour series. The previous book is hetero.