Reviewed by Morgan
Title: enemies of the State
Author: Tal Bauer
Series: The Executive Office #1
Heroes: Jack Spier/Ethan Reichenbach
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 324 Pages
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: Ethan retired from the military, tired of the death and destruction, to go into security. After several years in the Secret Service, he’s now promoted to the lead on the President’s detail. He’s seen 3 other past Presidents and has never wanted to cross any boundaries and in fact didn’t really care for them beyond his duties of his job.
Jack is a widower, he lost his military wife to an air strike and made his political career in saving the lives of military families and promoting peace while supporting the armed forces. He’s now made it to the President of the United States (POTUS) and he’s a bit overwhelmed and lonely. He’s not used to the isolation and though he has cabinet members he trusts, he’s got nobody to just “be” with.
Ethan and Jack strike up a friendship – despite the rules – that frequently waffles between appropriate and inappropriate. The main problem is that Jack IS straight. No question. Ethan is gay. Ethan falls for Jack and this causes all sorts of complications.
Besides the issues surrounding their friendship, the world is going to hell in a hand-basket and Jack is caught between his desire to do the right thing and basic preservation of human life. On the brink of World War Three, Jack relies heavily on Ethan to be a sounding board and a release valve.
WOW. This is an absolutely amazing book! I was intrigued by all the positive reviews I saw and requested this to review. I was so captivated that I read it that night, all in one sitting!
Jack and Ethan’s relationship is slow, slow, slow burning. Jack really is straight and is absolutely shocked by the changes in his feelings for Ethan. This is written remarkably well and in a way that feels authentic and believable.
There is a lot of political intrigue and for people who love Tom Clancy type espionage you will love this stuff. I mostly skimmed it because it’s not my thing, but it is well-written and done in a way that I could understand what was going on without having to follow all the politics closely.
I am praying the next book comes out quickly because the ending – while a solid HFN – definitely leaves us in a spot where the future is not certain – not by a long shot. The couple is together, but the world is still in disrepair and their relationship is not exactly making things easy.
I highly recommend this book to fans of GFY romance, political intrigue, slow burn romances, bodyguard tropes and well-written, deep feeling romance.
Overall Impression: It was amazing
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*