Dr. Wesley Folcomb is on a plant finding expedition in the Amazon when he is given a message. He must return home as his mother has died. Although Wes knew it was coming (she had MS), he is still devastated. His father was killed in a laboratory accident when he was six and his mother was all he had left. At home, he is cleaning out his mother’s things when he comes across a box containing his father’s research papers and notebook and makes a shattering discovery. His father, Dr. Steven Folcomb, had been pursuing a cure for MS and inadvertently created a serum whose side effects enhance a human beings’ natural abilities. Given doses of his serum, mice became stronger, healed faster, became in fact super mice. A government agency started funding his scientific work, and he accepted, hoping he had found a cure for his wife’s MS. The last journal entries told Wes that his father had found out that the government was using his research on human subjects to his utter horror. His father took pictures of the children used as test subjects and vowed to end the project the only way he knew how. Wes’ father destroyed all his notes and samples and then blew up his laboratory with himself in it. Now Wes finds himself in possession of the only copies of his father’s work. What is he going to do about it?
Wesley Folcomb is targeted for assassination but instead finds himself kidnapped and in the company of the men used for experimentation by the secret agency. The six men, banded together as brothers by their common experience, have been searching for a way to reverse what the drug did to them and Wes is their only hope. Six men. Stone, Fury, Blade, Trigger, Ghost, and Locke. All bearing the scars, physical and emotional, as Agency lab subjects. Now they have escaped. Their new mission is to take down the Agency and everything it stands for. So when Stone starts falling for Wesley, he is shocked to find that Wes returns his feelings. But the Agency is hot on their trail and when Wes is abducted, Stone and his brothers risk it all to get him back.
The first book in the new Brotherhood series by Amylea Lyn lays down the backstory for all the characters involved in the series. We understand Wesley’s history, given a peek into his father’s thoughts through his journal, and get to know a young man intent on solving world hunger. Naive, honorable, and idealistic in the best way, he is also slight of stature and something of a nerd. It seems very realistic that Wesley would switch his mission from searching for solutions for hunger to righting the wrong his father’s research instigated. He also offers a nice physical contrast with respect to the Brothers. For the most part, they are tall, muscular, and represent a number of racial types. One is Asian, one Hispanic, another Black, one Nordic and so on, as though the Agency wanted to see how each race would react to the drug.
Lyn gives us a great framework for the series to build on and each member of the Brotherhood is going to get their own storyline. From all indications, Fury is next. Fury is almost as important to the first book as Stone and Wes. He is the outside commentator to their relationship. Wes and Stone’s growing intimacy only serves to highlight Fury’s lack of one, as well as his belief he is not deserving of happiness. I hope that the author will delve further into each man’s character and their relationship with each other. The bits she offers up here are really intriguing, making me want to know more.
My only real quibble here is the instant love between Stone and Wesley. If you are building a series, you have time to show a deepening of attraction and growth in their relationship. That would have been far more interesting and realistic than believing a man used only as an assassin, who has grown up regarded as a thing to be experimented on, would instantly trust the son of the man who created the horror they have lived through. That is much harder to buy given the characteristics Lyn has presented us with. I hope their romantic relationships gain the authenticity that the Brotherhood demonstrates with each other. I am certainly looking forward to Fury’s story and the next step to take down the Agency.
Cover: cover art by Lee Tiffin. I think this is a terrific cover. I love the choice of models as well as color and fonts.