Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach is gearing up for the third president to take office since he began work with the Secret Service. He left the military and has been working detail for 12 years. He now has the lead position for incoming President Jack Spiers and it should be business as usual. But Jack is nothing like the former presidents as he’s personable and engages Ethan in conversation.
Ethan has rules against becoming too friendly with his protectee, but the president draws him in and the men start working out together and Ethan really has to get a grip on his feelings. Not only is Jack the president, but he’s a widower, and as far as Ethan knows, he’s not interested in men. Ethan tries to stay in the background to avoid direct contact with Jack, but that becomes impossible.
With terrorism on the rise and aggression coming from many sides, Jack has a full schedule trying to keep the world safe. He certainly doesn’t have time to date, but suddenly Ethan has become an important part of his world. But, with a rogue operation on the loose set on destroying the peace and the presidency, Ethan has to make all the tough decisions to keep Jack, and the world, safe.
Part romance and part political drama, Enemies of the State will have you on the edge of your seat in this new political thriller. We start with President-elect Jack gearing up to take office and instantly connecting with his lead agent, Ethan. It’s one of those times where it’s just easy to talk to someone and spend time with them. Jack is successful, but he is incredibly lonely. His wife died years ago, he’s not had a relationship since, and he was not prepared for how isolating being president was going to be.
Ethan plays by the rules all of the time. He has a military background and he knows where the boundaries are with those he’s tasked to protect. Having feelings for Jack goes against everything both personally and professionally as Ethan has always been good for the night but has no need or interest in a relationship. There is great tension here as Ethan falls for Jack and berates himself for his feelings, but can’t seem to stay away when Jack invites him to watch sporting events, play pool, or have chats via text.
This book is a slow yet sensual burn as Jack is of course the president and he has also never been with a man before. Ethan was quite emotional at times and while it could have made him appear weak, here it simply made him appear human. The book is primarily told from Ethan’s POV, with just minimal insight into Jack, and I could have really used more from Jack many times throughout the evolution of his relationship with Ethan and it was the one area that kept him at a distance for me. But, there were several passages that were beautifully written to describe the vast array of emotions that Ethan was feeling as Jack becomes everything to him.
There were a few editing issues that were noticeable and a time where the wrong word was clearly used in a description that did hinder the overall flow. The opening of the book states the story is set in the near future and in the larger sense the author chose not to dwell on the fact that the president was in a relationship with a man, which then allowed the book to focus on other storylines.
Overlaid throughout the book is a political story of intrigue, foreign policy, and the quest for power. The second half of the book takes off with action on both foreign and domestic soil as the leader of the free world is faced with global situations, danger, and impossible decisions. On a human interest note, there are great behind-the-scenes views of life in the White House and Camp David that added yet another dimension to the drama unfolding.
Ethan and Jack find their common ground, but since the political world doesn’t rest, there is more to come as this book is billed as the first in the series. Enemies of the State offers love, lust, and danger set on the world’s stage and is a good choice for a political drama with a solid and emotional love story.