The mission that sniper Kyle Brannigan is on with part of his team goes horribly wrong, and they only manage to barely get out alive. Once back at MDF headquarters, the team debriefs and reconnects with the rest of Alpha team. The information leads to intel that the Russian mafia is up to even worse things than human trafficking and attempting to create metahumans from the deadly toxin, Splice. As a result, Alpha team is tasked with a dangerous mission. One which capitalizes on Captain Jamie Callahan’s family name.
Jamie has little to do with his family, what with his father’s constant pressure to leave the MDF and take his place at his father’s side. But Jamie won’t be disloyal to the military or his team. Or Kyle. Even though Kyle is a subordinate, their relationship has been going strong for seven months, even if they have to keep it quiet. That doesn’t stop Jamie from having Kyle’s position in the upcoming mission changed; for once, Jamie wants to be able to touch Kyle in public.
As the team moves in, things are even more convoluted and messed up than they expected. As trained Marines, they make do and they make the contacts they need to. But when the mission goes sideways, all the can do is try to mitigate the damage as best they can, and use what they learned for the ongoing mission. And through it all, Jamie and Kyle take their relationship deeper.
First and foremost, I have to address that this is the second book in the Metahuman Files series. It was presented as a standalone, but having read the first one, In the Wreckage, I quickly jumped at the chance to read this second book. But this book does not really work as a standalone at all. Jamie and Kyle’s beginning is all in the first book, not to mention the lead up for the reason the Alpha team takes on this mission. Also, a good chunk of world building is presented in the first book. So, basically, I’m telling you read that first book first, get immersed in this world and the characters, and then jump right into this one.
I couldn’t wait for more in this series, and this book showcases why. In a futuristic world, some humans have developed additional powers. Metahumans were exposed to Splice, and some junk coding in their DNA allowed them to not only survive, but to gain extra powers. Think mutants of the Marvel universe here. Turner has built an amazing world, detailed and nuanced and wholly believable. And it purveys throughout every aspect of this world. It works on every level.
The characters are wonderfully consistent and fully fleshed out. Again, it’s hard to talk about Jamie and Kyle and all of the beautifully developed secondary characters without referencing their beginning. Jamie is a leader, stalwart, true, loyal, and commanding. He also views his team as his real family, and the bonds between them show. They are a truly cohesive unit. Kyle, and his brother Alexei, join the team after it’s formed. But they have integrated themselves and become part of the whole. That is shown even more in this book, the seamlessness with which the team works together outstanding.
Kyle, because of his upbringing and his role within the team, is used to relying on only himself. But he’s come to trust his teammates and relies on them now. It’s harder in his personal life, as he and Jamie are keeping the secret of their relationship from everyone but the team. It takes its toll. But there is no doubt of their love for each other. They are better together than apart, and it shows in every aspect of their interaction. At the same time, they are fully fleshed out as individuals, and hold their own. Their chemistry is electric and leaps off the page. They also have a level of D/s to some of their sexual interactions that is outstandingly well done and incredibly hot.
So the military and the missions are a huge part of this story, and again, I have to say it’s well done. As the story is set some two hundred years in the future, there’s a lot of technology and parameters that need to be melded into what we would normally see in a military book. Turner handles it all well, providing reasoning and limits that make sense. The actions is face paced and heart racing, and perfectly balanced with the personal interactions of Jamie, Kyle, and their team.
Overall, this book is a total winner. Yes, you need to read the first book first, but you won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait for more in this series, as even though the current mission is wrapped up, there is no doubt there is more to come. And a secondary pairing my romantic heart is hoping to see come to fruition with two side characters. If you like military romances at all, this book, and this series, is absolutely for you.