Rating: 5 stars
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Jamie Callahan and his team are still on the hunt for black market Splice creators and dealers. Infiltrating the base of a Mexican cartel doesn’t garner the leads they’ve been looking for, but info retrieved from the raid does show that two of Alpha team’s most formidable foes are working together. And that’s nothing but bad news for the entire world.
While still tracking down leads, Jamie also has to help his father on the campaign trail in his bid to be the presidential nominee. Jamie is constantly at odds with his father, who wants him to put his family above his team. But what the senator doesn’t understand is that the team is his family. Especially where Kyle Brannigan is concerned. Jamie and Kyle have been together for more than a year and are more in love than ever, though the true nature of their relationship is still a secret. But part of Jamie’s cover in the covert operation Alpha team is running means he has to keep up appearances with his family.
Meanwhile, Sean and Alexei are reunited after Sean has been away on an undercover mission for a month. Their reunion is all heat, and there’s no doubt that their love is growing. They find a safe place and a home in each other. But when Sean’s past comes back with a vengeance, Alexei is a target as well. Both men are taken hostage and tortured, and both are sure they won’t make it out alive.
Things go from bad to so much worse when all hell breaks loose. The enemies that have banded together release a Splice bomb, and chaos reigns as Alpha team tries to contain the damage. Even though Sean and Alexei are rescued, the wounds are so much deeper than physical. And the MDF isn’t happy with the way things were handled, especially by Kyle and Jamie. In the end they have each other. But the fight isn’t over.
I have been a rabid fan of the this series since I read the first one, and as soon as I got the opportunity to review this book, I snatched it up. These books need to be read in order, as there is a metaplot driving the entire series. And In The Blood is the best one yet.
If you’ve read my previous reviews of the series, you know how outstanding I think the world building here is. It’s inventive and complete, with each element being solidly grounded. The rules and regulations are unwavering, even if Alpha team doesn’t always follow them, and the futuristic world Turner has created is believable and fascinating. Added to that are fully fleshed out characters who continue to grow and evolve, while still remaining true to themselves. It’s an astonishing feat to accomplish, and one of the reasons I’m so drawn to this series.
I was thrilled to see Jamie and Kyle sharing page time with Sean and Alexei, each character getting chapters in their POV. I’m so invested in all of them, and the well-drawn secondary characters, that I was particularly glad to see them all. This book, and series, isn’t just about the relationships, but the romance is an integral part to the characters. I love the way each couple works together, and the way the partners complement each other. They have each other’s backs no matter what, on and off the field. And I love the way they continue to grow with each other.
And the romances are tested, particularly by their jobs. These guys are MDF agents, and are the cream of the crop. They are tasked with the jobs no one else can handle. Throughout the series, the bad guys are getting worse, and the plot keeps getting more twisty. What’s better is that things escalate in a believable way. And what I particularly love is that there’s no sugar coating. Turner puts the sinister aspects right on the page. It’s horrific in some ways, but needs to be. The villain characters are so bad, that if they didn’t go to these lengths, it wouldn’t be believable.
Here’s where I pause and say that the author has put a warning in the blurb that there is on page torture, and that’s its not for every reader. And that’s the truth. When I tell you its horrific, believe me. It’s absolutely necessary, and heart wrenching, but there are going to be some readers who need to steer clear, simply because of it. For me, I felt for the characters, was desperate for them to make it out, and satisfied with the outcome. I will also say that the author deals with the aftermath in a respectful way, and I loved that the characters weren’t magically fixed, at least not mentally. It’s clear they have a lot to work on in order to heal, but it’s equally as clear that eventually, they will.
Everything works in this book, from the first word to the last. I was riveted to the page, angry at every interruption, and frantically turning pages as I watched the story unfold. I could go on and on talking about this book, but I’ll just say this: I’m invested and involved with the characters, their love, and the larger story. This is a series I absolutely love, this latest installment is the best one yet, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
On checking, it appears that I own the first book in this series. You’re inspiring me, Kris, to move it up the queue!