Story Rating: 5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 10 hours, 15 minutes
Jamie Callahan and his Alpha team at the Metahuman Defense Force are regrouping after the latest attacks and continuing their mission to track down those creating Splice in an attempt to make more metahumans. If that isn’t bad enough, it turns out that two of their enemies seemed to have teamed up, making their jobs even more difficult. Alpha team is continuing their cover as security professionals, trying to infiltrate one of the groups that is attempting to make Splice, but they aren’t making much headway.
As if things weren’t complicated enough on the job, Jamie’s family is placing increasing pressure on him to become more active in his father’s presidential campaign. That means Kyle Brannigan is dragged into the spotlight as well under his cover as Jamie’s boyfriend. But as much as Jamie would like to leave his family out of his mission, the MDF needs them as bait for their plan, leaving them far more vulnerable than Jamie would like.
Meanwhile, Sean Delaney is returning from a month-long assignment, eager to reunite with his boyfriend, Alexei Dvorkin. The two have settled together quite happily and their connection is growing. But when one of Sean’s past cases come back to haunt him, he and Alexei both find themselves in danger they can not easily escape. And even if they can get free, the physical and emotional damage may be too great to bear.
WIth the bad guys working together, it seems like attacks are happening on every front. Alpha team is doing their best stop the Splice attacks, help Alexei and Sean, and keep Jamie’s family safe. With everything unraveling, Jamie knows the people he cares about the most are his team — his real family. And he will do whatever it takes to make sure they all stay safe.
In the Blood is the fourth book in Hailey Turner’s fabulous Metahuman Files series and it is definitely my favorite so far. The story combines everything I love about the series — intense suspense, clever world building, and incredible romance — and blends them all together in perfect balance. I particularly loved the way this book focuses on both couples — Kyle and Jamie, and Sean and Alexei. Each couple has gotten center stage in past books and so it works really nicely here to feature both of them. It allows us to follow the romantic developments for each couple, and also lets Turner build a more complex storyline. While Jamie and Kyle are mostly working with Alpha team and involved with Jamie’s parents, Sean and Alexei are dealing with a criminal from Sean’s past who has tied together with current enemies. We move back and forth in the action, which really heightens the suspense and I was totally caught up in the excitement. While there are two plot lines unfolding, they both weave together and it makes for a really compelling story as all the pieces blend.
This book is sort of a turning point from a plot perspective as Jamie and the team have really been falling in line, both with the MDF and with Jamie’s family. It is clear that neither group has the team’s interest in the forefront and we see that the mission Alpha team has been working on is quickly unraveling. Jamie starts to realize that the only one who is going to look after him and his people is him, and so there is some defiance here of both the MDF and his family as he recognizes that things just can’t go on as they have been. From a relationship end, both couples make big strides here as well. These pairs are both incredibly sexy together and we get some intense scenes, particularly between Jamie and Kyle. This story really solidifies the bond between each pair of men and I greatly enjoyed the romance here.
Once again, narrator Greg Boudreaux does a wonderful job with the narration. The voices carry over well from past books and the characters are distinct and easy to recognize. The expansive side characters also have distinct voices and at this point I can recognize most of them, even without them being identified. I had noted in the past that at times Kyle’s Boston accent seems to come and go, but here it is much more consistent. This book has a lot of complex names and characters of varying backgrounds and Boudreaux is really seamless in his narration. I find that listening this series in audio has been very rewarding and can definitely recommend it.
So this book was definitely my favorite of the series and I love how Turner combines the romance and the excitement here. The balance is great among the two couples, giving each romance a time to shine. I am really loving this series and can’t wait for more.
Note: Be aware that this story contains some very explicit scenes of torture that some readers may find overwhelming. They are important for the story and the character/relationship development, but I’ll admit I found some parts very hard to listen to. So be advised if this is a trigger issue for you.