After a bad breakup, Kieran is living with his two close friends and sometimes lovers, Andrew and Gabriel. The men are a source of comfort and support to Kieran, and he knows he loves them and they love him in return. But he also knows that they are not what he sees for his future, as he enjoys a threesome hookup, but he is a one partner relationship kind of guy.
Andrew and Gabriel have some secrets, particularly about what they do for a living, and one day they return home with someone in protective custody. Rocco immediately intrigues Kieran, though he keeps mostly to himself. Rocco can’t tell Kieran much about himself or his past, but as hard as that is, Kieran is willing to accept it. The connection they have growing between them is worth it, despite the need for secrets. But when threats come from Rocco’s past, it is time to come clean with what is really going on — including his superpowered abilities. Kieran and Rocco are all in, but with danger coming for Rocco, the men may find it separates them just as they are starting to hope for a future together.
Under Siege is the 9th book in Katey Hawthorne’s excellent Superpowered Love series. The older books have recently been republished, and this is a new installment in the series. I started the Superpowered Love books way WAY back in 2012 and they have been a favorite of mine ever since (particularly the amazing Riot Boy, featuring my book boyfriend Brady). The stories are connected in a shared world where “awakened” have super powers, such as the ability to create heat, cold, or electricity. Most people are “sleepers” and have no idea awakened exist. The books stand alone, with the exception of Riot Boy and Re-entry Burn that feature linked storylines, and this book that connects with Losing Better, as that is Gabriel and Andrew’s story. We meet Kieran there as their threesome sex buddy, and the two of them play a significant role here. However, from a plot standpoint, everything you need to know about the previous book is explained just fine and you can easily step into this story without reading Losing Better.
What I enjoy the most about this series is the interesting world building of sleepers and awakened. Hawthorne has created world that feels largely contemporary, but with a paranormal twist. As the books develop, we see more and more conflict growing about whether awakened should come out with their abilities, and that issue continues here. There is a nice, light style to the series with really engaging characters, and this book is no exception. I found myself particularly drawn to Kieran as he tries to figure out his new direction after his breakup, and his feelings for Andrew and Gabriel. He loves them and they love him back, but he also knows that they don’t have that same need for him as they do for each other. I enjoyed watching him find his own love with Rocco and become more settled, as well as to seeing him reclaim parts of his life in the wake up of the breakup.
My favorite parts of the series, and this book, is watching the way the superpowers play into the plot. There is some excitement here as danger from Rocco’s past returns to threaten the group and so there is some nice suspense and intensity during this part of the story. However, I did find I missed the superpower element somewhat here, as it feels mostly on the back burner. As readers of the series, we know about Andrew and Gabriel’s abilities, and we know that Rocco has powers from this book’s blurb. But Kieran has no idea about the awakened and doesn’t realize that Andrew and Gabriel have superpowers and work for the FBI, nor does he know Rocco is also awakened. Since we are in Kieran’s POV throughout the story, that means none of the superpowered elements come into play until about halfway through the book, and so up until then, it reads as a straight contemporary. Even when Kieran learns the truth, the superpowered element of the story is barely incorporated and I did feel I missed that.
From a relationship standpoint, I liked Rocco and Kieran together, and as I said, I particularly enjoyed Kieran’s journey. Rocco felt harder to know as we are not in his POV and so much of his past is a secret for so long. With Kieran’s past with Gabriel and Andrew, and their prominent role here, I actually felt Kieran’s connection to them more strongly than to Rocco. There are definitely some nice moments for Kieran and Rocco, but the chemistry wasn’t quite there as much as I would have liked. A lot of the relationship development also happens off page, long distance, which also didn’t help my feelings.
Reading this book reminded me just how much I enjoy this series and the world Hawthorne has built. I had some issues with this one in terms of the supernatural element and the connection between Kieran and Rocco, but I still enjoyed this story a lot and continue to love the series. There are some interesting big pictures issues developing that we see addressed in this book, and I am eager to see where things go in future stories. So if you like contemporary with a paranormal twist, definitely check out this book and this series.