Review by Annie: Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer

Blurb:

A rogue Black Ops unit with the president in their crosshairs.

A Secret Service agent who will break every rule.

A president falling for the one person he shouldn’t—a man.

Newly elected President Jack Spiers’s presidency is rocked from the very beginning, and he’s working furiously to keep the world from falling apart. 29104594Between terrorism attacks ripping apart Europe, Russia’s constant posturing and aggression, and the quagmire of the Middle East, Jack is struggling to keep his campaign promise—to work toward a better, safer world.

For Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach, Jack is just another president, the third in twelve years. With Jack’s election, he’s been promoted, and now he’s running the presidential detail, which puts him side by side with Jack daily. He’s expecting another stuffed suit and an arrogant DC politician, but Jack shocks him with his humor and humanity.

There are rules against a Secret Service agent and one of their protectees developing a friendship—big rules. Besides, Jack is straight as a ruler, and a widower, and Ethan has always avoided falling for straight men. Ethan keeps his distance, but Jack draws him in, like gas to a naked flame, and it’s a lure he isn’t strong enough to turn away from.

As the two men collide, rules are shattered and the world teeters on the verge of war, and a rogue Black Ops unit bent on destruction sets Jack in their deadly crosshairs. Ethan must put everything on the line in order to save the man he’s come to love, Jack’s presidency, and the world.

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annie

Enemies of the State sucked me right in. This is one of those books that are really hard to put down because you want to know what happens. You *need* to know what happens. And what a ride it is!

There is not one character in this book that felt flat or like they didn’t do anything for the story. There are so many different strings Tal Bauer handles with ease. And she doesn’t pull any punches. Not in this one (but also not in the sequel). This one is more relationship-focused than the second one. And I loved that slow development of the friendship which then evolved into love. The chemistry, heir banter, joking and flirting was one of my favourite things about this book. Especially how Ethan (at first) refused to call Jack by his first name.

Enemies of the State features one of the best written demi characters I’ve ever read. I loved how that was portrayed. I could probably write a love letter about this book (and the other books in the series) because they are brilliant and the politics had me on the edge of my seat!

I had seen it mentioned in other reviews that this book is very political and I do agree with that, however I didn’t feel like it was too much. The presidents job is a political one, so of course it’s going to be a political book. Especially since Enemies of the State is also build-up for the second book, Enemy of my Enemy.

Enemies of the State is fast paced and very well written however there is one thing took away from my overall enjoyment of this book.

What bothered me immensely was the use of “refugee” when it’s clear that the author is talking about a terrorist.

“French police took down a refugee that had homemade dynamite strapped to his chest.”

“… that many of the refugees who have swarmed into Europe over the past decade have in fact been trained Islamic Caliphate fighters, waiting for a chance to strike.”

I read a couple of reviews after finishing this and I was surprised that no one caught this or mentioned it. It’s mostly glowing 5 stars reviews. And I understand those, because apart from this Enemies of the State was that great and I do really like it. But I can’t rate this 5 stars when it calls refugees terrorist.

It’s otherwise SO well-written and could have been changed so easily; it really surprised me to see it in this book. Language like this is toxic and a refugee is not a terrorist.
I’m torn about the rating, because on the one hand we have this refugee = terrorist thing. On the other hand it’s a fast paced, action filled book with amazing characters that won’t let you go until you’ve read the last page. I thought about dnf-ing it and I’m happy I didn’t, but it makes it hard to decide on a rating. If I look at the whole of it it’s probably a four star read.

Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Asexual (+ace-spec) Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Nine Star Press Review Tag: Celebrity / Famous Person Tag: Part of a series Tag: Politics

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