ARC Review by Annie: Enemy Within by Tal Bauer

34385243Blurb:

The White House, infiltrated.
The president, running for his life.
A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground.

When everything falls apart, who do you trust?

President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach.

Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together.

Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life.

As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks.

Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?

Goodreads / Amazon
Release Date: March 28th
Annies Review of Enemy of the State is >here<

annie

An ARC of this was provided by the author

To say I had high expectations for this one would be the understatement of the year. Enemy Within was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint in the least. 5 stars really are not enough to rate this one. I also have no idea how to review this because the story is so complex and intricate – there’s no way I can do it justice.

The whole time I was reading I was wishing I could share this with everyone already and not being able to really talk about it was killing me. I’ve flailed around (mostly in my DM’s on twitter to Jude and Laura [not sorry! :P] and on Goodreads with other reviewers) because I just couldn’t not talk about it. I’d advise you to not start this if you have other plans because it is almost impossible to put down. The story is all-consuming. It took over everything and was all I could think about until I had read the last page – bed time be damned!

Enemy Within takes up right where Enemy of my Enemy left of and from the beginning the reader is immediately back in the action, following the characters along on the wild ride to save the world from the madman Madigan.
Just like Enemy of my Enemy this book is told out of different point of views to ultimately build a heart stopping, thrilling story. And there’s not one narrator I felt was redundant. You really need them all to get the whole story.
Each of the POV’s will have you on the edge of your seat; with mostly fast paced chapters alternating with slower ones, there’s only little reprieve for the reader.

I honestly can’t say anything about the plot without spoiling things for you. There’s so much going on in Enemy Within; in the whole trilogy to be honest. Tal Bauer skillfully handles all of these different story-lines and weaves them together, picking up things that seemed to be unresolved in a previous book in order to clear them up. How they managed that I have no idea, but somehow they did and I’m in awe.
Each character is complex with their own motivation driving them.
I kind of wish someone would make a movie out of the trilogy, but at the same time I want every filmmaker to stay FAR away from this because they’ll only fuck it up. The world Bauer created is so rich and vibrant. I know there’s no way anyone could ever do this justice.

I was spellbound by Sasha’s journey to find the rest of his team – I sometimes really couldn’t breathe because it was just so thrilling and electrifying. I almost died from the tensions when some of the team were separated. I loved finally finding out who the moles were; this was definitely one of the most exciting parts of Enemy Within, because with a few exceptions, I was sure some characters weren’t moles. And even some of them Bauer made me doubt. One or two I suspected but others were surprising. And I loved it!

Usually I never peek at the end of a book to see how it ends, who survives etc. but Enemy Within had me seriously considering to just fuck it and spoil myself. Just so I could maybe steel myself for what was to come.

In between all the action Bauer manages to insert tender moments, which I’m honestly thankful for, because my heart needed a break. I loved all the action and mystery but goddamn those scenes were much-needed. It was beautiful to see each of the love stories unfolding on page. Each of them were so beautiful. There’s two scenes I particular treasure, but can’t share because of spoilers. I think though that if you love Ethan and Jack as much as I do, those will make you tear up (happy tears for a change!) too.

I pretty much cried straight through the last 20% of the book. Partly maybe because I knew this would be the end of the Executive Office series and I didn’t want to say goodbye to all those characters who had become so dear to me. But also because of the events on page. Without spoiling I’ll only say that I couldn’t have wished for a better ending and I loved that we got a bit more closure for the characters at the end.

Enemy Within is one is fast-paced, thrilling ride, just like the previous two books – though this book stopped for nothing, torturing my poor heart, squeezing and stabbing it until the very end.
Bauer has the talent to allow those reading to immerse themselves in the atmosphere, soak it all up and forget about the world around them.
I will most definitely be looking for more from this author because HOLY FUCKING SHIT they can write one bloody awesome story. (I’m kinda proud this is the first time I swore in this review because a lot of what happened in Enemy Within can only be described with lots of flailing and a couple of swear words. xD) This series will definitely stay with me for a long time.

I hope that maybe one day we’ll get a bit more of Ethan and Jack. Maybe as family? Because I definitely could see them as dads. Plus I think they deserve some happy times after what they’ve been through. 😉 And if there’ll be more, then I’ll definitely “Be with them all the way.”

reader-break

The Executive Office series:

 34664699 33002449 32065756

About the Author:

Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. He is happily married and lives with his husband and their Basset Hound in Texas. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.

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Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Asexual (+ace-spec) Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Review self published Tag: Part of a series Tag: Politics

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