Title: In the Ruins (Metahuman Files: Book Two)
Author: Hailey Turner
Length: 461 Pages
At a Glance: I hope this isn’t the end of Jamie and Kyle’s journey. I can’t wait to get my hands on their next mission and see how their relationship continues to grow and unfold.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.
Dirty little secret.
Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.
Play the game to win.
Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.
Review: In the Ruins follows Jamie Callahan and Kyle Brannigan as they embark on a new mission. The action remains tight and fast, but the relationship between Jamie and Kyle is also a central focus. They are now established, not establishing, and therefore the aspects of Jamie’s family life prove to be more of an obstacle than they were in book one. Add to this the fact that Jamie’s father is running for President—living in the spotlight doesn’t mix well with pursuing a relationship that is forbidden due to fraternization rules, and provided fodder to the press.
The intensity of the sex was one of the things I loved about book one, In the Wreckage, which is not needed to enjoy this book as a standalone, but which you should most definitely purchase and read. Once again, the sex scenes are piping hot, filled with aggressive passion and fierce emotion. But there weren’t as many, which was perfectly fine since so much else was going on in the story.
Jamie’s family dynamic, in particular, added a dimension to our understanding of the two main love interests. Jamie loves his family, but like a good man should, will not allow allegiance to family trump his claim to true love. Nonetheless, having to live in secret from the military as well as keeping their relationship quiet and away from the press added an element of tension and angst. Ms. Turner handles this beautifully, using the amped dynamics to drive home the emotional commitment of these two men. You can’t help but love them together, and, despite their forced moments of distance, they honor and value their unquestioning devotion to each other.
And then there was the action. Splice is a chemical that acts sort of like Ebola, liquefying internal cells and killing within twenty-four hours. It makes an appearance once again, this time, the bomb-maker trying to show just how skillful he is so he can win a business connection with a powerful Russian crime organization. Jamie and Kyle join forces with the British counterpart to the American metahuman division, and together they go deep undercover to try to insinuate themselves into the heart of this crime circle.
As an awesome twist, Jamie and Kyle must pose as lovers, which gives them the green light to show affection publicly. This leads to some rather hilarious moments along with some heart-warming ones as well. Plus, Jamie is using his name, the name of the Senate majority leader, the name of the man who will likely be the republican candidate for president, to insert himself in the upper-crust world of high-crime. In this role we get to see him embrace his inner rich brat. This also leads to some highly entertaining interactions.
There were certain storylines which could have emerged in the book, but which did not. Namely, we get inside Alexei’s head and observe his thinking and viewpoint. I feel as if there is a whole other story which could feature this intriguing man as the main protagonist. I certainly hope so.
As for Jamie and Kyle, I hope this isn’t the end of their journey. I can’t wait to get my hands on their next mission and see how their relationship continues to grow and unfold.
You can buy In the Ruins here: