Title: In the Shadows (Metahuman Files: Book Three)
Author: Hailey Turner
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 368 Pages
At a Glance: I think the thing I like best about the story (and the previous two) is the author’s careful way of immersing readers right into the heart of what’s going on. Her words evoke immediacy. Another winner.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Take a chance.
Staff Sergeant Alexei Dvorkin doesn’t trust easily, and he most certainly doesn’t trust spies. He’ll work with them if ordered to, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it. Except Agent Sean Delaney is proving to be the exception to the rule. There’s something about Sean that gets under Alexei’s skin and won’t let go. Alexei would be lying if he said he wasn’t interested in what lay beneath the agent’s mask. When they’re assigned together for a mission, Alexei vows to keep Sean safe all while trying to coax the hot agent into his bed.
Hold onto hope.
Agent Sean Delaney has spent his entire adult life living a lie for his country. When the MDF tasks him with finding evidence of criminal wrong-doing against the owner of a private military company, Sean knows exactly how to play the game to get what he wants. He just doesn’t know how to handle Alexei’s advances, nor his own attraction to the younger soldier. Being a spy is lonely work, and Sean knows he should keep his distance, but saying no to Alexei is impossible from the moment they first kiss.
In a world of lies, the truth can be deadly.
When the mission takes a turn for the worse, the only thing left to do is run. In the wake of betrayal, and in the path of danger, can their fragile trust survive the battle?
In the Shadows is a 104k word steamy gay sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending that skirts HEA. There is military violence within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, as well as explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18. This is a direct sequel to In the Ruins and reading the previous books in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.
Review: In the Shadows by Hailey Turner is the third in her Metahuman Files series. While her first two books focused on Jamie and Kyle, this story shifted protagonists, giving Alexei his focus. In the second installment we meet Alexei and fall in love with him, even though he has a hard exterior. But his broken English, Russian-accent, and fierce commitment to his team and brother make him the perfect person to root for.
Sean has not appeared in previous books and isn’t part of the core we’ve gotten to know, but Ms. Turner does a great job of getting the reader to love him real quick. Sean has a great backstory, with a family that he became estranged from back when he’d become a metahuman. As with most metas, families often don’t understand them, and they lead lives that would put their families at risk.
In the Shadows brings together Sean, (formerly of the CIA) and Alexei (a side character from the previous two books). Splice is still used experimentally by various governments in a quest to create their own metahumans who can serve their personal needs. In this case, the culprit comes as a shock and a betrayal to the Alpha Team.
I can’t tell more about what happens without ruining the story, so let’s get the recipe Ms. Turner used to create a wonderful read that kept me turning the pages. To begin, the action is tight and fast. Every chapter propels the story forward. The tension builds, never letting up until the very end.
The relationship between Sean and Alexei is amazing. There’s something very sexy about Alexei. He seems like the type that would be cold as ice, but in his heart he’s longing for love just like the rest of us. Sean is wonderfully human in the sense that he’s hidden behind his status as metahuman and allowed it to stand in the way, even break, his relationship with his family. Watching him struggle with and eventually face his family was satisfying and made him highly relatable.
And the sex, as in the first two books, set the pages on fire. Ms. Turner has a way of creating heat and eroticism between her characters that is highly arousing…and the relationship between Sean and Alexei is no exception. While each falls into a particular role in this story (and I would have loved to see them reverse roles—hint hint) the passion and desire is unmistakable. The scenes are drawn out in a good way, allowing the reader to fully immerse in the physical and mental aspects of the heat. Truly breathtaking work.
But, I think the thing I like best about the story (and the previous two) is the author’s careful way of immersing readers right into the heart of what’s going on. Her words evoke immediacy. We don’t simply watch the characters, we experience them. The creative ways she describes settings, interactions, motivations, everything, is brilliantly crafted, making the process of reading a joy simply by admiring the way the words come together to paint meaning. She is truly an artist as a writer, something I can say with confidence after reading three of her books.
Her fourth installment is releasing soon, so get out there and purchase In the Ruins, In the Wreckage, and finally this installment, In the Shadows, so you can catch up on the epic journey of the metahumans in her books.
You can buy In the Shadows here: