A woman on a mission
Phoebe Graham is a specialist in deep cover espionage, infiltrating the enemy, observing their practices, and when necessary eliminating the threat. Her latest assignment is McKay-Taggart Security Services, staffed with former military and intelligence operatives. They routinely perform clandestine operations all over the world but it isn’t until Jesse Murdoch joins the team that her radar starts spinning. Unfortunately so does her head. He’s gorgeous and sweet and her instincts tell her to trust him but she’s been burned before, so he’ll stay where he belongs—squarely in her sights.
A man on the run
Since the moment his Army unit was captured by jihadists, Jesse’s life has been a nightmare. Forced to watch as those monsters tortured and killed his friends and the woman he loved, something inside him snapped. When he’s finally rescued, everyone has the same question—why did he alone survive? Clouded in accusations and haunted by the faces of those he failed, Jesse struggles in civilian life until McKay-Taggart takes him in. Spending time with Phoebe, the shy and beautiful accountant, makes him feel human for the first time in forever. If someone so innocent and sweet could accept him, maybe he could truly be redeemed.
A love they never expected
When Phoebe receives the order to eliminate Jesse, she must choose between the job she’s dedicated her life to and the man who’s stolen her heart. Choosing Jesse would mean abandoning everything she believes in, and it might mean sharing his fate because a shadowy killer is dedicated to finishing the job started in Iraq.
He’d fought and fought to live and now he was going to stand here and let her do her worst.
He didn’t want to live in a world where she betrayed him. He simply didn’t.
I’ve been a huge fan of this series since the very first book. Now eight books in and it’s still going strong. I think this may have been my favorite of the Masters and Mercenaries. I’ve been curious about Jesse’s story since we first meet him earlier in the series. He’s always been such a broken and tortured soul, that you couldn’t help but crave a HEA for him. This is a man that’s truly known suffering and needed a HEA that was truly worthy of the type of person he is, and boy did Lexi Blake deliver on that. She really gave it justice with this book.
You played me. You played me hard and well. You had me panting after you and then you pointed a bullet straight at my fucking heart. Do you see the irony, Phoebe? I was falling for you and you were there to kill me.
Phoebe has always been the super shy, clumsy and unassuming accountant for Taggart McKay. But looks can be deceiving and it her case, deadly. Having lost the love of her life in a mission gone terribly wrong, Phoebe is determined to bring those responsible for his death to justice…even if it means going deep undercover.
Jesse has been half in love with the quiet and shy Phoebe, but when he finds out who she really is, his world gets flipped. He wants her heart, but her heart belongs to a dead man.
This is probably the most emotional book in the series, or at least it was for me. Having tidbits of Jesse’s problems in the earlier books, you know that his problems run deep. He lives a waking nightmare with the PTSD and the memories of a voice that tortured and almost broke him. He finally thought he found his redemption when he met Phoebe, but he knows that he can never have her.
Every second of every day I want you to remember this…
Remember every second that you could have had a man who worshipped you with his body and soul.”
I really don’t want to give too much away, because this is simply a book you need to experience for yourself without any major details. But I will say that I absolutely loved it. There is nothing better than a kick ass heroine for me, and Phoebe was definitely that. But she also had a broken side to her that balanced out the tough operative persona. She can handle herself in the field, but her soul was broken with the death of her husband that she adored. I appreciated that Lexi Blake never diminished her love for her husband and yet made the reader truly see what her connection to Jesse was and make it real. It didn’t feel like settling, which I was afraid of. The connection between them was tangible…and not to mention super sexy
You won’t be quiet when I fuck you. You’ll give them a show. You’ll let them know just how good it feels to be fucked by me and I will make sure you scream. Don’t even think you can hold out on me. I won’t let it happen. I’ll fuck you so long and so hard, you’ll give me everything I want.
My other concern was how Jesse would come off as a Dom. He’s such a tortured soul that I was afraid he may come off as almost too broken, but that never happened. When he finally got his shit together, the man was truly a top. But he always maintained this vulnerable edge to him which was so incredibly endearing that you couldn’t help but completely fall for him.
I really wouldn’t recommend reading this book as a standalone as there is a story ARC that continues throughout the series. While you wouldn’t necessarily feel lost, you would appreciate this story and all secondary characters and the MCs that much more if you read it in order. Of course it wouldn’t be a Masters and Mercenaries book without Ian and his banter…
This is really the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Well, besides the whole wife-coming-back-from-the-dead and having a baby and shit, but other than that, getting to punch Ten at random is really the best.”
You also finally get a true peak into the enigma that is Tennessee Smith, and you just KNOW that his book is bound to be a fantastic one.
I don’t think there was anything about this book that I didn’t love. It was action-packed, emotional, filled with heart-pounding suspense and oh so sexy. I adored Phoebe and Jesse together. Their story will equal parts break your heart and absolutely melt it.
I think what I’ve figured out is that we don’t have a limited amount of love. It doesn’t get all used up and then there’s nothing left. We choose. We choose who we love and how we love, and how we love, and there is nothing between two consenting adults that brings them connection and pleasure and joy that’s wrong. This is ours, Phoebe.
Of course I also loved all the secondary characters (including some new faces). Did I already mention Ian and Charlie?
Charlie, that’s not a foot. It’s a horn. We’re having a demon. I know it.”
She rolled her pretty eyes and sighed. “They’re your girls so they’re probably slightly demonic.”
I can’t wait to get my hands on Ten’s book next and hopefully Ian’s brothers will be getting theirs soon after. If you like sexy espionage and BDSM all in one action packed book, this series is a definite must read!