Author ~ Evelise Archer
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 10th February 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
US Marshal Jaeger Tripp is assigned to the Federal Witness Protection Program. The hurt and destruction he’s seen—along with protecting criminals who are only cooperating with the authorities to keep themselves out of jail—have left him with a bleak and jaded view of both life and people. His current assignment is Wren O’Riley, a computer wizard who witnessed a high-profile cartel hit.
To Jaeger, Wren is the same as any other job. He must protect him long enough to get him to testify at trial, and his personal feelings have no place in his work and must be set aside. But that’s easier said than done. On the run and fighting for their lives, Jaeger and Wren can’t help but grow closer. And Jaeger can’t help seeing beyond Wren’s nerdy exterior to a man who might be just what Jaeger needs to settle his soul and capture his heart—if they survive long enough to get that chance.
Moriel has recruited his 4th Knight in this series. The wizard picks a person who has a grudge, promises them their dreams, and turns them into people who are the tools of death. Redemption comes when they forgive an enemy.
Jaeger is such a man.
This story starts with the same formula as the others. An incident where the character loses his life, followed by a flashback to the original and then a move to the reincarnated character and current story.
Jaeger is a US Marshall whose life experiences around criminals has left him efficient but jaded, with an “I don’t give a shit,” attitude. His sex life is much the same, having a fuck ‘em and leave ‘em philosophy. However, his latest mission turns that way of life on its head. Jaeger is tasked with keeping witness Wren O’Riley alive until the trial of his crime lord uncle. He is attracted to Wren, but he has a job to do and fucking his mark is not a good way to go. Also, Wren’s family is the prime example of everything Jaeger hates in the world, and to him, there are no innocent bystanders. On the other side of the coin, Wren is a man caught up in a cartel he had no choice in. When he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he witnessed the more brutal side of life and turned state’s evidence.
Having read all the others in the series, the outcome of these stories is a bit of a given. What is interesting about them is the journey to the ultimate conclusion.
Jaeger takes Wren to a cabin in the back of beyond. From the off, their liaisons are full of sarcasm and disdain. While in private, there are thoughts of confusion and lust. Despite their situation and Jaeger's authority, Wren is not one to sit and be submissive, and this gets Jaeger's attention even more.
Told in the third person, this story is well written. However, a couple of things got my goat. This is another story where the butch bloke has strong callused hands and fingers. With such creative authors, it would be nice to read a different description. Work hardened, perhaps, as I’m sure he’d have some rough spots. The bitten lip also makes an appearance. Nervousness can be shown in sooooo many other ways. I read these same descriptions far too frequently, and I’d like to put them in my room 101.
Gripes aside, it was interesting to read the mix of relationship and official situation. Their moods are all over the place, and their actions towards each other reflect this. One minute there’s hate, as Wren represents everything Jaeger despises, the next there is lust, babe references, and overwhelming feelings of protection. As such the emotional and heat rating is high.
What I loved most about this story was the drama/action side of things. As the story develops and secrets are aired, there are some expected plot twists and some not so expected. They are helped along with a dose of misdirection. And when the inevitable bullets start flying, the scenes are done very well. For me, I felt the best plot twist was saved ‘til last – so I’m keeping mum on that one, but I loved that it didn’t follow the formula of others in the series.
Jaeger is a crime hide and seek story, where emotions play hide and seek too. There are a series of ramrod views, hurt feelings, action, eroding walls, and a meeting of souls to find peace. Sometimes an enemy can make a person feel complete.
Gideon by Ashe Barker
Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.
Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.
As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.
Order of the Black Knights Book 2
Matthias by Alexis Duran
From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.
Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.
Order of the Black Knights Book 3
Vespar by Thianna Durston
Special-ops-turned-professional-killer Vespar McKauley is hired to take out Marcolm Rogers, son of his employer’s worst enemy. But Marc isn’t like any hit he’s ever done. He’s just twenty-one, he goes to a private university studying English Lit, and for fun, he plays computer games with his friends. No drugs, no partying, no crime. The day Vespar bumps into Marc and looks into his azure eyes, the world drops out from under him.
With his father in the Chicago crime syndicate, Marc and his mom have stayed out of the limelight, hiding from those who might harm them. He figures he’s safe at a small liberal arts university, all the way across the country. But midway through his senior year, he feels eyes on him and the shadows encroaching. Just as he’s about to run, he meets Vespar and experiences an instant attraction. When Vespar tells him he’s in danger and offers to protect him, Marc wants to believe him. But he’s been hunted before, and this time he isn’t sure he’ll get away. Especially when he finds out he is Vespar’s target.