Monday, December 19, 2016

Release Day Review: Interlude: First Noel (The Executive Office #1.5) by Tal Bauer

interlude first noelTitle ~ Interlude: First Noel (The Executive Office #1.5)

Author ~ Tal Bauer

Publisher ~ NineStar Press

Published ~ 19th December 2016

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Christmas





Before Ethan returns to DC…
Before he becomes Jack’s first gentleman…
Jack and Ethan share their first Christmas together.

Step back to Jack and Ethan’s first Christmas season and the tentative early months of their relationship under the world’s spotlight.

Three months into Ethan’s transfer-in-exile in Des Moines, Iowa, the pressures of dating Jack, the president of the United States, start to wear Ethan down. His weeks are measured by the days he works in Iowa, chasing counterfeiters and financial crimes, and the weekends he manages to steal with Jack back in DC. The media stalks his every move, he’s isolated by his coworkers, and loneliness hammers at his heart.

In DC, Jack tries to piece together a global alliance to take down the Caliphate, while the world seems focused on tearing apart his personal life. Hostility surrounds him from all corners of the globe, but a surprise offer from President Sergey Puchkov may pave the way for a tentative alliance…and perhaps the beginning of a friendship.

As Ethan finds himself in the middle of an investigation that rubs too deeply against his soul and Jack tries to balance leading the free world and keeping his and Ethan’s relationship going, the two men must face what their love has become…and where they are heading together.


Freya’s Review

Once again, I am treated to a tale from the world of President Jack Spiers and his Secret Service Lover, Ethan Reichenbach.

As the title suggests, this story is set between book one (Enemies Of The StateEOTS) and book two (The Enemy Of My EnemyEOME) of the series. The minute his relationship with The President was made public, every part of the life Ethan had known hit the fan. While Washington gets its act together, Ethan is exiled to an out of the way posting, in Iowa. Though, it is Ethan’s choice – after all, he’d do anything for Jack. Unfortunately, for Ethan, the people there treat him like a pariah. Even the criminal cases he builds are handed over to others for execution because management believes lawyers will pull Ethan apart on the witness stand. Ethan is miserable and lonely, but he can’t let Jack see that.

All Ethan’s family – his secret service buddies – his support is in Washington. Iowa agents believe Ethan is on a free ride. Shepherd, the Iowa big cheese is vocal about it too. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Ethan investigates, puts cases together, does all the hard work only to have someone else’s name on the file. He also combats loneliness, scorn, prejudice, and the media circus. He’s about as popular as a hot fart in an elevator. From chapter one, I felt for Ethan and much of Interlude is from Ethan’s perspective.

In Washington, Jack has battles of his own, taking on the United Nations. Here is where there is a nice link up between Interlude and book two – The Russians. Damn, I love the Russian President, Puchkov, who has a huge role to play in EOME. His snark and his “I change my mind. I not like you, I not do business with you,” attitude was bloody brilliant. Jack also faces similar prejudices, only on a global scale. There are those who show their support and those who don’t.

There are several layers to this story. Primarily there’s Ethan/Jack. Then there’s – Ethan and his investigation, prejudice across the board, Jack and the UN, and the building political relationship between Jack and Puchkov. Oh, and the heat rating is somewhat scorching.

I found Interlude First Noel, to be more than just a wonderful Christmas treat.

Enemies Of The State sent an unexploded bomb into my heart and it’s wedged there. Jack and Ethan’s story will stay with me for years. There are some beautifully tender moments to some heart-wrenching ones. And there was a good balance between the boys’ relationship and their 24/7 day jobs. I got to read a good chunk of police work, and political negotiations, which are realistically written, highlighting  their share of sweeteners, arseholes, and good people.

The boys support each other from afar, but distance makes it difficult. Memories of Ethiopia haunt Jack. And despite loving Jack more than life itself, Ethan’s insecurities kick in making him wonder when Jack will want rid of him. Their choice to keep their relationship private also invites the media circus rumor mill to do their worst. This doesn’t help Ethan’s state of mind. But, when Jack and Ethan are together, the love they have comes through loud and clear, in fun, frolics, sexual and serious moments.

To get the full emotional ride, one needs to have read at least Enemies Of The State before reading this. Once done, Enemy Of My Enemy will blow your mind. In many ways, I wish Interlude First Noel, came out as book two.

I’ll explain.

You know when you read that book that is perfect for your mood AND lives up to expectation. That’s what I found with Interlude. After Enemies Of The State came out, I was blown away, then Enemy Of My Enemy came out, and it was brilliant, but quite the jump, both emotionally and story-wise. I wanted Jack and Ethan to have something in-between, some time for them. I’d read two books of full on emotion and action. Interlude is the perfect bridging book. The loneliness of being in the public eye comes out, but there’s also a lot of loving and tender moments. The Christmas loving in this story makes Enemy Of My Enemy more emotional and relevant. Now I can’t wait for the follow-up. Bravo.

Purchase Links




The Executive Office Series Reading Order

Enemies of the State (The Executive Office #1) by Tal Bauer

Amazon –>
Review –>

Enemy of My Enemy (The Executive Office #2) by Tal Bauer

Amazon –>
Review –>


Meet Tal Bauer

Tal Bauer writes LGBT fiction and romance, bringing together a career in law enforcement, trauma medicine, and international humanitarian and disaster relief work to create dynamic, strong characters, intriguing plots, and unique, exotic locations. Tal's stories weave together pulse-pounding adventure, cunning intrigue, and sweeping romance. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.



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