A Lila Review: Enemy of My Enemy (The Executive Office #2) by Tal Bauer

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

enemy-of-my-enemy-by-tal-bauerFifteen years from now, an affair rocks the world.
Two men commit to their impossible love.
One general is determined to destroy them both.

President Jack Spiers and former Secret Service Agent Ethan Reichenbach throw caution to the wind, committing themselves publicly as the first out male lovers and partners to occupy the White House. Jack moves Ethan into the Residence, but as Ethan settles into his new role as first gentleman of the United States, not everyone is thrilled with their choices. When it seems like the world turns against them, Jack and Ethan must turn to each other, finding the strength together to press on.

In the chaos, Jack’s relationship with the Russian president, Sergey Puchkov, grows closer, and the two nations find themselves working almost as allies. But President Puchkov has secrets of his own, secrets that could rip everything apart. And Ethan steps back into the action with Lieutenant Adam Cooper, taking charge of a covert kill team tasked with hunting down General Madigan once and for all.

But Madigan is elusive, and his dangerous reach is long. He strikes at Jack and Ethan from the shadowy corners of the globe, unraveling their entire world. As the mad general draws new allies together, he is single-minded in his quest to destroy the only two men who ever beat him.

He will stop at nothing until Jack and Ethan are shattered men, worlds apart, and struggling to get back to one another.

And after that, Madigan’s true revenge begins…

Enemy of My Enemy will leave you with a book hangover and withdraws as soon as you reach the last sentence. It’s the type of book I’d have waited to read when all the installments were published. But, I’m too much of a fan to wait, and Tal’s delivery didn’t disappoint. It’s hard to review every part of this story without spoiling the book, so I’m going by segments.

Opening: Just like with Enemies of the State, it took me a minute to get used to the POV changes, but it was easier to follow in this case since we already knew most of the characters. I do appreciate the cast list at the beginning of the book. I did use it as a reference a couple of times.

Suspension of disbelief: One thing you need to be clear when reading this series is the need to put aside your presidential knowledge and the current timetable. I did read the story before Election Day, that’s not what I referring to. I’m talking about the names of current cabinet members, government officials, and foreign leaders. It’s almost like watching a contemporary political thriller.

Some of the events in the story, the main players, and the world reactions are far-fetched but relevant to the story and its alternate universe. If you want political correctness in all senses, this might not be your story. You have to read it with an open mind, submerge in it, and let the author guide you.

Characters: Jack & Ethan are once again the main couple in the story. We get to see them starting a life together in the White House, and responding to the country’s uncertainty due to their relationship. It doesn’t take long for Ethan to take a more active role than Jack’s partner, having something to do other than taking care of the First Gentleman’s office worked well for him. There are a lot of up and downs during the story, and I have to admit that some parts made me lose faith in them, but in the end, everything came back together.

Sergey & Sasha were a lovely surprise. I think I have a crush on Sergey and I wish Sasha becomes his boy. Sergey reminds me of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister. And Sasha deserves all the happiness he can get. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book to learn more about them and any possible future they might have.

Cooper & Prince Faisal have a heartbreaking, but mostly, complicated relationship. I like how much Faisal loves Cooper and how much he’s willing to risk because of it. They worked well together, and I love the little stories about their past–of how they fall in love. There’s more about them, but I’m not going to spoil the fun.

Madigan & Cook were the ever omnipresent villains. We get to see the extent of their plans and what they are willing to do to obtain it. Again, there’s a nice background tying them, and others, together. We haven’t seen the end of them, but I’m sure they will be an even bigger part of the next book.

The rest of the supporting characters had a purpose to the story. We get to see good and bad guys. Plus, one or two surprises. Everyone has a story that has an impact on the overall story arc. The amount of names can be overwhelming at times, but the cast list helps. The more you read, the more you will remember the characters and their roles. Even what they ate became significant.

Settings: Everything, from the White House to every single country visited by one of the characters is well-researched and described. The amount of detail is perfect to give the reader and sense of place, to get them engaged in the story. It’s almost a guide to the areas that played an important part of the book.

Writing & Pacing: The story does start slow. The author brings us back into the Executive Office world and lets us get reacquired with it. The book is long, with multiple points of view, and some short passages, but overall, everything works. The writing is fantastic and as readers, we can’t ask for a more detailed tale. Another thing, don’t try to read the book before bedtime, it’s impossible to put down unless you want to wake up in the middle of the night to read some more.

Ending: The story ends with a strong HFN for two of the three couples we followed through the story. I don’t consider it a cliffhanger, but some might. My only objection comes to a small information reveal that happened near the end. I guess it was done to connect the next book, but for me, it was an unnecessary tidbit. I wish it was part of the start of the next book and not the last twist in this one.

Natasha Snow did an excellent job showing all the couples taking part of this story. Having the White House and the Capitol included was an extra bonus. The cover matches the one from the previous book, and keeps the continuity of events.

Sale Links: NineStar | Amazon | ARe

Book Details: 

ebook, 444 pages
Published: October 24, 2016, by NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781911153962
Edition Language: English

Series: The Executive Office
Book #1: Enemies of the State
Book #2: Enemy of My Enemy


By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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