Review: Stephen’s Translator (Shadow Elite #0.5) by Jocelynn Drake

Rating: 4🌈

Stephen’s Translator, (Shadow Elite #0.5), is the story I wish I’d had been able to read before Charlie’s Doctor, the first in the series. This novella is the one that essentially sets off all the events that occur in the following books. Stephen’s Translator is the foundation story for the series because it gives us the basics for the mystery that launches everything else.

So yes, wish I’d had it earlier. Pout sorta over.

Stephen is the younger brother to Charlie Sands (the ex CIA, special forces commander of the Shadow Elite). We’ve seen/met him through phone calls when the team’s been on missions and needed the advice of a psychiatrist, albeit a pediatric one.

It great to flip the perspective and have Stephen as a fleshed out person. He does run perilously close to perfection as a character but a screw up here and there nicely balanced that out. Especially when he’s a hero in an adorable Meet Cute scenario at the beginning of the story.

That’s where we meet independent editor/translator and very cute Ehren Galanis is stood up by a ex at dinner and saved by a galant Stephen Sands.

From the cute, sweet, and normal, things quickly descend into chaos, danger, and mystery, enough that Stephen calls in for help in the form of members of the Shadow Elite.

Drake has a great sense of intrigue that meshes well with the characters and growing romance. It’s a definite instant or intuitive sense of belonging that I bought into. From the chemistry to the types of personalities, I could see the attraction.

I liked the group dynamics, we are the beginning here, as well as the complicated brother sibling history with hints towards Charlie’s pained past romance.

What was not as well developed was the disposal of the “big bad”, whose identity and reputation wasn’t clear to begin with. More a cardboard villain needed to fill a role than a actual person or threat. Disappointing.

Soren and his love, the assassin Alexei, make very brief appearances through a phone call. For their story, see Accidental Lover (Exit Strategy Book 5).

It ends with the team heading off to start book 1, Charlie’s Doctor, which now makes me want to start reading it all over again because I have a better understanding of what happened to bring them to that country.

Foundation is key!

So I’m highly recommending Stephen’s Translator (Shadow Elite #0.5), especially if you haven’t started the series yet to give it the foundation it deserves or if you have, for exactly the same reason. Never miss out on a chance to add more details to the series and characters you love.

Shadow Elite series:

✓ Stephen’s Translator #0.5

✓ Charlie’s Doctor #1

✓ Kairo’s Billionaire #2

◦ Edison’s Professor #3 – Feb 10, 2023

Goodreads › showStephen’s Translator (Shadow Elite #0.5) by Jocelynn Drake


When Meet Cute leads to Meet Trouble.

Ehren is the most adorable man Stephen has ever laid eyes on. A chance encounter leads to an amazing first date and the promise of even more fun.

But all those hopes crash down when someone breaks into Ehren’s apartment.

With dangerous stalkers and rumors of a secret treasure hounding Ehren, Stephen will do anything to keep him safe. Even call his crazy half-brother Charlie and his mercenary friends for help.

Oh God, please don’t let his strange, extended family destroy the best thing that’s ever happened to him…

Stephen’s Translator is a Shadow Elite series prequel and features embarrassing first meetings, a shrink who can’t follow his own advice, hot elevator kisses, secret treasure, meddling brothers, and a scorching romance. This novella was originally part of the YBBB and the content has not changed.

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.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: