Enemies of the State: The Executive Office # 1 - Special Edition Kindle Edition
|Length: 444 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 18 - 18|
- Book 1 of 4 in The Executive Office (4 Book Series)
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It read like a movie. This could have been a movie. I would watch this movie. ~ *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time, Goodreads
About the Author
The world needs more gay heroes, gay love stories, and powerful womenkicking ass. I try to write those stories. With a background rangingfrom law enforcement to humanitarian aid, my stories are global in scope and with diverse characters in all roles. My goal is to help normalizegay characters as action heroes and to bring to life strong, dynamic,holistic women in all of my novels. I am a member of the Romance Writers of America.
Visit my website for more of your favoritecharacters, including secret excerpts & behind the scenes snippets at talbauerwrites.com
Find me on Facebook to stay up to date with everything Tal Bauer! facebook.com/talbauerauthor
- File size : 3006 KB
- Publication date : March 21, 2017
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 444 pages
- ASIN : B06XS53KYZ
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Publisher : Tal Bauer; 2nd edition (March 21, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #213,316 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The detail and information was impressive. not just for the Secret Service, it extended to every aspect. When the President and his vast entourage traveled out of country, the detail continued and painted a picture that takes you there with them.
The PoV starts with Ethan, but later on switches (at times) to Jack. The cast of characters was large, but not confusing. I liked a lot of them, especially Levi Daniels and Scott Collard, fellow agents and good friends that work on Ethan's team. Ethan is openly gay, and has lived his life dedicated to his career. He's very likable and when he realizes his feelings for Jack are pushing him to break rules that he never has before, he has a struggle with himself. He knows he should stay away, but he can't do it. Ethan isn't one for relationships, he's never been tempted to take things past a casual encounter, but he falls for Jack, and he falls hard. The attraction, desire, and love that he develops for Jack is at times heart wrenching. Jack lost his wife 15 years ago and he hasn't been in a relationship since. He's straight, or at least he's always identified that way, but he's drawn to Ethan and he keeps seeking Ethan out and wanting to do more with him.
The feelings that Jack and Ethan develop for each other can be felt so powerfully, they emanate and touch your heart. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to the author for giving us Ethan and Jack, and also for giving the kind of ending that ties things up and leaves you smiling and wanting more with these two. I would be going a little crazy if the ending had left me hanging at all.
I loved Ethan and Jack's story from start to finish. If you're at all interested in the premise then do not pass on buying it, you certainly won't regret it. I recommend making sure you have a good block of time you can devote to uninterrupted reading, since you're probably not going to want to put it down.
Here's hoping that the series gets extended so there's more with Ethan and Jack. <3
And then.... it started to go a bit awry, largely because Ethan and Jack started to behave in a way that lost my respect. This is a romance novel, so I was prepared to suspend disbelief and accept their crossing of all kinds of ethical boundaries, with Ethan risking his career by getting involved with a protectee, and Jack risking his Presidency by being inappropriately friendly with one of his protective detail. And I might have gone on suspending disbelief if they had maintained their dignity whilst dealing with their growing feelings for each other.
However they both have complete emotional meltdowns at different points in the book over the state of their relationship or because one is worried about the other. This occurs not just in private but also when they are surrounded by their colleagues and in the middle of crisis situations. Their relationship clearly affects their ability to do their jobs and especially in Jack's case I could not believe that any of the military or intelligence personnel around him would have any confidence in him as President. I liked that they were so emotionally attached to each other, but surely an experienced agent and a political veteran would be able to keep their feelings under control in public. Ethan is far too undisciplined for a Secret Service agent and Jack is far too politically naïve to have ever become the President.
The first part of the story is all told from Ethan's point of view and I could see why Jack appealed to him, but I didn't understand why Jack was so drawn to Ethan. Jack is unrealistically socially isolated, a widower with apparently no other family or friends, but apart from relaxing his Secret Service pokerface ever so slightly, Ethan doesn't do anything that would justify Jack pursuing his friendship so zealously. And it was hard to believe that Jack could be so oblivious to his growing feelings for Ethan and then decide so quickly that he was willing to try a relationship with a man when he had never considered such a thing before.
I did like the way they took their physical relationship slowly, which was one thing which did seem realistic. But once they are committed to a (secret) relationship they never make much attempt at discretion, and I couldn't believe that the whole White House machine didn't know about them.
To give this book its due, I enjoyed the suspense plot, which was well balanced with the romantic storyline. I did pick the surprise villain, but I liked the details of how the Secret Service operates, and the action scenes were well written. Yes, there were some convenient coincidences, but I was entertained by the unfolding developments and there were no places where the pace flagged. But every now and again, the melodramatic behaviour of the two main characters would break out again and annoy me. When describing their feelings, the author lapses into language that is somewhat purple at times, and I wished for bit of understatement. When it comes to tugging the reader's heartstrings, sometimes less is more. The ending is pure fantasy; even if in the future America can accept a gay President I doubt he would be able to get away with a complete inability to separate his personal life from the duties of his office.
This book has a lot of good things in it, and if your taste runs to love breaking all the rules and sweeping aside all pragmatic considerations then you'll probably love this story. I just hankered after a better balance between emotion and realism.
The political thriller plot is fast paced and exciting. Violent without being gory. So nerve wracking that I had to stop in the middle, in order to read the ending. I had to know how things were going to turn out.
The love story is about two men who shouldn't fall in love, but the universe doesn't give us a choice with whom we fall in love. It's a story of choices, where maybe there really aren't any choices. It's a beautiful tale of falling in love, with all of the butterflies in our stomachs, and the smiles when we hear our loved one's voice; of learning about each other and the excitement of being together. (After putting this book down, ready to fall asleep, my thoughts were full of the wonderful memories and feelings of new love.)
For me, the best fiction takes me away to a place where "this couldn't happen in real life" doesn't even cross my mind, because I want to believe; I am invested in the characters and the story and accept it fully. This novel swept me away completely. I have already purchased the rest of the series and am looking forward to savoring each one!
Part romance and sexy love story, part political thriller, this very well-written book delivers the best of both worlds!
Top reviews from other countries
His America is just the best, the land of the free, the land of boundless opportunity, with a system of government that is so good that all the countries of the world should be in awe of its processes. It follows of course that the rest of us poor ignorant non-Americans should naturally bow down to the supreme commander of the supreme state. Now it may be true that some politicians in some countries do just that, but for the general populations the reaction is entirely different.
The centre and southern states of America are third world countries in all but name, as are the social systems, health and education, in the whole country. The political infrastructure is riddled with corruption and full of low class, self-serving senators. Not the features that are prerequisites of a first world state. Add to this that the current President is an eye-wateringly ignorant lout who is a laughing stock in most of the world, and the reality collides with this book causing an almighty disjunction.
I can only end by saying that the author should get out more and take off his rose tinted all-American glasses.
This is an edge-of-your-seat political thriller but it’s also a sort of friends to lovers/GFY romance, although it never feels tropey in the least. Jack has that whole sexy, geeky, bespectacled thing going on, while Ethan is the big, brawny ex Special Forces guy – there is no way that is not a hot combo! Ethan, who is gay and has no interest in long-term relationships, finds himself increasingly drawn to the new president even though it’s against every rule in the book for him to befriend his protectee. Jack on the other hand is straight and a widower 15 years who feels lonely and isolated in his new and high-powered position. The weeks pass and the men very slowly become friends which later leads to attraction. And although Jack was straight, I loved that he didn’t get too hung up on the fact he was falling for a man, yeah of course their was some angst and a little soul-searching regarding this but overall I liked that he accepted he was happy he’d found love again, and that it just happened to be with a man. One of my peeves in the GFY genre is when the sex is rushed and the originally straight guy is seemingly perfect and suddenly very knowledgeable about everything – well this one is all about the slow build up that’s for sure. And although this couple are undeniably hot together, the sex is definitely not gratuitous and doesn’t overwhelm the story at all. Their intimate scenes are more sweet and loving and about learning and trust and probably therefore much more realistic actually. But it was the teasing and playful banter, the texts, the flirting, the complete trust that Jack had in Ethan to stay up all night and discuss foreign politics with him, and not least the off the chain ST that had me grinning like a fool throughout this tale. This was a proper old-school, swoon-worthy romance imo (so hard to find), but never to the point of being sickly sweet, which is another huge peeve of mine.
It’s so hard to go into any real detail about the plot without spoiling it for others, but I will say that this one had it all – guns, bombs, high-speed chases, espionage to name but a few, and as for the reveal of the villain/s? well I certainly didn’t guess outright, in fact only near the very end of the book before realisation struck and even then my heart was in my throat with anticipation of the outcome. And as far as showdowns go? gobsmacking….and read more like a Hollywood blockbuster! And although the ending was entirely satisfying with Jack and Ethan achieving their well-deserved (at the very least) HFN, certain situations were left wide open to further explore. That, coupled with there being so many intriguing secondary characters who I’d kill to hear more from – not least Cooper and Faisal? oh yeah, there’s history there – that I feel this book bears all the signs of the start of a new series (yeah, that was a hint). This is storytelling at its finest, miss it at your peril!
Well, Tal Bauer gave me everything I wanted and then some. This book is explosive, it's thrilling, it's emotional, it's heart breaking, it's tense, it's passionate, it's sexy, it's about two men in their 40s falling in love unexpectedly with the glare of the world upon them.
Jack and Ethan were beautifully crafted, for all he's a Republican President (and that was a bit weird), Jack is just the kind of guy you'd want in the White House top job and Ethan, oh how much do I want my own Ethan?! Strong, reliable, dedicated, determined, unassailable, loyal.
I actually did guess fairly early on who the mole, the bad guy on the inside, was going to be but it didn't stop me from hoping throughout that I'd be wrong and the President wouldn't be betrayed.
The action and attention to detail is superb, the spy and thriller elements worthy of a book on their own without the added bonus of the experience of an openly gay secret service agent falling for a man who'd always considered himself straight. I loved that Jack was clear he was in love with the person and the fact Ethan was a man didn't really register for him. They were friends first.
There's also a whole host of brilliantly drawn side characters and I can't be the only one wanting to know more about the relationship between the mysterious Marine and the Saudi intelligence head?
Never boring, this book kept me up until 3am reading it. It just is that good.