Title: Enemy Within
Series: The Executive Office, Book 3
Author: Tal Bauer
Release Date: 3/28/2017
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense
The White House, infiltrated.
The president, running for his life.
A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground.
When everything falls apart, who do you trust?
President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach.
Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together.
Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life.
As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks.
Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?
If you haven’t read this series, here’s the first clue: no random order reading – go grab Enemies of the State and start from there. It’s a good thing that I read the first two installments just weeks before prior to starting Enemy Within; making it easier to ease back into the nuance of the story. Jack and Ethan’s shot at trying to stop Madigan had them crossing cold Siberia and plunged into Arctic Sea. And that’s set the atmosphere throughout reading for me: friggin’ cold that I hope I’d never experience! 🙂
Enemy Within is an action-packed, intense and emotional thriller. Maybe a tad melodramatic on the romantic front (which flipping between three main couples: the presidents Jack/Ethan and Sergei/Sasha, and prince Faisal/Adam), but I still applaud the author for the well written suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat figuring out the mole(s) that could fail the whole mission.
Like the previous two books, there’s still a couple of backroom politics scene here. While I’m not too fond of those, the way the author penned those pages were tolerable for me. The dynamic shift and change from ally to enemy or vice versa were quite rapid, making for an interesting ever-changing boundaries of (government or military) force.
This book also touched on the sensitive issue of Islam’s view on homosexuality which I found interesting. Coming from a country with a majority muslim population, this is not something I often found here, and I liked the author’s approach on this issue.
Having said that, I did have a bit issue on a couple of stuff. With so many characters POVs in the story, I feel a certain lack of in-depth to Chinese force whereas their intelligence actually change the force map and turned the tide. Another thing was, while most of the main players have found some sort of closure and ready to start a new life, I couldn’t help feel the author left a bunch of open-ended details; that somehow had me wondering if it’s intentionally done in case – maybe – for when he’d feel the nudge to write spin-off or follow-up story from this universe? One can only hope… 😉
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Meet the Author
Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.
Pronouns: They/them & he/him