Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
In this series the first four are a unit with a shared plot, the fifth is a wedding, the sixth is a misstep adventure (in my opinion), and this one is more related to the spin-off, Ward Security. In fact, if you haven’t tried the spin-off series, this might make you want to as it highlights all the characters.
While everyone in the group of friends is getting married and starting families, this book focuses on Rowe and Noah’s relationship and what they want. They would know if they actually talked about it honestly. It takes an old Army buddy and former lover of Noah’s showing up for them to acknowledge all the things they don’t know about each other, which is a major source of tension in the book. I found the balance between the personal interactions and the action sequences really well done. The love scenes between Noah and Rowe are always hot, and as they deepen their relationship they get hotter. Although Rowe stews in his own jealousy juice, Noah never does anything to make him feel that way. This is not really about JB, he is just a catalyst for moving them forward.
The other source of tension is intrigue with mercenaries and government agencies linked back to a traitor during their time in the service. JB shows up after the other two guys in their unit are killed. With someone gunning for Noah and JB, Rowe wants to get to the bottom of who is behind the murders and why. He doesn’t want to lose Noah like he lost Mel. There is only so much vigilantism most people can take before the good guys are the bad guys, so this uses creative ways to walk that line, until there is very clear evidence and they are on a sanctioned mission. With all the gun violence in the news lately, it seems wrong to have fun while people are shooting each other and blowing things up…and the authors do acknowledge that, but anyone familiar with the series will be used to the gallows humor and coping mechanisms involved. Now that Rowe and his people are on the CIA’s radar, I wonder how Ward Security will change. Will Rowe be allowed to keep turning down Black Ops work as he has since Mel’s death? I’m not sure having everything just go away moving forward is believable. He has also mooted expanding Ward Security, possibly on the West Coast to work security for Hollywood types. These seem like two very different moves forward in different directions so I suspect another spin-off series.
This is classic Drake and Elliot in top form. I do feel like this was a Ward Security book rather than an Unbreakable Bonds book, but does it matter? No. This is a fun, sexy action adventure with likeable characters and a brief check-in on old favorites.
The cover art by Stephen Drake of Design by Drake. It is eye catching and matches the mood of the book. I am not sure what it has to do with the story. There are grenades and some bombs, a lot of fire power, but not in largely populated downtown areas like this photo.
Book Details: Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published July 26th 2019
Series: Unbreakable Bonds