Review: Strength of His Heart (Enhanced World #4) by Victoria Sue

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Book four focuses on Vance who comes from a family of law enforcement, and his new partner Samuel who left working for the DEA and ATF to join the enhanced FBI unit. One of Samuel’s informants will only speak to him, so they are actually on loan to the joint task force when a bust goes wrong. As there are dead enhanced, the unit starts working the case. They are also working on finding enhanced who are going missing again.

As with previous books, there are a whole lot of coincidences here as the cases being worked overlap. There is a new drug being sold that uses enhanced blood, possibly for blood doping in athletes. As Vance goes undercover as bait, Sam gets kidnapped and his past meets his present. There are flashbacks from Sam throughout the book, showing what he needs to overcome in order to be a good partner and friend. I found the whole storyline with his mom is exploited for closure as well as to set Sam and Vance up with an instant family.

In the previous books, Vance seemed the luckiest of the enhanced with a supportive family, but here we’re shown his insecurities about his size and weight, along with the bullying his parents didn’t know about. Here he comes across as a gentle giant. It’s fun to watch Vance physically protect Sam, while Sam emotionally protects Vance. All of these books focus on the hurt/comfort trope in their own way. Samuel is jaded and ambitious, causing him to stop any sort of relationship with Vance from moving forward. Having said that, the romance between Vance and Sam didn’t work for me as well as the pairings in the first three books. I didn’t particularly like Sam, and I feel like Vance is too good to be true. Because I didn’t engage with them, even the sex scenes didn’t click for me; most of the time Sam seems to be using Vance and pushing him away, hurting him. The epilogue as their HEA is a step too soon and a complete turnaround on Sam’s part.

What continues to give this series its heart, is the children. While introducing new enhanced children to the cast, this book also brings back a few from the past. The continued discrimination against enhanced, is hard to read. The mistreatment of a transgendered enhanced child caused me an added bit of angst. The team continue to fight for the inclusion of enhanced in all aspects of society and for their protection against mistreatment and exploitation.

Vance’s brother Daniel, has taken a leave of absence from the Bureau after working on pedophilia cases. He can’t stomach it anymore. It’s not a surprise when he gets partnered with Eli. Eli has been on the periphery of all the stories–angry and distant. There have been clues his childhood was worse than the rest of the team, so I am expecting his book to be heartbreaking. This comes at a time when they have permission to expand to add more units based on the H.E.R.O model so we’ll have to see how the unit gets broken up for training new recruits. Overall this series is very well written and grabs you by the heart strings, so I will continue to read them.

The cover art by Jay Aheer is dark and eye catching.  Love it.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details: ebook, 214 pages

Published: December 11, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64405-115-3

Edition Language: English

Series: Enhanced World #4

via A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Strength of His Heart (Enhanced World #4) by Victoria Sue — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Review: Beneath This Mask by Victoria Sue, Enhanced World 3

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

I would rate this 4 stars.

This is the third book in the Enhanced series focusing on Gael and his new human regular partner Jake from book two. Gael can read or speak any language, is good with computers, and has skin that can act like armor. Jake was SWAT before transferring to ENu, the police unit for dealing with enhanced. Gael has managed to mostly avoid Jake because of training, but now there seems to be a serial killer targeting enhanced and they are going to the crime scenes. Gael was convinced they couldn’t work together and asked to switch partners so just as they start to bond, Gael is partnered with Drew while he is waiting to hear back about a new job, while Jake is partnered with Vance. Gael still moves in with Jake when he gets evicted. In fact poor Gael has a lot of emotional things going on in this book as he finds out what happen to his mom after she left.

Out on a call they meet Derrick, an enhanced that can only communicate through a tablet. Gael is one of the only people who Derrick communicates with. There are two murders having to do with Derrick and since his ability is electrical, Adam is let out of prison to help. Adam is then partnered with Eli.

As the investigation involving the murder of enhanced humans heats up, so does the relationship between Gael and Jake. But trust is fragile and this unit hasn’t quite gelled yet so there are many ways for outside influences to hurt them all. As the threads of the cases start to weave together, they realize too late how everything is connected. I don’t like to give too many spoilers, but as a warning this has torture scenes. I don’t know how the author will start book four, but I don’t see how the unit won’t have low moral and confidence after everything that happens. At the end, Detective Samuel Piper quits vice and joins the unit to partner with Vance.

So there are some hot sex scenes and an emotional connection between Gael and Jake, but some violence too that I didn’t like. I think I would have liked to see the emotional connection stronger first before a sexual element was added. What happens to Gael is heartbreaking and traumatic, but even in the end his trust of Jake seems too low to make this work–counseling needed all around. It was clear in books one and two that someone was leaking information about the team and this is finally resolved in a very damaging way. I would hope this draws the team closer together but it also has the potential to damage their relationships with other law enforcement agencies. I can’t wait for book four.

Buy From Dreamspinner Press

Buy From Amazon

Buy From Barnes and Noble

Victoria Sue’s Website

Review: Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue, Enhanced World 2

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

I would rate this 4 stars.

Book two of the series starts off with Finn, who was about to get some real tactical training, instead being pulled to go undercover at a group home as a 17 year old enhanced. Enhanced kids are going missing from foster homes, some ending up murdered. Talon is being over protective of Finn and they’re having a little friction working together and being lovers.

Undercover, Finn meets the enhanced kids at the home including Liam, whose dad used to work for Alan Swann from book one. He’s talking about creating a boarding school for enhanced, but it sounds like incarceration. Liam’s situation is heartbreaking. There are several enhanced kids introduced so if we keep seeing them in future books, they could be a series of their own as the next generation. Of course, Finn being Finn mananges to find trouble several times throughout the book. I like that he wants to save people, but he doesn’t really have the training and he keeps getting his ego hurt when people point that out. It’s been eight weeks and he can barely shoot a gun; he trained as an accountant. Part of the fun in this series is Finn geeking out over trivia and facts, so that continues.

One of the main issues is the ENu, who have the authority to sedate, transport, and forcibly detain an enhanced. It doesn’t matter whether that enhanced is a child or an adult. Most ENu seem to love their job and hate enhanced. When Jake Riley doesn’t fit that mold, he starts to have problems with his co-workers. I don’t want spoilers about the plot so this continues with the main mission, which is rescuing kids. The kids being murdered seems like a different case, so I expect that will continue on in book three. Since each enhanced is supposed to be partnered with a regular human, it’s not a suprise when Jake joins the team and I expect that partnership to be the focus of next book. Here, we finally get someone trained as law enforcement as former SWAT.

Here Talon’s backstory gets filled in when his mother arrives to try and bully him into politics. The pieces of how he met Gael and Vance are added to the puzzle. Talon’s abilities are evolving and he’s taken into custody after a dangerous incident. As usual, this affects the team and the politics involved in keeping the unit going come into play. There is a bit more of Eli seen in this book but him and Sawyer are the least fleshed out at this point. A little more levity and team bonding would go a long way here.

This book advances the plot lines quite a bit, but even though the sex scenes are hot, the romance between Finn and Talon is giving me whiplash. These guys need to work on their insecurities and actually talk to each other like mature adults. There is angst on both sides as we get the alternating POVs and I want to smack them both–Talon more often than Finn. In fact, it’s Finn who really cracks himself wide open in this book so I expect Talon to step up now or I am going to get irritated. I still love these guys though.

Buy From Dreamspinner Press

Buy From Barnes and Noble

Buy From Amazon

Author’s Website


Review: Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue, Enhanced World 1

Cover Art © 2016 AngstyG


I would rate this 4.25 stars.

Over thirty years ago, children in the U.S. started developing scars under their left eyes; then they developed abilitites. Many of the population fear them and their families may abandon them, turning them over to the State. They are often discriminated against by private businesses. The government has made protections so they are not completely discriminated against, but enhanced humans are not trusted to do any sort of government work.

Talen Valdez, is the enhanced chosen to help form a task force for the FBI. He handpicks his team of enhanced, but is told each enhanced must partner with a human. Finn Mayer has dreamed of joining the FBI and has worked hard to make it, but undiagnosed dyslexia has stopped him. When he is picked to partner with Talon on the new task force, he has four weeks to prove this can be successful, but there are powerful people who want it to fail, including the FBI Deputy Director. Gael, Sawyer, Vance, and Eli make up the rest of the unit. So, five days into the job, the unit is official: H.E.R.O. Human Enhanced Rescue Organization. This is a chance to win hearts and minds, to show the public they aren’t monsters.

One of the main problems with this is the complete lack of training that everyone has except for Talon and Vance. There is also a series of exciting and entertaining events, that are highly coincidental and improbable. If I am willing to suspend disbelief for superpowers, why not the rest? Well, it turns out I am, because I got attached to all the characters. This book focuses on Talon and Finn, but Gael and Vance are fleshed -out enough for me to like them. There is also Drew, an FBI agent assigned to the same office and helping out. I even liked Adam, Finn’s best friend from school. I like the characters and the world building, so I am willing to just go with it and have fun.

Obviously, there are going to be inter-agency issues, as not all law enforcement is happy about enhanced being included, especially with the EnU, or Enhanced Unit, the cops’ special unit that carry tranqs in case an enhanced needs sedating quickly. There are undoubtedly still parts of the government and scientific commumity that wants them all as lab rats. Then, there are the politics. Isaac Dakota is an enhanced rights activist with his own agenda. Judge Benedict Cryer is running for office, on an anti-enhanced platform; he wants them possibly removed from their homes even against their parents’ wishes. There are people who want to exploit them and find ways to make money such as Alan Swann, the CEO of Swann Industries.

At the heart of this series is the children. Children with enhanced marks are disappearing, being mistreated, being locked up and hurt. They wake up one morning and their whole life changes, usually for the worse. They are scared and sometimes tragedies happen as they don’t know how to control their new powers. So, in between melodramatic romance and hot sex between our alpha males in tactical gear, there is their mission to show the world enhanced deserve to be treated humanely and included in society. When children are shown love, educated well, and taken care of, even when they are different, society is a much better place.

Buy From Dreamspinner

Buy From Amazon

Buy From Barnes and Noble

Author’s Website