Author: SE Jakes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 4.5 stars
Type: Novel from Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Everyone knows that Prophet—former Navy SEAL, former CIA spook, full-time pain in the ass—works alone. But his boss at Extreme Escapes, Ltd. has just assigned Proph a new partner and a case haunted by ghosts from Proph’s past. Suddenly, he has to confront both head-on.
Tom Boudreaux—failed FBI agent, failed sheriff, full-time believer in bad luck—is wondering why the head of a private contracting firm has hunted him down to offer him a job. Still, he’s determined to succeed this time, despite being partnered with Prophet, EE’s most successful, lethal, and annoying operative, on a case that resurrects his own painful past.
Together, Prophet and Tom must find a way to take down killers in the dangerous world of underground cage matches while fighting their own dangerous attraction. When they find themselves caught in the crossfire, these two loners must trust each other and work together to escape their ghosts . . . or pay the price.
Review: Hot ex-military guys as mercenaries? Oh, yeah! I like em! There are several stories around, some better than others. This one has a unique and compelling group of characters with enough angst ridden histories to be interesting from beginning to end!
Prophet is strange. Former Navy SEAL, former CIA. He is restless, dangerous and damaged, with both physical and mental scars. When the story opens, he has casts on both arms which are fragile from an earlier injury. His arms were badly broken when he and his first partner were captured and tortured in an operation that went terribly wrong, an operation his partner didn’t return from. It haunts him; haunts him with some of the most disturbingly written flashbacks I have ever read. Prophet sees his old partner, John Morse, so vividly in his flashbacks that he almost seems real at times.
And then there is Tom. Tom Boudreaux. He left the FBI voluntarily, sort of, and became a deputy sheriff in Louisiana. After losing his bid to become Sheriff, he was recruited by Phil Butler, the head of Extreme Escapes, Ltd., as a mercenary. I like Tom. A lot. In an early scene, Tom has to put his whole body through the x-Ray scanner at the airport security check where Prophet sees that Tom has … piercings. Quite a lot of piercings. Intriguing. Um huh. Prophet was intrigued. Tom has other interesting attributes! He has premonitions. A gift, or a curse? And piercings!
Neither of these men want to work with a partner. Tom’s last three partners have been killed in the line of duty, something that Tom believes is his fault, his curse. He doesn’t want to be the man that brings down another partner. Prophet doesn’t want a partner because he doesn’t want the responsibility of having to cover someone else’s back. The loss of John Morse haunts him and he doesn’t want another person on his conscience. But their boss, Phil, has rules about his operatives always having partners, so they’re stuck with each other. For a while.
In their first case as partners Prophet and Tom are sent to check on an unusual death. A young man, a professional underground cage fighter was found beaten to death. That shouldn’t have happened unless he was engaged in the most horrendous of fights, a blood match. The worst part is that the young man who was killed is Christopher Morse, John Morse’s little brother.
Tom manages to get himself invited to participate in the next scheduled fight. Prophet doesn’t like it, but they have to have a way to infiltrate the fight rings if they have any chance of finding Christopher’s killers. Things get pretty interesting when Tom has to remove his piercings before the fight. They get even more interesting when Prophet has to help him put them back! Ahem. And then, these two men who don’t want partners, who would rather be alone, come together in some rowdy, rough sex scenes! It was hot! And they like each other!
I can’t say much more about the plot without giving up a lot of spoilers. I will say that the death of Christopher Morse is just the tip of the iceberg. Prophet and Tom will have to learn to trust and believe in each other to get out of this assignment alive.
There is a great cast of supporting characters in Prophet and Tom’s story. One of the best supporting characters is Cillian, Prophet’s neighbor. Cillian and Prophet’s IMs are entertaining enough to almost be a story by themselves and I really hope we see a lot more of him in future books.
This book doesn’t end neatly. There is no way of knowing how many books and stories it will take to unravel the tangled web of deceit and lies that Prophet and Tom have just started trying to solve in this first book. I don’t care! I loved this book and I am in for the long haul! So, hang around! I will be reading and reviewing book two, Long Time Gone, very soon.