Friday, March 18, 2022

Hailey Turner - In the Blood

Captain Jamie Callahan is frustrated with his team constantly being at the mercy of the enemy in order to further the MDF’s goals. To make matters worse, his father’s political campaign is ramping up and Jamie’s every move is being watched by the media. He is acutely aware of all the eyes trained on him, his team, and Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan in particular. Meanwhile, Kyle would give anything to stay in the shadows, but he refuses to leave Jamie’s side, no matter the scrutiny. Staying out of the spotlight becomes impossible when their families are threatened and vital choices about their future together can no longer be ignored.
Staff Sergeant Alexei Dvorkin and Agent Sean Delaney are enjoying their time together as a couple when Sean’s past catches up with him. As Alpha Team’s long-running mission gets derailed in the worst way possible, Alexei discovers the enemy is playing for keeps, and neither he nor Sean are in any position to beat the odds and win the game. As for Sean, he’s worried that even if they make it out alive, Alexei may never forgive him for giving into the enemy’s demands.
Manipulation is the name of the game, but Jamie is done playing by everybody else’s rules. So is the rest of Alpha Team, because if there’s one thing Jamie’s team knows? It’s that they’re a family—and you don’t mess with family unless you want to get hurt.

Comment: This is the fourth full length story in the Metahuman Files series by Hailey Turner, following a team of military elements in a distant future. At that time, most of the military conflicts happen due to biological or chemical weapons, namely splice, a chemical which kills very quickly or, in a small number of people, causes life altering changes. Now the military also needs to worry about how these people might be used for selfish reasons, mostly if the enemies control those people...

In this novel, we keep following the Alpha team as they fight around the world to catch those causing havoc or helping those who need it. Jamie Callahan is the leader of the team but he also has his private life to worry about, especially because his father is a senator running for president and it is becoming too difficult to keep his identity as a meta human a secret. Adding to this is the fact he is in a relationship with a member of his team and that won't be accepted by the military hierarchy. 
Even worse, also the ongoing case which has been happening from the previous books and which is escalating into a huge mess, is causing them worries and when two members of the team are taken while an attack causes huge casualties, it seems the problems will never cease. But an united team never leaves a member behind and together they will make a difference... 

Once again, I was immensely entertained by a book in this series. I have become invested in the serious tone of the books, dealing with serious military issues in a paranormal reality but with some splashes of cute or funny dialogue/scenes here and there to make this a more realistic portrayal of the camaraderie between different people in the team. I also liked how the focus on romance is divided into two couples and we can see they are evolving as such, despite the problems faced.

The plot is complex and with a lot going on at the same time which might seem confusing but I actually liked having to pay attention to several things and the beauty of this in this specific case is that the author's style is appealing and direct and that makes it easier to be focused. Of course, the fact the characters have powers and care about each other, makes reading about the things they do a lot more interesting.

There are some situations happening in this book which will have to take the overall plot into another level in the next stories. Perhaps it won't be a development as wide ranged as one might want, but certainly something will have to happen and this tells me the author does have a plan on how to carry things into that and I'm looking for to see how this will affect the careers of some elements and how that might matter to the big picture of the series' goal.

The relationships depicted are still my favorite part, especially Sean and Alexei's. I've already said I like these two a lot more than Jamie and Kyle simply because of the intimate dynamics between them. When Jamie and Kyle are together in intimacy there's this sense of BDSM I personally could do without, meaning I have a lot more fun reading about Alexei's fun personality contrasting to Sean's more reserved one and how cute they look together.

Some situations in this book can be read as a little over the top graphic when it comes to violence. To be fair, nothing as dire as we would see in a thriller but it might feel it was unnecessary as I've seen some readers thought. To be very honest, I sort of skimmed the parts where it was obvious things were hard to go through and while this might sound like cheating, I don't mind and it seriously didn't affect my enjoyment with the rest of the book nor my intent on reading the others so... I suppose everyone has their triggers and methods to deal, so for some readers a few chapters might be too much.

I liked how this book ended and I'm curious to see what happened next for these characters, so I will definitely read the next stories as well.
Grade: 8/10


  1. Ooh, this series sounds good! I've been looking for more scifi romance.

    1. I liked all the books in the series so far. None have been 5 stars yet because of my own preferences but as a solid plot, this series was well done. I'll definitely finish this series and it's probably going to be one of those I'll feel both sad it's over but glad the author won't have wasted it with never ending stuff.