I've been looking forward to making it to Jesse and Phoebe's gut-wrenching, sexy and sweet story!
Phoebe Graham was devastated when her husband and love of her life Jamie was killed after being captured in Iraq. Raised as a covert spy, Phoebe is now in deep cover with McKay-Taggart Security, but she's gone soft. She genuinely likes the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect others, but shockingly, it's the one person who survived the hell that her husband died in, Jesse Murdoch, who makes her question her orders.
Something smells in Texas, and with every plot they uncover, the stench grows. Someone wants Jesse, the tool they tried to create with torture and mind games, and they're ready to stop at nothing to get him back.
YOU ONLY LOVE TWICE is the 8th book in the excellent Masters and Mercenaries
series and one I was really looking forward to. Jesse got totally fucked by the government after surviving as a POW for months with hostile jihadists. As positive of a person as he is, he had seriously skewed self confidence, but kept bouncing back with an unwavering devotion to Phoebe and his McKay-Taggart family.
The thing I had a hard time with was when he switched to Dom mode. It was like a personality transplant instead of a natural transition. And Phoebe's reactions to him also were so varied depending on the personality he took on. Was he the kicked puppy? The muscle but not the brain for missions? Was he the broken POW whose government screwed him? Was he the Dom in charge who exuded confidence and ego? I don't know, it changed constantly, and while Phoebe was always attracted to him, it wasn't until he put on his metaphorical leathers that she allowed herself to indulge.
Phoebe didn't act like an operative much either, most of the time she was either whining or crying or lamenting the fact that she was falling for someone who wasn't her hubby. My heart broke for what both had gone through, but the story felt kind of disingenuous for some reason. That said, it was overall well written, sexy and heart-wrenching, as witnessed by this poignant statement:
"I was just thinking about family."
"And it made you turn slightly green?" Simon laughed, slapping him on the shoulder. "Don't think about it. Just do it. There are no guarantees in life except that if you waste it, you'll regret it. Take it all – the good, the bad, the risky. This is yours and it's all you have. Having a family is the most frightening thing in the world if you really let yourself think about it. All that pain waiting out there if you lose one of them. And still, it's meaningless if you don't have them. We find our families, Jesse. Some of us are lucky to find them when we're born, but a lot of us have to look. So be grateful and welcome every single person who becomes family to you. Hold them close and yes, mourn them when they're gone, so at the end of all of this you know you had a life."
Bottom Line: Another sexy suspense filled offering from Ms. Blake!