**Spoiler Free Series Review**
As I sit here at my kitchen counter trying to decide what the fuck to say about this series I decide to scroll into Amazon for a look around. In doing so, I see authors like David Baldacci, Ayn Rand, and of course, Tom Clancy. And I wonder, what the hell? Why isn’t this series at the top?
I suppose if you think about it, becoming the next John Grisham is about like becoming the next Beyonce or the next Leonardo DiCaprio. There are thousands if not millions of talented people in this world. And those that make it big just happen to win the lottery. They make that one connection that leads them to the next big thing.
Last year I completed my read of the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. The first book in this series was written in a matter of months by an unknown 25 year old author in a room over his parent’s garage. And while this brilliant series got over 120 rejections, once it was picked up, it became a NY Times best seller and is soon to be made into a motion picture. I love this series and if you have not picked it up…do it. It is truly unbelievable and like Tal’s series, I was a mess of emotions throughout the entire third book. So what is it that makes one author a household name?
Part of it no doubt is luck of the draw, and part of it I have to believe is getting recognized by that one person that can make a difference. A YouTube video goes viral. Why? There are millions out there with very few hits and it is that one in a million that spreads like wildfire. And I want this series by Tal Bauer to spread like wildfire...
Because I want everyone to read this…I want everyone to know the brilliance that is created here and to see what I see. See the magic that forms on the page and experience the heart stopping moments I did. To be left in such a state they can barely go on.
Because dammit…EVERYONE should look like this when they are at work!!!
And I am not going to lie...several times over the last few weeks we (thanks to my fellow buddy-reader, Marco) seriously contemplated that Tom Clancy had not died at all but just became the author we know as Tal Bauer. I have no idea if Tal even likes Clancy’s work and honestly I have only read one. But dammit…Clancy was a brilliant storyteller and his accolades included such statements as the following:
"He constantly taps the current world situation for its imminent dangers and spins them into an engrossing tale." —The New York Times Book Review
"Heart-stopping action. . . entertaining and eminently topical." —The Washington Post
"Highly entertaining" —The Wall Street Journal
And every single one of these comments could equally be attributed to Tal Bauer’s series. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
The Executive Order series is absolutely mesmerizing and the amount of research that went into developing this series is quite remarkable. Tal weaved a tale so applicable to today’s political situation that it was quite scary at times. And yet the story told here was so completely different. From LGBT rights, the Presidency, ties to Russia, to moles and spies infiltrating our political system, to even such things as cloning and the modernization of Islam. And while I would probably characterize this first and foremost as a political and military drama, the romance is so well done and heartbreakingly accurate that the love between these characters just melds into this story beautifully. We all hope and strive for inclusion, for a world when it doesn’t matter who we love. To look upon a person in love and see that their life is full because of this other person. To accept that love, to encourage that love and to help that love succeed is something we as humans should cherish and want to see. And as the series progresses, the friendships that are formed and forged are strong because of love. Love binds us all.
While the entire series is captivating with situations that leave you catching your breath and constantly on guard wondering who will stab you in the back next…nothing beats this third installment. I swear I was a mess for the better part of this book and left staggering around looking for a place to lie down between chapters. Fucking hell man.
Yeah…I might have fangirled a bit here with my thoughts and honestly this review may make absolutely zero sense. I posted really nothing about this story, these characters and posted no quotes…because you just need to read it!!!
And if you finish this series and don’t honestly wish that you could elect Jack Spiers right now, then that is really unfortunate because you have clearly missed the reasons why. I would be so damn proud to call Jack Spiers MY President of the United States. Maybe one day.
As a side note, I am also making my way through the free bytes on Tal Bauer’s website and what a treat these are. That there is hope for future installments makes me extremely happy. Much love for all of these beautiful characters and a special shout out to Captain Anderson…gaaahhh I loved this man too and desperately want a snip-it of him post Enemy Within. : )
And Tal…thank you for this unbelievable ride and for a series that lands on my 6 star shelf. Cheers to you!
And a special thanks to Elsbeth and Marco...what an amazing BR this one has been.
To say that I have pushed my limit on this book is putting it mild. While the other two books in this series deal with victims of rape and physical abuse, this one does so from the eyes of a beloved character and it was painful. This one is not to be taken lightly and while I knew briefly what was coming, I was not all together prepared for some of these scenes and the horrific terror our character endured.
This most definitely was the darkest of the three books so far in this series and if it was not for the love between Ben and Gavin, I am not sure Elsbeth and I would have made it through this book. But forge ahead we did and what an outcome it was.
This really was quite remarkable and I am so happy to have made this journey.
I was stronger with Ben. Always had been. There would always be people who didn’t understand it, either the idea of two men together, or the power exchange we subscribed to. I didn’t care what anyone else thought. The plain truth was I was a better person with him by my side. I could endure more, had more to give back, and had more confidence in myself than ever before.
“I love you,” I said, mouthing the edge of his jaw. “You’re my anchor. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“I love you, too. And you don’t have to find out. Because I’ve got your back, Gavin. Always.”
So many characters I want to see explored further with more stories to be told and I can only hope one day we will get them. Until then, I will love on these a little longer.
Thank you Elsbeth, for being ahead of me on this and holding my hand.
It has been nearly a week since I finished this one and to say that I may have had a meltdown during the first 30% of this book would be putting things rather mild.
I was destroyed. And not so much about what did or did not happen but what it did to these men. I am tearing up just writing this...even now a week later.
The love between these two men is so strong and yet they fail to realize at times that they physically cannot live without the other. So damage and destruction they attempt and when they fall apart...I fall apart.
...it was this last confession that undid him. As the words eased out on the exquisite delight of Nikolas once more pulling out and then opening him up and entering again, Ben’s throat seized up, a deep sob emerged, and before he could stop himself, he flung his arms across his face for privacy, and the pleasure was buried under a desolate confusion at who he was.
Nikolas faltered. Ben felt him withdraw, but then he took him in another way. Nikolas’s arms came around him, dragging him into a tight spoon, just holding him as the humiliating sobs wracked his body. He didn’t even know what he was crying for. Once he’d started, he was distraught for that—for the fact that he was so unlike himself, so unmanned by everything in his life that he didn’t know who he had become any more.
It was only when he heard an agonised whisper, “Please don’t, Ben, you’re killing me,” that he turned, forcing himself to calmness, to find Nikolas’s stressed and worn face creased with anguish.
Nikolas turned his gaze back from the darkness in the courtyard, which he’d been studying with such intense concentration, and Ben saw the tracks of tears on his cheeks.
It wasn’t the first time he’d seen Nikolas cry. But in over ten years, he could count the number of times on the fingers of one hand. He rose swiftly and embraced him, wrapping his arms around Nikolas’s battered head tightly, pressing it to his shirt. He pushed his own face into the greying blond hair, and with the familiar smell of vanilla and coconut, he came home.
Fucking hell. Just kill me now.
Now having said all that, I will say this is likely one of my favorite in the series so far. Nik continues to puzzle me at times and it is hard to totally put your hands on what all makes up this man and ultimately I have decided that this is the point. Because at times even Ben is puzzled as well. And even with that said, no matter what...you love him. Ben loves him and will continue to do whatever has to be done for his Nik.
“You are not alone, Nikolas. Never. I’m right here with you, if this is how it has to be. I will kill the whole fucking world for you, if that is what you need.” Ben shook him. “Do you understand me?”
And yes, I am officially in tears wrting this review.
Life wasn’t sunlit uplands and glass houses, vast wealth and running around with your pretty boyfriend in the expensive toys he bought you.
Life was wearing armour too heavy to bear and carrying weapons too eager to be used.
Life was learning to swim hard and fast and keep your head above the shit.
Life was having someone alongside you in every single manoeuvre, every fall, every painful rise again, and knowing that, win or lose, the war was never fought alone.
I guess being destroyed means I love this book and this couple. I eagerly await more.