Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Mercenary Crush
SERIES: Unit Alpha Book Two
AUTHOR: Frey Ortega
PUBLISHER: Evernight Publishing
LENGTH: 108 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 6, 2016
Thad Langham’s life has been a series of unfortunate events—from being blackmailed to being coerced into working with his father on his shady business deals. When the opportunity presents itself to turn his entire life around, he takes it.
Caleb Lockhart, the resident sniper of Unit Alpha, can’t quite get Thad out of his mind. Moody, serious, and practiced at hiding his emotions, Thad is a complete work in progress. He isn’t quite ready to date just yet, but that doesn’t stop impulsive, brash Caleb from acting on his baser urges. One kiss is all it takes, and now they can’t get each other out of their minds.
Six months later, a chance encounter leads Thad and Caleb down the road to an actual relationship. But when Thad’s past comes back to rear its ugly head, how can a brash and headstrong sniper and a damaged, slightly neurotic businessman make things work? Will their mutual attraction survive the test of time or will their relationship just remain a mercenary’s crush?
I really liked this one; the first book in the series gave a good feel for the world and the men that would star in the books but this second installment took that foundation and built on it beautifully. At the end of the previous book you find out that Thad isn’t the evil bastard he was believed to be and was, in fact, just another victim of his father’s machinations. While he was in a bad place at first, mentally and physically, he has since pulled himself together and worked to not only take care of himself but also to clean up the corruption that’s spread throughout what was his father’s company.
When Thad has a chance run in with Caleb, the one man from Unit Alpha he hasn’t been able to keep his mind off of, he feels as though things may be looking up in his personal life, as well. An unexpected warning from an old acquaintance and a looming threat send him searching for help from the one group that helped him out before but things don’t quite go as planned and Thad finds himself not only worried not just for his own life, but for Caleb’s.
Like I said, I really enjoyed this one. The relationship between Caleb and Thad takes place throughout the story and is really integrated well into the plot unlike the first book which seemed to focus on the relationship primarily with a bit of action at the end. While the main threat of Thad’s father is taken care of early on, and off screen, the rest of the story revolves around Thad’s efforts to turn his company into a legitimate business away from the shadow of his father’s shady business deals and influence. The pacing was great and the balance was even better; this was just an all around enjoyable read that really wrapped up any and all loose ends from the previous book. Anyone that enjoyed the first book will certainly like this one, as well, but if you haven’t read Mercenary Trust yet, I’d recommend reading it before this one to understand what’s going on. You can find my review of the first book in the series, Mercenary Trust, here.