Title: The Last Enemy
Series: Agents of Influence #1
Author: Christian Beck
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Military
Length: Novel (200 Pages)
Publisher: DSP Publication (July 5, 2016)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Highly decorated Delta Force operator and Iraq war hero Simon Monk loses everything when his romantic partner defects to Beijing after being caught selling US secrets to Chinese Intelligence. Monk is drummed out of the Army from the blowback but gets a second chance at a career when he is recruited into a covert group within the CIA.
Years later Monk’s latest assignment sends him to Cairo, where the head of station has disappeared amid a highly publicized sex scandal. But things are not what they seem. When the base chief turns up dead and the Egyptian government looks the other way, Monk and his team hunt down the assassin.
All roads lead to a ruthless and lethal cult from Egypt’s ancient past who discard every unwritten rule of espionage to win. Monk is forced to take to the shadows to find and destroy his most dangerous adversaries yet, as a chain of events threatens to ignite war in the Middle East.
Reviewer: Lisa & Pixie
Lisa’s Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
This is the first story by this author that I have read and I must say I am ecstatic about it. Although I have to tell you that I was thinking sexy man in a uniform, hot sex and so forth. That is not what this story is about; there is romance to it, but more action, suspense and danger then anything.
Simon Monk is ex-army, ex-delta force who was drummed out when his lover turned out to be a traitor to their country. He had finished five tours in Afghanistan and ended up working for the CIA in a way. He was sent to kill those who posed a danger to others. He is extremely lethal and hard to kill.
This story is an action packed one with espionage, assassinations and deadly men. Egypt is not known for allowing gays so when a known married couple are assassinated, it is time for Simon to step in. He is ordered to lead the investigation. However, in what would seem like a case of homophobic hate, the situation has turned into something more dangerous. Someone wants to take over Egypt and it is up to Simon and Ben to stop them.
If you like dangerous situations, espionage, politics, foreign relationship, traitors, spies and so forth then this is the book for you. This story turned out to be quite extensive in how long the author had to do research. The plot is so damn twisted and complex, but it works for this particular story. The details were fully developed and so damn well designed that it was jaw dropping. The pace is a little off to me though.
I had trouble concentrating on the story because it was a slow building story. If you’re looking for hot sex then you might want to read another story because this is more about the action, suspense, danger and assassinations. Although the author seemed to be really into details because I thought some of it was just not needed. It took away from the story itself for me. Also the fact that women were in it, not as sexual characters but as military and so forth was a bit strange to me, I just could not see the bad guys having a female assassin or spy or infiltrator or whatever she was.
I understand that this is a series, but I am afraid that as well written that this story is, it was not for me. If you are into military and war stories though, this will be for you, but it is not really a romance story.
Pixie’s Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
I agree with a lot of Lisa’s review, this story is action pack, with a lot of dangerous situations, espionage, political minefields, foreign relationship, traitors and spies. The story flows smoothly and it’s pretty fast paced for the type of storyline.
The story is really all about Simon Monk; nearly everything that happens happens around him with a couple of scenes with other characters highlighted to move the storyline along. Monk’s love interest is a man called Ben Namajunas, Special Forces, who is called in to help Monk with his mission. Ben and Monk have a long history and this time around Ben longs for something more from Monk rather than brief sexy times together.
Whereas Lisa finds it strange that women are used as strong key characters whatever their role, I found it to be quite refreshing that women were fit into roles that many authors would have left to men. The only thing that irked me was that the women were all stunningly beautiful; I’d have liked it if at least one of them was a ‘plain Jane’.
The storyline is strong; it keeps you gripped as it drags you along after Monk, dodging bodies, bombs, gunfire and traitors. The relationship between Monk and Ben was low key throughout the story, hanging around in the background with just a hint every now and again to keep the interest piqued. I loved the way the story was built; layers were added with every chapter until you had a full picture of Monk and what his life entails. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
I recommend this to those who love mystery and suspense laced with action and danger, who adore in depth characters, who love a solid storyline that is laced with just a bit of budding relationships.