Series: Enhanced 04
Author: Victoria Sue
Narrator: Nick J Russo
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Length: 7 hrs, 22 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (8th April 2019)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: All Vance Connelly ever wanted to do was continue his family’s tradition and join the Tampa Po-lice Department, but his dreams were crushed the day he woke with the enhanced mark on his face. After years of struggling to adjust to life as an enhanced human, by a stroke of luck, he met Talon Valdez and became a proud member of the FBI’s Human Enhanced Rescue Organi-zation.
Samuel “Angel” Piper is eager to leave his DEA undercover work behind as he joins the HERO team as Vance’s regular human partner. But Sam’s painful past is ever present, just below the surface of the life he has built for himself as an ambitious young agent. When the team investi-gates rumors of a new drug using enhanced blood, the case’s mysterious connection to Sam threatens not just his life but Vance’s.
Trust doesn’t come easy for Sam, but Vance is willing to fight to convince his partner that the strength of his heart might be the salvation they both need.
Review: Strength of His Heart is book 4 of Victoria Sue’s series, Enhanced.
Before I started this audio, I hadn’t realised that I hadn’t realised it was a series, but a couple chapters in when it finally clicked to me, I was too invested to stop and get to the other three stories. I was able to follow the plot without any problem, although I am sure that I missed some points when it came to some of the background characters, they were well developed and fleshed out by this point in the series, but again, nothing that I couldn’t piece together in my head.
This book is the first book I’ve read/listened to by the author, so I had no idea what to expect in terms of the writing and the depth of the world that had been created. However, I am very familiar with the work of Nick J Russo, the narrator. Normally, I have heard him perform contemporary books and I have found that he is well suited. But this book is best described as an urban fantasy. I was totally blown away by how well he narrated the story and conveyed the complex emotions of the MCs. Both MCs are tough, alpha type of males, however, one is a gentle giant and the other is a scrappy guy.
The series is called Enhanced after a group of people in the world who have been ridiculed and discriminated against because the men (because it’s only men) that are “Enhanced”, known for the scar on their face after transformation, develop powers which the rest of humanity can’t understand. I suppose it’s a kind of parallel to the LGBTQI community. I’m not explaining the enhanced very well, but basically think of Marvel’s X-Men but it’s only men. Some enhanced can mind speak, some have super strength, some have healing – you get the point.
Vance and Sam are partners in a special FBI taskforce. It aims to team up human and enhanced partners in order to show the world that the enhanced aren’t monsters to be scared of.
Sam is ex-DEA (and has a past which is revealed through the story) but soon after partnering with Vance on the FBI team is back helping the DEA for another mission. Sam was good at his job in the DEA but he wanted so much more. He wanted to be in the FBI and didn’t want to be dragged back into the DEA. He has been used of protecting himself and being pushed around by people bigger than him, so when he is teamed up with Vance, despite sexual attraction, Sam isn’t going to let Vance take control.
Vance has always wanted to be a cop – it’s in his family to serve in the Tampa PD, his father is now the lieutenant, one of his brothers is also a cop, while another is also with the FBI. But Vance always wanted to be a cop, a choice that was taken away from him when he woke up as a teen, enhanced and with the scar to prove. While his parents and siblings have always been supportive of Vance, there are many opportunities and people in the world that do not think of him as human because of his abilities. The man has such a big heart and all he wants to do is help people.
Vance is a very sweet man and extremely vulnerable under his tough exterior, while Sam is tough and knows only how to keep up shields to keep himself safe from any kind of affection. There is an attraction between the two men, but with the danger of their ongoing case which involves drugs and added is the mystery of how enhanced have been dragged into the situation, things are often left on hold. As the danger increases the feelings also increase and Sam can’t help but keep putting his foot in his mouth to protect himself. Which, honestly, had me a tad emotional for poor Vance who wears his heart on his sleeve.
I absolutely adored this book. The chemistry between Sam and Vance is on point, their emotions are complex but relatable. The secondary character, some of whom have already had their own book in the series, are equally as deep and complex as Sam and Vance, even the two guys who have been set up to be the next couple of the series. The world that Sue has created is an adventure from start to finish. Now, I need to go back to the start of this series and find out about the other guys!