Review: Last Marine Standing (Heroes #2) by RJ Scott

Former Marine Recon, Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Jackson has secrets. The things he did for his country, the things he saw, must never be spoken about. Until that is, his team is targeted.

A shift in political alliances means one particular mission undertaken by Mac and his Fire Team needs to be wiped from the history books. Starting with the team itself.

Forest Ranger, Samuel Larson wants to find the Marines who saved his life. He just wants to say thank you. What he can’t know is that he's walking into a firestorm of betrayal and murder.

When Samuel arrives at Mac's place he throws Mac's plans for hiding out of the window. Abruptly Mac has to protect a man who threatens his heart, only this time he can't be sure he will succeed in keeping Sam alive.

When the people you trusted turn on you, when you are the last one standing, should you take your secrets to the grave? Or make the murderers pay?

I love RJ Scott’s stories, I always know I’m going to get a good read no matter what, it’s a given. Last Marine Standing was no exception. I liked the first story, A Reason to Stay, but didn’t love one of the MC’s (Viktor, I’m glaring at you), but this installment gave me two heroes I could totally get behind. I think that’s why I like RJ’s characters so much, I mean, sure Mac was the hero on paper, but Sam was no less a hero for his strength and character. So, you get double your heroes for your dollar and the characters read as true equals and less stereotypical.

Sam went through a horrific experience as a teenager and was saved by Mac. Years later Sam has put himself back together and made a life for himself that he is proud of even if he is lonely. I remember when I finished A Reason to Stay (Sam is Aiden’s BFF) that I really, really wanted to read Sam’s story. I was hooked on him in book 1 and I wanted him to get his HEA. RJ never disappoints with the HEA. Years later he feels he needs to thank the Marines that saved him in order to truly put his past behind him. He also may just have a smidge of a lingering crush on Mac from all those years ago.

But, Mac and his team are on a really short list of disposable collateral related to their final mission as a team. He and the remaining member, Spider are going off the grid and being found by Sam, who obviously has the best of intentions and no clue as to the shitstorm he’s walking into, is, shall we say, less than optimal. What follows is mystery, action and a fuckton of UST. All good stuff. I will say though, if you are a pure romance reader, Last Marine Standing may not be a match for you. The romance takes a backseat to the mystery. The romance was still there, it came later in the book, but the way it happened fit the characters (especially Mac) really well. Anything different wouldn't have worked in my mind. Mac has really only known his military life. Their story wasn’t a plethora of hearts and flowers, it was subtle, but it was clear. A different approach would have discounted Mac's experiences and not done him justice. But, make no mistake, these two cats were falling in love.

I liked the flashback to the characters from A Reason to Stay back home in the Green Mountains and I appreciated the fact that Viktor had a voice in this one. It felt like he had his full emotional maturity happen and I wanted that for Aiden and needed it for Viktor. It read like a natural fit to this story too, it wasn’t a forced plot point just to make me happy (I mean isn’t that what authors want to do? Make me happy? Don’t burst my bubble and tell me otherwise, I’m a needy Peachy). It gave Aiden and Viktor their complete HEA that I felt A Reason to Stay was missing.

The epilogue was perfect and made me want to snuggle in front of a fire in a cabin with these two. I promise I would just park it in the corner and lurk. Not creepy at all. It was hot and sweet and it gave me all the romance I needed after the slow build up that fit for this story.

For more info on Last Marine Standing Heroes #2 check it out on Goodreads!
**a copy of this story was provided by the author for an honest review**

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