Review: In the Ruins (Metahuman Files #2) by Hailey Turner

Truth and lies.

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.

Dirty little secret.

Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.

Play the game to win.

Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.

In the Ruins is a 105k word steamy gay sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending that skirts HEA. There is military violence within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, as well as explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18. This is a sequel to In the Wreckage and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

I'm going to make this short because I gotta find out what happens next!

I'll be the first to admit I had some issues with In the Wreckage but this was a BIG improvement for me. The action was great, the chemistry, not just between Kyle and Jaime but the whole MDF team, was fun, great secondary characters, snappy pacing, good worldbuilding with endearing relationship development between Jaime and Kyle and scorching hot sex! Prostate orgasm, prostate milking, multiple orgasms, rimming, rough and kinky sex, size difference with a very... bendy bottom, sex in a public restroom, creative use of a dildo...

I don't want to discount the action/suspense plot or anything but the sex and romance deserve a standing O! The connection that already existed between Kyle and Jaime strengthens over the course of In the Ruins as they go deep undercover in London and it warmed my heart. I like my romances with action and this struck the perfect balance.

The action plot carries over from In the Wreckage so I wouldn't recommend trying to read this as a standalone. I did like the action plot of this one better than the first though and I'm not really sure why. Maybe because they were undercover or maybe it was just that there was more of them working together against a common enemy? I don't know but I did think the plot was tighter than the first and I'm really looking forward to reading In the Shadows.

I think it could've done with a final proofing but nothing too egregious that pulled me out of the story. I will also caution those who don't like head hopping that there is a bit of that happening. I enjoyed this because it showed what happens to various team members during the good bits.

Recommend to fans of military, action/suspense and sci-fi romances.    

A review copy was provided.

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