Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3) by Tal Bauer

This was it. Time to save the world.

Well kids, here we are, time for all the craziness and suspense to come together in one last hurrah as this unlikely group of heroes bands together to try and take down the madman set on burning the whole world to the ground. If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, Enemies of the State and Enemy of My Enemy, you might as well stop reading this review now. These books must be read in order and believe me, you aren’t going to want to stumble on any spoilers!

I will do my best to keep this spoiler free anyway, in case you didn’t listen and kept reading this. All three books were action-packed and thrilling but in different ways. The first book started off sweet with the beginnings of Jack and Ethan’s romance but then a little past halfway the suspense kicked in and I couldn’t put it down until I finished. The second book started with a little bit of calm but then it was just craziness, danger, and insane twists and turns for much of it. Plus it ends on a pretty big cliffhanger. Book 3 broke the mold a bit and threw us right into the madness from the very start and really never let up for the entirety of the book. There were a few really lovely scenes sprinkled throughout and even a few more love stories outside of Ethan and Jack’s. But for the most part, the best way I can describe this one was just one long slow burn of terror. It was suspenseful, sure, but most of it was just straight-up terrifying. It is a miracle I have any hair left after reading this one, it was so very stressful! I’m not complaining though, I loved it! I couldn’t put it down, I had to know how everything played out. It was just one hell of a journey to get there.

Finally, Ethan smiled. He glanced at Jack. Kissed his wrist, and then turned to his palm, dropping a kiss to the center. “I don’t like you getting hurt. Being in harm’s way.”

“I know—”

“But…” Ethan glanced at Jack again. “‘ Badass Jack’ is kind of hot.”

Just when you think things couldn’t get worse for this crew, things do. Best laid plans and all that… Each time they came up with a new plan, I thought “Yeah sounds great, it’s not going to work but sounds great”. There was the immediate and physical danger from thugs and Madigan’s men hunting them but there was also the unknown danger of knowing that there were still moles in their midst but now knowing who could be trusted. That part was tough for me. There were some hints leading us to believe it was certain people and I was prepared to be heartbroken if it turned out to be true. I won’t say whether it was, but it was such a head game, second-guessing everything.

The stakes couldn’t have been higher, it doesn’t get much bigger than being tasked with literally saving the entire world. But the personal stakes were just as high for these guys. Because even if they managed to save the world, the risk of losing the love of their life along the way was still very real – and not just for Jack and Ethan. As I mentioned, there were a few other love stories at play here and I was so invested in all of them. I had a high degree of confidence that things would ultimately be ok for Jack and Ethan but I didn’t have the same guarantee about some of these other characters and there were several things that happened that were just heartbreaking. But my advice to you is to just push through. When things look grim, just keep going. This whole story was so well executed and, in my opinion, worth it in the end. Tal Bauer is such a talented writer, his ability to go from a stunningly beautiful love story one moment to an edge-of-your-seat thriller the next is very impressive. After spending so long with these characters throughout the three books, I’m sad it’s all over! But there are a few other books connected to this series and I will definitely check them out! Crossing my fingers for some Jack and Ethan cameos.

“But this is, quite literally, the end of the world. If we have to make the tough call…”

Ethan clenched his jaw. He looked away, squinting into the fog. “I don’t know if I can do that.”

“If it comes down to me or the world, Ethan—”

“You are my world. You’re everything. I can’t—”

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