Book Review: In the Air by J.V. Speyer

In the Air

Author: J.V. Speyer
Series: Bodyguards, book 3
Publisher: Independent (April 24, 2021)
Kindle edition, 171 pages
Romance, Adult contemporary M/M romance
Goodreads

Summary

A scientist on a mission. A protector with a past. Two hearts collide in a race against time when a terrorist releases a deadly plague across the country.

Sam Darrow has had one goal in life, ever since he was a small child and his beloved older brother enlisted in the Army. He wanted to keep his brother – and his brother’s best friend, Ken – safe. When he read that more soldiers fell to disease than to enemy fire, he dedicated his career to fighting disease. Now an epidemiologist with the CDC, he’s the first to recognize something’s wrong when a new influenza strain pops up all over the US. This puts a target on his back.

Ken Irvine has come a long way since his days in Bridgewater, New Jersey. First a soldier, then a Ranger, and finally a member of Delta Force, war has left its mark on Ken. Now a contractor with Five Star Security, he’s the first person they call when CDC scientists start getting assassinated. When his one-night stand turns out to be his protégé, he knows he’s in trouble.

When that same protégé turns out to be his best friend’s little brother, all grown up, he’s in way over his head.

There’s no time to sit down and figure things out, because someone wants to put a bullet in Sam’s giant brain. Ken may not think he’s relationship material, especially for the kind of guy who’s supposed to be saving the country, but he’ll do anything to keep Sam safe.

Even if he has to break his heart to do it.

In The Air is the third book in the Bodyguards series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. It contains some graphic content, some violent imagery, and mentions of disease.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It feels like JV Speyer drew heavily from what actually happened during the COVID pandemic for much of this plotline around a super-flu. It sure sounded pretty familiar, anyway!

In the Air starts out with a bit of mistaken identities trope, in that Sam and Ken meet and even though they knew each other when they were younger (Sam being the little brother of teenage Ken’s best friend) they don’t recognize each other before having a one night stand. And then oops, turns out Sam is the person Ken has been assigned to protect. There’s also a little bit of a childhood sweethearts flavor, as Ken was basically Sam’s sexual awakening and his first crush.

Add in lots of stress around someone trying to off Sam so he can’t get to the bottom or what’s behind this super-flu, and there’s lots of great forced proximity, adrenaline high sexy times, and hurt/comfort moments. Despite Ken being hired to protect Sam and repeatedly saving his life, Sam does his fair share of saving Ken right back from his emotional scars. I may have ugly cried at the third act drama/dark moment, not gonna lie. I just love a book where I literally yell out loud at one of the main characters “What are you DOING?!” Haha!

Aside from the excellent romantic plot and can’t-stop-reading suspense plot, I also was really intrigued by the continued appearance of FBI Agents Gomes and Rourke, so I had to go scouring J.V. Speyer’s backlist to see if they’ve got their own books. And yes, Agent Luis Gomes is one of the main characters in the Hunter series, so you’d better believe I bought book one (Hunter)!

This is the third book in the Bodyguards series, and can be read as a standalone. The couples from the first two book show up in this one as side characters, with Dan and Eric from book two, Royals, playing a bit bigger role.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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