Review: Man from Sanctum by Lexi Blake
★★★★ @authorlexiblake @jenw23 #ManfromSanctum
This spin-off series gets better and better. Returning back to the world of the Taggart's and Big Tag's special brand of employee motivation, this romantic suspense is a second chance theme. Deke Murphy and Maddie Hall were the IT couple in high school. When they split, the good intentions did not translate well. As the saying goes, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
This book generated so many feels for me. The opening scene is gut-wrenching as we see the aftermath of Deke's POW experience. Seeing Maddie all psyched up and ready to show Deke how amazing she is after he kicked her to the curb when she went off to college is completely understandable. As Ms. Blake loves to do . . . she shows both sides of the story. There are no winners here, only losers.
To kick-off why I love this book is an early scene with Ian Taggart when he gets so angry. A mention to a specific person sets Ian off and just before he blows, his wife, Charlotte, calls for an emergency intervention.
At which point, the receptionist comes running in with a high-end bottle of Scotch, a sugary lemon treat, and almost throws it at Charlotte. Charlotte proceeds to follow a predefined protocol to soothe the raging beast. If I had been drinking whilst reading this scene, there definitely would have been a spit take. After reviewing the scene a couple of times to make sure I really did read what I read, I wondered, why doesn't anyone do this for me? Because I would certainly appreciate it.
This story is filled with hilarious dialogue between the characters, past hurt feelings, and a seriously crazy egomaniac. This doesn't even include the psychotic mysterious woman Maddie's boss wants to hook up with. The comradery between Deke and his teammates is great to see. This is what a team should be like when they have each other's backs. This lets Maddie get a glimpse of what she is missing and why she's been so lonely even though she has achieved success in her field.
Lately, reading Ms. Blake's books has been more thought-provoking. I could be reading into this, but it almost feels like her stories are giving an opinion piece on how our society functions. I liked how she specifically brings up the point of how women are treated if they reach the top. Either a man takes their credit because they feel it is their right or the woman is accused of sleeping her way to the top. Do both of these things happen? Yes. Not all the time, but it shouldn't be an either or. Which also brings me to the point, why doesn't it happen to men more? Did they sleep their way to the top? Especially the ones you know are complete idiots and are incompetent.
I also enjoyed the speculative part of weapon warfare. I think it's brilliant and if I were a billionaire evil mastermind I would do it. It at first seems farfetched for those who haven't paid attention to sound wave weaponry or those who haven't looked into our growing junk in space. For a more educational piece on dead satellites, see Look out below: What will happen to the space debris in orbit? | McKinsey. Almost wish my mother still worked for JPL so I could run it by her. Or maybe this is already going on and Ms. Blake has some secret industry knowledge, I don't know but I'm impressed with the concept and execution of it. Bloody brilliant!
The romance part between Maddie and Deke is a long time coming and their reunion is fraught with baggage. Seeing them have to work through their issues and how they have grown since their high school years is wonderful. The kinky parts of this story are light and for the most part tame. Deke is all grown up and mostly past his war trauma. This second time around with Maddie is finally his time to be with her.
There is a little bit of twist at the end that has me on the edge of my seat for the next book in the series. I cannot wait! This romantic suspense is highly recommended to readers who enjoy second chance themes with a bit of kinky spice.
* I received an Arc from Social Butterfly