Niko by Anna Hackett
Series: Hell Squad #9
Published: June 26, 2017 by Anna Hackett
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Mackenna Carides is tough, strong, and excellent at her job as second-in-command of Squad Nine. She often works side by side with Hell Squad on some of the toughest missions to fight back against the alien raptors. Now she’s helping the survivors of Blue Mountain Base settle into their new home at the Enclave. And that means working with the Enclave’s sexy civilian leader, Nikolai Ivanov, an artist who watches her with an intensity that is hard to ignore. A man she’s seen in the field and who she knows is hiding a mysterious past.
Niko is dedicated to the people of the Enclave and to his art. Once, his life was all about death and destruction, now it’s about life and creation—even in the middle of an alien apocalypse. As he welcomes the Enclave’s new members, there is one newcomer he wants to get closer to…but Mackenna is fighting their attraction. As something starts attacking their drones—vital technology for keeping them all safe—Niko realizes that in order to battle this new danger, he’ll have to return to the darkness of his past…and risk Mackenna never looking at him the same way again.
On a dangerous mission to save their drones from the aliens, Niko will need all of his lethal skills and will wade into the fight with Mac by his side. They will be tested to the brink, where nothing is black or white, and they will have to expose themselves and trust each other to fight, live, and love.
I enjoyed Niko as we got to meet some of the people living at the Enclave and see how the two groups are beginning to blend together. Mac and Niko are our first couple from this new place and after their unique meeting at the end of the last book, I was really looking forward to this one. Both these characters are passionate and dedicated and they haven’t opened themselves up to anyone else in awhile.
Mac grew up with a tough father and 3 older brothers and she’s been taught not to get attached to anything. Niko has a past in the Russian Intelligence Agency that he’d rather keep hidden for fear of what Mac will think of him. But under the pressure of stopping more of their drones being taken down by the aliens, Mac and Niko must work together and learn to trust.
“I’m in love with you, Nikolai Ivanov. Who you were, who you are, and who you will be with me.”
I enjoyed Mac’s strength and determination — she’s a tough, kick ass woman and I appreciate how Anna Hackett isn’t afraid to write a strong female lead. At the same time, we see some of Mac’s vulnerabilities and her softer side and as Niko discovers this too he encourages Mac to be her whole self with him. I also enjoyed Niko who has a rough past but is a truly gentle person with an artistic soul. Niko is a bit naughty and I loved how his more playful side helped Mac loosen up. It’s hard for Niko to watch Mac go into the field and risk her life each day but he also respects her skills and strength. It takes a bit for both Mac and Niko to work out being together and they make some mistakes along the way but in the end they work things out.
With plenty of action and sexy romance, Niko was a great read and I can’t wait for more.
4 stars – it was enjoyable
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