Cost of Honor by Radclyffe is a lesbian romantic suspense novel and the eleventh book in the Honor series. All the books in this series hold a special place in my heart because Above All, Honor is the second or third lesfic book I ever read and then I glommed whatever was left of the rest at that point. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, don’t worry, because you can totally read this one on its own.
Blair Powell, First Daughter of the United States of America, is ready to go on vacation with her wife Cameron Roberts, who is also the President’s Advisor on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security. Of course, that plan goes off the rails when her father’s campaign manager is killed in hit and run, six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, where the President is expected to get the nod for a second term.
Oakes Weaver is a Secret Service Agent, leading the advance team for the President’s trip to Philadelphia for the convention. Due to the campaign manager’s tragic demise, that means a stop first with Blair, Cam, and their Secret Service detail to recruit Ari Rostof, an old classmate of Blair’s and a political consultant who’s incredibly good at getting people elected. Ari is beautiful, brilliant, and even if she’s a controversial choice to lead President Powell’s campaign (her dad is a media mogul, who may or may not have sketchy ties to things), she’s the right person to help the President maintain the public’s confidence. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous or that she and Oakes hit it off pretty much right away, falling into some pretty deep feelings within mere weeks.
At the same time, a White Nationalist cell has some plans brewing, and a crack police team in Philadelphia are catching wind, even if they don’t know exactly what is going to happen.
Cost of Honor is a race that answers the question: can Cam, Oakes and the folks in the Philly PD stop the domestic terrorists from carrying out their plans?
Holy crap, there are so many characters in this book. Thankfully it’s not hard to keep them straight.
If you were paying attention above, you’ll know that Blair and Cam, the main couple of the series are back. Ari and Oakes are the new couple for this book and they get about equal time on the page to Blair and Cam, maybe even a little more.
Some characters from previous books are back, like Paula Stark, the person in charge of Blair’s Secret Service detail (she’s been around since the first or second installment), and Evyn Daniels, a Secret Service Agent who found her own love with the President’s physician in Oath of Honor. Also, that team of police officers from Philadelphia are the main characters from Radclyffe’s Justice series.
Like I said above, if you haven’t read any of the previous books, it doesn’t really matter. Because Ari and Oakes are new, we get to know them best, but the rest of the characters, who they are, and what they’re motivated by will still make sense whether you know them or not. I haven’t read any of the Justice books and I didn’t have any issues understanding who anyone was or what they were doing.
The Writing Style
This is some damn fine romantic suspense, with both the romance and suspense parts being equally fulfilling. I listened to it throughout a series of daily physio exercise routines and my sessions got a little longer for a couple of days because I was so into the story and characters that I wanted to know what happened next.
I’ve only listened to one other book that Keira Grace narrated and her style didn’t really do it for me. Happily, she totally blew away all my expectations with this one. She acted her ass off for the various parts, differentiating them as well as can reasonably be expected of one person with a cast this large. I’ll be eagerly keeping an eye out for future books narrated by her and hope she’ll narrate more romantic suspense in the future.
I loved reconnecting with Blair, Cam, and the folks around them. It felt kind of like a homecoming party.
This first one is more of a whine than a con and I need to begin it with an apology to anyone who hasn’t read the series before, because this won’t make any sense to you. Valerie and Diane are my favourite couple in the Honor series and for something like the third or fourth book in a row (maybe longer, it’s been years since I’ve read the earlier books), they weren’t here! I just want to see them again and know they’re more settled, because I would very happily read a whole series just about them.
This second one is actually a con. I found it a little jarring when there were references to things like someone using a tablet, Ari reading emails on her phone, or even references to how people are being radicalized thanks to YouTube and online forums. That’s because, while each book sometimes feels like it’s supposed to be set in the year in which it was released (for example, the last book had drones), President Powell is only just coming up to his reelection campaign. Given that 9/11 happens in one of the earlier books, that means that the timing doesn’t track. These moments didn’t hold me back from enjoying the book at all, but they did pull me out of the story and made me quirk an eyebrow whenever they came up.
Do you like romantic suspense that’s heavy on the romance and on the suspense? This is the book for you! I know I’ve stressed that you can read Cost of Honor without reading the rest, but I do recommend the whole series. It’s a lot of fun and well worth the time.
Excerpt from Cost of Honor by Radclyffe
[Blair] closed her eyes again. She was married to the sexiest, smartest, most amazing woman she’d ever met—but, hey, nothing was perfect, right? Her idea of a perfect morning was sleeping in until a decent hour, like, at least eight, reading the newspapers—something probably no one on the entire East Coast other than her and her father actually did any longer—and having lazy, long, multiorgasmic sex. Of course, that almost never happened, considering her wife’s annoying early-morning habits. Like running at the butt crack of dawn, heading out for the office before fifty percent of the world was even awake, and just being so damn…cheery. Yes, yes, she knew Cam had a lot on her mind being Advisor to the President on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security. There were dozens of others in as many agencies charged with counterterrorism, but Cam was the only one her father relied on when it really mattered. Cam was the only one she trusted to protect her father, no matter how much she respected the Secret Service agents on his detail. Cam was Cam. And that was, well, everything.
“Why couldn’t you have been a plumber? I like women who work with tools. Women wearing tool belts are hot.”
“I work with tools,” Cam said to the sound of dresser drawers opening and closing.
“That’s a gun, not a tool,” Blair muttered.
“Weapon. We call it a weapon. And it comes with a harness.”
Blair had a quick flash of an altogether different type of harness, and heat pooled between her thighs. “Are you naked?”
“If you couldn’t be a plumber, why couldn’t you at least be a wolf? Why did you have to be a lion?”
“Wolves—they like to sleep in and have sex in the morning. Lions have to start running around as soon as the sun comes up.”
“Okay. You’re really sexy in the morning.”
Blair snorted, pleased and a lot more awake.
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Above All, Honor
Love & Honor
Honor under Siege
Word of Honor
Oath of Honor
Code of Honor
Cost of Honor
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635555820
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: Keira Grace
- Radclyffe Online
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