Iris (Mike Bravo Ops #1) ~ Eden Finley
Iris is the first book in the high octane new series, Mike Bravo Ops. The Mike Bravo team was introduced in the first book of the Famous series, Popstar. Although we met most of the team, Iris stole the limelight and was an intriguing character from the start. Iris (I Require Intense Supervision) lived up to his name in Popstar, but in this book, we see another side to him. Sure he's still the smart-mouthed, thinks he's so much funnier than he is, wise-ass. However, almost from the beginning, these traits are recognised as only surface level. Iris is the group clown, but he is also one of the most sensitive and hides it under bravado and jokes.
Eden Finley always creates characters that will tug on your heartstrings and demand that you love them. Iris and Saint are no exception. Both are lonely souls, having lost their families in one way or another. They are alone. Although Iris takes some comfort from his team, Saint does not yet trust that he can be accepted and rely on them for emotional support.
I loved this story because there was very little push and pull in Iris and Saint's relationship. Yes, the first hookup was 'just to get it out of their systems' (like that would work!), but Iris especially was quick to lock it down to an actual relationship.
"You can't leave me. You're my rock, my light ... you're the reason I get up every morning."
Eden Finley has a relaxed writing style that allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the story. Skilled changes in tempo ramp up the action, tension, or heat, and then transition back into a writing style that can be enjoyed for longer periods. The story itself was fast-paced. There were very few periods where there wasn't some type of action or adventure taking place. The romance and the action were beautifully balanced and complemented each other.
As you can expect from this author, the romance was high, and the sex was hot. More than that, though, was the powerful development of an intense emotional connection between Iris and Saint, and trust-building between Saint and the Mike Bravo team. These guys are a family, and it was lovely to watch Saint slowly accept that he was one of them.
"Everyone jumps into motion, calling or texting ... whoever to tell them they'll be gone for a while. Saint and I don't have anyone to call ...
I take my phone out of my pocket and send him a text. It's not much, but at least he'll know I'm here for him ...
Neither of us has to be alone anymore."
If Iris has set the standard for this series, then we are in one hell of a good ride. It is not necessary to have read Popstar to enjoy Iris, but of course, if you have, it adds that extra element of having a bit more background information on Iris and the team as soon as you start the book.
I loved every moment of Iris. It is an excellent introduction to the crazy characters of the Mike Bravo team. Even at this early stage, it is way too easy to genuinely like them all and look forward to them being tortured (nicely of course) in their journey towards their individual HEAs.
Eden Finley's Mike Bravo Ops: Iris is an engaging, addictive and passionate read, with high action, lashings of romance and a deep emotional connection between Iris and Saint. Add in scorching sex scenes and Eden's signature humour and you have an amazing read that will leave you wanting more.
"'I want you to remember that I'm yours. I always will be.'
And I will always be his"