• Enemies of the State

  • Executive Office Series, Book 1
  • By: Tal Bauer
  • Narrated by: John Solo
  • Length: 14 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (240 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Newly elected President Jack Spiers's presidency is rocked from the very beginning, and he's working furiously to keep the world from falling apart. Between terrorism attacks ripping apart Europe, Russia's constant posturing and aggression, and the quagmire of the Middle East, Jack is struggling to keep his campaign promise - to work toward a better, safer world. 

For Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach, Jack is just another president, the third in 12 years. With Jack's election, he's been promoted, and now he's running the presidential detail, which puts him side by side with Jack daily. He's expecting another stuffed suit and an arrogant DC politician, but Jack shocks him with his humor and humanity. 

There are rules against a Secret Service agent and one of their protectees developing a friendship - big rules. Besides, Jack is straight as a ruler, and a widower, and Ethan has always avoided falling for straight men. Ethan keeps his distance, but Jack draws him in, like gas to a naked flame, and it's a lure he isn't strong enough to turn away from. 

Contains mature themes.

©2016, 2019 Tal Bauer (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Enemies of the State

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  • W.
  • 06-16-20

Brilliant

Don't know why I waited this long to read and listen to this thrilling ,hot AF , action adventure, mystery, meticulously crafted, researched and layered , MM romance book; because folks, it is an AMAZING , exhilarating story!

I was glued to my Kindle and shunned all type of adulting -staying on my pajamas the entire day included - until I finished reading/listening in it's entirety. LOL 😁😀 Good times!

John Solo narration of Enemies of the State was phenomenal.

Full disclosure: I began listening to this audio through Hoopla, but I soon realized I liked it so much, needed to have it on my permanent library . Therefore, bought it at Audible #AudibleCreditWellSpent

Re-read/re-listen: Yes
Recommend: Yes

#BooksILove #ReadOn2020 #ListenedOn2020 #Amazon #Audible #Kindle

12 people found this helpful

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bad but good

liked the book, and though the narrator might be well at creaying voices he is very irritating in his over-dramatic whiny characterisation of situations. SO SO annoying. with a more subtle approach the story might have stood out more and many even been great.

8 people found this helpful

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loved the book. not so much the narrorator

I love jon solo. I really do, but I found his performance super whiney in this series
I wish they Tal went for Sean Crisden or Greg Tremblay for this series. he pulled me out of the book so many times cause the narrorator was so freaking whiny and didn't match either of the MCs. Very disappointing. I dont know if I'm going to buy the rest of the series if he does the same whiny narration for the other books

7 people found this helpful

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It’s finally here!

I’ve long since waited for this audiobook to be released. I’m so thrilled that it’s finally out. I love the book, love the story, love Ethan and Jack. I knew listening to the audiobook will bring a different layer to an already incredible story. And it really did! It’s like being there again.. feeling what Ethan was feeling, same with Jack and the other characters.

John Solo did a good job with the narration. He wasn’t my first pick of narrator for this series, specially with Sergey’s Russian accent.
But he wasn’t bad at all. Maybe I’m just being nit picky because I really love this book and was waiting for it to be on audio and have set a standard on how the characters would sound like in my head. That’s on me though. 😬

4 people found this helpful

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Awesome

I knew the book was going to be great and it didn’t disappoint waiting for the other to come to out hope I don’t have to wait to long great great book all the authors books are great thank you,,,,,,,,,,,

4 people found this helpful

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Was excited to see this

This is by far one of my FAV series and I was soo excited to see it I bought it immediately! However, I didn't feel that this narrator's inflections and the words he chose to emphasis added value to the book. Additionally, I didn't care for the voices he gave to the main characters. JMHO

4 people found this helpful

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Decent story but with some “Interesting“ narration choices/styles by John Solo.

Good and in depth story that’s slightly cheesy and predictable but not in ways that detract from the overall experience and enjoyment of the book.

Some of the choices by the narrator on the other hand were enough to distract from and at times completely pull me out of the story.
Overacted and Whinny are interesting choices for some of the scenes and especially the inner dialogue of characters when it doesn’t appear true to character or how it would have actually been written on the page and other times Rushed and Loud for no discernible reason even when backtracking to make sure I hadn’t missed something.
Don’t expect to hear consistent voices for any of the characters because with very minor exceptions it’ll change by the page or recording date/time.
Also seems like either research was done, partial corrections were made or just not enough care taken to keep consistency on pronunciations of several of the overseas locations, terms, etc.
I expected better from John Solo, was almost enough in some places to ruin the book and actually had to step away and come back later to be able to finish the recording.
This performance has knocked him off my trusted narrator’s list.

3 people found this helpful

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Finally!

I’ve been waiting for this series to come out in audible format for what feels like forever! I cannot wait for the rest of the series and hopefully all of Tal’s books eventually. I was hoping for a stronger richer accent for the Russian President. But that’s the only nitpick/complaint I have with the audio. John did an excellent job! I hope the next installment comes out soon!

3 people found this helpful

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YES! It went to audible! Wonderful

I read this series a while back, I loved the books but I LOVE that it went to audible. A M/M lovestory with a STORY! I don't tell you the story doing a review but hold on for a ride when you listen! LOVED IT! So when are the rest of the stories about Jack and Ethan coming to audible?

2 people found this helpful

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Great Story

I love Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer. It’s suspenseful and entertaining and I couldn’t put it down when I first read it. I've been waiting and hoping it would be released in audio ever since.

I'm happy to say the narration makes the story even better. I think John solo did a great job. He really brought the story to life. And I appreciated all the different voices he used. I really hope that the rest of the series will come out in audio soon

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 12-18-20

Bi-Erasure and mixed messages on orientation

There is a belief among some readers/listeners of MM that books written by Gay male authors are somehow better and more 'authentic' because the author has the right equipment and experience of the sexual activity they write about. That belief is unfounded with Tal Bauer's writing.
Tal Bauer's writing is inconsistent. He writes great thriller content, but then he ruins it with longwinded internal monologues from the POV of main characters - expressing their inner thoughts in a way that is so cheesetastic, that I don't know whether to laugh or barf. It's a shame that when Tal Bauer writes Romance he has to throw every ingredient in the pantry into the mix. It makes the story melodramatic and removes the reader from the story as they constantly eye roll!
There was some good political thriller content in this story - but Bauer followed the same old trope of 'America are the best' and 'America saves the world'. With the current political turmoil that dried out old prune of a trope has had its day.

What struck me the most when it came to the romance between Jack and Ethan was the Bi-erasure of Jack's character. The man was in love with/having sex with a man and yet there was NEVER any consideration of his orientation other than that he was a proud STRAIGHT WHITE MAN. Bisexuality did not exist for Jack- neither did any other orientation on the spectrum. For Jack there is Gay and Straight, nothing in between - and falling in love with a man did not make Jack Gay!!!! Excuse me? This coming from a Gay, male author was seriously disappointing. I would have liked to see that Jack considered himself Bi or pansexual... that he fell in love because of the soul of the person rather than the body they inhabited. But there were constant reminders throughout the story that Jack was STRAIGHT... Gay was bad, even though Jack was seriously into havings sexy times with Ethan. That is a seriously mixed message. Lots of female MM authors are castigated for writing 'Gay For You' books- where a straight guy falls for a man for the first time. It's not surprising a gay male author gets a pass for writing a book with such a blinkered message about the character's orientation.

I enjoyed John Solo's narration - it was way better than Joel Leslie's for Tal Bauer.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Book addict
  • 05-25-20

Brilliant book

Really loved everything about this book, and it was a wonderful surprise as I’ve not had anything from this author before so had no prior expectations. Delicious relationship build up, engaging plot, fantastic pace, rich characters, likeable heroes, great action and thrilling times, sweet and emotional times, tear jerking times, and all bundled up in just the right amount of everything. I thought with it being a fairly long book it might drag, but it was all perfect and meant you truly sunk into their world and were part of the story. The narration was great (some narrators might have a better range of voices/accents, but it was still good).

John Solo’s intonation and expressions really reminded me of Renee Raudman (narrates the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews) so I wonder if that means they’re from the same regional area, or if they’ve both just learned how to engage the listener with their voice. Either way, they do a good job.

I’d recommend Alice Winters’ “In Darkness” and her “A Hitman’s Guide” series if you liked this, and “Where Death Met the Devil” by L.J. Hayward. I also enjoyed “After the Crash” by Emma Alcott (though didn’t like the second book in that series as much). “Valor on the Move” by Keira Andrews is good, too. Other books I’ve enjoyed with M/M relationships but not in this subject are most by N.R. Walker including “Evolved”; Alexis Hall books including “For Real” and “How to Bang a Billionaire”; and the “SPECTR” series by Jordan L. Hawk.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Pixiebell
  • 05-13-20

Enemies of the State

This was the first book I ever read by Tal Bauer about 3 years ago and hoped the series, Executive Office, would someday come to audio. I was thrilled earlier this year when I heard it was being released at last and downloaded and listened to it in one sitting.
It is a highly intelligently, well written and researched political thriller with a slow burn love affair centred around the fictional President of the United States, Jack Spires, and Secret Service Agent Ethan Reichenbach, head of security for the presidential detail.
The complex plot and character development is beautifully crafted, especially Jack and Ethan, I just loved them both.
I can’t wait for the next book to come to audio.
John Solo’s narrating was excellent and I enjoyed him bringing the excellent book to life.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 03-05-21

Brilliant Book Bad Narrator

I tore through these books when they came out in print and throughly enjoyed them from start to finish.
But. The narrator ruined this version for me, I wish Tal had stuck with Joel Leslie who is a master of storytelling and performance.
Unfortunately Solo doesn't even come close. He doesn't have a very versatile range or vocal repertoire. Some of his narration sounds like a bad impersonation of Captain Kirk. He has a habit of either starting a sentence and taking it from a low range up to a top register and dipping again, like the sentence is on some sort of a roller coaster, or being totally flat. The pacing seems really off as well, descriptions are rushed and blend together. There's very little variation between some characters voices, Spires and Ethan for instance sound practically the same.
I did wonder why the ratings for the following books were far fewer than Hush after this book and I think it's a reflectionof the narration. It's a shame and really disappointing that I now won't be able to listen to the whole series and didn't even manage to finish this one. These are such good stories and deserve a better narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C M Silver
  • 07-29-20

I wanted to like this book

The saying is "never the twain shall meet". This should have been the moto for this book. Romance and politics: these two subjects did not fair well in this story by this writer.

The politics was too real and detailed which ever side one votes. That there are sexual encounters involving politicians is only too well known. These MCs were too cookie cut and featureless, and the crafting of story more awkward than the situations they found themselves in to try to facilitate the plot and subplot.

I expect heroes to be heroic not hiding in closets actually or metaphorically.

Maybe I will return to try to complete the tale, but nothing this far can tempt me to go there.

DISAPPOINTING

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-14-20

Excellent, so good

Such an awesome book, didn't think it could get any better. But John Solo does such a good job of bringing the characters to life, conveying the right amount of tension or comedy value when needed.
As a huge fan of the novel and series as a whole, have waited so long for an audio version, and it was so worth the wait. Being on the rest of the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs N
  • 04-26-21

OMG !!

Nothing could have prepared me for this thrilling ride. There are so many WTF moments that made it impossible for me to stop listening.
Amazing story, given justice by a great voice.

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  • Kindle Customer A. K.
  • 04-20-21

One of the best!

Only problem was having to stop listening in order to get some sleep. Want more.

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  • roisin mc menamin
  • 03-26-21

So enjoyable

Realised id already reax same book by kindle or ibooks. Still good story well read. Going to read book 2 on kindle

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  • Nikki JD
  • 09-23-20

Brilliant

If I could have given this more than 5 stars I would have. I listened to the whole thing in three days and had to download the second book straight away. It’s a shame that’s not out on audio yet.
Fast paced, tense with some sweet scenes thrown in ...what more could you ask for. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

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  • The Smut Librarian
  • 12-19-21

Engaging.

Tal has an aptitude for tension and suspense and this book is no exception! It’s reputation as one of the best suspense MM reads is well founded and I had great difficulty in putting the book down. The characters are well defined, writing is clear and the dialogue hot and sharp. Highly recommended to anyone wanting a gripping read that makes you gasp!

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 07-19-21

Gripping political action/thriller and satisfying m/m romance!

The office of US President is weighing heavily on Jack Spiers who seems a little lost. His wife was killed years ago and he’s never remarried. Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach has served on the security detail of three presidents and he strikes up a friendship with the President as a way of staving off Jack’s burnout. As the nature of their relationship changes, neither can foresee the dangers ahead. This is a political action/thriller, in the same vein and quality of Tom Clancy or James Patterson, as well as a m/m romance. It’s very gripping and satisfying if you can suspend belief about the behaviours of the MCs and the way government and politics works. There’s plenty of juicy conspiracy, action, and passion and Jack and Ethan are very likeable characters. Tal Bauer has redrawn the political landscape slightly so it feels like an alternate universe where Russia and the US can cooperate together. I always love John Solo’s narrative performances and he does his usual excellent job of differing accents and voices here.