Review: Niko (Hell Squad)

cover-nikoTitle: Niko
Author: Anna Hackett
Series: Hell Squad #9
Genre: Sci-Fi Action Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: Now

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In the aftermath of a deadly alien invasion, a band of survivors fights on…

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.


Source: ARC from the author

Hell Squad is back! It’s only been a few months, but I’ve missed this fast-paced, high action, life-or-death series pitting strong men against strong women and creating some scorching hot romance. This installment is no different. Mac is one of the fearsome women of Squad Nine, while Niko maybe the artistic leader of the Enclave sanctuary, but he has plenty of scary skills of his own.

Niko is very alpha at the beginning, possibly a bit too much for me. He’s very, uh, hands on when it comes to Mackenna and the way she’s been avoiding him. I wasn’t a big fan of that, but Mac can more than hold her own, so I liked that she didn’t just give in when he pushed.

However, if I’m honest, much as I loved being back in this setting and seeing a new side to the fight against the aliens, the romance was a bit too swift for me. I didn’t feel the connection between Mac and Niko as much as I normally do with this series. Niko is a bit of a jerk at the beginning, Mac gets annoyed… then suddenly all’s well and hot and heated. Not that I have a problem with that, but I don’t feel like I got to know either of them as well as I might have liked, and so their romance wasn’t quite as powerful as it can be in this series.

That’s not to say this isn’t a good book and that I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. I love being back amongst this bunch of great characters, and the glimpse of what’s to come looks amazing – that scene at the end with Finn was all kinds of adorable – but compared to all the others books that I’ve enjoyed so much, the romance in this one didn’t go quite deep enough for me. Regardless, I still found it a fast, exciting read and I can’t wait to see how Finn’s story turns out next.


Hell Squad: Niko is Out Now!
Visit Anna Hackett for more details.

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