by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: The Scorpius Syndrome #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Post-Apocalyptic
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With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury… Danger has never looked quite so delicious…
Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti is the first novel in her Scorpius Syndrome series. It delivered an intense post-apocalyptic romantic suspense that I devoured. Action packed, with strong alpha males and snarky, intelligent women Zanetti started this series off with a bang.
A friend recommended I read Scorpius Rising, Scorpius Syndrome #0.5 before beginning this series. The novella is part of an anthology called On the Hunt. When I saw it also contained a novella from Dianne Duvall, it became a no-brainer. While it is not necessary and shares the story of another couple, it did give me a solid footing into the world. For 1.99 it is worth snagging.
Breakdown of Mercury Striking
- World: An outbreak caused by bacteria has killed most of the population. Survivors come in all forms and not all of them are good for the future of humanity. The US is in shambles, and folks have no idea if the government still stands. Jax Mercury is a troubled solider who sets up a stronghold in L.A. protecting the weak. Lynn Harmony is a wanted woman who risks everything to ask Jax for help. Lynn may hold the key to a cure. L.A. is broken up into territories ruled by groups who do not have the kind of honor code Jax’s holds himself and his people too. The climate is brutal, and the need for supplies high. It created an intense world with page-turning, heart-stopping action.
- The characters: We spend most of our time in and around the compound Jax has created. He, his soldiers and civilians work together to survive for another day. Zanetti did a wonderful job of introducing the characters. Key characters were fleshed out and secondary characters were given enough depth to allow us to feel a part of the unit. She created villains you will love to hate; some in warring territories and other are far-reaching and powerful enemies. Jax is confident, strong, and intelligent. He is one hundred percent alpha. Small talk is not his foray, but when he does, it is powerful. I really enjoyed Lynn. She has been through some shit, but is tough-as-nails, with a brilliant mind. She does not whine and she is not afraid to stand up for herself or say, “I am in over my head.” A little orphan was unique and I am anxious to see what role she plays in the overall arc. We also meet the next hero and heroine and already I am dying for their story.
- The plot: In Mercury Striking Lynn needs Jax Mercury’s help with two things. First finding a site that may hold the key to the cure and second she needs him to kill someone. Being witness to these two feel each other out, learn to trust and become comrades was intense and satisfying. The romance was slow building and started with primal need before blossoming into something deeper. The overall arc is established and I can already tell the road ahead will have obstacles, danger and excitement.
- The romance: With two head strong characters and lives at stake the chemistry between these two was intense. It may have started off sexually, but moved to something with more depth. Jax is definitely all alpha, and rules his unit with a firm hand. Thankfully, Lynn was more than able to handle him and actually softened him a little. Which made him a better leader.
Mercury Striking delivered an intense, high action tale with a sizzling hot romance that weaved in tender moments. Zanetti succeeded in making the reader care about the characters in this world. I am invested in hearing all of their stories to the end.