Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome Book 1) by Rebecca Zanetti (Epub)

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Ebook Info

  • Published: 2016
  • Number of pages: 273 pages
  • Format: Epub
  • File Size: 0.51 MB
  • Authors: Rebecca Zanetti

Description

The deadly Scorpius Syndrome has decimated North America. Now the few remaining survivors struggle to avoid infection and rebuild society. Dr. Lynne Harmony believes she can find a cure—but she knows she can’t do it alone. With nothing but rumors to lead her, Dr. Lynne Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong.

Former military man Jax Mercury is more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s Lynne’s only hope. But with powerful forces searching for Lynne, and some in Jax’s camp desperate enough to betray him, they’ll have to keep close if they want to survive.

User’s Reviews

Rebecca Zanetti is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over forty romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, many of which have also appeared on the Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She is a two-time RT Reviewers Choice Award winner, the recipient of the RWA Daphne du Maurier Award, a five-time Daphne du Maurier Award finalist, a PRISM Award winner, and a two-time PRISM Award finalist. Nearly a dozen of her novels have been selected as Amazon Best Romances of the Month, including Lethal Lies and Mercury Striking, which were also Amazon Best Books of the Year. Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner—only to culminate it all in stories about alpha males and the women who claim them. Please visit her online at RebeccaZanetti.com. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Review Thrilling post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best! — Lara Adrian, New York Times bestselling author The first book in Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series never has a dull moment… Fans will now find [Zanetti’s] action-packed foray into science-fiction-based romantic suspense thrilling Booklist Nothing is easy or black or white in Zanetti’s grim new reality, but hope is key, and I hope she writes faster! — Larissa Ione, New York Times bestselling author Zanetti delivers decadently delicious romance Publishers Weekly This dark, post-apocalyptic tale is a testament to the power of hope and love against all odds. The author does a marvellous job of presenting this opening gambit to a thrilling new series Romantic Times If you are a fan of alpha males, Jax Mercury is your man Night Owl Reviews Top Pick –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:

⭐ I am a reader who loves alpha males, and doesn’t mind dominance during sex, or possessive behavior on the part of the hero…if it’s written well. I stopped reading this book, however, at 18%, for two specific reasons:1) Within the first few seconds of their meeting, Jax was telling Lynne that he had not given her permission to put her shirt back on (how it came to be off is a different story), and he ordered her to remove it again. He made her unbutton it and pull it open, and then he touched her (she wasn’t wearing a bra, and it was cold) all while his men looked on enjoying the show. So first of all… PERMISSION? Eff you!!! And second of all, while I definitely would have accepted this as sexy/sensual behavior had they been alone, him commanding her, forcing her, to unclothe herself again in front of a group of men, I found to be disgusting. Her choice to take off her shirt in the first place was HER CHOICE. Stupid choice if you ask me, but still hers. The second time was him giving her orders to unclothe herself. How is it sexy at all that he completely failed to protect her, or her body, or her dignity? Then after that he informed her she was his possession to do whatever he wanted with.2) And second, the “incident”, wherein she told him that she didn’t think he would hit a woman, and he proceeded to whip off his belt and beat her with it to prove her wrong. When he was finished, he just calmly put it back on, buckled it up, and then was like “now do we understand each other?”He beat her….with his belt…. To be clear, ABSOLUTELY clear, this was not a spanking, it was an actual beating where she was bruised black and blue and had raised welts on her skin. And that’s where I left the book and returned it for a refund. This wasn’t the first scene I’ve ever come across where a hero physically assaulted a heroine, and again, I’m not the kind that is normally bothered by it. Such scenes are usually only props to demonstrate some aspect of the hero’s character, and the heroine is never actually harmed. But I have to tell you that this scene in particular left me sick and shaken. The madness with which he whipped her was just so disturbing. He was standing there one moment, and the next he was shoving her head down onto the bed, ramming her legs apart, and whipping her madly in this sort of crazy frenzy. “Blows rained down” was the exact terminology. The author even described the sound his belt made as it left his belt loops. He’d whipped her three times in this frenzy before she even managed to mount a struggle, which he just ignored and kept whipping.And though this review is already too long, the heroine’s reaction made me just as angry. Her response to his question of “now do we understand each other?” was basically “yes, sir”. After that he locked her in his room and left, and then when he returned she crawled into his lap and cried and told him “he shouldn’t have done that.” Her reaction to getting whipped, mostly naked, with a belt…after her legs were rammed apart by his boot…was to cry in his LAP? Then not too long after that they had sex, and he purposefully grabbed the place where he whipped to cause more pain, while she did nothing but pant on. God, the whole thing was just so sick. It’s been a full day since I read it and I still haven’t gotten it out of my head. I am still disturbed and still feel nauseated.As a side note, the whipping incident has been mentioned in seventeen other reviews I found, from 5 stars on down. And judging by their comments, I was not the only one so disturbed by it. One 5-star compared it to rape. Another called it a big no no. Another said they almost stopped reading and had to take a break. Another said it didn’t feel like bdsm, but just violence toward women. Another described the actual whipping in almost as much detail as I did. A 4-star called it upsetting. Another called it brutal. There were suggestions to skim, or skip the scene entirely. And if those will work for you, then go for it. There were a lot of people who got past the scene and enjoyed the book despite it.But a violent whipping, and a heroine who chokes it down and then basically says “more please, sir”, is where I personally draw my line.

⭐ Normally I’m not into post-apocalyptic scenarios, but this series works, at least books 1-3. Of the 4.5 I’ve read so far, this is most interesting full book, well-written, compelling characters, and good world-building (you should definitely start with the prequel, Scorpious Rising, which actually is the best story of the series).The basic plot is that Lynne, a top CDC scientist, is running from post-pandemic (think Black Death, not covid) gov’t bounty hunters, trying to reach the notorious paramilitary ‘rebel’ leader, Jax Mercury. He may be the one person strong and fierce enough to hide and protect her, while she’s searching for information about a cure for the disease.Much fuss has been made about an early beating scene, but here’s the context: consensual is irrelevant because it’s not an erotic scene, it’s Jax punishing her for carelessly, willfully endangering his entire enclave of 500 survivors. Now I agree that her non-reaction is weird— she’d either be feeling guilty or furious or both— but the beating was a deliberately severe punishment to make clear that if she wanted his protection, there was zero tolerance for not following his orders. She’s lucky he didn’t shoot her between the eyes, but then there’d be no story. (The shirt scene complaints are also much ado about nothing, but I think reading the prequel really helped set that up. The woman is famous for a glowing blue heart, so that’s what she shows as proof of identity.)Despite Jax being strung tighter than a harp string, and Lynne’s hidden agenda and expectation she could manipulate him, their connection does evolve and it makes sense. She was a top dog and leader at CDC, but he’s the top dog in the newly destroyed civilization where ruthlessness equals survival, and she comes to understand that difference. Both Alphas in their own way, they develop mutual respect and then affection, along with the sexual chemistry. It’s the respect for each other’s skills that the alphas and heroines show, in fact, that really makes the series feel different and makes the prequel and first 3 books work so well.

⭐ I have become a huge Rebecca Zanetti fan in recent months, initially becoming hooked by her Dark Protectors series (seriously the best vampire books I’ve ever read). I am not normally an apocalyptic story kind of girl, but I decided to give this series a try just because I really enjoy Ms. Zanetti’s writing.I liked the two main characters okay (Jax and Lynne), and the story definitely held my interest throughout. I know that some reviewers have mentioned being put off by Jax’s abuse of Lynne, so I’m going to throw my two cents into the mix about that.First off, the issue of her taking her shirt off and then Jax making her take it off again (in front of a group of his men) wasn’t that big of a deal. This happens right at the beginning of the story, so you can actually read this part if you just take advantage of the “Look Inside” option on the cover on the book’s Kindle page. She started it by taking her shirt off (without anybody asking her to). I thought it was a tad dramatic, as she could have just unbuttoned the shirt enough to shrug it off her left shoulder so they could see the glow of her blue heart. I just didn’t find this scene to be a big deal either way.Now, the belt beating scene was disturbing to me, but it wasn’t off-putting enough that it caused me to lose interest in the book. They weren’t playing a BDSM sex game or anything like that. He was punishing her. Had Jax been an a** throughout the book without showing any genuine affection or concern for Lynne, I probably would have felt differently about it. It isn’t like he beat her regularly. He did it that once (though he did threaten to do it a few other times). Again, though, I judge a book’s content by the type of book that it is. This is a post-apocalyptic story, so you are simply not dealing with the niceties of modern society and life as we know them. Everyone is in hard-core survival mode because they have to be. This isn’t meant to make excuses for him beating her with a belt. I’m just saying that based on the world in which these characters lived and the circumstances they were in, I was able to deal with this particular scene and move on. No, I didn’t like it, but it was something I could accept given the story line as a whole.I found this book to be enjoyable, overall, though I definitely wouldn’t rank it as one of my favorites. I will probably continue with the series mainly because I am a huge fan of the author’s. She writes really intense stories with an excellent romantic component. Though I’m not into the whole apocalypse thing, I think this book is worth a read, especially if you’re already a fan of Ms. Zanetti’s.

⭐ I know this is labeled book one, but you really need to read Scorpius Rising, the .5 novella first. It gives you the very beginning of the bacteria outbreak. What caused it, what they tried to do to cure it and even some of the characters that will play a big part in this series. I think some readers would be confused in the beginning if they jump into this book first.I found a great description of what The Scorpius bacteria is and what it does to people. This was in a training session our main character Jax quoted to the group who he was sending out to scavenge for supplies. I think it will help people to understand what this book series is about.*“You have to understand that the bacteria does not always kill human beings; sometimes the patient survives, but the Scorpius bacteria still remains within the body, stripping a small part of the brain. The contagion alters brain activity in everybody who is infected, but only turns half of the folks into killers. We don’t know why. It might have something to do with oxytocin, which is a chemical we think relates to empathy. Some folks lose it all, and some only part or none.”*To battle this bacteria, Lynne Harmony and Nora, who you meet in the novella, have discovered the need for Vitamin B. The Vitamin B is helping people to survive the bacteria and keeping them from turning into Rippers. Rippers are the survivors who have been stripped of empathy mentioned in the quote above. There are two types of Rippers. The ones that are mindless and the ones who are extremely intelligent and can function as a human.The problem is the bacteria has spread much faster than what they can do to research and the world has basically shut down to the point that it resembles the end of times. Not only are the survivors scavenging to find any necessities they can since there is no longer any in production, they are also having to fight off Rippers and any other formed group wanting these things for themselves.This book focuses on Lynne and Jax. Lynne is the scientist who has been working on a cure from the beginning. Jax is military who has rounded up survivors and has created a safe place in L.A. Lynne comes to Jax for help to find a lab that has more research to help her with creating a solution to help their bodies naturally produce the Vitamin B they all desperately need.In the middle of all this chaos, we get the to watch Lynne and Jax fall in love and the things they will do to keep everyone around them alive.I’m seriously loving this series. The creativity the author has put into this storyline has blown me away. There is so much going on with all these people just trying to survive. You really get a sense of what the world would become if something like this were to truly happen. I love how unpredictable the bacteria infection is. You don’t know what the character will become if they survive the infection. There are hints that some of these survivors are being enhanced by the bacteria and I’m looking forward to where the author will take it.

⭐ Sometimes, you just can’t depend on a review or excerpt to lead you in the right direction when it comes to a book. I read the excerpt in this case and thought, “Uhhh…not sure I’m gonna like this.” I was torn between a female baring her breasts in front of an audience and the curious blue heart she had so I gave it a shot…and man, I’m glad I did.It has just about everything there is in a story: the love between the hero and his lady, sex, violence, heartfelt, and hilarious. This is the first time I’ve ever read a post-apocalyptic book. I love characters to really fight for what they want and find out who they are and they did. I like that it had depth not just one bedroom scene after another. They had lives and they lived them.Just as a side note… If you do have issues with any kind of intimidation from an alpha male character, you might want to pass. Some have considered it abuse but I think about the situation, the characters, who they are and it makes sense to me.

⭐ Rating: 4 Stars – Loved ItThoughts: What a better way than to start a new genre with my favorite author. Mercury Striking was good for me as it is light in a Post-Apocalyptic world. Just enough gritty background setting here and there to really get the feel how life is after a disease has struck.Jax has created a safe haven in L.A. He is a strong leader with no emotions and does not trust easy. Jax and Lynne have no strings attached sexual relationship. He needs it that way to keep a clear head to be in charge of everyone. When he is with her he feels human again not a killing machine in the world they live in now. Love that she is also on the same level has he is not getting emotional involved.Rebecca Zanetti writes the best secondary characters. I did miss the close knit community she is known to write in her other novels. But I also understand that this group have not known each other long and have no past together. They do all have their own personalities and voice. They have all got me curious.

⭐ What an awesome start to a new series! After reading about 30% into the book I was thinking this would make a really awesome movie.Jax is all alpha he’s a badass, dangerous killer of a soldier who is fighting a war, not just any war but a war against bacterium called Scorpius, this bacterium takes over the brain and changes a person or kills them. When Lynne Harmony aka blue heart walks into town, his town in hope of protection did his world really get interesting. You’ll have to read for yourself to see what happens, I’m not giving anymore away. This book is full of action from start to finish, has great description of this new world, and as with all Rebecca books, she has some pretty hot sexy love scenes.

⭐ I do love this author’s work but I have a problem with my reality nerve jumping up and saying WTF? Sorry but if you are writing an end of the world story you really should do a bit of research on survival. I’m no expert but there were so many ways I thought I could improve on their circumstances that I wonder why they weren’t mentioned. Does California have no plastic at all? Plastic containers to hold all the rainwater that was constantly falling? Composting? Weeds and wild plants taking over, yes, so use them. Go to the library to find books on what plants were edible. Burn the bodies to kill the bacteria and use the land to plant food, not as a grave site. Sorry but cats and dogs are now food if there is nothing else. Burning food? Sorry but you can’t afford to burn food, lol. So many other things I could add but all of these are just background to the players whom I did fall in love with. I loved that I never knew what was going to happen next. Jax is a complicated hero and one of my favorites. Lynne didn’t disappoint as a heroine. I love the interaction between the two. I enjoyed how they interacted with the players around them. Complicated enough for me to wonder how they are getting out of this and still hopeful enough that they will eventually find a way through. I enjoyed this and can’t wait to find out what happens next.

⭐ My words won’t do this justice but this was amazing! RZ has managed to yet again suck me so fully into the world she has created that I am left feeling vaguely bereft now that this book is over. Jax Mercury is one amazingly hot alpha male with plenty of skeletons in his closet, some major connecting to people problems but a solid heart of gold and the innate ability to turn me to mush. Lynn Harmony, who we remember from Nora and Deke’s story, was quite the female lead and while she has suffered so much she was pretty well tough as nails and has plenty of spunk left. The two together was electric! I am quite intrigued by many of our secondary characters Tace, Sami and Raze to name a few and can’t wait for them to get their own stories as we wait and see what happens for the people of Mercury’s Vanguard in this post Scorpius world! There is tons of action, the story moved along quickly with no lagging moments and the sex burns up the pages. This is a definite must read for all! Do read Nora and Deke’s story first though, it helps create this amazing post apocalyptic world. I personally am holding out hope for a Nora and Deke-Lynn and Jax reunion soon!This was a complimentary e-copy provided by the author and publisher in exchange for a honest review via Netgalley.

⭐ I am huge fan of Rebecca Zanetti books! This one doesn’t disappoint. However I called it an edgy read because there is a lot of death and dying – killing of support -characters that as a young widow of a fallen police officer, I had a hard time reading this book just because of the losses the good guys take and I read romance to avoid those themes. Still, after a ❤ felt cry, I finished the book and enjoyed the couple’s victory over the bad guys in the end and am looking forward to reading in this series!

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