Ethan and Ryder fight to save Ryder’s business, and their lives, in this last installment of the Ore 5 series. Ethan has found the link between the phony accounts and the mob trying to take over Black Ryder, but the lawyer the corporation puts on the case is none of than his father. Ethan will need to stand up for himself and prove he’s not the failure his parents might think in order to save the business. Meanwhile, Ryder wants to train the former rent boy Hayden, which he knows might upset Ethan’s fragile ego.
Like most of what I’ve read by this author, “Mercs and Strippers” is something of a page-turner. The core story line of a shy, insecure, slightly flabby accountant finding love and romance with a super-hot stripper is in itself unusual. Add to that criminal conspiracy, dysfunctional family relationships, set it in the future on a distant planet, and you have a book that’s hard to put down.
I’ve found Ethan to be an very relatable character, insecurities and all. He seems to be someone just about all of us have known, if not a person very like ourselves. His personality becomes all the more believable as we meet his parents and understand more about the environment he grew up in. What he has with Ryder is certainly incongrous, and the source of a lot of drama in the story, but it’s far from inconceivable.
Ryder has always been the less relatable character, at least for me. He does open up quite a bit over the course of the series, such that by the end you recognize him as someone that, despite outward appearances, has a strong moral compass and determination to do the right thing.
While one can see scope for more stories set in the world of Ore 5, I think the series comes to an end at just the right place. Too many authors these days seem to stretch series out beyond their amuse-by date. This series has been tight and without much in the way of “filler” to pad it out.
“Mercs and Strippers” is available from Amazon.