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Mercury Striking
     

Mercury Striking

4.8 39
by Rebecca Zanetti
 

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“Thrilling post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best!”—Lara Adrian

"Nothing is easy or black or white in Zanetti's grim new reality, but hope is key, and I hope she writes faster!” —New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
 
With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne Harmony has

Overview

“Thrilling post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best!”—Lara Adrian

"Nothing is easy or black or white in Zanetti's grim new reality, but hope is key, and I hope she writes faster!” —New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
 
With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne 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, Lynne 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…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/21/2015
In this heavy-handed introduction to a sexy, postapocalyptic romance series from Zanetti (the Realm Enforcer series), a disease called Scorpius has ravaged the U.S., killing many and leaving others insane. Lynne Harmony, former head of the CDC’s Infectious Disease section, thinks she can find a cure for Scorpius, but someone is hunting her. She shows up at Jax Mercury’s Los Angeles–area compound and asks him to kill the stalker. What neither Jax nor Lynne counts on is an instant, raging attraction that can’t be ignored. The story of a violent alpha male falling for an independent woman (and occasionally abusing her to demonstrate his dominance) in a dire situation is a romance genre classic, but it’s tossed willy-nilly into the postapocalyptic setting, and both the romance and the SF come out muddled. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781420137941
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
01/26/2016
Series:
Scorpius Syndrome Series
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
193,147
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Mercury Striking


By REBECCA ZANETTI

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 Rebecca Zanetti
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4201-3795-8


CHAPTER 1

Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers we have not yet thought of.

— Stephen Hawking


Despair hungered in the darkness, not lingering, not languishing ... but waiting to bite. No longer the little brother of rage, despair had taken over the night, ever present, an actor instead of an afterthought.

Lynne picked her way along the deserted twelve-lane interstate, allowing the weak light from the moon to guide her. An unnatural silence hung heavy over the barren land. Rusting carcasses of vehicles lined the sides; otherwise, the once-vibrant 405 was dead.

Her months of hiding had taught her stealth. Prey needed stealth, as did the hunter.

She was both.

The tennis shoes she'd stolen from an abandoned thrift store protected her feet from the cracked asphalt, while a breeze scented with death and decomposing vegetation lifted her hair. The smell had saturated the wind as she'd trekked across the country.

The world was littered with dead bodies and devoid of souls.

A click echoed in the darkness. About time. Predators, both human and animal, crouched in every shadow, but she'd made it closer to what used to be Los Angeles than she'd hoped.

A strobe light hit her full on, rendering sight impossible. The miracle of functioning batteries brought pain. She closed her eyes. They'd either kill her or not. Either way, no need to go blind. "I want to see Mercury." Since she'd aimed for the center of Mercury's known territory, hopefully she'd find him and not some rogue gang.

Silence. Then several more clicks. Guns of some type. They'd closed in silently, just as well trained as she'd heard. As she'd hoped.

She forced strength into her voice. "You don't want to kill me without taking me to Mercury first." Jax Mercury, to be exact. If he still lived. If not, she was screwed anyway.

"Why would we do that?" A voice from the darkness, angry and near.

She squinted, blinking until her pupils narrowed. The bright light exposed her and concealed them, weakening her knees, but she gently set her small backpack on the ground. She had to clear her throat to force out sound. "I'm Lynne Harmony."

Gasps, low and male, filled the abyss around her. "Bullshit," a voice hissed from her left.

She tilted her head toward the voice, and then slowly, so slowly they wouldn't be spooked, she unbuttoned her shirt. No catcalls, no suggestive responses followed. Shrugging her shoulders, she dropped the cotton to the ground, facing the light.

She hadn't worn a bra, but she doubted the echoing exhales of shock were from her size Bs. More likely the shimmering blue outline of her heart caught their attention. Yeah, she was a freak. Typhoid Mary in the body of a woman who'd failed. Big time. But she might be able to save the men surrounding her. "So. Jax Mercury. Now."

One man stepped closer. Gang tattoos lined his face, inked tears showing his kills. He might have been thirty, he might have been sixty. Regardless, he was dangerous, and he smelled like dust combined with body odor. A common smell in the plague-riddled world. Eyeing her chest, he quickly crossed himself. "Holy Mary, Mother of God."

"Not even close." A silent overpass loomed a few yards to the north, and her voice echoed off the concrete. The piercing light assaulted her, spinning the background thick and dark. Her temples pounded, and her hollow stomach ached. Wearily, she reached down and grabbed her shirt, shrugging it back on. She figured the "take me to your leader" line would get her shot. "Do you want to live or not?"

He met her gaze, his scarred upper lip twisting. "Yes."

It was the most sincere sound she'd heard in months. "We're running out of time." Time had deserted them long ago, but she needed to get a move on. "Please." The sound shocked her, the civility of it, a word she'd forgotten how to use. The slightest of hopes warmed that blue organ in her chest, reminding her of who she used to be. Who she'd lost.

Another figure stepped forward, this one big and silent. Deadly power vibrated in the shift of muscle as light illuminated him from behind, shrouding his features. "I didn't tell you to put your shirt back on." No emotion, no hint of humanity echoed in the deep rumble.

His lack of emotion twittered anxiety through her empty abdomen. Without missing a beat, she secured each button, keeping the movements slow and sure. "I take it you're Mercury." Regardless of his name, there was no doubt the guy was in charge.

"If I am?" Soft, his voice promised death.

A promise she'd make him keep. Someday. The breeze picked up, tumbling weeds across the lonely 405 to halt against a Buick stripped to its rims. She quelled a shiver. Any weakness shown might get her killed. "You know who I am," she whispered.

"I know who you say you are." His overwhelming form blocked out the light, reminding her of her smaller size. "Take off your shirt."

Something about his command gave her pause. Before, she hadn't cared. But with him so close she could smell male, an awareness of her femininity brought fresh fear. Nevertheless, she again unbuttoned her shirt.

This time, her hands trembled.

Straightening her spine, she squared her shoulders and left the shirt on, the worn material gaping in front.

He waited.

She lifted her chin, trying to meet his eyes although she couldn't see them. The men around them remained silent, yet alertness carried on the oxygen. How many guns were trained on her? She wanted to tell them it would only take one. Though she'd been through hell, she'd never really learned to fight.

The wind whipped into action, lifting her long hair away from her face. Her arms tightened against her rib cage. Goose bumps rose over her skin. She was accustomed to being vulnerable, and she was used to feeling alone. But she'd learned to skirt danger.

There was no doubt the man in front of her was all danger.

She shivered again.

Swearing quietly, he stepped in, long, tapered fingers drawing her shirt apart. He shifted to the side, allowing light to blast her front. Neon blue glowed along her flesh.

"Jesus." He pressed his palm against her breastbone — directly above her heart.

Shock tightened her muscles, and that heart ripped into a gallop. Her nipples pebbled from the breeze. Warmth cascaded from his hand when he spread his fingers over the odd blue of her skin, easily spanning her upper chest. When was the last time someone had touched her gently?

And gentle, he was.

The contact had her looking down at his damaged hand. Faded white scars slashed across his knuckles, above the veins, past his wrist. The bizarre glow from her heart filtered through his fingers. Her entire chest was aqua from within, those veins closest to her heart, which glowed neon blue, shining strong enough to be seen through her ribs and sternum.

He exhaled softly, removing his touch.

An odd sense of loss filtered down her spine. Then surprise came as he quickly buttoned her shirt to the top.

He clasped her by the elbow. "Cut the light." His voice didn't rise, but instantly, the light was extinguished. "I'm Mercury. What do you want?"

What a question. What she wanted, nobody could provide. Yet she struggled to find the right words. Night after night, fleeing under darkness to reach him, she'd planned for this moment. But the words wouldn't come. She wanted to breathe. To rest. To hide. "Help. I need your help." The truth tumbled out too fast to stop.

He stiffened and tightened his hold. "That, darlin', you're gonna have to earn."

Jax eyed the brunette sitting in the backseat of the battered Subaru after rifling through her backpack. Water, leather bound journal, and granola bars. No weapons, and he'd frisked her, finding one little knife by her calf, which he'd let her keep. She was at the wrong angle to harm him, and if she struck with the blade, he could easily take it.

He forced his body to release necessary tension and tried to relax into the worn seat. He'd stolen the vehicle from a home in Beverly Hills during the riots for food and supplies. The gardener who'd owned it no longer needed it, considering his dead body had joined the neighborhood burn pile after he lost his battle with the Scorpius bacterium.

The luxury SUV sitting so close to the Subaru had tempted Jax, but the older car would last longer and use less gas, which was almost depleted, anyway. Everything they had was almost depleted. From medical supplies to fuel to books to hope. How the hell did he refill everybody with hope when he could barely remember the sensation and needed his energy focused on shoring up his defenses?

Tonight's raid had been a desperate hunt for gasoline from abandoned vehicles, not a search party for survivors. Based on early reports, when the news had still been broadcast, Lynne Harmony had completely disappeared with no explanation. Most people thought she was dead; others believed she had gone on the run, hiding from vigilantes who blamed her for the epidemic. The government, such as it was, had immediately put a reward out for her safe return. He'd never thought to find her in Vanguard territory.

How fortunate his vehicles were always stocked with restraints and hoods, just in case.

The woman had closed her eyes, her head resting against the faded leather. Soft moonlight wandered through the windows to caress the sharp angles of her face. With deep green eyes and pale skin, she was much prettier than he'd expected ... much softer. Too soft.

Though, searching him out ... well now. The woman had guts.

Manny kept looking at her in the rearview mirror, and for some reason, that irritated Jax. "Watch the road."

Manny cut a glance his way. At fifty years old, beaten and weathered, he'd tossed the cap and monkey suit needed as a Bellagio chauffeur and now drove in threadbare clothing wearing unruly scruff on his chin. But he took orders easily, which was a necessary requirement in Jax's camp. "There's no one out here tonight but us."

"We hope." Jax's gut had never lied to him. Something was coming. If the woman had brought danger to his little place in the world, she'd pay. "Dawn will arrive in less than an hour. Speed up."

Manny pressed his foot to the pedal and swerved around what looked like an overturned hot dog stand near a park being molested by spreading bushes and trees. He frowned and leaned forward to peer up at the sky. "Shit. Less than an hour."

The faintest scent of fear cascaded off him.

Jax took inventory of the weapons within reach and allowed just enough adrenaline to flood his system to be effective. The presence of survivors marked shop alleys as they left the commercial area and entered slums lined with dilapidated former crack houses. His territory. The desolate smell of decomposing tissue followed them. It was time for another scouting to burn deceased bodies.

He glanced back at Lynne.

Her eyes flashed open, directly meeting his gaze. The pupils contracted while her chin lifted. Devoid of expression, she just stared.

He stared back.

A light pink wandered from her chest up her face to color her high cheekbones. Fascinated, he watched the blush deepen. When was the last time he'd seen a woman blush? He certainly hadn't expected it from the woman who some thought had taken out most of the human race.

Around them, off-road vehicles kept pace. Some dirt bikes, a four-wheeler, even a fancy Razor confiscated from another mansion.

They drove into the inner bowels of Los Angeles, skirting abandoned vehicles and weakened buildings. Climbing vines attacked brick, while many places had been burned in the riots. Most storefronts gaped open from broken windows or trashed doorways. The first survivors had looted quickly, not knowing that the bacteria hadn't finished spreading.

Most of the looters were dead ... or worse.

Tension rode the air, and some of it came from Manny.

"Say it," Jax murmured, acutely, maybe too much so, aware of the woman in the backseat.

"This is a mistake," Manny said, his hands tightening on the steering wheel. "You know who she is. What she is."

"I doubt that." He turned to glance again at the woman, his sidearm sweeping against the door. She'd turned to stare out at the night again, her shoulders hunched, her shirt hiding that odd blue glow. "Are you going to hurt me or mine?" he asked.

Slowly, she turned to meet his gaze again. "I don't know." Frowning, she leaned forward just enough to make his muscles tense in response. "How many people are yours?"

He paused, his head lifting. "All of them."

She worried her lower lip between two teeth. "I'd heard that about you." Turning back to the window, she fingered the glass as if wanting to touch what was out of reach.

"Heard what?" he asked.

"Your sense of responsibility. Leadership. Absolute willingness to kill." Her tone lacked inflection, as if she just stated facts. "You are, am I correct? Willing to kill?"

He stilled, his eyes cutting to Manny and back to the woman. "You want me to kill somebody?"

"Yes."

He kept from outwardly reacting. Not much surprised him any longer, but he hadn't been expecting a contract killing request from Lynne Harmony. "We've lost 99 percent of the world's population, darlin'. Half of the survivors are useless, and the other half are just trying to survive. You'd better have a good reason for wanting someone dead."

"Useless isn't an accurate description," she said quietly.

"If they can't help me, if they're a hindrance, they're fucking useless." Months ago, he'd turned off the switch deep down that could see a gray area between the enemy and his people, and there was no changing that. He'd become what was needed to survive and to live through desperate times. "You might want to remember that fact."

Her shoulders went back, and she rested her head, staring up at the roof. "I'd love to be useless."

He turned to the front. Her words had been soft, her tone sad, and her meaning heartbreaking. So the woman wanted to die, did she? No fucking way. The blood in her veins was more than a luxury, it might be a necessity. She didn't get to die. "Tell me you're not the one I'm supposed to kill," he said, his body on alert.

Silence ticked around the dented car for a moment. "Not yet, no."

Great. All he needed was a depressed biological weapon in the form of a sexy brunette to mess with his already fucking fantastic daily schedule. "Lady, if you wanna eat a bullet, you should've done it before coming into my territory." Since she was there, he was making use of her, and if that meant suicide watch around the clock, he'd provide the guards to keep her breathing and helpful.

"I know." Fabric rustled, and she poked him in the neck. "When was your last injection?"

His head jerked as his neurons flared to life. He grabbed her finger before turning. "Almost a month ago."

She tried to free herself and then frowned when she failed. "You're about due, then. How many vials of B do you have left?"

He tugged her closer until she was leaning over the front seat, his gaze near to hers. "Doesn't matter. Now I have you, don't I? If we find the cure, we won't need vitamin B." This close, under the dirt and fear, he could smell woman. Fresh and with a hint of — what was that — vanilla? No. Gardenias. Spicy and wild.

She shook her head and again tried to free herself. "You can have all my blood you want. It won't help."

They drove past structures, and for the briefest of moments, empty lots full of decomposing fast food wrappers and broken beer bottles bracketed them on both sides. "Stop the car," he said to Manny.

Manny pulled over as if he'd been waiting for the order. Jax released Lynne, stepped out of the vehicle, and pressed into the backseat next to her.

Her eyes widened, and she huddled back against the other door.

He drew a hood from his pocket. "Come here, darlin'."

"No." She scrambled away, her hands out.

With a sigh, he reached for a zip tie in his vest and way too easily secured her hands together. A second later, he pulled the hood over her head. He didn't like binding a woman, but he didn't have a choice, since she just might be working for an enemy. While the location of his territory was generally known, the weaknesses of entry and exit were not. "In the past year, as the world has gone to hell, hasn't anybody taught you to fight?" he asked.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Mercury Striking by REBECCA ZANETTI. Copyright © 2016 Rebecca Zanetti. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca 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. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day—or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

Please visit Rebecca at www.rebeccazanetti.com.

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Mercury Striking 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great start to RZ's new series! Unique storyline and I especially liked that there wasn't really a cliff-hanger despite the continuing plot. Loved Jax and Lynne, and can't wait for Raze's story next! Hope she writes fast - want more!
Anonymous 9 days ago
Excellent
PollyBennett 3 months ago
Exciting exciting. Survival at it's best. This is going to be a great series.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I read the first paragraph four times it was so good and I knew I was at the beginning of a great book. It's written with inspired imagination and I enjoyed every word. I'm looking forward to the next book and will pre-order now! cjbevil
Anonymous 9 months ago
Well done
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great new series . Everything was pretty plausible which made it more scary. Started slow. Glad I stayed with it. Took off and connected with the characters. Plot, romance, and sex.
Bukgoddess More than 1 year ago
4 stars! A new series by Rebecca Zanetti The Scorpius Syndrome...meet two unlikely individuals each with their own agenda in fighting a most deadly bacteria that threatens to destroy mankind. Dr. Lynne Harmony also known as Blue Heart, is she the cause or can she be part of the cure? Jax Mercury is finding himself in the predicament of trying to determine just that!
ArecRain More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. Wow! After reading the description for this novel, I could not pass Mercury Striking up. I thought it was too much to ask that the story would actually be as great as the description made it out to be, but I was far from disappointed. Thankfully it’s a series because I was blown away by how amazing this novel was. On that note, reading the novella that precedes this may be a good idea. While I felt that I was able to comprehend the story and keep up with it, the novella gives the reader better comprehension of the world/story overall. I love romance/erotica and I also love post-apocalyptic stories. Going in, I was convinced there was no way someone could write a combination of the two adequately. They are tough genres to combine without one suffering. Zanetti clearly knows what she’s doing. Not only can she write an intriguing dystopian world, she created a love story that grabs at you and won’t let go until you know how it plays out. Her characters are powerful and dynamic, tangible in a world that I had to remember doesn’t actually exist. They captured me heart and soul from the very beginning. Zanetti’s writing is a triple threat. She knows how to write great characters with engaging dialogue without skimping on plot or romance. If you think this sounds like a story you would like, let me make the decision for: get it. I can’t wait for the nest in the series to come out.
lprather66 More than 1 year ago
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Rebecca Zanetti is one of my favorite authors. She creates compelling, action-packed stories with well-developed characters that will have you on the edge of your seat and crying for more when it ends. Have I mentioned the swoon worthy Jax? He will have you wishing you were his leading lady despite the Post-Apocalyptic setting. Jax Mercury has always been a fighter: first as a gang member, then as a solider in the military, now as a survivor of the plague, Scorpius. Scorpius has decimated the United States. Technology is down and those who survived the initial outbreak are struggling to stay one step ahead of the plague. Jax has made it his mission to help others. He commands the strong to care for and protect the weak. Lynn Harmony has been working on a cure, but she needs Jax's help. They both have skeletons in their closets and secrets they would like to keep. Can they work together to find the cure before it is too late? Jax Mercury is a mysterious solider fighting a battle for survival not only for himself but others in his care. He is a fighter who has honed his skills, both on the battlefield and off. Lynn Harmony may be the only hope for mankind's survival if she can find the cure. Working together will be a test of dormancy, determination and trust. I thoroughly enjoyed this read even though at times I was either crying or screaming at the book...like that would make it better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just completed this book, and am at a loss for words. I am already jonsing for the next book in this series! Rebecca Zanetti has spun a web so deliciously clever you don't mind being stuck. Scorpius Rising (it's in the On The Hunt book) begins the series with the story of Nora and Deacan McDougall, and this is the story of Lynne and Jax, after Scorpius has changed the world. Lynne was infected with Scorpius and her and the world changed dramatically. Some people became outright insane killers and some people were able to hide their insanity a little better. Lynne and Jax must keep Lynne alive long enough for her to find a cure, but the people are terrified of Lynne and what she represents. Jax has his hands full trying to keep her alive... plus, he likes the blue. ?
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
I know it's only February, but I may have just read what could become my favorite book of 2016. It has been so long since I've read a book that captivated me as much as this juicy post-apocalyptic romance. This book has it all- adventure, suspense, sweet romance and mind blowing sex. The characters are so captivating and frequently had me laughing at their exchanges. I loved the storyline of how the virus started and actually found it quite believable. I think that is one of the scariest things about this book. Kudos to Zanetti for developing it along with the newest monsters on Earth- the Rippers. She did a marvelous job of melding the post-apocalyptic thriller and the sweeter romance story into a juicy total. I had to force myself to put this book down and make it last more than one day simply because I did not want it to end. There is a second book coming out at the end of August but that's over six months away. It will feature Raze and Vivienne, characters you met in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Zanetti delivers an adrenaline rush, hot read that kept my attention from cover to cover. In this post-apocalypic novel we’re gifted a smoldering alpha ex-soldier hero and a tough stand-up-for-herself heroine. A deadly bacterial plaque has decimated the human population, leaving survivors – some normal but carriers of the Scorpius virus and others who are changed in to “rippers” who are either zombie-esque cannibals or empathy-stripped psychopaths. However, we are not exactly sure of the extent of the population affected as this story centered in Los Angeles. Lack of communication leaves the state of the rest of the world a mystery. Jax Mercury leads a stronghold band of survivors in a kill or be-killed world. Insurgents, raids…there’s a lot of fighting and death in this book. Then Lynne Harmony appears, previous head of CDC research and then infected early on with a mutated form of the Scorpius bacterium, leaving her feared and hated. Jax believes she’s the key to finding a cure to the infection. Of course they fall for each other in a long drag-out of we can’t feel this way for each other but it’s an apocalypse so let’s find love now or we may not have it tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong the love story was well done and there's a lot of sexy time in this book. There’s a huge cast of secondary characters, who are well developed and interesting. The world building is complex and strong, but you have to be in this for reading some necessary informational sections to understand what is going on. Overall great read. Can’t wait for the next in the series. *Book received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
aRomancelover More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic! I loved every minute of it and can't wait for the next one! Life is over as humans know it on planet Earth. A virulent bacterium has swept across the landscape killing most of the human population. Of those who have been infected and survived, they are changed…some for the better making them stronger, smarter, and who knows what else. But many others have been changed in a more evil sense of the word. Rippers, the survivors whose brains have been drained of sanity and empathy wander the earth in search of anything they can kill. But some Rippers are so intelligent, devious, and potentially evil that their insanity can pass as sanity...or so they think. Lynne Harmony is Blue Heart…the former head of infectious diseases at the CDC and a survivor of the Scorpius bacterium only it left her heart glowing blue with the ink of a mutant squid. After escaping her CDC prison, she seeks the one man who might be strong enough, savvy enough, and tough enough to not only protect her from the enemy seeking her return to captivity, but also might be willing to kill someone for her—Jax Mercury. She knows he and the others won’t trust her, will be afraid of her, and she can't blame them but she might be able to give something in return…her intelligence and expertise pertaining to a possible cure for Scorpius. Jax Mercury is a man who protects. He doesn’t have to be the ultimate leader and hero to the ragtag group of people who make up the Vanguard community under his protection but it’s who he is so when Lynne Harmony, a beautiful, intelligent, and extraordinary woman falls under his protection, he is determined to protect her. Learning to feel emotion, especially love, was not what he’d bargained for. MERCURY STRIKING by Rebecca Zanetti is probably one of the best, if not the absolute best story, I’ve read in a long while. I’ve read some good books but this one kept me glued to my reader tighter than any have before. MERCURY STRIKING is Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND meets The Walking Dead meets Typhoid Mary. It’s action-packed, edge of the seat gripping, sexy, and intelligently terrifying because it’s so real. This could actually happen and probably will someday. The characters are rich, lifelike, and emotional even while tight-lipped and cautious. The secondary characters are as real as the main characters and we, as the reader, get caught up in their friendships even though they've been short-lived and superficial for the most part. When one of the main secondary characters dies, it tears at the heart and be prepared to cry. It truly made my chest hurt. MERCURY STRIKING by Rebecca Zanetti might not be for everyone but if you love a good post-apocalyptic story and a heady romance with great heat, this story is for you and I highly, highly recommend you reading it. I was reading on a time crunch and still didn’t want it to end. I read the preview at the end for SHADOW FALLING, book two in the Scorpius Syndrome series and I am itching to get to it. September is to hell and gone a long way off, and I already want more of Vanguard and the amazing people who survive there. ***eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
Synopsis: 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… Review: I picked this one up at Netgalley on a whim. The synopsis looked interesting and the cover was appealing, but I had not read anything from this author before. Well, I am SO glad I did, because I couldn't put it down. I read it in two days and it was one of those books I couldn't put down to the point that I was up till well past 1 AM reading. It is also the first book of 2016 to receive 6 stars from me. The characters were very strong, dynamic, and complex. Mercury was such a strong male protagonist, he owned every page he showed up on. Lynn is a great match for him. She is soft and compassionate and knows how to get under his rough exterior to the heart underneath. The plot was complex and constantly moving. There were surprises and unexpected twists. The conflict is well developed and is difficult for the main characters to overcome. This story reminded me of Resident Evil and World War Z (though the human race hasn't turned into zombies, per se). It also had elements of other great post apocalyptic story lines. This one had all of the great blockbuster elements that make for an awesome story and an awesome read. I can't wait for book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An exciting and thrilling start to a very intriguing series, with a cast of colorful and mysterious characters! Great and sexy read! Looking forward to book two... SR
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the story gets off to a slow start both Mercury and Lynne are awesome team. Backed by other survivors of Scorpious. The group fights to stay together but not without a lot of danger . Read and survive with them if you dare.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Lynne Harmony is going through dangerous landscape, trying to find Jax Mercury, who has risen to mythical hero status since the world started coming to an end 6 months ago. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know if he’l be like everyone else and either try to kill her or turn her into those that are hunting her, considering most everyone blames her for the end. This is one of the first post-apocalypse books I’ve read and the first book I’ve read from this author. I must say, I was completely enraptured. The book snared me from the beginning and didn’t let go. I had a hard time putting it down, even reading it when I shouldn’t. It’s also usually a hard sell for the quick-love that happens in most books, but I couldn’t help but be very happy that Jax was able to embrace his humanity and feel for Lynne. I can’t wait to read more from this series and more from this author. **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I absolutely could not put Mercury Striking down. Ms. Zanetti throws us right into the story from the very first page--she's built one heck of a dystopian world here, but she doesn't waste our time bogging us down with the details of it; we jump right into Lynne and Jax's story and can barely catch our breath until we hit the last page, where Lynne and Jax have reached a happy place in their relationship, but very little is settled in the life and death struggle that is their world. So many elements to resolve...so many questions to answer...at least one psychotic bad guy to eliminate... The world that Ms. Zanetti created here reminds me quite a bit of the one in The Stand , minus the more overt mystical overtones of that novel. Our main characters are a scientist who may or may not hold the key to curing the plague and a former gang member and military special ops team member who has taken somewhat reluctant leadership of a small group of survivors out west. Lynne is on the run from some scary people and thinks she may know where to start looking for a cure, but she needs the protection and assistance that Jax, who had already made a name for himself and his group before national communications cut out, offers. Jax and Lynne feel an instant attraction, but it's definitely not instalove or even instalust, really. Their relationship developed quickly, sure, but given the state of their world it felt believable. I loved every moment that the two of them were on the page together--such great chemistry, even when they weren't 100% sure that they could trust each other. But once they do commit, watch out! The rest of the cast of characters are just as compelling, and I'm looking forward to great things from this series...though it's going to take me a little while to get over the character that was killed off. (Darn dystopian stories, with characters who die!) Needing to know how it will all play out, as well as finding out all of the various characters’ stories (and hopefully seeing them get HEAs!) will have me anxiously awaiting each installment of this series. Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent
ReadingInPajamas More than 1 year ago
Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome) by Rebecca Zanetti http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-3US Publication Date: January 26, 2016 Genre: Dystopian/ Post Apocalyptic Romance Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Cori Rated: 5 Stars REVIEW: I love this new series! Mercury Striking is the first book in Rebecca Zanetti's new post apocalyptic romance series, Scorpius Syndrome. There is a prequel novella that sets up the series in On the Hunt by Alexandra Ivy, Rebecca Zanetti, Dianne Duvall, Hannah Jayne that I would recommend picking up before reading Mercury Striking. This series is captivating, gritty and well written. Rebecca Zanetti created a unique post apocalyptic world and she draws the reader into the story. I love the new characters she has created. I highly recommend this series for dystopian lovers looking for an exciting new series. I'm hooked and can't wait to see where this series goes. I loved Mercury Srtiking and this series is one of my new addictions. QUOTE: "I’ll follow you into the depths of hell, and if I can’t get you out, I’ll quash the fires. —Jax Mercury" *Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for RZ new book. Well done.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
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… Review: Very exciting new series! This adult dystopian adventure is extremely well-done. Even though these type of books have been done to death in recent years, I found this story to unique and very engaging. I liked that the "zombies" or Rippers, as they are called in this story are the product of disease and that the Rippers are not the dead brought back to life, but are now basically serial killers. Their moral compass has been skewed by the disease that ravaged their bodies. Even those who have survived the sickness and are not psychopaths are just a little different/enhanced. Rippers are not the only things that go bump in the night and there are groups of people fighting each other and the Rippers for survival. Now, like the Walking Dead and such, don't get too attached to characters, survival is hard and a few already get killed off in this first book. Of course, there is romance and Lynn and Jax are sexy and perfect for each other. Gritty, sexy, exciting start to a new series and now I have to wait until September for the next one :( 4.5Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Angela and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog Mercury Striking has a thought provoking story line. Zanetti shows off her skills in writing good action, nail biting scenes and emotional predicaments that will leave readers in tears. Every turn of the page had me needing more and more of the story. There has been an outbreak that nearly wiped out the country. Only the fittest survived. Living without electricity, barely any gas, water, food, and people scavenge for what they can in abandoned places. The once civil and well-ordered world has become dark and very dangerous. However, there are the strong who started a small community where the women and children are protected and men stand strong against the dangers of this so called post-apocalyptic life. It was rumoured that the Lynne, the former head of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is responsible for the spread of the disease and continues to do spread the virus. Her blue heart is also known to be the very solution to the outbreak. There is so much more to the story but seeking Jax Mercury, ex-military, may be her last hope to survive and possibly save what’s left of humanity. The world Zanetti had created is dark, dangerous and the possibility of this story coming true is down right scary. Jax and Lynne are two very strong characters surviving this fight for survival not just for personal reasons but much bigger than they are. Their involvement to saving what’s left of their world is awe inspiring, and their past and current situation broke my heart. I love Zanetti’s placement of their characters and how important they have become to the people around them. The romance came at a slow pace but when it surfaced it was fueled by a lot of heat-of-the-moment situations. I loved every bit if their story I did miss reading the prequel, The Scorpious Rising, a novella released from the anthology called The Hunt. I didn’t feel that there was a need to read that since I fully understood what was going on in the book from the beginning until the end. However, I was told it tells part of Lynne’s journey and I would not want to miss that. So, I will be getting to that book as soon as possible. I fair warning. This book has a moderate amount of violence that may not be appropriate or enjoyed by many.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
Zanetti has created a tale so plausible that it gave me chills. The possibilities behind the dystopian world that she has created are endless. The world itself was vivid and well crafted. I appreciated how it was developed in the present with an intricate history. The action intensive plot was also exciting. Zanetti kept me hooked so that I couldn’t put it down. The hidden depths to the characters were fantastic. Each time that a new layer was revealed I felt closer to them. Jax’s caring despite the odds, fighting for those around him was a poignant counterpoint to him being the ultimate warrior. He is constantly an alpha in all ways. Lynne’s strength and intellect made her stand out in this novel while also making her a very intriguing individual. Not only were these two fantastic on their own, but the well-developed supporting cast of characters that Zanetti has created made a very interesting world to get lost in. There were so many individuals that I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t wait to meet again in the next novel. This is a dystopian tale like no other. It is definitely a series that I will be following to the very end. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.