“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…
About the Author
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.
Read an Excerpt
By REBECCA ZANETTI
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Rebecca Zanetti
All rights reserved.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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!
Loved the action and cleverness and some romance page turner
Really like the characters so far and it’s not just your everyday zombie apocalypse. It’s an apocalypse with people struggling to survive not just a disease but also the worst humanity has to offer.
Enjoyed very much
I bought this book because the premise sounded interesting and I wanted some romance with action. The book is good, the character development could’ve been better. There was a whole community but they seemed more abstract than actual people. Jax was a military man who became a leader once this apocalypse came about. I didn’t really like his Alpha male personality as much. The flashbacks to his past were confusing and his demeanor as being too ‘afraid’ to actually get to know his people and be more than just a military man was off-putting. Lynn Harmony was the heroine and was really smart. The way she was written just made me dislike her a bit. She kind of took whatever happened as is. She didn’t really fight back. She’s supposed to be clumsy but it seems like the only time she actually portrays clumsiness are times she’s actually needed and manages to only give partial effort. Lynn is supposed to be a very smart scientist, yet most of the time she’s a ‘helpless’ female waiting for her man to save her. If you like this aspect then great. Here’s a book for you. But I’ve recently begun to look for books in which the female character fights back for what she wants. Like the Kate Daniels series. Throughout this entire book I found myself pushing to actually read rather than give up halfway through. If I could go back in time, would I still purchase this book? Probably not. The world building is pretty great. It had a definite Walking Dead feel, though there aren’t actually many instances we were able to actually encounter the ‘zombies’ or Rippers of this apocalypse. Seemed more focused on the dramas of the main group of people and it was more about the rival gang out to get the community.
Title: Mercury Striking Author: Rebecca Zanetti Genre: Adult Post-Apocalyptic Romance Format: Ebook Pages: 384 Rating: 5 Heat: 5 Thoughts: Ooooh, that was good!! A bacteria has wiped out most of the USA, maybe the world but with the internet and other communications down we don’t know. And if you survive having the deadly disease you could end up being a serial killer. Not everyone goes to that extreme but it will still change you. I am loving this, there’s a bit of fantasy/paranormal thrown in that keeps you on your toes. Some of the survivors seem to have psychic abilities of some kind and I can’t wait to see what else pops up. Awesome characters, although other than Lynne and Jax we really don’t get to know anyone that well. Not a bad thing, and the hints are there which had me wanting the next book NOW! There’s just enough mystery, little tidbits, that keep you glued to the page hoping to learn more. Great start to a must read series!
Zanetti does not disappoints.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While being entirely way too smutty for my tastes, Mercury Striking is a well thought out page turner. With the Scorpius bacteria on the loose, more deadly than the plague, Jax Mercury has created his own community in Los Angeles where the people are protected and everyone does their part. Meanwhile, Lynn Harmony aka “Blue Heart” is fugitive #1. Said to be carrying a mutated strain of the Scorpius bacteria, she is supposed to be turned into what’s left of the government if she’s found. As the former head of the CDC, she’s too valuable to let go. So obviously this is a romance. And it’s a steamy alpha male romance at that. Personally, I don’t get the whole alpha male attraction. They’re mostly just jerks. Jax isn’t too bad, as far as Alpha’s go. He’s got a lot of backstory and reasons for acting the way he does. He’s got a past and demons to conquer. Lynne is far from the damsel in distress herself. She’s got a brain and knows how to use it. She’s got her own demons to vanquish and together with Jax, they may just be able to take on the world. I was surprised by how much I liked about this book. The action was good and kept the story moving. The explanations for the Scorpius bacteria was well thought out and interesting, it wasn’t a last minute cop out thrown together by the author in order to get the characters in bed together. It was legit. And I liked it. The side characters were also very interesting and I have a feeling there is plenty to find out about each of them in the future. As far as what I didn’t like, as I said before, I’m not one for books with lots of sex. It’s just not my reading preference. If you like a lot of sex scenes, this is the book for you! For me, it was too much. Especially a particular scene in the book which was WAY too rapey for my liking. The author knows each partner wanted it, but there was no way that Jax knew she really wanted it. She said no, and he did it anyway. It left a really bad taste in my mouth and if I were the kind of reader who quit partway through a book, I would have quit. Aside from that scene, I had no other major issues with the book. So, should you read it? If you like LOTS of sex scenes and romance novels that have more substance than just the romance aspect, YES. If you don’t like sex scenes, you may have a harder time. You could always skip over them, but you’ll miss some of the relationship development.
Exciting exciting. Survival at it's best. This is going to be a great series.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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. ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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