Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Lexi Blake’s No Time to Lie is everything you adore about her Masters and Mercenaries world. If you’ve been reading the Reloaded series, then you are familiar with Drake Radcliffe, that smarmy CIA agent who both assists and complicates McKay-Taggart operations. There is a backstory involving his story that gains more steam in this newest offering. And it makes for a heck of a romantic suspense ride.
At her core, Lexi Blake writes some exciting romantic suspense. There are twists and turns that take her readers down different avenues of action. This is commonplace in Blake’s series. It is also true for No Time to Lie. There is so much that happens in this story. The relationship between Drake and Taylor is told in the past and in the present. As such, we endure their second chance at love. As is the case with most Blake romances, Taylor and Drake encounter instant attraction and love. However, their lives become complicated by their roles, Drake as a CIA agent and Taylor as support for her operative father. In the beginning, they find themselves stuck in a CIA hiding spot where they fall quickly for each other. When the outside world threatens them, they are separated, and each of them feels betrayed by the other. Blake moves us forward 18 months, and these two reencounter each other on a special operation to take down an evil organization, one in which Drake’s enemy sister takes part. No Time to Lie is quick-paced, and you find yourself pulled into Drake and Taylor’s initial fall and eventual reconciliation, but Blake doesn’t take it easy on them, elongating their reconciliation.
Blake’s characterization of Drake and Taylor is typical. Drake is complicated: he comes from privilege, has “daddy” issues, and both loves and detests his sister. He’s not entirely looking for a “Taylor” in his life. Taylor is also complicated: insightful, strong, and committed to her father. When their lives explode, Taylor reacts by becoming stronger and more capable. Quite frankly, when they reunite, Drake struggles with her. This makes for some of the funniest portions of the story, and it causes readers to gain a greater appreciation for her.
Thankfully, what I love most about this series and Lexi Blake’s world of espionage is the community she has created. Big Tag is here along with past characters whom we have previously fallen in love with. These characters are the wizened guides for the current character stories of the Reloaded series. Thanks to Big Tag, Drake “sees” Taylor better, and their reunion grows into more, exactly where Blake wants her readers to fall in love with her story.
I would say the downfall of these stories is the, oftentimes, repetitive nature of them. Thankfully, I’m a fan of this extended universe, so it’s exciting to read former characters in current stories. At the end of this book, there is a massive tease for Blake’s next series, and I can’t wait to see where McKay-Taggart et al. is headed in the future. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, some BDSM, and universes of characters, you should really jump into Lexi Blake’s Masters & Mercenaries worlds.
In love and romance,