Review: Monkey Business
Monkey Business by Tymber Dalton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Biological warfare is never so scary as when it's combined with drugs to hook people on a fatal addiction. If you enjoyed War World Z, this book will be up your alley. This is the first of a promising ten book series. After reading this first one, I want to read them all. Tango and Doc are part of a twenty-man team. This duo is closer to each other than any of the others in the team. When they are assigned to watch over a troublemaking reporter, Celia Jorgens, a chore becomes something more.
This book is raw in its language. There are acronyms galore and salty language to a sailor's delight. For those who are used to military speak, this book definitely gets into character. This is what I really enjoyed about the book. The men are men. They are aggressive and always situational aware. Ms. Dalton does an excellent job of showing how men in the military can behave. Is this realistic that all twenty men are drop dead gorgeous? This is why the book is erotic fiction. The men in this book are fun. They are rowdy and say what they mean. There isn't any of the pussy footing sugar coating. They also try to teach a civilian "special snowflake" how to be at least a little bit more educated in defense.
This part I particularly liked because Ms. Dalton shows how Celia may not be up for the training, but she does her best. She doesn't whine about it. She doesn't bluff the men. She's tenacious, which I can admire. A secondary character of note is the leader of these Drunk Monkeys--Papa. Is it wrong that I see Papa played by a young Clint Eastwood?
The world building of this new series captures my attention. It's thought-provoking and set in a speculative fiction manner. Honestly, I can see the events play out as Ms. Dalton lays it out. I'm Chinese and I can pretty much guarantee the way the Chinese respond in the book is dead on. Whilst one may point out that I am safely living in the States, I can also counter with my family and friends currently residing in China. The conversations with them are enlightening. For those who don't think the Chinese will use lethal force to resolve a conflict, think again.
The conflict in this story is intriguing. As in, how this virus came into existence and what players are in the game to create a vaccine. Ms. Dalton does try to blur the lines so events and actions aren't so black and white. Still, the main characters do come across as more idealistic than realistic. Celia especially shows her age and lack of experience when she condemns a person she interviews. Her viewpoints are valid and yet quite First World western thinking. I say this because those of us in the States still enjoy the ability to have freedom for the most part. Celia's indignation, while justified, doesn't take into account how easily most of the Western world takes safety as a given right rather than a hard earned and protected luxury.
The main focus is supposed to be on the erotic ménage of Celia, Tango and Doc, but another character is more interesting. He's the despicable con man with delusions of grandeur. This character is a mix between Hugo Dax in Moonraker and Jonas Nightengale in Leap of Faith with an abusive kinky bent. Honestly, this villain is straight up James Bond villain archetype. He is fascinating for me because I hope he succeeds quite a bit and just when he thinks he is on top of the world, he's taken down with an incredibly hard fall. My hope is Ms. Dalton keeps him around for a while with an explosive show down in the final book. He does need to be written with just a little bit more cleverness. Right now, he still comes across as a thug playing smart guy.
From an erotic perspective, this book would be fine without any of the sex scenes. They are okay as is but they didn't really do it for me. The plot is strong enough to go without the threesome. At times it comes across forced and unnecessary. I could care less if these three get it on or get it off. How they relate to each other didn't make me want to turn to the next page.
If you are looking for a ménage theme with a bit of action, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a book with men high on testosterone and adrenaline because they never know if today is the day they will die, this is the book for you. Recommended for readers who enjoy action packed speculative fiction.
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