Herc’s Mercs: Once a Hero by Ari McKay

Title: Herc’s Mercs: Once a Hero
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 148
Kisses: 5


Ezra Levin spent years as a soldier, just as his father had wished. But after stints in the Israeli military, the Mossad, and finally as a member of Hercules Security, the man once known as “Ghost” decides to retire and pursue his own dreams of being a chef. At forty-five, he knows his yearning to have a partner and a family of his own are probably unattainable, but as a private chef for Judge Mason Whittaker and his young son, Jamie, Ezra finds some measure of fulfillment.

Unfortunately, Mason’s past as a District Attorney has made him a lot of enemies – one of whom seems to be looking for payback. When a series of unsettling events disturbs the Whittaker household, Ezra immediately steps up, wanting to protect Mason and Jamie. He calls upon his old friend, Cade Thornton, for help, as a cunning criminal plays a game of cat and mouse that endangers Mason’s life. Ezra realizes that Mason has come to mean far more to him than just an employer, and that he’s going to have to use all his old skills to stop a killer – or else he just might wind up losing the man he loves.


Once a Hero is the latest book in the Herc’s Mercs series. While I loved all the stories, this one is probably one of my favorites. It centers on Ezra, a former member of the Mossad who later found his way to Herc and his group of mercenaries. Now he has reached the point where he is ready to become a civilian and leaves to become a cook/nanny for a single man and his young son.

The beginning of the book lets you know right away that something bad is going to happen. Of course this meant I was tense, waiting for the next shoe to fall. Luckily for Mason and Jamie they have Ezra in their corner.

Ezra has been with the Whittaker’s for six months and without realizing it he is starting to look at the Mason and Jamie as his family. Ezra has no plans to say anything until someone from Mason’s past shows up. Worried that he won’t be able to protect the two most important people on his own, he calls Herc for help.

The story is full of action as Ezra and his friends try to figure out what is going on. Of course with all the craziness out there, Ezra and Mason can’t help but reveal how the feel about the other. These two are hot together and I loved seeing Ezra finally get the family he has always wanted.

Mason’s stalker is still out there and I was worried more than once, especially with the scene in the courthouse garage. The author did a good job however bring enough suspense into the story without it taking over. The way the story plays out was terrific and I especially loved the way the author allowed Ezra to have his family as well as the action he was missing after retiring.

I can’t wait to see how many more stories the author is planning to add to this series. It is one that can be read out of order but I really suggest reading them in the order they came out. This series is a great one to start with if the author is new to you, and one that fans are sure to re-read many times.

Reviewed by: Lydia


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