Review: If I Ever by S.E. Jakes

Posted March 6, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: If I Ever by S.E. Jakes
If I Ever

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Hell or High Water #4
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on January 21, 2019
Pages: 330
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

Five years ago, I finished the last entry in this series to date and was left with lots of questions and that delicious kind of dread one gets for the book that will culminate a fantastic series.  As life often does, the author had a hitch in her plans and this grand finale had to wait.  But, like a trooper, she came through and here we have the last in a series story arc for Prophet and Tom and a transition for what is to come for Mal and Cillian.  It was emotionally tough, gritty with action, and a twisting plot that kept peeling back further reveals delivering a superb high-adrenaline story to finish off the series on a high note.


If I Ever is the fourth and final book in the Hell or High Water series, but is a transition book in the Extreme Escapes world.  It is not a place to start and will spoil earlier books if one was to pick up here.

At the end of of Daylight Again, things are left in a precarious place for Tom, Prophet, and the rest of Proph’s special ops team who are all wanted for a traitorous action they did not commit.  They have all been working together to find the true traitor who is like a ghost in the shadows hunting them as much as they hunt him.  In If I Ever, Proph’s onsetting blindness, his deep relationship with Tom, and his coming adoption of Remy, have him determined that enough is enough.  He will not let the danger from his past continue to touch what he loves.  He might privately have his doubts that Tom will stand by him when he knows all his secrets, but those doubts don’t match up with the fact that Tom is standing fast through everything.  So, he turns the tables and forces the prey to become the hunter.  And, he’s not the only one with dark secrets.

The book focuses on Proph and Tom as they come to a crisis point in their relationship.  Proph has to trust Tom with some pretty brutal facts that might break them apart and Tom has to be strong enough to accept those facts.  Their volatile way of handling things and each other is back and as hot and sizzling as ever.  But, behind Proph and Tom’s story are the secondary stories of Mal and Cillian, the rest of Proph’s team, Doc and Nico, and Dean.  There are a lot of important players in this one and its like a huge chessboard moving people about.  There are conflicts that cause an ever increasing tension in the plot to a series of crescendos.

There is a trigger warning for a rape scene.  I found it fit within the context of what was going on, but I bring it out so those who are not in a place to read something like that can avoid it.

I liked how the author stayed true to the earlier tone and pacing of the series even though this one came later.  There is a strong emphasis on the relationships both romantic and familial.  These men are not birth family, but have come together as a brotherhood against villains who stack up against them.  Everyone is some sort of top-level operative so the action and suspense is believable.

All in all, this was a sensational finish to Proph and Tom’s story and I don’t have to mourn because there is still Mal and Cillian’s story already begun in Dirty Deeds with anticipation toward the second installment in that series.  If I Ever and the Hell or High Water series is one I’d recommend toward those who want hot and spicy m/m romance and gritty spec ops suspense action.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


New Release #11
Literary Pickers #31 Kink
COYER Winter #57


About S.E. Jakes

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want.

You can contact her the following ways:

You can email her at

You can post to her Facebook page:

You can Twitter her:

You can post on her Goodreads Group: Ask SE Jakes

You can follow her on Tumblr:

You can ask her a question as part of the Ask The Author program on Goodreads:…

Truth be told, the best way to contact her is by email or in blog comments. She spends most of her time writing but she loves to hear from readers.

SE Jakes is the pen-name of New York Times Bestselling Author Stephanie Tyler (and half of Sydney Croft!)

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Lover Of Romance
3 years ago

I love a good m/m romance and this is an author I haven’t read yet. Gonna pick this one up here!! love seeing how much this book worked for you darling. Great review.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

These are big hot and spicy action packed stories that I really enjoy. Make sure you start at book one if you go for it, Renee. They build on each other. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Glad this was a strong story and that the darker context fit within the story.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I confess that I thought after five years that this one would never come. But, good on her, for finishing and hitting the the spinoff for the other characters. 🙂
Yes, they can get gritty at times, but this one went the darkest with that rape.

Bookworm Brandee
3 years ago

Sophia, I’ve not read Jakes but this story and series sound AMAZING! And luckily for me, I don’t have to wait for the final book to release….I can binge on the whole series. I’m so happy that Jakes did you proud and gave you a rather epic ending for this series. (even if you had a long wait for it) A series ending like this one seems to be is something that keeps us readers happy, yeah? 😉 I’m off to see if my library carries this series.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

It was like the biggest Christmas present to learn that she was back to writing and determined to finish out the series for her fans. She’s going for it with the side character stories, too. I’m glad you’re hooked into trying them, Brandee. They are full of action and hot sex, but also great twisting thrillers too. 🙂

3 years ago

It’s great to see you had such a good time with this one!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

I was tickled to death to see this final book release, Melliane. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

I haven’t read the series but it sounds like I should. I really like the sound of this one.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Oh man, it’s like reading a hot action movie. 🙂

Carole rae
3 years ago

Mhmmm I am intrigued now 😉

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Heh, heh, glad to tempt you, Carole. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Wow, it took five years to get the last story? I guess unexpected things pop up in life and then what can you do? Nice that the author got back to the story and you really enjoyed it. I’ll have to check this series out from the beginning. Wonderful review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yeah, I think something big went down in her private life. I was losing hope this series would be wrapped up so I was ecstatic to see the announcement. Yes, if you give it a go, its a must to get it from the beginning. 🙂

Melanie Simmons
3 years ago

So glad to see that you got the nice ending to the series that you were wanting. Great review.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yes, I would never pressure an author to write and its not like I couldn’t occupy myself with other books. But, ahhhh, the relief to get all the answers and the ending. 🙂