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War never leaves a soldier behind.

Staff Sergeant Alexei Dvorkin is still recovering from his brief stint as a prisoner of war. While his physical wounds have healed, the emotional scars are slow to disappear. Agent Sean Delaney’s recovery from trauma is likewise slower than anticipated, and he also blames himself for what Alexei suffered through.

The ties between Alexei and Sean were frayed by the enemy’s hand. Mending what was broken between them will require a depth of honesty neither man is ready to face just yet. But if they don’t, they risk losing a future together neither wants to let go.

112 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 10, 2018

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About the author

Hailey Turner

35 books1,607 followers
Hailey Turner is a big city girl who likes to spoil her cats rotten. She writes science fiction and fantasy with lots of action, epic plots, and romantic relationships that satisfy the heart. Hailey lives in sunny California when she isn’t adding stamps to her passport.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 152 reviews
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,106 reviews839 followers
January 4, 2021
Reread/listen 2021

Audiobook - 5+++++ Greg eargasms

“Ya tebya lyublyu,” Alexei whispered.
I’m not leaving, Alexei promised


5++++ All the stars in the world

Leave it to Hailey to give you an intense bookgasm with only 106 pages.


Alexei the love of my life and Sean are goals together.

This little much needed novella picks up after book 4 In the Blood, and is basically all about Alexei and Sean's recovery.

3 months later after the horrible events that happened in the book 4, Sean and Alexei are in therapy but Sean is still finding it difficult to forgive himself, this in turn affects their relationship. I loved how the recovery journey was done, it was more realistic, no magic dicks or kisses here.

The brief moment of closeness that followed their reunion was the last time he’d held Sean in his arms longer than a few minutes, and Alexei fucking missed having Sean in his arms like that.
They shared an apartment and slept in the same bed, but they never slept together. Alexei was always willing to have Sean close, but it was Sean who kept pulling away, kept parts of himself back, and it killed Alexei to see that.

My heart broke for these two. What i loved is that nobody walked away, no unnecessary drama or silence.

Book Gods bless Nazari for the mission in London, i got to see the Liam aka. The Knight, Hailey i need his book like yesterday.


The mission also helped Alexei and Sean get more closer. I was so happy right then, i had missed their closeness. The chemistry between Alexei and Sean flows from page to page and off pages too.

“I keep thinking I’ll hurt you if I touch you. I never wanted to hurt you,” Sean confessed.
“Always want your touch. Always want you, Senichka.”
Everything took time, after all, and surviving was a journey. It always would be.
“You’ve never called me that before,” Sean said, searching his face. “Senichka.”
Alexei’s gray eyes crinkled a bit at the corners when he smiled softly at him. “Is most small name. Just for you. My Senichka.”

Ugh!😍😍😍 Alexei this guy will be the death of me.He is perfect with his broken English and all.


This was a great novella.

This made my stomach flip flop..😚😚

“Callahan requested your secondment to Alpha Team become permanent. I’m inclined to grant the request.”
“Welcome to Alpha Team.”
Nazari left. Sean found himself staring at Jamie.


This was perfect just, absolutely perfect.

I will read book 5 soon, because when you find yourself dreaming you are one of the Alpha Team member, you have to admit to yourself your addiction is getting out of control, and take a little step back.
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,222 reviews454 followers
November 10, 2021
4.5 Stars

A lovely angsty look at Alexei and Sean in the aftermath of the terrible awful events that occurred in In the Blood. There’s no doubt these two love each other but sometimes that’s not quite enough to move forward from such trauma.

However, a critical mission forces these two to work together again which just serves to fully solidify why they’re so great together on and off the field.

Poignantly emotional, peppered with intense action, Turner delivers yet another win for this series!
Profile Image for Simone - on indefinite hiatus  -.
689 reviews43 followers
February 14, 2018
Everything took time, after all, and surviving was a journey.
It always would be.

Ähnliches Foto


After everything a certain someone *side-eyes the author* made Alexei and Sean go through in In the Blood, both the guys and us readers - okay, at least I - needed quite some time to recover. Even if some tender approaches have already been made at the end of the previous book, it was pretty obvious that Alexei and Sean in particular would have to go a long way to feel safe in their own skin and find their connection, the safety in their relationship again. Trauma has a deep impact on the soul and overcoming guilt, doubts and one's own insecurities is something Sean has apparently more of a hard time to come to terms with than Alexei.
Knowing what he wanted to do was easy. Actually doing it, well... his head kept getting in the way of his heart. He knew his insecurities were what was holding them both back, and not anything Alexei had done. It made him angry with himself, but anger wouldn't help either of them.

Alexei is known - not to say famous - for his stubbornness and giving up on Sean and their love is something that is not going to happen, as much as Sean's reserve does hurt. With stubbornness comes patience, though, and deep down he knows that only time can heal all wounds and he is determined to show Sean that he is not going anywhere.

Cleared for active field duty, both men are sent to London on an undercover mission where they have to prove that they still have each other's back to get the job done. When suddenly someone appears on the scene who could endanger the whole mission, both men have to find their inner strength and show that they are still a team, in- and outside of the job...

First of all, although this is the first book in a new collection of short stories in the Metahuman universe, I would not advise to read this as a standalone. It is connected to the events of In the Blood and you would be lost if you don't know all the books in the Metahuman Files series.

It is pretty rare for me to give a short story five stars because usually - even if it is part of a series - something is missing. Not. This. Time. It did not even feel extremely short, because it contained everything I already know and love from the other books.

Heart-melting scenes. Hot and teeth-rattling sex. Action. Team dynamics.

This was all about Sean and Alexei and their recovery in any and every possible way...
Bildergebnis für male strip gif

... and I loved how the author dealt with the PTSD issue at hand by stressing that this is a process that takes maybe a lifelong time and not something that would disappear someday at a moment's notice, so kudos from me for a well-done research.

It was also great to see Liam again -Metahuman himself and working with the UMG, the British equivalent to the MDF- who we already met during the team's last mission in London and I simply love his dry British humor.
"Please make sure your distraction isn't deadly to any civilians. Gran will be fucking pissed if I make the news tonight."

Since he is also thirteenth in line for the British throne, I reckon I don't need to point out who this 'gran' person would be? ;-) As for me, I am more than ready for him to get his own book and he so deserves it. Right, Ms. Turner? Pretty please?

I left the voodoo doll in the drawer this time, but admonished my cat to cuddle duty again, because recovery time can be as painful as the suffering itself that led to the requirement. Of course, once more it did not go according to plan and I really need to have a straight talk with him about his duties. Thank heavens, I have a collection of teddy bears who are not such a prima donna and on which I could rely on when the story gave me goose bumps all over, and that was quite often.

Okay, I will stop now before this review gets longer than the book itself, so let me finish by saying: fans of the Metahuman Files will love this novella, so read it!!!

***ARC generously provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!***
Profile Image for ~Mindy Lynn~.
1,399 reviews593 followers
March 4, 2018
5 Stars!

It was absolutely heartbreaking to see the distance between one of my favorite couples. After everything these two went through together NO ONE deserves a HEA more than them. Hailey Turner really put us readers through with their book. I think anyone who read this couples book needed this book. I know I needed to know how they were coping and if things had gotten any better. Sadly our boy Sean is still feeling some serious guilt where Alexei is concerned. The tension is high and Sean is struggling with nightmares where he dreams that he is the one inflicting the pain on Alexei. With those nightmares close to surface he can't bring himself to touch Alexei for long. They haven't been intimate because Sean freezes up. Alexei is patient and is doing better than Sean even though he still has his moments. But he misses his lover. He misses just being able to touch him without Sean moving away from him. Alexei, as he was in their book, was the strong force against the storm they were fighting and reassured Sean he was going nowhere and he could lean on him. That he could be strong enough for them both until Sean was strong enough to stand on his own.
During the middle of all this both men are cleared for duty. Alexei is thrilled where Sean doesn't think he's ready. But both men fall into work as if they'd never been away. The mission of course goes awry and our men are once again running for their lives. I was glad for this bit of action that broke through the angst because it brought them back to where they once were before tragic changed them.
Reunited and it feels so good! Their coming together was hot, sweet, emotional, and just what this reader needed. I LOVE this couple and I am so pleased that by the end of the book they were doing so well and back to where they belonged; in each other's arms.

Happy reading dolls!
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,560 reviews3,842 followers
February 5, 2018
4.5-star-rating.png (938×189)

I am normally not a big fan of novella's, and when I can ...I usually skip them.

Gerelateerde afbeelding

But when I found out why there was gonna be an "in between" novella,  I gladly made an exception it. This is my fav couple after all !!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor you're my favorite gif

After everything they have been through in the previous book,  it was very nice getting a little follow up, to see how Alexei and Sean were recovering .....

It seems like Sean is struggeling a bit harder than Alexei is, and seeing them both so lost broke my heart.... Thankfully Alexei once again proves he is the man I always knew him to be, and he doesn't just give up on his kotyonok. 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Kotyonok

Now I don't think they are not completely healed yet (mentally), but they are well on their way. Which is a very good thing, because the next book is on it's way and I have no idea what Hailey has in store for them next.... If there is one thing I have learned, it's that Hailey loves to shock, and she also loves the tears of her readers ...

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor tears of my readers

I highly recommend this series, but be aware that this book can not be read as a stand alone. You should definitely start with book 1 in this series "In The Wreckage"

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My reviews are posted on DirtyBooksObsession

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Profile Image for Christelle.
808 reviews
February 25, 2018
I have a tough relationship with this series. Not my favorite, but the writing is solid and the initial world building and the fantastic camaraderie between the Metahuman team picked my interest.

In the last book In the Blood, I felt frustrated because there was too much action for my taste and nothing about the aftermath of the terrible ordeal two of the MCs, Sean and Alexei, went through. Fortunately, this short story is a much needed – at least for me - addition.
It's tough to see Sean lost in the pain he felt on behalf of Alexei and swooning to see Alexei so sure of his love for Sean.
And the balance between action and romance was much more to my taste here, there is that.

I’m still curious about the next instalment and I cross my fingers that there will be less fireworks and more romance and interaction with the team and some good progress in the plot. Hey, no harm in expressing my wishes !
Profile Image for Meags.
2,180 reviews417 followers
August 4, 2021
4 Stars

This novella is an absolute must-read if you’re tackling the main Metahuman Files series in correct reading order. As far as I'm concerned, this is book 4.5 and should definitely be read straight after In the Blood.

This story provides a pivotal look into Sean and Alexei’s lives, in the aftermath of what happened to them in book four (which I won’t talk about in fear of ruining the larger story for new readers).

Let’s just say a lot of hurt-comfort is at play here. Lots of healing, mentally and emotionally, for both men, but particularly for Sean, who has had a hell of a time coming to terms with what happened to him and Alexei and the role he personally feels he played in causing it to happen.

There is guilt and trauma to be overcome, and it's not easy or magically fixed by love. But these guys are always stronger when they’re together, and Alexei is just the steadfast, loyal partner that Sean needs, on and off the job, to help aide the long and arduous healing process.

I just adore these two together and I’m so grateful we got to witness them finding their strength and resolve renewed in the unbreakable love they have for each other.

Just beautiful. <3
Profile Image for Barbara➰.
1,594 reviews392 followers
August 31, 2019
Alexei and Sean are one of my favorite couples. I love them together and individually. This one broke my heart. The distance between the two after their tragedy is wide. But they eventually find their way and I couldn't be happier. They have suffered enough without being able to lean on each other to heal. There's still healing to be done but they are on their way and will be stronger because of it. Thanks Anne, for telling me to pick this one up ❤️
Profile Image for Ariana  (mostly offline).
1,393 reviews44 followers
February 13, 2018
*4,5 stars*

I simply had to race through this. I had to know how Sean and Alexei get over their problems after going through the most traumatic experiences in book 4.

What can I say? Alexei is SWOON-WORTHY.
For some reason the way Hailey Turner writes his Russian accent does things to me. It's always so to the point, simple and honest and at times absolutely hilarious. But here Alexei also shines through his complete loyalty to Sean and his commitment to their relationship, even when the going is tough.
I LOVE that guy. And boy, does his protective streak when he is jealous, make me chuckle.

Fabulous additions to a great series!
Profile Image for Anne Boleyn's Ghost.
368 reviews63 followers
February 14, 2018
My beautiful cinnamon rolls. My sun and stars. My darling clementines. My Alexei and Sean.

Yes, I’m aware that this level of obsession with fictional characters borders on disturbing and desperate, but guess what?

Out of the Ashes was an intense and immensely satisfying follow-up to In the Blood, the fourth installment in Hailey Turner's utterly riveting Metahuman Files series. Unlike many of my fellow readers, I wasn’t that angry with Turner despite the torture - both literal and figurative - suffered by Alexei and Sean. Because I knew that even as they broke into little pieces, they would put themselves back together again.

As fans of the series have come to expect, the story plays out in a fast-paced and action-packed manner, humorous, suspenseful, and sexy. Their reconciliation, the healing of wounds no longer visible but still raw, unfolds during an overseas mission. While there are a few notable cameos from other team members, the focus remains - as it should - on Alexei and Sean.

Alexei and Sean are my favorite couple in the series. I'm a sucker for their blend of tenderness and heat, of need and hesitation, the possessiveness and protectiveness. With this story, Alexei has officially earned one of the coveted (in my dreams, but go with it) spots of book boyfriend. It's an exclusive list, but don't worry - he is in good company with Sebastian St. James of Devil in Winter, the one and only Lothaire, and Andrei and Lucas of Shiver (no, I couldn't choose one).

While I hope that the men have additional and ample face-time in the next installment, I'm most grateful that Turner chose to chart Alexei and Sean's recovery in a novella. I’ll end with the observation that Out of the Ashes is listed as “A Metahuman Files Classified Novella #1”. And maybe it’s desperate wishful thinking, but I can’t help but assume that means that we’re getting more novellas. And if we are, in fact, getting more novellas, can one of them feature Katie and Matthew?


Profile Image for Kaity B.
1,430 reviews13 followers
January 3, 2022
Reread/relisten 3

Same as before, i love all the small names Alexei gives Sean. They are the perfect couple and I love their relationship so much!!

Reread/Reslisten 2: Still the same rating of 4.5 stars

no new things to say. it was heartbreaking what sean and alexei went through and i am glad they got through it.

Reread: 4-4.5 stars still.

I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Like the first time I wish it was longer, if there were a few more chapters I wouldn’t be mad, since they are my favorite couple :)

4-4.5 stars

for such a short book a lot happened and i enjoyed every moment even when their relationship was tested.

gred bourdeaux really does a great job with all the characters and just makes me love Alexei even more than i already do.

i can't wait to see what happens with the Alpha Team in the next book!
Profile Image for haletostilinski.
1,229 reviews410 followers
February 14, 2018

Okay, so like I enjoyed Sean and Alexei before this. I really, really liked them. I don't know if I loved them, but I knew I didn't love them quite as much as Jamie and Kyle.

That changed with this short - or at least, they've now come super close to Jamie and Kyle for me. This made me go from really liking and enjoying these two together to loving them.

They go through a bit of a rough patch, understandably, after they were both tortured in the last book - I assume that isn't a spoiler if you want to read this as you need to read the previous 4 books in order to understand what is going on in this one.

The big problem in this novella was Sean's guilt. As thought by Sean numerous times in this short story, it's one thing to intellectually know something wasn't your fault. It's a lot harder to believe it. And Sean is dealing with a lot of misplaced guilt in this.

But of course Turner got them to work through it eventually, and going back into the field - the very "place" so to speak, where these two were traumatized - just might be the thing to get these two back to things clicking between them.

They both understandably need time to heal, and this starts off three months after the events of book four. While Alexei still gets nightmares and has his moments of panic, he actually is healing mentally from the events at a faster rate than Sean is.

But Alexei is there, no matter what, and he never gives up.

This is what I love about couples that are truly, deeply in love and want each other. Even if things get hard, they always, always eventually work it out, because they want each other too much to just give up.

Another couple would have given up, but these two don't. Or more, Alexei doesn't give up on Sean because it is Sean that has something to get past. Although Sean not walking away from Alexei is a different way of not giving up.

The love these two have for each other shined through this novella, even in the tougher first half.

They both dealt with a bit of jealousy, but no one compares to the other so they really didn't have anything to be jealous about. But in their state of doubt and uncertainty, jealous, I feel, is a natural emotion when anyone shows an interest in your partner.

But here was no doubt for either who they wanted, and they were just beautiful together. I love love loved this.

I agree with Hailey Turner with what she said in her author's note at the end of this: that this healing period these two needed would not quite have fit right in a full fifth installment in the series. Fitting their healing process into all the action and excitement wouldn't have worked quite right.

And now I want more of these novella's in the future for any short story that needs to be told outside of the main novels.

Recommend this so much, I loved it. Read it read it read it :P
Profile Image for Denise H..
2,958 reviews219 followers
March 24, 2018
*** Year 2285 Earth ***
This fantastic novella follows IN THE BLOOD, from this Hailey Turner series about The MDF, Metahuman Defence Force; Metahumans with special powers they use to fight evil in our world. A horrific kidnapping and torture left Alexei and Sean recovering. Sean continues to feel guilty for not being able to help Alexei.

*** Now, three months has past, and the men are together, but not touching, because Sean feels he is unworthy of that joy. They are sent on a mission in London, together, which is intense, and dangerous. The mission stretches and jars their feelings. * A breakthrough unfolds.
I love these strong characters,vulnerable and adrift in their struggle.
I love Alexei's accent and nicknames for Sean, and lovey-dovey words, " ya tebya lyublyu " and we feel the sentiments.

Fabulous sexy time, and we get an HEA with this marvelous short story. You must read the previous book to understand all that has happened.
Highly recommended. ENJOY !

Profile Image for Josy.
973 reviews3 followers
May 29, 2018
~ 4.5 stars ~

A much-needed addition to In the Blood if you want to know how Sean and Alexei deal with the aftermath of what has happened to them. A heartbreaking but still hopefull novella that shows the deep love between these two men. For a much shorter story than the other books in the Metahuman Series, I think the author dealt really well with the trauma and feelings of guilt they experienced - no magic solutions but therapy, time, patience, and the love of your life at your side every step of the way.
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,472 reviews319 followers
May 1, 2018
Superb short story follow up with Sean and Alexei after the traumatic events of In the Blood.

This explores in depth the mental disconnection which the lovers are in after their torture at the hand of terrorist Cillian Halloran and what lengths they're willing to go to get back to some semblance of normality.

The mission is a hoot as it drops back in with London-based Liam Wessex and has a lovely car chase along the A1!

Eventually all is well and Sean and Alexei deal with the issues which forced them apart and its glorious.
Profile Image for Alex (HEABookNerd).
1,750 reviews238 followers
August 25, 2022
OUT OF THE ASHES was a nice little novella featuring Sean and Alexei who are still recovering from their capture and torture from IN THE BLOOD. While this is the start of a companion series you definitely need to read the previous books to know what's going on. My heart was breaking for Sean and Alexei as they struggle with PTSD, guilt, anxiety, and fear. These two have been through so much and I'm so glad we got to see them reconnecting and finding peace with each other.

Content Warning: references to torture, PTSD
Profile Image for Loulou .
1,001 reviews
March 10, 2022

After what happened to Sean and Alexei, they were still hurting and struggling to get their normal back.

They got a few hurdles out of the way and were able to find their way back to each other.

Alexei, your love for Sean is so beautiful and this is why you're my fave! Also Jealousy becomes you my dears.
Profile Image for Gerbera_Reads.
1,448 reviews134 followers
July 24, 2018
This is a short novelette describing the aftermath of Boston attack and how Sean and Alexei were dealing with what happened to them. Ms Turner is a master storyteller. The depth of emotions between the two men made this book feel larger than it was. Wonderful book with so many hidden feelings, ever present humor and hot and steamy encounters. Loved it!
Profile Image for Jo * Smut-Dickted *.
2,038 reviews468 followers
April 22, 2020
Loved it. I actually really enjoyed the sole focus on one couple. If I have any complaints on the main series it is sometimes doing 2 couples at a time is exhausting. This was so much nicer - the focus was there, you got to see much more clearly the progression. My heart hurt so bad after the last book. And it was way more gruesome than I would have expected. This one ended on just the right note. I feel complete.
Profile Image for Caz.
2,762 reviews1,033 followers
January 1, 2021
I've given this an A for narration and a B for content at AudioGals.

Note: I reviewed all three in the set together, so click on the link to get to the individual reviews.

Here’s a little treat (well, three little treats!) for anyone (like me!) suffering withdrawal symptoms after Hailey Turner’s fabulous Metahumans Files series came to an end earlier this year – the novellas that slot into the later part of the story arc. Unsurprisingly, these won’t work as standalones as they assume listeners know who these people are and The Story So Far, so if you’re intrigued, I’d strongly recommend going back to the beginning – In the Wreckage – and working your way through the whole series. The narration is fantastic, the characters are engaging and the stories are action-packed, clever and really well-put together. (Oh, and steamy ;)) If you like military-based romantic suspense stories with a bit of sci-fi thrown in, then you really should check it out.

You can read the rest of these reviews at AudioGals.
Profile Image for W.
1,433 reviews133 followers
November 3, 2020
UPDATE Audio reviewed on 11/3/2020

Out of the Ashes is a novella set in the Metahuman Series and it gives an insider look into the relationship between Sean and Alexei .

Greg Bordeaux narration was excellent and spot on.

ORIGINAL Ebook reviewed on 12/15/2019

Alexei and Sean

At the end In the Blood , we left Sean and Alexei traumatized and broken by Cillian torture.

PTSD is real and have devastating consequences. Hailey Turner addresses it all; the therapy sessions , how vulnerable, disconnected and lost they were feeling . We "see" Sean and Alexei struggling to reconnect and resume their relationship.

Out of the Ashes, does justice to both heroes and move their arc forward.
Profile Image for Serena Yates.
Author 98 books768 followers
November 14, 2018
At the center of this novella-length interlude within the ‘Metahuman Files’ series are Sean and Alexei and how they deal with the trauma of having been tortured by one of their biggest enemies. They don’t just have to deal with their individual responses, that would be tough enough. What makes everything worse is the guilt Sean feels for “letting things happen” to Alexei – things he had no control over and shouldn’t feel guilty for – except he does. It’s a complicated psychological conundrum that interferes with their relationship as much as their professional situation.

Please find my full review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Courtney Bassett.
704 reviews153 followers
February 24, 2018
An important follow-up

I think it was a good choice to make this a novella. The characters needed to deal with the aftermath of the events of book 4, and though there was a mission and a little action, it was mostly focused on their healing and relationship. There were no magical, overnight fixes here, which is realistic, and made me appreciate the result even more after the tough journey to get there.
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