Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Diversion by Eden Winters

Title: Diversion
Author: Eden Winters
My Rating: A-

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: Diversion #1
Main Characters: Lucky and Bo
Release Date: March 2012
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Drug dealers aren't always on the streets; sometimes they sit in offices and board rooms, selling merchandise in official looking bottles instead of little cellophane bags.

When given a choice between eight more years in prison or using his "expertise" to assist the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau's Department of Diversion Prevention and Control, convicted drug trafficker Richmond "Lucky" Lucklighter takes the sentence with the illusion of freedom. Cynical and unwilling to admit he's begun to care about his job, he counts the days until his debt is paid. His sole obstacle to getting his life back is the rookie he's assigned to train before he leaves; a rookie who quotes pharmacy texts, hasn't paid his dues, and has the obnoxious tendency of seeing the good in everyone – including the target of their investigation.

Former Marine Bo Schollenberger dreamed of becoming a pharmacist and watched the dream turn into a nightmare of PTSD-fueled prescription drug abuse. Battling his demons daily, he wakes up every morning, wondering, "Will this be the day I give in?" To keep his license, he must now put his skills to use for a diversion control task force, deal with a crude partner with too much attitude and no brain-to-mouth filter, and take down a drug lord who reminds him of his favorite cooking show hostess.

The bad guys don't stand a chance -- if Lucky and Bo don't strangle each other first...

Warning: This book contains material some may find objectionable, and is intended only for mature readers.

2012 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention

My Review:
What a completely different and interesting set-up for this book. When the book begins, Lucky is in the process of stealing a truck-load of drugs and you (the reader) are wondering what the heck is going on. That opening segment is a pretty good 3-4 chapters and I did think at one point in time that I didn't want to continue reading it. I'm so glad that I did because against all the evidence saying he's not at the beginning, Lucky is actually one of the good guys. 

Lucky is part of the SNB, a branch of the government that tracks down pharmaceutical bad guys. He's serving out a ten year sentence from when he actual did use to steal drugs for a living. He works for Walter and is counting down the days until his 8 years of indentured servitude is up, although he has truly come to love his job and his boss. Lucky hasn't had a very lucky fact, his life has pretty much sucked and he uses sarcasm and a really dry humor and abrasive personality to keep people at bay. His one real relationship he had ended in tragedy and that full story broke my heart by the time it was all revealed. He doesn't trust others or himself to form relationships. He's also the con on this team of government agents. He feels like they despise him, so he puts up barriers to keep them at arms length. When he has to start training and working with Bo on a daily basis, it's harder to keep those barriers up. 

Bo has had his own legal and drug issues and is the new con on the team. The difference is Bo is actually a former marine and pharmacist. Lucky sees Bo as so much better than him because he went to college and did something with his life, even though they are pretty much in the same boat with the law. Lucky and Bo are two totally different types of guys. Lucky doesn't get attached to anyone. Bo makes connection with everyone. Bo is completely open and up-front with everyone. He's a caretaker...he cooks, is a bit OCD, and is a complete health nut. 

Then there's Walter...their boss. I love that Walter sees Lucky for who he really is. He's completely past the con part of Lucky, although Lucky doesn't truly realize that. That relationship, to me, added a lot to the book and helped to see Lucky for who he's truly grown to be over the 8 years. This is a book with complex characters who have serious flaws but it's full of little details to give you hope. Hope for their future and hope that things are going to straighten out for them, but there are also tons of little danger signs that show that things could go the other way for them. In that way, this series reminds me a lot of the Cut & Run series. It's very much the same type of characters walking a tightrope between right and wrong/good and bad.

This is the first book to the start of a series about these two characters and I like the set-up it provided. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

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