I picked up a free read at Kobo. And as my “thank you” and payment to the author for offering up her book, I’m reviewing Diversion, book one in the Diversion series, a m/m contemporary romance by Eden Winters.
There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.
Blurb: Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.
Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.
Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.
The blurb hooked me from the start. I wanted to delve deep into what these two guys could pull off together, one working off his sentence and the other being trained for the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, under the big honcho Walter.
First off, Lucky took me a long time to warm up to. He was cocky. Too cocky. I get that he had a big fat past to overcome, and his behaviour was a defense mechanism, but with all of his asshattery, I did have a hard time buying that Bo found something attractive about Lucky, when poor Bo was fed nothing but spoiled spinach by Lucky from the get-go.
As for Bo, this guy is a winner. Like Lucky, he also has a past, a military past that has left Bo with a lot of anxiety and a tough time adjusting to civilian life. And Bo’s personality really shines because he doesn’t let anything deter him. Even Lucky. The real star of this novel is Bo.
The dialogue is 100% fantastic. The author really excels here. She stepped aside and let the two main characters write what each wanted to say, and it was so real, just plain real dialogue and bantering that I couldn’t get enough of.
There was great sexual chemistry between the two, as well. They had great bedroom scenes that solidified their relationship and the beginning of something more than sex, because their post-coitus cuddle time showed who they really were, and that takes a lot of trust, even more than sex, because anyone can have sex.
As for the big meat of the plot, taking down drug dealers in a pharmaceutical setting, this was bang on. I really enjoyed this part of the novel. It was interesting to see the mechanics of working for the NB and all that it entailed. The author really kept things moving, except for when Lucky had his flashbacks. I will admit I’m not a fan of flashbacks. I’d rather see how the character reacts to a quick thought about the past, instead of a long drawn out two pages of it. But hey, some readers might like the many flashbacks poured into this novel.
The setting was also a great one. I don’t know much about the southeastern USA, so I enjoyed being taken all over Florida.
I do have one big quibble with the ending. In order not to spoil this for other readers, I do feel the other character should have made the first move, not the character who did. I mean, this character was doing all of the work through the novel, and if the other character wanted a full arc, he should have been the one to reach out.
Still, this is an enjoyable read and one I recommend. The author is an excellent writer and she knows her characters. They are fully three-dimensional and literally jump off the pages and write their own narrative.
Have you read Diversion? If so, do you agree with my review? If you haven’t read the book, would you be willing to now?