Reviewed by Donna
SERIES REVIEW: Diversion Series #1 – #2
AUTHOR: Eden Winters
PUBLISHER: Rocky Ridge Books
BOOK #1 TITLE: Diversion
LENGTH: 238 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2014
There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.
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.
I came late to this series, like, years late. It wasn’t until the sixth book was released a month or so ago that it came to my attention. But once it did, how could I resist those blurbs…or the covers.
Lucky and Bo, newly partnered on the job, are a clichéd odd couple. Lucky is a small statured, foul-mouthed, black coffee swilling asshole. He’s unliked by 99% of the human population, and he prefers it that way. The only family member who still acknowledges him is his sister and the only person at work who does more than tolerate him is his boss, Walter.
Bo, on the other hand is the stereotypical tall, dark and handsome. He instantly becomes friends with everyone who meets him, including his suspects unfortunately. Decaf green tea is his drink of choice and he’s one of those cheerful early morning people who spring out of bed and go running.
Honestly, I don’t know which one of them I should have hated more, but in fact, I liked both of these men. The author did an admirable job of setting these two up as complete opposites, yet bringing them together by showing how alike they really are. Both Bo and Lucky have dodgy pasts, which tied in perfectly with their jobs. Well, it would wouldn’t it, since it was their previous crimes which found them working for Walter.
Every aspect of this story was enjoyable, from their work with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, to their developing relationship. It feels like the author carefully planned out every thread before beginning the story, even those that only begin here but will obviously be developed further in later books. It felt, to me at least, that the job was more of a focus here than the relationship, but I’m absolutely fine with that. I’m assuming that the scales will tilt more towards focusing on the relationship as the series continues. In fact, if I had any niggle with this story, it would be that someone with Lucky’s issues could fall in love so quickly. Though to be fair, there are no romantic declarations.
I can’t wait to delve into the next book. I hope we get to learn a lot more about the work that the SNB do.
BOOK #2 TITLE: Collusion
LENGTH: 226 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2016
Dead men can’t love.
Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter “died” in the line of duty while working off a ten-year sentence in service to the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, only to be reborn as Simon “Lucky” Harrison. The newbie he trained, former Marine Bo Schollenberger, is now his partner on (and maybe off) the job. It’s hard to tell when Lucky doesn’t understand relationships or have a clue what any sane human is doing in his bed. Bo’s nice to have around, sure, but there’s none of that picking-out-china-together crap for Lucky.
While fighting PTSD, memories of a horrid childhood, and a prescription drug addiction, Bo is paying for his mistakes. Using his pharmacy license for the good guys provides the sort of education he never got in school. Undercover with his hard-headed partner, Bo learns that not everything is as it seems in the world of pharmaceuticals.
When a prescription drug shortage jeopardizes the patients at Rosario Children’s Cancer Center, it not only pits Bo and Lucky against predatory opportunists, but also each other. How can they tell who the villains are? The bad guys don’t wear black hats, but they might wear white coats.
I thought this book was even better than the first one. This story takes place a few weeks after the end of the previous book. Lucky and Bo are both still working for the SNB, and unfortunately their assignments tend to keep them apart. While the men are “together” their relationship remains undefined, neither one seemingly comfortable discussing details. Collusion, while fiction, is loosely based on actual events; a US wide drug shortage that saw critical patients unable to receive their required medication.
There may be a few readers who don’t appreciate how much procedure is covered here, but I loved it. And honestly, when I say procedure, think NCIS or something similar. While we get a good look at the workings of a government department, there’s plenty of action to keep the story from feeling dry. Action, and amusing banter between the MCs, and plenty of sexing.
The relationship between Bo and Lucky does strengthen in this book, though god knows how because Lucky continues to be rather trying. Both men open up a bit more about their pasts, especially Lucky – and on a side note – Victor is alive, right? He has to be. Lucky’s mega criminal ex-boyfriend is too big a part of this series to be dead before the first book even began. Okay, nobody who has already read these books tell me if I’m right, but I’m just putting that out there.
What I loved most about this particular book is the moral dilemma of just who are the bad guys? Are they the people who are working within the law, but depriving dying children of medicine until they get the ridiculous prices they are demanding? Or is it the doctors who are risking their licenses and their freedom by buying whatever drugs they can get their hands on to help these kids, and inadvertently killing some instead? The author really puts our men through an emotional wringer, as they struggle with doing what is legal, and what they feel is right.
I’m excited to see what this series brings us next. How has it taken me this long to find these books?