Reviewed by Donna
SERIES REVIEW: Diversion Series #3 – #4
AUTHOR: Eden Winters
PUBLISHER: Rocky Ridge Books
BOOK #3 TITLE: Corruption
LENGTH: 224 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2013
Renegade biker. Drug runner. Recovering addict. Wanted by the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. But he isn’t a crook, he’s the law.
SNB Agent Bo Schollenberger’s solved his cases using his brains and not a gun, and with his partner, not alone. Now he’s handed a tough new case involving designer drugs that turn users violent. One false move could end his life as he immerses himself into a motorcycle gang to locate the source. His fate depends on how well he can impersonate someone else. Someone named Cyrus Cooper.
Cyrus is everything Bo Schollenberger isn’t, including the badass enforcer for a smuggling ring. He establishes pecking order with his fists and doesn’t take shit from anybody, not even the undercover agent who comes to help his case.
Simon “Lucky” Harrison’s always been the best, whichever side of the law he was on. Former trafficker turned SNB agent, he damned well ought to be undercover in this motorcycle gang, instead of hanging around the office going crazy with new policies, new people, and “inter-departmental cooperation” that sticks him in a classroom. Yet he’s passed over for the SNB’s biggest case in decades in favor of the rookie who shares his bed. A man Lucky thought he knew.
When survival depends on a web of tangled lies, lines blur, worlds collide, and a high stakes game turns friend to foe. Lucky knows the difference between Bo the agent and Cyrus the outlaw, but does Bo?
These books just keep getting better and better!!
I was really nervous about this book for a few reasons. Firstly, as soon as I knew that Bo and Lucky were going to be separated for at least six months I was concerned that I was going to miss their interacting together. Sometimes when you get a book that separates the main characters mid-series it can throw you off the story. Instead of being interested in what is actually happening, you focus on wondering when the men are going to get back together. That wasn’t the case here. To be fair, although Bo and Lucky are separate for months the author covers that amount of time quickly, not dragging it out. But also, I enjoyed the SNB side of this series so much that I was quite content to spend a few chapters with Lucky at work, training his new “newbies”.
The second reason that I was so concerned was Bo going undercover. If you’ve read the previous books then you know that Bo and undercover aren’t always a great combination. Bo tends to get too attached to the people he’s investigating and often needs Lucky to remind him that it’s just his job. So six months undercover with violent drug dealing bikers, without Lucky…that shouldn’t have gone well. But this book allowed the author to show us, and Lucky, a side to Bo that we hadn’t seen before. This book allowed Bo to come into his own as a badass agent, and I loved the way that the undercover operation played out.
Relationship wise this story pulled them apart before putting them back together stronger than ever. And I don’t just mean physically apart. With Bo ready to be thinking about the future and Lucky being his usual reticent self, the men have to consider if this might signal the end of their relationship. Well, we know it’s not going to be the end of them, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get a little teary when it was being played out in front of me. And when they get back together…argh…so bloody sweet. You know when you have those prickly, snarky characters who don’t get along with anyone but then they get all emotional when they realize how much they’re in love with someone…well, that’s Lucky.
Did I think I was excited to start the second book? I’m practically peeing my pants with excitement to dive into the fourth one.
BOOK #4 TITLE: Manipulation
LENGTH: 265 Pages
RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2014
Lucky Lucklighter has a new life. His old life wants him back.
He traded trafficking for taking down criminals with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, and a drug-lord lover for a man on the right side of the law. Bo Schollenberger found the way past the thorny defenses of Lucky’s heart, and made Mr. I-Get-Along-Fine-Alone think about his and his closets, stevia in the sugar bowl, and a picket fence—with a good lock on the gate.
Now Bo is missing, and a voice long silenced asks, “Did you miss me?” Lucky must deal with a devil from his past to get Bo back.
And if Bo isn’t willing to come? A drug ring needs its back broken before flooding the US with a designer high, seductive and undetectable. But there’s a fine line between good and evil, and a truckload of temptation urging Lucky to cross.
Sooo, I was all excited to read this book until I read the blurb. Then I was worried about what might happen to our boys and I put it off for a few days until I couldn’t stand the suspense anymore.
In some ways I didn’t like this one as much as the previous books. While the third book in the series began a tilt towards a more dangerous kind of storyline, Manipulation finished the journey to a darker place. What I liked most about the beginning of this series was the fact that although Lucky and Bo were “undercover agents”, they worked for the SNB, a division which is somewhat looked down on by other alphabet agencies. While the people they dealt with were badguys, and could be dangerous, they were hardly criminal masterminds. Lucky had never even been shot before book three despite having done the job for ten years. But this book plants Bo and Lucky in the center of the Mexican drug trade. It took me a little longer to begin enjoying this book. I’m definitely not saying that there is anything wrong with it, but I missed the tone of the earlier stories. It wasn’t until our main characters managed to get together as “Bo and Lucky” rather than “Cyrus and Ricky” that I became more comfortable with the Mexico setting.
What I liked about this book was the resolution we got regarding Lucky’s past. I was glad the author chose to address something that came up in book three, rather than draw it out through several more books. I liked the way that all played out.
Also, something I’ve yet to mention is the secondary characters in this series. The author does a great job of presenting an array of side characters that are instantly interesting to the reader. Whether they are further used in other books doesn’t seem to matter, the author still takes the time to flesh them out enough to engage my curiosity.
With this fourth book, finally (finally!!!) Lucky seems to be on the same page as Bo when it comes to their relationship. Once again, I’m excited to find out what the author has in store for these men next.