3.5 stars - A fun romantic suspense about a seasoned drug diversion agent training his replacement, and finding that his plan to leave gets complicated when “feelings” for someone else pop up.
What I liked: I appreciated that MC Lucky was pretty much an asshole throughout the entire book. He mellows a little bit by letting newbie Bo in, but overall, still kind of a dick, and it was nice change of pace to see a character change, but not totally. And even though he’s kind of a jerk, he’s not unreadable, and he’s not a bad person. He just likes to annoy people on purpose.
I’m a total SUCKER for the pairing of Grouchy/Jerky & Kind/Optimist. It floats my boat, so I did really enjoy Lucky’s slow thaw from wound-poking jackass to somewhat self-aware jackass who will occasionally consider other people’s feelings and needs.
That latter part was probably my favorite in the book--Lucky’s slow realization that Bo has needs, like providing him the extra support to stay sober or to be mindful of his past experiences from his childhood. You could see Lucky struggling to think about someone else, and not do his usual thing of poking the wound, and I liked seeing that change.
It was very different from the usual M/M cops or agents story since it focused on drug companies and clinics and the misuse or the false selling of drugs. Lucky and Bo were on an interesting case that seemed very realistic, so that was cool.
Lastly, Lucky’s obsession with Bo’s ass was pretty hilarious.
What was harder: Lucky’s intimacy issues stem partially from his past relationship (that led to him going to prison) and there are a lot of flashbacks where he ruminated on what happened. This is fine, because it explains his character, but I found it a bit much throughout the whole book, and it slowed the pacing down for me. I started skimming those sections and wished they had been trimmed a little.
As much as I love the dynamic between jerky Lucky and kind Bo, I didn’t believe their relationship for a while. It eventually sunk in, especially later in the book, but I had a hard time feeling it as they were shifting into a “partners with benefits” relationship. I don’t know how Winters could have changed the progression, but I didn’t buy it for a while, even though I liked the characters.
But overall, I thought it was a fun read and different because of the content. It was the first time I’ve read Winters, and I thought she did a good job.
I’m not totally set that I’ll read the next book in the series, but probably.
For M/M fans who like their romance mixed with agents and cases, this is a pretty safe book to recommend.