Wired Courage is the ninth book in Toby Neal‘s Paradise Crime series featuring Sophie Ang, who we first met in the Lei Crime series. Wired Courage picks up soon after Wired Fear, right after Sophie has given birth to her daughter. She, Alika, and Jake are working out the dynamics of their new lives. Unfortunately, their joy is cut short when baby Momi disappears twelve hours after being born. Sophie knows right away who is behind the kidnapping – her mother, Pim Wat. Sophie and Jake, accompanied by Connor and a select team from Security Solutions, go to Thailand to get Momi back and deal with Pim Wat once and for all.
This book was such an emotional rollercoaster from the very first page. And just when you think you know what is going to happen, you really don’t. Nothing is as expected. So much happens in this book, too. Not just action but character growth. In Wired Fear, Sophie was on a journey to learn who she was outside of her job or her past. In this book, she grows even more. She is really coming into her own and I cannot wait to meet the Sophie of book 10.
What I liked: I love Sophie. She was my favorite supporting character in the Lei Crime series and I love these books centered around her. She has so much depth, more than she even knows. I liked so much that I can’t talk about because spoilers! Sophie’s aunt – we’ve heard about her in other books but we finally meet her here. She is fantastic. Sophie’s strength and determination to save her daughter no matter what. I also really liked the ending. It’s exactly where Sophie should be right now and this will be very good for her.
What I didn’t like: Again, a spoiler! But it’s a minor spoiler involving Ginger – who doesn’t die thank goodness, but I don’t like what happened with her at all.
Cover Design: Andie B.
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Release Date: November 27, 2018
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Game All Night is the third book in Lauren Helms‘s Gamer Boy series, but all three can be read as standalones. (They’re all definitely worth reading, though, and the first two are available on Kindle Unlimited here and here.)
Link is a member of the gaming team (yes, they are professional gamers and yes that is a real thing!). Ruby is a journalist at a Buzzfeed-type web company and part of their circle of close friends. Ruby and Link have been close for a couple years, making videos for Link’s YouTube channel and having fun hanging out together. At one point in the past they *almost* hooked up, but Ruby stopped it and decided they should stay good friends, not wanting to mess up the group dynamic or their friendship if anything went wrong.
In the first third of the book, both Link and Ruby are involved with other people. Ruby’s boyfriend is a narcissistic sports reporter on the local NBC affiliate station, and treats Ruby horribly. Link is seeing someone basically as a distraction, and because she’s there. On the night of Ruby’s birthday, when her boyfriend doesn’t show up for her party and makes her cry, Link makes a comment that starts Ruby thinking that maybe she was wrong about the two of them just being friends.
Of course, life isn’t always easy or perfect. When Link and Ruby finally get together, it’s beautiful how good they are for each other. When they are faced with a life altering surprise, they handle themselves better than many 20-somethings in these types of books. But then, the book gets surprisingly deep. I was not expecting the events that happened, but I’m so glad Ms Helms wrote the scenes between Link and Ruby, and Ruby and her friends, like she did. I’m trying not to spoil anything, but it’s a subject that happens in that age group more often than you think, and gets brushed aside by well-meaning (or uncertain-feeling) friends and relatives. It’s important that readers can experience how the characters worked through this and recognize that it’s okay to not be okay.
What I liked: Link and Ruby as a couple. So good. Revisiting Dex and Morgan, Simon and Gia, and the other characters were like catching up with friends again. The whole handling of the “big events” as I said earlier.
What I didn’t like: Ruby’s mom should have been there longer!! And real talk, the first 20% of the book was hard for me to get into. I already liked the characters from the first two books, and ended up loving the book, but there was so much internal Ruby monologue that I just couldn’t get engrossed in the book like I usually do. But it picks up quickly.
Overall: Read this book! Get it here
This is the series that made me fall in love with Claudia Burgoa’s writing. I heart the Decker family!
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Sydney is the second book in the DiMarco series and features the DiMarco brother Cameron, twin of Christian from Lucy’s book. Cameron is working a long-term undercover assignment with the FBI trying to take down a local drug kingpin. Sydney is the ex-girlfriend of the target and Cameron is to get close to her to find out what she knows.
Sydney owns a coffee shop with her best friend Maddie. Her parents were killed in a car accident and her only family is her brother Liam. Liam and Maddie had helped her escape her abusive ex-boyfriend and move away to get out of his reach. She hasn’t dated since Danny, but when Matt (Cameron) walks into her coffee shop and asks her out, she can’t deny their connection.
The DiMarco family members have a lot of drama! Cameron hasn’t seen his siblings in two years. They don’t know if he’s dead or alive, until he hears of Jake’s baby being born and lurks outside the hospital to get a bit of news. Luke, because his case as a detective intersects with the FBI investigation, knows what Cameron is doing but must keep the secret as well to protect their large family.
Cam and Sydney have an intense relationship. So far all of their women are strong, fiery women who don’t back down from an argument and the DiMarco brothers all have strong personalities, too. Syd’s reaction to learning Cameron’s true identity is explosive. She doesn’t forgive easily. Especially since the FBI think her beloved brother is involved in Danny’s organization. The investigation comes to a head, and the ending made my jaw drop.
What I liked: Lots going on. There weren’t any slow, draggy parts. Syd and Cam are both good characters. And it’s always good to see more of the DiMarco clan, especially the patriarch.
What I didn’t like: Sydney’s game playing was Not. Cool. She was acting like a high schooler with her “he did this so I will too” justification except her “this” involved an FBI investigation and people’s lives. I get that she wanted to help her brother, but her methods were wrong.
Overall: Good book! And the ending of the epilogue had me starting the next book immediately. Whoa!
Get it here