A MelanieM Review: Suspicion (Diversion Book 7) by Eden Winters

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Lucky “Simon Harrison” Lucklighter left behind his criminal past to become one of the best agents in the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. He’s found a committed partner in fellow agent Bo Schollenberger and built a life.

Now, enemies within the SNB and a friend’s betrayal leave him nowhere to turn—not even to his mentor.

His boss’s life, the future of the SNB, and Lucky’s career depend on him. With the help of his lover, an old enemy turned ally, and a man Lucky thought he’d seen the last of, he must stand and fight for what he believes in.

Even if he has to step outside the law.

Suspicion picks up after the events in Reunion, the sixth book in Eden Winters’ fabulously entertaining and complex Diversion series.  There Lucky “Simon Harrison” Lucklighter had quite the reunion with his father as well as old lover.  Bo Schollenberger too had his emotional travails and sorrows that almost broke him and them.  Now with Lucky recovered, the focus shifts back to their shared office and enemies at the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau’s Department of Diversion Prevention and Control.  And that  also means danger for Walter, Lucky’s boss, mentor, and unspoken “father” stand-in.

Through six books, we have been through incredible growth with these characters.  Emotional and great personal development as they matured and endured great upheavals in every sector of their lives.  Near death experiences, addiction, great loves lost and reunited, unbelievable angst, and yes, betrayal, laughter and joy.  This is quite the saga.

At this point, Lucky and Bo have settled into an established relationship, out at work as a couple,live in nephews, pets and all.  It’s been hard won, and we’ve been with them every step of the way.  Lucky and Bo, along with all the supporting cast of characters either from their work or from outside (Lucky’s sister, people from their pasts…) are all so well constructed.  Flawed, vivid, ornery at times, and all so real that you often forget they don’t exist outside this series.  They feel that authentic as do their situations and everyday complex realities of the pharmaceutical business.

Winters plot is tightly laid out,  dense layers threaded through with both an overall series arc as well as a singular storyline plot makes for a complex, adventurous tale.  A monkey box puzzle sort of feel at times, not sure if it’s going to be scary or fun or both. So many twists and turns for us and our main characters to fight through, one hurdle, one barrier or more at a time.  At its heart is Lucky, scrabbling with everything in him for the people he loves, Bo, Walter, his extended family, trying to figure out who to trust while coming out ahead.

How I love this man and the man he loves.

Eden Winters has said she has two more books  planned for this  series.  That both distresses me because it means the end is in sight for this series I love and that it not over yet. Something to celebrate.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting both Lucky and Bo, please don’t start here.  Do these great characters and their series justice by starting at the beginning.  I’ve listed them all for you below.  Watch that first inauspicious meeting, then that wild  ride of a road to romance, love and a settled relationship you will find here.  It’s one hell of a rocky road and should be read in the order they were written.  Don’t miss a book.  I highly recommend them all, including this one, Suspicion (Diversion Book 7) by Eden Winters.  

It’s one of my favorites this year!

Cover art: LC Chase.  It’s always hard for me to really get into these headless torso covers.  They are overdone these days, especially those with a gun.  I’d at least like to a Lucky the Cat or another element special to this story or series included.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 281 pages
Expected publication: January 5th 2019 by Rocky Ridge Books
ASINB07LDYVBTV
Edition Language English
Series Diversion – add to Goodreads here.

Diversion

Collusion

Corruption

Manipulation

Redemption

Reunion

Suspicion

Cover Reveal Time for Eden Winter’s Redemption (Diversion #5) (excerpt and giveaway)

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Redemption (Diversion #5) by Eden Winters
Release Date: August 8, 2015

Goodreads Link (Add to your shelf)
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

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Sales Links:   Amazon

(Bonus link: Check http://www.rockyridgebooks.com/334/
to get Diversion, the first book of the series, for .99!)

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Living is the easy part.

Agent Lucky Lucklighter and his partner escaped Mexico alive, only to plunge into bureaucratic fallout from their mission. Hell, maybe Lucky should have stayed south of the border. Especially when the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau places Bo into rehab, and Lucky’s facing both therapy and an inquiry into a fatal shooting. Watching over his shoulder for a vengeful drug lord or a cartel don calling in favors leaves him scarcely able to imagine a future for them as agents, or as a couple.

Bo Schollenberger once had a vision for their life together, but he’s bowed beneath the weight of his undercover work. Lucky’s hanging on by his deeply chewed fingernails, clinging to hope by making Bo’s dreams of a home into reality. The last thing he needs is a phone call from a dangerous man who knows too much, summoning him back to Mexico for “an early Christmas present.”
Not when the SNB brass asks tough questions, like “How well do you know your partner?”

Pages or Words: 73,000 words

Categories: Crime fiction, Fiction, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Thriller

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“What’s your current credit rating?”

Lucky didn’t often use credit. After getting out of prison to work for Walter, he’d bought his car from a police auction for cash, and lived a low-key lifestyle. Before that, Victor Mangiardi had taken care of him. A nice way to live, but other than a car stereo in his teens, he’d never made payments on anything. And he’d been Richmond Lucklighter then. He’d only been Simon Harrison for a short time, and although he’d used credit cards to make expense reporting easier when on assignment, he paid them off every month. “I’m not sure.”

“Then let’s see.” The woman tapped on her laptop and whistled. “Mr. Harrison, I don’t think we’ll have a problem getting you the loan.”

He owed Walter one hell of a lot of those frou-frou coffee drinks from Starbucks for giving him a credit score to make a loan officer whistle.

An hour later Lucky fought to hide a grin from a woman who’d put the Energizer Bunny to shame. “Now, I’m familiar with the house you’re considering. Offer 180. Trust me.” She winked and handed him the phone.

He pulled a dog-eared card from his wallet and dialed.

“Mr. Harrison?” The Realtor didn’t sound too happy to hear from him, not that he blamed her. She’d been working hard for her commission. That’s why she got commission.

“Is that house still available? The fixer-upper in the gated neighborhood?”

“Y… yes.”

“I want to make an offer.”

Now what was he gonna tell Bo?

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Captivated young by story-telling, Eden Winters’ earliest memories include spinning tales for the family’s pets. Her dreams of writing professionally took a sojourn into non-fiction, with a twelve-year stint in technical documentation.

She began reading GLBT novels as a way to better understand the issues faced by a dear friend and fell in love with the M/M romance genre. During a discussion of a favorite book, a fellow aficionado said, “We could do this, you know.” Good-bye gears, motors, and other authors’ characters; hello plots and sex scenes.

Somewhat of a nomad, Eden has visited seven countries so far. She currently calls the southern US home, and many of her stories take place in the rural South. Having successfully raised two children, she now balances the day job with hiking, rafting, spoiling her grandchildren, and stalking the wily falafel or elusive tofu pad Thai at her favorite restaurants. Her musical tastes run from Ambient to Zydeco, and she’s a firm believer that life is better with fur kids and Harley Davidsons.
Find Eden’s other works at http://edenwinters.com or contact her at edenwinters@gmail.com

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdenWinters
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eden-Winters/300380906658065
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdenWinters1
Blog: http://www.edenwinters.com
E-mail:edenwinters@gmail.com

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Tour Dates & Stops: August 1, 2015
Parker Williams, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, BFD Book Blog, Mikky’s World of Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Jessie G. Books, The Jena Wade, Christy Loves 2 Read, Inked Rainbow Reads, Molly Lolly, TTC Books and More, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Iyana Jenna, Andrew Q. Gordon, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Ogitchida Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Reviews by Jessewave, Velvet Panic

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Redemption’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Prizes and link provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Books in the Diversion Series in the order they were written and should be read for character development, and plot development (not standalone stories):

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A MelanieM Review: Manipulation (Diversion #4) by Eden Winters

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Lucky Lucklighter has a new life. His old life wants him back.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]From the jail cell courtesy of a life of crime, complete with drug lord lover, Lucky Lucklighter surfaced with a new life,  a new name and a new career as an agent for the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau.  Now Simon “Lucky” Harrison, Lucky even has a new boyfriend and partner,Bo Schollenberger.  Bo Schollenberger arrived at the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau in much the same way as Lucky.  As a pharmaceutical chemist, Bo ended up with a drug addiction and his  illegal deeds brought him to the attention of the head of the Bureau looking for just the right  or wrong type of men for his narcotics team.

Through perseverance and charm, Bo worked his way under Lucky’s defenses and his “I-Get-Along-Fine-Alone” mindset until Lucky starts thinking the unthinkable…that they might just have a future together.

But now Bo is missing.  Their last case involved unexpected ties to bigger crime syndicates, and a voice from Lucky’s past who whispers ““Did you miss me?”

Now Lucky must figure out who is lying and who he can trust?  The voice belonged to someone he was told was dead and now seems very alive.  And there is more to Bo’s absence than people are telling Lucky.  Is Bo missing by choice or by abduction? Every clue, every trail Lucky follows leads him back to the drug Corruption and the syndicate flooding the US markets full of this dangerously addictive drug.   With temptation all around, what won’t Lucky do to find the man he loves and bring him safely home?

Eden Winter’s Diversion series captured my heart from the moment I met Lucky Lucklighter and Bo Schollenberger in Diversion (Diversion #1).  I love complicated wounded men and here were two that not only fell into that category but did so in a way I had never seen before.  There are so many layers to these men.  Lucky’s background is a patchwork of hot cars, adrenaline rushes, and poor choices that led from boosting cars for drag racing to major involvement with a crime lord as employee and lover.  Lucky is  highly intelligent, walled off, and confident, while still leaving space in his heart for his sister, her children, and finally Bo.

Bo Schollenberger. Where to start?  Each book reveals more complications and dimensions to this already convoluted personality.  At first glance and meeting, Bo came across as extremely affable and gentle, a victim of his addiction and circumstances.  A far cry from Lucky and his unrepentant outlook who when given a choice between continuing life behind bars or freedom as an agent chose freedom.  Certainly a choice made from expediency instead of a need to “do right”.  But nothing is as it seems, and the more that Lucky (and the reader) got to know Bo,  the more we realized that Bo has depths and pain to him and his past then he was ready to reveal or deal with.

Oh the joy of discovery.  Each new story and case has uncovered new insights into each man and their past.  Bo and Lucky’s interpersonal dynamics has deepened and expanded along with their relationship.  It’s hot, sexy, at times tender and rough.  You never know from moment to moment what to expect when they get together.  And to their chagrin and our delight, neither do they.  Uncertainty, hesitation, an emotional neediness…all that is new to Lucky and it has contributed to his inability to commit to just about anything.  I love it when a reader can’t predict what the main characters will do in any given situation.  It keeps us on the edge of our seats as the plot swivels and swoops through dangerous highs and deceptively deadly lows.  This is a E Ticket ride in every way.

Eden Winters has also chosen a highly unusual subject and law enforcement agency, in this case the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau,  as the foundation for this series and as professions for Lucky and Bo.  Think hard, how many series and books are developed around pharmaceutical corporations, over/under the counter drugs, and the criminals associated with the shipping and stocking of known medications?  I can only think of one.  Eden Winter’s Diversion series.  That aspect of  this series has been an eye-opener about the giant pharmaceutical corporations, and not in a good way.  More than once it has sent me running to research different elements that have popped up during Lucky and Bo’s cases, ones that left this reader thinking about new issues far into the night.  This series world building is as quirky, complex, and believable as the characters living out their messy lives within it.  I obsess over the characters relationships, the plots, the surprises and then go back and start them over again to see what clues and secrets I missed out the first reading.  And then wait for the next book to arrive.

This story contains quite a few stunning revelations, more layers of deception than ever before and angst by the boatload.  Once started I couldn’t put it down until it was finished…right around 2:45am.  And could I sleep after that? Uh no. Manipulation contains shocks that will shake the foundations of Lucky, and Bo, and even Walter their boss.  Where there had been certainty, now is left nothing but fog and questions.  The narrative is concisely told, the tension and suspense increasingly exponentially until the plot feels as tightly wound as a coiled spring.  It explodes with all the dangerous impact one might expect and the ramifications will still be unfolding right into the  next book in the series, Redemption (which is being written now).

Each year a book from this series has found its way,  deservedly so, onto the Best of lists for Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and others.  This year is no different.  Manipulation will be high on my Best of 2014 lists, just as I expect Redemption to be there on the list for 2015.  All are highly recommended and Must Reads that should be on everyone’s TBR stack of stories.

If you haven’t discovered this series yet, please, please, don’t start here.  The pleasures and joys that come from the character growth and relationship dynamics is best enjoyed if you start at the beginning and Lucky and Bo’s first meeting in Diversion.  I have a list for you below.  Make it your check list of stories to read. Eden Winters is a remarkable author, and the creator of Lucky and Bo is certain to find her way onto your automatic buy list if she is not there already.

Tag this story and series one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Highly Recommended Must Reads!  Happy Reading!

Cover artist: L.C. Chase.  Terrific cover perfect for the character and story inside.

Sales Links:  Rocky Ridge Books     All Romance (ARe)         amazon           buy it here

Book Details:

ebook,
First Published November 1st 2014 by Rocky Ridge Books
seriesDiversion #4

Books in the Diversion series in the order they were written and should be read:

Diversion (Diversion, #1)
Collusion (Diversion #2)
Corruption (Diversion #3)
Manipulation (Diversion, #4)
Redemption (Diversion, #5) coming in 2015