Review: A Matter of Courage (Hong Kong Nights #2) by J.C. Long

Winston Chang has spent much of his young life admiring the Dragons who have kept his area safe and fought off the gangs that would bring violence to their area. Now that he’s an adult, he wants nothing more than to join the Dragons and live up to those standards.

The opportunity presents itself when his passion and knowledge of cars is just what the Dragons need. One of their own has been killed and his death seems linked to his involvement with the illegal racing scene known as the Dark Streets. Winston is needed to infiltrate the scene and find out who is responsible and why.

Steel has always been Winston’s best friend, and Winston has always been there to get him out of trouble. Just as the stress in Winston’s life reaches its peak, the relationship between Winston and Steel begins to change in ways neither of them expected.

Will Winston and Steel be able to find the courage to face not only the unknown killer stalking the Dark Streets racers but also their growing feelings?

I’m not sure I will ever learn, since this happens to me frequently, but for readers out there, don’t be a dummy like me… read book one first!!

Winston and Steel have been friends since childhood and are secretly pining for each other. Steel hasn’t approached Winston because he’s afraid it will ruin their friendship. Winston hasn’t approached Steel because he doesn’t think Steel feels anything for him and has accepted that friendship will be all they have. It’s just that their time together seems to become more intimate, which leaves Winston feeling confused, and Steel feeling like he is messing up.

I liked both characters on a general level. I don’t know if these two appear in the first book (I will be reading it to find out) so I’m not sure if their backstory is shared in any way there, and this is where I felt slightly disconnected. I vaguely understand Steel has some issues but those issues didn’t quite add up for me when he was trying to stay away from Winston. It sort of made sense with the information provided, but I felt like I was missing some context.

Winston was a sweetheart, and a big part of this story is him trying to get in with The Dragons. He felt he had proved himself and didn’t understand why he wasn’t a part of the inner circle yet. He says yes to a potentially dangerous underground street racing gig to try and get information on a murder that is connected, in the hopes it elevates him to an official position.

There is some basic mystery/suspense in this story. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was. It wasn’t overly complex, and was secondary to the overall story arc, but it was a bit of fun (if that’s your thing).

I would have liked more depth to the relationship between Steel and Winston. It felt a bit surface level, but convincing enough. I mentioned backstory because I didn’t feel their friendship was shown enough in this story. They appeared to be quite disconnected at the point this story starts, and for childhood friends, that was problematic for me.

The setting was also problematic for me. I didn’t really get a feel for the area this group of people were in, and this may be because I was silly and didn’t read book one first, or maybe not. I would have liked to be shown more of the setting.

Overall this was enjoyable, if light, and easy to read. I’d recommend it to readers who need something low angst and enjoy friends to lovers.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment