Guest Review: Dantès Unglued (Ward Security, #2) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake.

Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time.

But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time.

With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM


Where to begin. I'm going to preface this review by saying: take it with a grain of salt. I'm salty enough for all of us, I think, but you get what I mean. I've been trying (and failing) to refrain from comparing this series with it's predecessor, the Unbreakable Bonds series, which is one of my all-time favorites.

Unfortunately, Ward Security is suffering by comparison, which is at least partially due to my inability to compartmentalize the two and judge the books from the spinoff on their own merits. Or maybe I'm doing the too-hard-on-myself schtick, I dunno. It's a thing with a mind of its own.

make it stop--dantes unglued review pics

There are some things to like here, don't get me wrong. The writing is fluid, the editing is very good, the words in the dialogues flow well, the sex scenes are pretty hot (as always with these authors), and the plots aren't too far off the reservation.

There's also the usual amount of action, and it's very well done. The larger plotline, the whodunit stuff, is maybe a little far-fetched if you take this story and put it out there in real life, but it is possible that this type of stuff has happened somewhere out there before, so that's another for the plus column.

This book, with Shane and Quinn as the MCs, was more enjoyable for me than the first book in the series because I truly, truly, disliked Sven's love interest in that one. I call him: He-who-will-not-be-named.

voldemort -- dantes unglued pics

That said, I liked Shane and Quinn and I liked them together. I was a little confused by the fact that I didn't remember Shane being mentioned in Unbreakable Bonds or in Psycho Romeo (Ward Security Book 1). Drake & Elliott tend to pull MCs from characters that were introduced in previous books. Quinn, I knew, but if we did meet Shane before, I either had a brain fart or wasn't memorable.

That's a departure from the norm with these series and left me with no expectations for what Shane would be like or where he fit in this world of generally fantastic characters. In other words, for me, it was a virtual standalone. I don't have an issue with standalones per se, but it's not what I've come to expect. It irked a little.

pissy dean -- dantes unglued pics

So, unrealistic expectations? Or is this book just not meeting the bar set by the authors in other works. I'll have to let you decide for yourselves. I do know that I haven't enjoyed these books in general, or this one in particular, as much as I liked the ones from the previous series.

The characters aren't as dynamic, there is no real unifying series story arc and these pairs of MCs are kind of just freewheeling it through the Unbreakable/Ward universe. They feel tetherless to me and maybe that's where I'm having a problem.

There was a real sense of unity with Snow, Lucas, Rowe and Ian. Even when their guys started hitting the scene, it seemed like they slipped right into a hole shaped just for them. They were a family and I LOVED it. I just wish I was getting that same feeling with these and I'm really bummed that I'm not.

GOT disappointment -- dantes unglued pics

Well then, here's hoping the next one's better. The book gods know I've been drooling over Royce from day one, so ... yeah. I'm afraid I'll be disappointed. For that reason, I won't be anxiously salivating, waiting for release day. I'll get to it when I get to it and hopefully it's better than what we've gotten from Ward Security so far.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

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