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Review by Riley

 
About Wanted & Wired

A rip-roarin’ new snarky, sexy sci-fi paranormal romance series with the perfect balance of humor, heat, and heart. Now that Texas has seceded and the world is spiraling into chaos, good guys come in unlikely packages and love sprouts in the most inconvenient places…

Rogue scientist • technologically enhanced • deliciously attractive
Heron Farad should be dead. But technology has made him the man he is today. Now he heads a crew of uniquely skilled outsiders who fight to salvage what’s left of humanity: art, artifacts, books, ideas-sometimes even people. People like Mari Vallejo.

Gun for hire • Texan rebel • always hits her mark
Mari has been lusting after her mysterious handler for months. But when a by-the-book hit goes horribly sideways, she and Heron land on the universal most wanted list. Someone set them up. Desperate and on the run, they must trust each other to survive, while hiding devastating secrets. As their explosive chemistry heats up, it’s the perfect storm…

Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
384 pages

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Review of Wanted & Wired

This book is way more science-fictiony than what I expected from the blurb or the book cover. We’re talking futuristic earth, clones, space station, and hi-tech human alterations. When merged with two amazing characters that have a connection that is deeper than either of them imagined, you get non-stop, top-fuel action and heat from page 1 to page done.

Mari is flirty and has always had a thing for her partner Heron. She is the wit in Wanted & Wired, smart-mouthed, tough, and resilient. And engaged in an occupation that is not always 100% legitimate. Mari’s partner, Heron, brings the geekiness to the scene and maybe a little sophistication. Plus his own deep-running regard for Mari. These are two very different people who have become partners and, consequently, end up in an ontherun situation.

See how I made up that word – ontherun. Mari does that a lot (well, maybe it is the author, but the words pop up while Mari is in charge of the storyline). Words like pinchedlipsdrawntotheside and howcouldihavesiredandidiot. Why use a fancy word when appending several plain words will due. This is Mari.

Heron, is wired, or ‘post-human’. His brain has been altered to run super fast, super efficiently, and can handle almost unlimited multi-tasking, calculating, planning and projecting. He easily connects to other systems or the ‘cloud’. He is the epitome of the 21st century techno-geek dream. Eat your heart out Elon Musk. Heron is not all zeros and ones though. He is “the gentle guardian angel who made a living out of pillowing her [Mari’s] wild-hare crazy.” In this futuristic vision of human augmentation, the results are mixed, but Heron is the best-case scenario.

That is not to say that he is not flawed in a way that makes him vulnerable. It is this vulnerability that will further complicate the lives of Mari and Heron as they attempt to evade the authorities.

The physical relationship between Mari and the post-human Heron is really quite fascinating. Heron’s technology puts a new spin on sex scenes that takes them to a whole new dimension. Traditional sex comes off as very creative when you add a bit of technology. And get your mind out of the gutter – not that kind of technology. On the other hand, the sex is pretty electric, so maybe the gutter isn’t completely inappropriate!

These two characters, Mari and Heron, make the story. But there are several other aspects that fill in a lot more color. Different settings, and creative use of color and of language stand out and give Mari and Heron a solid backdrop.

Part of the action takes place on a space station that is tethered to the earth. Another part takes place in an arcology that becomes a refuge for our wanted heroine and hero. But most interesting may be that Wanted & Wired takes place at some time in the future when Texas has seceded from the United States, for reasons not made clear in the story. The Texas Provisional Authority and the United North American Nations are the two governments that play roles in the story.

There is an orange silk dress. Orange is not a color that is often used to describe fashion in fiction. I know. It is my favorite color and I am aware there is a dearth of orange in fiction. Its presence in the story makes its own statement, which I can’t get into without a bit of a spoiler. But I loved it.  The orange on the cover may be what drew me to this book on the NetGalley site.

There are some very cool uses of words that just made me stop and highlight on my tablet. Some I understood, a few others I looked up. For instance – ‘crisscross-applesauce’, which I take to mean sitting cross-legged. How about ‘all hat, no cattle’, ‘on the pull’, ‘haired out’ and ‘gophernuts’. Are these Texas idioms? Ms. Jackson is from that great state. But my favorite new word is petrichor – which refers to the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. I love that smell and now I know what to call it.

I would describe Wanted & Wired as relentless action with non-stop geekiness, a few scorching love scenes and a heroine and hero with fierce intents and emotions. Wanted & Wired is book 1 of what appears to be an new series with plenty of potential. Wanted & Wired gets 5 stars.

NetGalley provided a copy of this book so that I could bring you this unbiased review.

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