Wired by Julie Garwood

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/Crime/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 6th May 2017
Wired by Julie GarwoodWired by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard, #13
Published by Berkley on July 4th 2017
Pages: 336
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one-star

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.
Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.
What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…and longing for more . . .

Julie Garwood used to be one of my go-to authors back (way back) in the day—a dim, dark time when only historical romances ruled my world—and I must admit that reading ‘Wired’ was part-curiosity, part-RS-driven-motivation to see how Garwood tackles contemporary romance when so much has changed since then. It’s my first Buchanan-Renard book and ‘Wired’ seemed like an appropriate insertion point to see what the hype is all about.

I wish I could say that it was akin to coming back to an old, trusted friend, but ‘Wired’ wasn’t really that experience for me. I do think though, that my changing tastes are responsible for framing the way I read romances these days and because of that, I found Garwood’s story an odd mix of omniscient narration, inexplicable perspective switches and showing-rather-than-telling, along with protagonists that seem be variants of Mary/Marty Sues. In short, Allison and Liam are perfect protagonists with perfect attributes who can do nearly no wrong—they’re elevated ideals to which I can’t relate at all, let alone empathise with.

Not that I have a problem with beautiful, fictionalised characters who are also capable, but Allison bucks even this trend, as she’s gorgeous enough to be a model, and so brilliant a hacker that she tops all the other experts…all before she graduates from college. The rather convenient immunity the FBI grants her after trying her to recruit her for her skills, along with the rather unbelievable dialogue, and the hype about just how good Allison really is, simply got annoying after a while.

In short, I’m afraid that Garwood’s style is just one that I’m not used to anymore. As a result, I had a hard time just getting into the first quarter of the book with scenes that just didn’t seem to further the plot, let alone buy into a romance between two characters who don’t seem to have sufficient chemistry together for me to want more.

one-star

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