The Refusal (The Tech Boys, #1)

Eve M.

Jo Williams has been hired by Janus Industries to solve a potentially disastrous hacking issue and help them keep it quiet. She’s never seen anything like this before, but she needs this contract to make her payroll, so she doesn’t have much choice about taking it. Meeting Janus is even more of a shock for Jo, and she’s just as determined to keep her guard up as Janus is to work his way through her defenses. Jo is intimidated by Janus’ poor reputation and afraid to find herself written about in gossip columns, but maintaining her defenses against someone she has so much in common with proves all but impossible, especially given his charm.

This is a solid debut novel from an author that has clear potential, but it is also very clearly a first effort. The writing is a bit non-cohesive at first and some readers may struggle to believe this heroine is actually functioning in her industry given her off-putting personality and obvious chip on her shoulder. Some continuity here is a bit choppy and it takes an incredibly long time for anything much to happen. Things pick up in the second half of the book before devolving again towards the end, contributing more unevenness. The heroine tends to come off as selfish and judgmental, focused only on how things will benefit her, leaving the hero scrambling with grand romantic gestures that aren’t really reciprocated well, leaving the romance feeling rather weak. Nevertheless, the storyline has potential and contemporary romance readers may enjoy the in-depth dive into the world of tech as something different from what they’re used to reading.

Niki Price