Wired is a slightly difficult book for me to review. Julie Garwood has written some of my absolute favorite romances and I always look forward to her newest releases. Because I’ve been a fan of hers for more than half my life, it’s disappointing to say that – while Wired isn’t bad and I don’t regret reading it – the story fell flat more often than not.
Let’s start with the good: Allison. Wired is really her story and while some might take issue with how perfect she is (an off-the-charts genius hacker who is also a stunningly gorgeous model with no flaws other than she’s too giving to people who don’t deserve it), this honestly didn’t bother me because I loved her focus, intelligence, and the fact that she’s so confident when it comes to her abilities. She’s a woman determined to make a name for herself in what’s still a largely male-dominated field, so I was willing to suspend disbelief at some of the over-the-top aspects because of this. My favorite thing about Wired is actually her friendship with Jordan (the heroine of Shadow Dance); I loved that the two heroines connected and became friends through their shared intellectual interests.
A heroine as smart as Allison needs a hero who isn’t intimidated by her and appreciates her for who she is, and Liam fits the bill. Liam was a scene-stealer for me in the last Buchanan-Renard book, Fast Track. In that book he practically oozed charisma and hinted at an interesting past that made me incredibly eager to get my hands on his book. Yet in his own story, the intriguing man I’d been so excited to read about was gone, replaced by a rather generic hero without much of a personality. I actually went back and re-read parts of Fast Track to make sure I hadn’t been thinking of the wrong character because I was so surprised. The Liam of Wired is intelligent, handsome, constantly on the move, yet always in the right place at the right time, but that’s about as far as his character goes. There simply wasn’t much to him and I was incredibly disappointed we didn’t get to delve into his character at all. Perhaps in part because of this, the romance between Liam and Allison was a bit of a letdown. There was no chemistry, only a little spark (and that was when they hit the sheets), and there was no natural development in their relationship. It felt like boxes were being checked off in order to fulfill the most basic romance requirements.
The suspense part of this romantic suspense involved not one, but three plots converging around Allison. Between an abusive aunt and uncle harassing her for money, a disgraced FBI agent out to get her, and a former roommate stealing her program, Allison has a lot on her plate. There’s potential in each of these storylines, but over the course of the story they become an increasingly jumbled mess.
Even though I had a number of issues with Wired, I do want to stress that it’s not a bad book. I always enjoy Ms. Garwood’s writing and even though the story didn’t work for me on the whole, it’s still a fun read. Liam and Allison are likeable characters and the scenes where they interacted with past Buchanan-Renard heroes and heroines added a dash of liveliness to the tale. So while I think there were a lot of missed opportunities in Wired, I still believe it would make a pleasant beach read this summer.
FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.