Zero Hour by Megan Erickson (Wired and Dangerous #1)
Released: January 30, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “Those fingers can penetrate a fire wall and make me come.” She opened her eyes and grinned a filthy smile. “Got me a man who can do both.”
Start of a new series about hackers, and I’m excited. I really enjoyed this book. It has a very grumpy hero and he loves his best friend’s little sister, which pisses him off even more. Oh Roarke, I love you so much.
Roarke’s brother’s death was ruled a suicide, but he knows he was murdered. His brother wanted out of the hacker lifestyle and took a job with computer security software company called, Saltner Defense. Shortly after his brother discovered a malware-type virus in a big operating software, he was found dead. Roarke wants revenge on Arden Saltner, the head of the company who he knows hired someone to kill his brother. It’s his only goal in life. To do this, he needs dirt on Saltner and he assembles a team of hackers that are willing to risk their lives to help out their friend. Roarke’s best friend, Erick is a hacker, and has a little sister that Roarke has known most of his life. He has loved Wren forever, but wanted her to go live a good, wholesome life. Guess what? Wren has her own set of hacking skills, and also wants revenge on a Saltner – but not Arden, his son, Darren.
Darren is a very bad man who runs black market sex rings out of his clubs. Wren saw first hand what Darren can do to girls and is determined to take him down. So why not take down his father too? She demands to be part of Roarke’s team, and he basically has a coronary telling her no.
“Fuck it. This is why it kills me to see you involved in this, because all I wanna do is see you safe. I cared back then when you were young, and I still care now that you’re back, all woman and hot as fuck and still so goddamn untouchable.”
He doesn’t want Wren to get hurt. But Darren Saltner has a thing for Wren, and she knows she can get close to him – which means close to his father, and Roarke can’t let that opportunity go.
Roarke, Wren, her brother Erick and a few others on their team get their knuckles cracking on some hacker skills, while Wren puts herself up as bait for Darren. All the while, Roarke walks around in an extremely bad mood, secretly lusting after Wren.
Like I said, I had so much fun reading this book. Roarke and Wren are really engaging main characters with great sexual tension and romance. I’m so weak for well done grumpy heroes. I don’t know why, but they are my favorite!
Roarke snatched her latte and took a big gulp. He grimaced as he set it down. “What the fuck is that?”
“A chai latte that was hot about an hour ago.”
“Tastes like Christmas and grass. And I fucking hate Christmas.”
I also fell in love with the supporting characters too! Erick, their co-hackers Jock and Dade. Marisol. GIVE ME ALL THEIR HEAs. They might not be all best friends – hackers tend to be more on a loner type with big egos that don’t always play nice together, but they all intrigue me I need them all to live happily ever after. To start this book, Roarke and Erick have to literally jump on Dade and fight him to the ground to convince him to work with them. They all have secrets and don’t like to share with the group. But – they were all on board for the mission to take down the Saltners. They might be a bit secretive, but they came together and could trust one another when shit hit the fan. I loved that.
Wren is a woman who has persevered through life. After seeing the horrors of what Darren could do to vulnerable women, she has made herself strong and doesn’t take no for an answer. Roarke’s need to protect her and keep her safe is never-ending, but I love that she never stops telling and showing him that she is capable. At the same time, she relies on the team to help her and never goes out on her own and does anything stupid just to prove something. YAY. Growing up with parents that are first generation Korean Americans, she’s had a strict upbringing and had to hide her hacker life from her family. But this is something she is proud of and needs Roarke to take a step back and respect her for it.
The suspense and romance are well-balanced in this one too. Great sexual tension, as Roarke finally admits his true feelings for Wren. We also learn that he has basically been tracking her every movement most of her life, even hacking into certain systems so she would get a raise or win a contest. I could have lived without knowing that information about Roarke. But he is super intense, and that fits in with his personality. Still – a little icky.
Megan Erickson has created a really fun, gritty, sexy world, with just enough humor to balance it all out.
Roarke is even grumpy in the epilogue. I can’t get enough of him!