Amber Allure, Eden Winters

Diversion by Eden Winters

Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter seems a bit like a commodity in the business of life and if nothing else, he’s enterprising. Lucky understands exactly what opportunity cost means and bases his choices accordingly, learning some very painful lessons for it along the way.

Lucky traded his soul, the first time to a man who saw something in Lucky that would serve both their interests; the second time when Lucky mistakenly betrayed that man; the third time to a system that saw something in Lucky that would, well, serve both their interests. And the final time—that was the time that left Lucky more than a little bit broken because that was the time it meant something more to him than what it cost him to do it.

The funny thing about choosing to trade your soul is that you can do it for purely selfish reasons—who wouldn’t seize the opportunity for a get-out-of-jail-free card when it’s offered—but in the end? Yeah, in the end that trade off begins to feel nothing like selfish and a whole lot like redemption because, in the end, you discover that what you thought was broken in you maybe was only a hairline fracture, what you tried to keep hidden behind the attitude and the prickly exterior was merely the soft underbelly of guilt and hurt and a little bit of fear; you discover you think you’ve had it bad, until someone comes along who’s had it worse. And you see that someone still manages to try to trust and find the good in life and in people, though some people do their best to make it more of an effort.

That someone for Lucky is Bo Schollenberger, and he’s supposed to be Lucky’s replacement in the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau’s Department of Diversion Prevention and Control; instead, he simply becomes Lucky’s reason—for pretty much everything. Lucky is Rich, Rich is Lucky; he just didn’t realize how lucky or rich he truly was until he found someone to value, including himself.

Lucky Lucklighter isn’t an easy man to know. He judges and makes assumptions based on nothing more than the fact he doesn’t like or trust anyone. He’s not easy to like, but he is pretty easy to love if you can dodge the barbs he uses to cut, and the lemon juice he pours on the wounds just to remind you you’ve been flayed. That tongue is sharp and he’s not afraid to cut to the quick with it, over and over again. That’s part of the fun for him, to lay his adversaries low, but he discovers it’s also just as much fun to have someone to trade barbs with, a worthy adversary who soon becomes ally.

Diversion snuck up on me, which, given its title, (and its author) is something I probably should’ve anticipated a bit more. Like Lucky, Eden Winters isn’t afraid to go for the emotional jugular, and she seems to nick mine pretty much every time. This became a story not about how much Lucky was willing to take but about how much he was willing to give. For a convicted criminal that’s the ultimate redemption.

Buy Diversion HERE.

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2 thoughts on “Diversion by Eden Winters

  1. felfaber says:

    The soul-trading was something I didn’t see, or perhaps just failed to notice consciously, but your review has made it clear to me… and you know what I like Diversions even better for this realization. I think it’s a great book, and Lucky is, for all his bristles, one of the most likable characters I’ve found in fiction. Second everything you said!

    Like

  2. I loved Lucky too!

    I love to try to read between the lines–though sometimes I get it really, really wrong!–but when I see someone like Lucky, who’s basically a decent person who has made some really questionable choices in his life, then kept making those same choices even though they didn’t bring him any sort of true satisfaction–just apathy, maybe? He wasn’t happy, nor was he unhappy; he just was, if that makes sense. Anyway, when I see a character like him whose choices finally begin to catch up with him, I can’t help but think there’s been a trade off of some sort somewhere along the way, and that trade off might just have been little parts of himself, those parts of his conscience and his Self that, had he kept them intact, might have altered who he’d become had he not traded them for material possessions and wealth.

    So then, when Lucky met Bo and came to realize that there were parts of himself, good parts that he’d left behind, that’s when I think he began to redeem himself. He was made whole again by the man who was perhaps (likely?) more broken that Lucky had ever been, which, in turn, made his sacrifice in the end all the sweeter because it meant something to him, something more than what he could take from it; it meant that he could give unselfishly of himself to the one person who truly mattered.

    And sometimes I really do think waaaaay too much about the characters in the books I read. :-D

    Like

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