Hot on the trail of a young accomplice in a child exploitation ring, Pearl finds herself posing as a teenager to get close. Unfortunately, joining a group of kids on a wilderness quest means stepping out of her comfort zone and into uncertainty. But with the target in her sights her focus stays razor-sharp.
The last thing she needs is the dogged journalist who’s been close on her heels catching up and rattling her cage. When he inserts himself into her investigation, she has no choice but to go along.
Thrown together in a mutual pursuit of justice, the negative energy between them sparks up in a new way.
Who says heroes can’t wear heels?
I have absolutely loved this series so far. It has been a nice change of pace that it was the female heroines that are the stars of the show and also the bada$$e$.
Pearl is book two of three in the GEM series and I cannot wait for book three to land.
In Opal, we met Kate (Opal is her GEM operative code name) and Mitch, an agent with the Crimes Against Children Unit in a case in Lanark, KY. Our first couple helps to take down part of a child sex ring that holds ties with Opal, Pearl, and Onyx’s past. We learn about the past connection between these three agents and we begin to meet the cast of characters for the trilogy. Note: a new team was mentioned, CARD, and I’m hoping that maybe we’ll have a series off of that too… Oh, Please Freya, let there be a series that comes from that group! Regardless of books down the line, Mitch and Kate’s attraction for one another is blazing hot. In book 3 of the GEM series, we will meet Rajani, who goes by the code name, Onyx
Pearl starts with an encounter between Pearl, (Janey) and Lee Remington, an investigative journalist who also has a stake in seeing these sexual predators being taken out of commission. Pearl is as prickly as a pear and Lee seems to rub her the wrong way, starting with an encounter in Opal. Both have personal connections to the group that they are trying to stop before any more kids can be hurt.
Pearl is a computer hacker and information goddess. She’ll find the bad guys no matter where they hide. She is a beautiful Asian woman and Lee is a gorgeous black Jamaican man. I love that Freya does not shy away from multiracial and couples and well, POC as main characters in general. (See her series in Susan Stoker’s world and Freya’s Cedar Creek Series!). Pearl and Lee are on the hunt for Jesper, a kid that was luring teens to run away and end up in the sex trafficking ring.
Lee is a single father, though his daughter lives with her mom. Pearl had a life, an exotic dancer and had a fiancé in Cincinnati, until an investigative reporter wrote an expose and used her real name. She lost it all at that point. So going into her first experience with Lee, she is already posed to believe that journalists are untrustworthy.
As I said above, I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series and I love that the three agents are friends from childhood; friendships forged in light of unspeakable trauma. And all three women have used their trauma to fuel their avocation. Do they get paid? Sure. But they aren’t in it for the money; their in it to save those who can’t save themselves.
Lee and Pearl have great chemistry and their insta-hate at the beginning (well, from Pearl’s POV) leads to explosive chemistry when the time is right. Lee learns he needs to follow her lead, difficult for a take charge kind of guy, but whether it’s in the bedroom or out in the field, Lee and Pearl learn the steps to the most evocative dance there is… that of blooming love and the development of trust.
Freya’s books are always in the “don’t need to read the blurb, go ahead and buy” category for me. Her older characters are rich, flawed, willing to struggle, and not take the easy way out in love or life. Her male and female characters always balance each other out and in fact, they can’t get to the end of the story or their resolution without finding a way to work together.
Freya’s books show: Love can happen after the age of 25. Characters can have real flaws and be adored. Real love loves all aspects of the beloved. And in the end, love does save the day.
This series keeps getting better!
Book 2 in this new series and it just keeps getting better!!! Although it is part of a series in can certainly be enjoyed as a standalone. Now I may be a little biased cause I love this author’s writing, but this series is so so good so why not enjoy the entire series!
In fact, what this author does which my old self appreciates, is summarize scenes of the prior book which tie in with this installment.
This read was the perfect blend of high suspense crime drama with the swooniest slow burn passion!
Actioned packed, and thrilling with a healthy dose of steamy passion, I was hooked from beginning to end.
A mysterious disappearance brings back recollections of a crime spree with horrible proportions. Journalist Lee and GEM agent Pearl are assigned to head this mission.
That’s another juicy mystery!
I went down a rabbit hole of unexpected twists and surprises.
This author never disappoints with her flawless character development and her powerful stories that incorporate romance with crime spree solving.
We get mature, strong, no nonsense older everyday folk characters that are truly extraordinary! Fast paced, the plot was string and totally enthralling! The dialogue and banter between Lee and Pearl was priceless! Every character whether primary or with the least amount of eco sure serves a purpose. The crimes are described so vividly I feel I’m right there with them.
Cannot wait to read what’s next!
Lee is a journalist looking for justice for his mom. Pearl (Janey) is a GEM operative looking for justice for children. When thrown together to work a case sparks fly between these two, even with Janey trying her hardest to fight it. This book is packed with suspense and mystery and add in a fantastic love story and it’s a book I couldn’t put down! I loved this story!