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Ratings and Reviews (2 27 star ratings
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4.4 out of 5
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    Can these three truly go “All In”?

    The first book in this series introduced us to the cyborgs, human/machine hybrids who were created to be soldiers (or cannon fodder) by The Corporations in the Resource Wars. Most were created male, a few were created female but all were deemed expendable when the war ended. That was until the cyborgs revealed that they were sentient and had been for a while. Now that the war was over all they wanted was their freedom and their back pay, so they could each begin to live life on their own terms. And while many in the galaxy supported the cyborgs freedom to live their own lives, that did not mean they wanted a cyborg living down the street or even across town. Therefore, many cyborgs ended up in The Drift, the roughest edge of the known universe. It was an area where strength and money were valued and most beings there didn’t care who or what you were as long as you worked hard and quiet and didn’t cheat at cards or other games of chance. We met Cynder in book #1 but in this book we get to know her much better. She is similar to her brother’s in a lot of ways, having been brought into this world in the same batch and having spent the whole war with them, living a similar purpose. But she is female and that has shaped her in ways that her brothers could never hope to understand. Toro and Jaeger are unknown to Cynder and her brothers and new to this section of the Drift. They had heard good things about Club Nova and the cyborgs who created it and now called it home. They came to The Drift looking for work and were both hoping it might be a place they could settle and feel comfortable, possibly even becoming home, something they had been chasing since the end of the war. While the cyborgs were created in batches and some have exact genetic duplicates, each was programmed with specific talents or skills that made them unique. Due to these different skill sets, while these pairs - identical twins Kit & Luke or batch siblings Toro and Jaeger - may have spent the entire war side by side, each has experienced every moment differently. Once you add the variable of gender, comparing Cynder’s experiences and view of the war with either Kit’s or Luke’s, and you have larger, more painful, and unfortunately (not) surprising variations. These differing experiences and the roles they played in shaping each cyborg’s psyche and personality is only part of what makes them each unique and truly human. This book went deeper into the psyches of the cyborgs Ms. Hayes has created, showing them as unique and individual beings. We’re also given more details surrounding their transformations from automaton-like automated soldiers (cannon fodder at the beginning of the war) to the sentient beings who fought for and were eventually granted their freedom and autonomy. We see how each of them has shaped their own world now that the decisions are finally theirs to make. And how they react facing issues that stem directly from when choices were taken away from each of them during the war. Does Cynder take a chance and choose to let these two men into her circle of trust and even her heart? Or is she “damaged goods” and safer alone? Can Toro trust himself around another person or will his fears keep him from connecting with anyone else in any meaningful way? Can these three truly go “All In”?
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    The magic of The Drift continues!

    Three individuals, each with broken parts. Together, can they fill in the missing pieces to make a whole? I love the way Cynder, Jaeger and Toro seem to be a perfect fit. Their relationships grow until they really don't want to be apart. Jaeger is quite the creative romantic with his plans for their first date. Our way-too-serious characters find many reasons to laugh in each other's company. I enjoyed watching their love grow. Their 'dark' areas do need to be addressed, however. There are some rough spots! A favorite quote: "Guilt danced across Toro's heart wearing stiletto heels." Mmhmm! He made a mistake. A beautifully written romance!
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