Author: A. Meredith Walters
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Date of publication: July 25th, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Number of pages: 288
POV: 1st person
Series: Zero Day
Exploited – Book 1
Aftermath – Book 2 (expected publication date: January 16th, 2017)
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
In this pulse-pounding novel from the bestselling author of Butterfly Dreams, a vigilante hacker plays a seductive game with the agent who’s chasing her online—and sharing her bed in real life.
At first glance, I’m nothing out of the ordinary. I am a daughter. A sister. A friend. When you look at me you won’t see anything that warrants suspicion. I don’t look like a criminal.
My name is Hannah Whalen, but most people know me as freed0mov3rdr1v3, or “Freedom Overdrive”—one of the world’s most prolific and notorious hacktivists. My goal—my purpose—is to shed light on the evil that lurks behind the corporate and government lies we have been force-fed for too long.
My story begins with the best possible intention. Devoting my life to exposing the corrupt. The dishonest. The unethical. For that, they label me a cyber-terrorist. Wanted by the FBI, I’ve always been one step ahead.
Until I fell in love.
Because I’m sleeping with the man who’s hunting me. And he has no idea that I am his prey. Now I have to decide what’s more important: my freedom or my heart.
Exploited is a fast-moving techno-romance (is there such thing or did I just make up a genre….lol) that will keep you glued to the book. It is a page-turner and you never know where this book will lead you and I loved it.
I am going to say this right up front, I didn’t like Hannah. Did I feel bad for her, sure. What happened to her family was pretty crappy and I can totally get why that pushed her into hacking. But her relationship with Mason took the cake and when it was revealed why she was with him, I was a little upset. That’s when I became “Team Mason” and started cheering on his investigation of Freedom Overdrive. What bothered me also about her was that she didn’t have any friends, work or personal. She explained it as a lack of trust but I wonder, as I do with fictional characters, if her lack of friends was because she had no personal skills. The only “friends” that she has is her fellow online hackers.
I liked Mason, even if he was the equivalent of a human stress ball. He made a mistake by sleeping with one of his fellow agents, who happened to be his superior, and things got a little, how do I phrase this, stressful at the office. He also has major issues with his parents. They are playing the blame game with him. When Mason’s brother, Dylan, was dying of brain cancer, he never got down to see him before he died. So, Mason’s mother and father blame his job and himself for not being there for Dylan. Which is pretty awful and those phone calls with his father just broke my heart.
While I didn’t like Hannah, I did like the romance between them….even if Hannah originally went into it under false pretenses. Their romance gave me major feels. And the sex was hot. Burning hot!!
The hacker plotline was very interesting and I can see the allure in it. I mean, Hannah got pulled into it by a friend because she was going to fail out of college. I am still not sure how she went from small time to big time and I am sure that they will explain it more in book 2.
This book does not have a happy ending and none of the plot lines got wrapped up. I can’t wait to see where this story ends up in book 2.
Now I went ahead and created a playlist for Exploited. These songs are just suggestions and feel free to let me know if you have read the book, what other songs would fit.
Playlist for Exploited:
Believer by Imagine Dragons
Name by The Goo Goo Dolls
Choices by B-Side
Breathe Me by Sia
Trouble by Coldplay
Brother by Anna Pancaldi
Boombastic by Shaggy
Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake
Father of Mine by Everclear
How many stars will I give Exploited: 4
Why: Fast, intense storyline with great, layered characters and great sex scenes
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Sex, language
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**