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Henriette – :
Brilliant political rollercoaster
I admit after rereading The Brutal Truth und The Awkward Truth by Lee Winter (brilliant!) recently I was itching to get my hands on an ARC of The Fixer (thank you Ylva for it) and now I am itching to write a review of this great read (yes, voluntarily, there is that itching thingie): this book is all kinds of brilliant.
The story is a unique caleidoscope of vividly described characters with interesting quirks set in a creative plot with interesting offshoots and written in Lee Winter‘s trademark style – can I use brilliant again? If not, insert now: dazzling, scintillating or whatever superlative takes your fancy for superb writing. Each little piece of the caleidoscope has its own merit: the ice queen with carefully hidden morals, the hippie activist who is much more than she seems, the insightful grandmother, the corrupt politicians, creative twists and turns of the story, some attraction – all trite ingredients for a political rollercoaster, but in the hands of Lee Winter it is transformed into a unique concoction which had me glued to the screen of my ereader, unwilling to stop. How does Winter manage to combine seemlessly a jumble of unrelated things and emotions into a wonderful story? Cold calculation, an old van in rainbow colors, ruthlessness, warmth, power-grabbing, goodness, danger, sweet friends, guinea pigs and guns (oh, here is a review titel: guinea pigs and guns!).
So be warned: Do. Not. Start. if you can‘t finish this addictive book immediately (I still need to fuel myself with caffeine after a loooong night). And second warning: this is a duology, so be prepared to start The Chaos Agent asap to get the full tale of the villain and the hippie activist. Enough, need to start The Chaos Agent now!
Thanks to Ylva for the ARC, the review is left voluntarily – although grudgingly since it kept me a few minutes from starting the second part of the duology!!
Carolyn Bylotas (verified owner) – :
The Fixer, by Lee Winter. Minor spoilers to follow.
She’s done it, once again. Michelle Hastings is on her way to redemption and Lee has expertly already started to lay the groundwork.
Michelle’s affection for her safta is apparent from the start. What better way to show that she has a heart, even if buried deep.
And then layer in the apparent self-loathing for her history with Ayers and you can only admire the beauty in which Lee begins to weave her words to build the foundation that maybe, just maybe, this cold villain can be likable.
Poor Eden, the panda. (Nice callback to Under Your Skin when Lauren won the prize at the fair for Catherine, the panda.) She has it bad for her hot, evil boss. Her conversation with her dad about people having shades of grey, once again sets the groundwork for what is to follow.
The scavenger hunt theme was, brilliant. I say that a lot, don’t I? And of course the humor is there. Cat anus pucker … 🤣🤣🤣🤦♀️🤣🤣🤣. And I may never look at nachos the same way again.
I, for one, can’t wait to see the completion of this story. Two weeks be damned.
Holly Riglar (verified owner) – :
Read this in one sitting. Absolutely brilliant, as usual. Cannot wait for the sequel!!!
Mx. Phoebe – :
The Fixer is a sunny rainbow do-gooder – well at least this is my interpretation. In this particular story Eden is the fixer while working for The Fixers (chuckle). She is the one doing all of the work. She is creative, smart, and has a heart of gold.
What I find interesting is that Michelle is the ice queen. Most of her part in this tale is describing her emotional state and how events in the past and present are affecting her. I found nothing about her to be icy as with Eden she is quite warm. Then there are her hobbies which are pretty passionate if temporary ways to relieve stress. I would like to try the smashing room though, I see them on reality television and it looks like a lot of fun but a bit of a workout. I’ll stick with Eden’s ice cream for right now.
There is heat in this book, but I will give you a spoiler – it is not between Michelle and Eden. There is steam between them, but it mainly takes place between a computer screen in a non-sexual way. I love these interactions as much as they do. I think Winter has created a great foundation for Eden and Michelle.
Then there is a little mystery thrown in. There is also a revenge plot. Plus some interesting and heartbreaking side stories.
Winter gives us the full package without giving us a HEA. I gotta say that an author who creates sizzle when the characters are states apart is a keeper in my book. I cannot wait for the next book and the next tête-à-tête between these two.
I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
Betty Harmon – :
I have been eagerly looking forward to reading The Fixer by Lee Winter ever since I heard she was going to try and rehabilitate Michelle Hastings, the ice queen villain in the novel Under Your Skin. Michelle Hastings really did show herself as a true scoundrel in that book, but I always thought she should get the chance to change her ways. There was just something about her that made me think she was not completely evil. That‘s what the author has done in The Fixer, and I have to say, I loved every part of this book.
Eden Lawless is a really good person. She is an environmental activist who has spent her whole life trying to make the world a better place. Michelle Hastings is the CEO of a secretive organization that caters to the wants and wishes of the super-rich and powerful. These two ladies could not be more different. They are thrown together when Michelle hires Eden to take down a corrupt mayor in Eden’s hometown. Eden agrees even though she knows nothing about this very covert company or its beautiful but aloof boss.
The setting, the secondary characters, and the occasional spots of humor help make this a really great story. The intrigue involving the corrupt mayor will keep you hanging on every word. However, it is Eden and Michelle who make this tale something special. The chemistry between them is off the charts from the moment they meet, even though the book ends up being a definite slow-burn. Their story will keep you reading on the edge of your seat until the very end, and then reaching for the next book in the series.
This is a wonderful novel, and it has my highest recommendation.
I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.
Sagacious Sapphic – :
A perfectionist tree-hugger and a soulless string puller, why would they ever cross paths? Well, an enemy of my enemy is a friend indeed. Michelle Hastings has a lot of explaining to do. This character originates in the On The Record Series as Catherine Ayers’ vicious ex who seduced her, fed her a fake news story, and destroyed her career.
I really hated Michelle coming into this book and have been eagerly waiting to see if Lee Winter could redeem her. I knew she would find a way, still I was unprepared to almost immediately see cracks in Michelle’s villain persona. She’s fighting so hard to keep her mask welded in place, but it just keeps slipping. Why is pain all I can see underneath?
Eden Lawless is an earnest, guileless, immovable force of nature. When Eden is offered a lot of money to sabotage the mayor who shattered Eden’s family, she quickly gets to work on a creative and engaging plot. Will she be bested again, or will she get her hometown to see the mayor is hellbent on destroying every place they love?
It’s hard to say whether the skillful plot to destroy Mayor Wilson, or the amusingly confrontational developing relationship takes center stage in book one. Eden sends her entire hometown of Wingapo (win-gah-poe) on a scavenger hunt that becomes highly publicized. Through this scheme we meet the charming Melba (owner of Eden’s B&B accommodations) and her son Jimmy. They play along with the town, trying to guess each clue, much to Eden’s, and our, amusement.
The daily Skype calls Michelle uses to keep track of Eden are comedy and chemistry gold. I love how easily Eden’s genuine openness baffles and infuriates Michelle. Eden’s unyielding values earn her Michelle’s exasperation and respect, much to Michelle’s annoyance. Watching these two dance around each other and occasionally, unknowingly land a blow had me itching for my next Zoom call like I might be able to see it in real time!
Through it all though, Michelle remains guarded, Eden never realizes the true nature of The Fixers, and their connection has grown a lot. I’ve come to appreciate Michelle’s wit and intellect, but she’s offered Eden a job and still hasn’t told her the truth. Allowing someone to believe something that isn’t true is dishonest, and I cannot respect that. I’m very glad Michelle has a second book to figure herself out, but she better watch out because Eden is going to go nuclear.
This two book series should be read as one, therefore book one does not follow the typical romance book pattern. The story arc is less like Mount Everest; more like a gentle rise and fall of waves of a beach—and just as entrancing. This story isn’t one to rush through, but one to slow yourself down and savor. Each chapter, paragraph, and line is well crafted in the way we have come to expect from Lee Winter. Each character and storyline is weaved in seamlessly. What for the reader is an effortless and flawless experience, truly took great care and enviable storytelling artistry.
I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Karola – :
After the first two books in this series I really thought how can she write a book with Michelle Hastings as a main character? Is it a crime/horror book? But Lee Winter has not only written a book about lovely Eden Lawless and mean Michelle, you get to know Michelle from a different side. And I even start to like her. Michelle is still the person with too many secrets and that no one wants to get to know personally, except Eden. And bit by bit Eden is melting the Icequeen and brings herself into trouble with it.
Happy to read on in „The Chaos Agent“
Nadine Stamminger – :
This book is brilliant! First of all i have to say, i didnt know the main protagonist Michelle Hastings before reading this book, because The Red Files and Under Your Skin is on by bucketlist but I havent read them by now. But i will definitly put them higher up on my “to do” list 😉
This story is about Michelle a bad a* CEO of a secret company, not many traces lead to her and her company and they help rich people in need. Enter Eden Lawless, a young woman who couldnt be more cheerfull and more different than Michelle. Eden is a lifelong activist inspired by her mom. When Michelles Company get in contact with her and wants her for one of their jobs, Eden has to go back and face her past. Said past inclueds a mean small town mayor and her dad. Due to her creativity Eden can works her way trough the job, on this way she also sees behing Michelles hard exterior and ruffeles some fethers.
The writing is amazing, i love the deepht of Lee Winters characters, the interessting storyline and the energy of our main protagonists without anything really happening between them. Im super exited for the next book!
I received an advance review copy from Ylva Publishing and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Ana Leamaro – :
ARC for an Honest review
So I was very curious as how Michelle Hastings could find redemption, but you have to wait to the second book! You have to read both so I’ll make the same review because you can’t separate them.
On book one M. still is a very cold and dark queen who is just trampled by sunny and happy Eden who doesn’t care at all by her boss formality. This is a slow burn book, that digs deep into the characters soul with as bigger focus on Eden. Her sunny disposition and hope, a clear influence from her mother, which is the fuel to her activism. A world in black or white.
On book 2, I’ll try no to give any spoilers, we dig into Michelle. I loved how her soul and trauma was written. I could feel the hurt, the self hate and how much unworthy she felt like. Living in a permanent world of grey shades.
The villains series is amazing and they are on the top of my favorite books. I really recommend these books. Thank you Lee Winter.