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A Matter of Courage by J.C. Long

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A Matter of Courage by J.C. Long

Book Info

Book Series
Hong Kong Nights (Book 2)
About the Author
J.C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his life-long involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that. J. C. Long’s favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing and Korean food (not in that order…okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts and wishing he was writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.
Author Website
Publication Date
September 04, 2017
Available Formats
ePub, Mobi, PDF
Read an excerpt at Ninestar Press.
Winston Chang has spent much of his young life admiring the Dragons who have kept his area safe and fought off the gangs that would bring violence to their area. Now that he’s an adult, he wants nothing more than to join the Dragons and live up to those standards.
The opportunity presents itself when his passion and knowledge of cars is just what the Dragons need. One of their own has been killed and his death seems linked to his involvement with the illegal racing scene known as the Dark Streets. Winston is needed to infiltrate the scene and find out who is responsible and why.
Steel has always been Winston’s best friend, and Winston has always been there to get him out of trouble. Just as the stress in Winston’s life reaches its peak, the relationship between Winston and Steel begins to change in ways neither of them expected.
Will Winston and Steel be able to find the courage to face not only the unknown killer stalking the Dark Streets racers but also their growing feelings?

Editor review

1 review
A Different View of Life
A Matter of Courage is the second in the Hong Kong Nights series, and while it is technically standalone-worthy, I don’t recommend reading it until you’ve read the first book, A Matter of Duty.  This book picks up shortly after the end of the first, and though I’ve not read that one, it became readily apparent quite quickly that this is a story arc where characters and storylines are going to build through the whole of the series.
This installment focuses on Winston and Steel, best friends since they were ten years old who are now dancing around the attraction they feel for each other.  Things are complicated, though, by Steel belonging to the Dragons and Winston not – yet.  Duties for the Dragons keep both men occupied and force separations that become emotionally wider with each task.
I enjoyed the premise of this story in that the Dragons gang, while definitely a gang, focuses on protection of their area rather than running drugs and/or guns.  It’s a white hat gang, peculiar and unique, and I became quite the fan of the group.  This story assumes that you have read A Matter of Duty, because there is clearly backstory that isn’t explained.   That threw me, but as I went along, I found myself curious about going back and reading the first simply because the second was so interesting and intriguing.
Winston and Steel share a very close bond already, and watching their character growth as they ford the path from friends to lovers touched my heart.  Very realistic stumbling blocks that I could absolutely see happening in regular life, and while there is a little angst, it isn’t overpowering, just frustrating in the best possible way.
There is a wide cast of characters, and you are expected to know who they are.  There isn’t much in the way of explanation, so I found myself with what could easily be inaccurate views of some of the Dragons’ members.  However, each character, Dragon or not, contributed in a way that fit the story without taking the focus from Winston and Steel.  Wit and charm abound in these character interactions, and they provided much-needed insight and camaraderie to both men.
My one and only issue was the wrap-up.  It was very abrupt, and there was no effort made to see Winston and Steel as a functioning couple.  The pinnacle of the story hits and then immediately we are into the epilogue, with no resolution to the MC relationship, not even an HFN.  It clearly marks that there is another book coming, because there has to be with the ongoing storyline, but I felt that more effort could have been given to wrap up the ending for these two characters better. 
I’m rating this at three stars because of the ending, but I do still recommend reading both existing books in this series. This is a new author to me, he has great talent, and I look forward to seeing what he delivers next.
**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
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