cover image Scammer Girl

Scammer Girl

Michelle Dayton. Tule, $4.99 e-book (310p) ISBN 978-1-956387-42-1

Dayton’s follow-up to her STEM-savvy debut, Disaster Girl, doesn’t disappoint, delivering a fresh premise and fully fleshed out characters whose believable problems drive their questionable decisions. After a devastating breakup, debt-ridden psychology PhD candidate Jo Harper uses her tech genius and canny insights into the human mind to set up an online scam romancing wealthy married men in hopes of receiving pricey gifts. Now it’s a booming business supporting several staff, and, since they only target known cheaters, Jo’s comfortable in the moral gray area they’ve created. But then her team accidentally targets the brother of do-gooder Silicon Valley executive Jamie March, whose mission is to make the internet safer for all. Jamie tracks down Jo, and given their diametrically opposed perspectives, they’re both surprised by the potency of their chemistry. With Jamie, Jo feels secure enough to be herself, not the character she plays online. Series fans will be pleased to meet another gutsy heroine, though Dayton veers slightly into the trope of having the heroine change her goals to satisfy the hero. In this case, however, the change feels grounded in emotional growth. Readers will be delighted. Agent: Janna Bonikowski, the Knight Agency. (Jan.)