Fare Game by Cade Haddock StrongFare Game by Cade Haddock Strong is a mystery with an abundance of romance. If you are a romance reader and leaving because I said mystery, please wait! The mystery and the romance are intertwined and develop together through the story. You’ll be pleased that you stayed; it is an excellent read!

Kay Corbett is a newly promoted Vice President of a major airline.  On her promotion to the role, she learns that there are complex international financial irregularities taking place in the company, including illegal price-fixing. Kay finds she is expected to both support and enforce the process that fosters this as she learns the depth of the wrongdoing. Deciding to do something about it leaves her a lone figure trying to get enough evidence together to prove what is happening and report it. Kay knows she is exposed taking part in the charade, and if the authorities come in before her evidence is conclusive, she will go down with those who are guilty. Kay is attracted to Riley Bauer, who works in the Finance Department, and if they get together, she worries about what, if anything, she should tell her. 

The Characters

Kay Corbett has dark hair and long legs. I just had to mention those legs! She has a commanding presence, is very young to be a VP, and is known to be ‘whip-smart’. Her character develops along with the story as we see her questioning her commitment to the airline and what loyalty really means. Her father was a pilot with the airline all his life, and what will he think of Kay if she reports financial misdoings? Will he question her loyalty too?

Riley Bauer is a direct contrast to Kay, with long blond hair, shapely athletic build, and much shorter legs! She is a spreadsheet queen and an expert in her area of finances. At the start of the book, Riley is bemoaning the fact that her body clock is ticking. She wants a family and children. Her family is not aware that she is gay, and at some point, Riley is going to have to tell them. The story involves her coming to grips with who she is and what she wants with her life.

The Writing Style

I loved how Haddock Strong gets her readers into the story. Her writing is clear and persuasive, and she manages to explain airline financial irregularities, price-fixing, and whistleblowing without ruffling a single one of my feathers. She introduces them slowly as part of the story, mostly in dialogue, and they become one of the many layers of the story. Likewise, the relationship between Kay and Riley is also layered, their professional and personal lives, their exploration of each other and their difficulties. It is beautifully done.

There is no great explosion of feelings or events, but the story takes you and envelopes you, and you find that you are heavily invested in the results.

The Pros

The story is excellent, and I loved the many layers of it. It took my hand and led me through why the boss was so slippery and why he and his accomplices were taking company money, and how they were doing it. It made you question trust and loyalty and their different guises in terms of both business and personal lives, and the whistleblowing process. On top of it all, there was romance! Perfect!

The Cons


The Conclusion

It is likely that no two people will have paid the same price for their tickets on the same airline journey. This story explores the opportunity it gives airlines to make money both legally and illegally. This book is a must for readers like me that need a bit of something on the side of their romance. It gives a good read, good romance as well as some very hot sexy moments. An excellent combination.

Excerpt from Fare Game by Cade Haddock Strong

Her body stiffened at the sound of voices in the hallway. It sounded like two men. She looked down at the computer. The download crept toward completion. Ninety-six percent, ninety-seven… The second it hit one hundred, she yanked her thumb drive from the machine and logged off, praying she’d captured what she needed.

Her eyes darted around the sparsely decorated office. There was no place to hide. A small wooden conference table surrounded by six chairs sat on the far side of the room. She lurched under it and attempted to curl her nearly six-foot frame into a ball. The voices grew closer and she was certain one of them belonged to Greg. The door to the office clicked open. Kay held her breath and willed her legs not to cramp. She watched a pair of expensive leather loafers dash across the carpet. Her heart was beating so loudly, she was sure it would give her away. A set of keys jangled, and a drawer opened and closed. The shoes retreated and then the door clicked shut again.

Kay heard Greg say, “I got it.”

“Good. We better get to the airport,” his companion responded. Kay didn’t recognize the second man’s voice, and she couldn’t see his face from her perch beneath the table.

She listened as the voices grew faint again and counted to twenty before she dared to unfurl herself. Fuck, that was close. Way too close.

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