Uneven Exchange by S.K. Derban – Book Review


Uneven Exchange  By S. K. Derban

Published By  Limitless Publishing  August 26, 2015

Genres: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers

Pages:  344

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Like fire and ice, reality for Alexandra Callet runs hot and cold. Most would assume life is nearly perfect for the exotic looking beauty. At the age of thirty-three, Alexandra owns a stunning home, and has a successful interior design career. Yet, she is left unfulfilled. Alexandra yearns for a serious relationship, and feels haunted by an extreme void.

For a long time, Alexandra has been desperately in love with her business partner, Jake Taylor. Although they work together, Alexandra wonders if Jake even realizes she is a woman. Finally as a soul searching escape, Alexandra takes a week off and gravitates to the serenity Mexico offers. Instead she is recruited to work with the DEA. Alexandra knew her decision to help would separate her from the man she loves. She never thought it would mean life or death.

UNEVEN EXCHANGE celebrates the many facets of a woman. As she fights for her survival, Alexandra’s faith in God gives her the strength to make a difference.


Story Notes

S. K. Derban’s latest thriller is a story that grabs the attention so completely that the reader will be hard pressed to put it down before finishing.

Uneven Exchange is one of the best written mystery thrillers I have read in quite a while. The precision of the law enforcement information and the carefully crafted characters made for an exceptional read that kept me turning the pages quickly to discover how this adventure would turn out. Alexandra Callet is the 33 year old Interior designer and co-owner of the San Diego based Daniel Cole Company. She has been in love with her business partner Jake Taylor but cannot seem to make him realize her feelings. In an effort to sort out what to do next Alex heads to Cozumel, Mexico for a week long vacation at her beach-side condo. While there she is spotted by DEA agents working a case to capture The Magician – an well- known cartel assassin named Miguel Santiago who has recently killed one of their fellow agents. Her resemblance to the sister of the assassin they are seeking is incredible and after convening with their boss, Special Agent in Charge Kevin O’Neil, they come up with a plan that might finally allow them to close the case. When Alex returns to her home to San Diego, Kevin contacts her and requests her help with the case. And upon receiving her okay they begin their plan: Alexandra, who already greatly resembles Santiago’s sister Daniela, will take Daniela’s place when she goes to visit Santiago to discuss the finances of her new business. What follows is a great adventure through emulation and danger as Alex helps the DEA take custody of one of the most feared drug cartel assassins. The way in which Ms. Derban wrote the book was extremely effective in helping me keep all the characters and their roles in the story straight. It is always hard to jump into an ongoing-situation-type story and ensure that your readers don’t get lost in the barrage of information, but Ms. Derban did exactly that.Further, Ms. Derban created  wonderfully human main characters in Alexandra, Kevin, Rico and Jake. I found myself truly interested in what happened to each of them throughout the story and loved how real each person was – expressing fears, depressing anger with sarcasm and learning to share and accept the love of those around them. And, speaking of sarcasm, there were some really great quips and zings traded  throughout the whole story – making it a fun and enjoyable ride through a dark and dangerous quest for justice. I also liked the depth of faith that the main characters exuded, from the personal prayers to their candid conversations with others. I would have preferred to have a better and more fully described conclusion for Alex and Jake. I was glad to see they ended up together but felt the ending was rushed a bit and wished there was more conversation between them after Alex returned from her mission.

My only two issues with this book were the insertion of swear words and an almost too descriptive scene of love between Kevin and his wife. I wanted so very badly to give this book 5 out of 5 stars but just couldn’t be okay with those inclusions in an otherwise fantastic story. I know of many authors who simply put in “so-and-so cursed under his breath” and this would have been preferable to the actual words. I also was a little embarrassed while reading the love scene between Kevin and his wife. It wasn’t graphic but just more descriptive than I would care to read. For this reason I would be careful in my recommendation of this book without giving a word of warning to the reader. I would not recommend this book be read by anyone who is younger than 16 with these themes included. But for a mature person I do believe this story can be an enjoyable and thrilling story to read.

This e-book was provided to me at no cost by Limitless Publishing and Net Galley in exchanged for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company  for this review.


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