Review: Only Hard Problems by Jennifer Estep

Posted February 14, 2024 by Jen in Rating B, Reviews, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction Tags: , , ,

Book cover of ONLY HARD PROBLEMS by Jennifer EstepOnly Hard Problems
Jennifer Estep
Rating: B

What I’m Talking About:

Following the exciting events and shocking revelation of the previous book, Only Hard Problems steps away from main characters Kyrion and Vesper and brings readers Zane Zimmer’s POV. Zane is the new leader of the Arrows and is tasked with finding and capturing Kyrion and his newly discovered sister, Vesper. Zane appears arrogant and obtuse to the regal-watchers, but he’s cunning and just may have a heart – that remains to be seen. 

Only Hard Problems is a mostly standalone adventure set within the larger Techwave terrorist plot. Eager to find Kyrion and Vesper before anyone else, he must first make an appearance at the Summer Solstice celebration and woo his frenemy Lady Astern. Zane’s grandmother, head of House Zimmer, is pressing him to pursue Lady Asterin as a political match. While at the celebration, Zane uncovers a Techwave plot and discovers a new side to  Astern.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and getting Zane’s POV; however, I was disappointed this isn’t an HEA romance. In fact, there isn’t any romance, so don’t go in thinking there would be like me! However, there is definitely some simmering chemistry between Zane and Astern, and I can’t wait to see it explode. 

We learn more about Zane and his mixed up emotions over loyalty to a horrible ruler, his family, and a newly discover sister. I enjoyed seeing what makes Zane tick and learning how his mind works. We also learn more about the Techwavers, with glimpses of what they may be up to. I love a redeemed bad boy, and I have a feeling that’s where Zane is headed. 

The adventure is exciting and the story moves quickly. Just don’t expect a lot of answers. The Galactic Bonds series should be read in order, so I recommend reading the first two books before giving Only Hard Problems a read.

My Rating: B

About the Book:


My name is Zane Zimmer. To most folks, I live a seemingly charmed life as a Regal lord and the heir apparent to the powerful, wealthy House Zimmer, and the gossipcasts breathlessly follow my every swaggering move across the Archipelago Galaxy. I’m also a powerful psion capable of telekinesis, telepathy, and telempathy, and my deadly skills and prowess with my stormsword have made me the golden boy of the Arrows, the Imperium’s elite fighting force.

But even golden boys have bad days, and the truth is I have more hard problems than I can solve.

The Techwave is building weapons to use against the Arrows in hopes of toppling the Imperium and taking over the galaxy. But even more worrisome is the fact that my old rival Kyrion Caldaren has a powerful new ally in Vesper Quill. Together, the two of them just might destroy everything I’ve sworn to protect.

I’m supposed to be relaxing with the other Regals during the Summer Solstice celebration, but when an enemy threatens the festivities, I’m forced to leap into action. As an Arrow, I’ll do whatever it takes to protect my family and the other Regals, even though my actions will cause only more problems—and just might end up being the death of me…

Note: Only Hard Problems is a 46,000-word novella from the point of view of Zane Zimmer. It takes place after Only Good Enemies , book 2 in the Galactic Bonds science-fiction fantasy series.

Release Date: February 20, 2024
Jennifer Estep
Galactic Bonds #3
Sci-fi, Fantasy, novella
paperback (190 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Author

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)