Only Hard Problems by Jennifer Estep

April 15th, 2024 Kimberly Review 5 Comments

15th Apr

Only Hard Problems is a novella in the Galactic Bonds series by Jennifer Estep. Told from Zane Zimmer’s point of view, we get a glimpse of the new Arrow leader and his problems. The story delivers plenty of action and serves up an intriguing side story as Zane deals with Lady Astern his intended.

Only Hard Problems by Jennifer Estep
Only Hard Problems
by Jennifer Estep
Series: Galactic Bonds #2.5
Narrator: Max Roll, Lauren Fortgang
Length: 6 hours and 15 minutes
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 4.5 cups Speed: 1.5x

New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Estep continues her Galactic Bonds series with a new, action-packed novella that blends science-fiction technology and magical fantasy elements with a touch of historical romance. This rollicking space opera focuses on a fan-favorite secondary character who’s part hero, part villain, and all arrogance. Perfect for fans of Star Wars, Bridgerton, and Pride and Prejudice.


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.

fantasy Novella scifi SUSPENSE

Only Hard Problems intertwined slightly with the overall ARC of the series. Although not a traditional love story, Zane and Lady Astern’s interactions are filled with chemistry, snark, and witty remarks. The two have been matched by the families and I am curious to see more of the couple. Do not, however, go into this looking for a happily ever romance. It is truly an inside look into the new arrowhead leader and what makes him tick.

For those who’ve listened to the first two audiobooks in the series, we gain some information about the Techwavers. (villains of the series). This does read as a standalone, but I recommend listening to the series in the order of their release. I think it will make you appreciate learning about Zane, his newly found sister, loyalties and thoughts on Lady Astern.

I was curious to know what made Zane tick, especially regarding some of his actions in the second audiobook. Estep does a great job of fleshing him out and the storyline, while not deep, enlightened me. I walked away, liking him and Lady Astern.

This was a fast-paced tale with plenty of action. Narrated by Max Roll, who gave voice to Zane and Lauren Fortgang, who voiced Lady Astern. Listening enhanced my overall enjoyment of the story.

I recommend the Galactic Bond series to fans of science fiction fantasy with romantic elements.

Amazon | Audible

About Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER'S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER'S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, WIDOW'S WEB and DEADLY STING. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available. HAINTS AND HOBWEBS: AN ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN SHORT STORY can be found in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE. Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

About Lauren Fortgang

Lauren Fortgang

Lauren Fortgang is a New York City–based actor whose voice-over work includes video games, commercials, and live announcing. She has narrated roughly 160 unabridged audiobooks and has received recognition from AudioFile magazine, the Audio Publishers Association, the American Library Association, the Young Adult Library Services Association, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly.

About Max Roll

Max Roll

Max Roll is a UK born actor with an MFA from Yale School of Drama. I have experience with multiple audio books for Audible, podcasts, trailers as well as commercial VO work for PBS and ADR Looping work for HBO. I have a home booth and work with a Rode NT1-A condenser mic, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 preamp and I'm linked with Source Connect.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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5 Responses to “Only Hard Problems by Jennifer Estep”

  1. Jen Twimom

    I read this one when it came out and didn’t realize (going in) that it wasn’t an HEA story. I kept waiting for it to happen. Regardless, it was a fun side story and I look forward to learning more about that pair in coming titles!