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review 2020-05-12 00:08
Book Review - How To Steal A Thief by AJ Sherwood
How to Steal a Thief (Unholy Trifecta #2)How to Steal a Thief by A.J. Sherwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I LOVE AJ Sherwood's books. To date she hasn't written a book I don't like and this one is no exception.

Ivan... oh Ivan. In this second installment of The Unholy Trifecta we get to learn more about Ivan while getting to revisit Ari, Carter, Remi and Kyou. It's yet another fun filled romp but with a touch more mayhem this time around - I mean, it's _Ivan's_ book after all. That man is a fun-filled lollipop triple dipped in chaos.

In this book Ivan is bored so he takes a job which is boring just to alleviate the boredom. Until it's not boring at all. Steal a stamp. That was the job. Break into an apartment and steal a stamp. But the apartment he broke into belonged to med student Aiden Stalworth who'd already had almost everything - including the stamp - stolen from him by his greedy uncle despite him being the one who was supposed to inherit it. Cue Ivan's Robin Hood complex.

But then the criminal world starts showing up in New Orleans, all after the same stamp and now Ivan and his team are protecting Aiden from some really bad dudes while running a scam to get Aiden's inheritance back from his greedy uncle and somewhere along the way Ivan falls hard for Aiden - and Aiden falls right back.

This book was a fun filled romp of crazy men, nasty relations and Remi being adorably bad-ass. Also, her tee-shirt fu is _on point_. Just sayin'.

Next up -Kyou. Squee!

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review 2020-04-07 02:30
STORY THIEVES by James Riley
Story Thieves - James Riley
Bethany is able to go into and out of books easily.  Owen sees her and wants to go into his favorite book with her.  Now Owen is the main character in the Kiel Gnomenfoot while Kiel is outside his book with Bethany.  It is up to Owen to finish Kiel's adventure.  Can he do it without readers finding out about the switch and will Bethany be able to get the characters back into the book?
 
This reminded me of The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer but it is more modern and sci-fi/fantasy in its story.  I liked Bethany and can understand her hesitation with Owen.  Owen certainly lives in his head and sees himself as Kiel but can he really do everything Kiel does.  The villains are hiss-worth and evil when their actions are shown.  Who can we trust?  Of course, it is down to almost the last page before we find out who wins and who loses. 
 
I had a hard time getting into the story at first because I had just finished The Land of Stories:  The Return of the Enchantress a few weeks before reading this.  But I stuck with it and it got better especially as we meet the Magister, Mr. Nobody, and the author of Kiel Gnomenfoot's series.  The action and adventure are there--even a little Star Wars.  I look forward to reading more of this series.
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text 2020-01-02 14:58
How annoying
Honor Among Thieves - James S.A. Corey

I started to read one of my recently acquired used Star Wars novels last night and I discovered to my annoyance that the previous owner had highlighted sentences in it.

 

Okay, I get doing that in a nonfiction book, and I can even understand why someone would highlight passages in a work of literature. But a Star Wars novel? And an otherwise perfectly nice hardcover copy to boot?

 

Fortunately this is why I save my receipts. This one's going back to the bookstore today while I kick myself for not more diligently inspecting the book before I bought it.

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review 2019-12-02 18:18
Book Review - How to Shield an Assassin by AJ Sherwood
How to Shield an Assassin (Unholy Trifecta #1)How to Shield an Assassin by A.J. Sherwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I first learned of A.J. Sherwood through her Jon's Mysteries series and kinda fell in love with her writing style. And then I read her Fourth Point of Contact and my mind was blown!
But this book... this book is a bit different from her others and yet oh so wonderful, It was a fun, delightfully amusing romp despite the main characters being an assassin, a mercenary, a thief and a hacker. Oh, and a seriously badass little girl who has them all wrapped around her finger!


Assassin Ari (Aristide) Benelli has lived his life in the shadows and alone. Sure he has a twin brother but that brother was as far from a career criminal as Ari could get so he stayed as far away from Luca as he could for his brother's sake. He had a few friends, a hacker and a thief, but he lived his life solo, doing the job he was good at. And yet a desperate and abused little girl named Remi had him doing the unthinkable - adopting her and settling down. Sort of.

With the help of Ivan and Kyou (the thief and the hacker) - Remi's adopted 'uncles' - Ari attempts to raise his very own little Black Widow in the making while continuing to work. Enter Carter Harrison - Mercenary with a soft spot for kids and a pretty honourable guy all around.

Carter has a job, one that needs a very specialized skill set - and the only one who has it is Ari. A stolen painting needs to be 'liberated' from a private collector with a penchant for illegal objets d'art and a Fort Knox like security system. Ari is the only one who's ever managed to get in and get out. But Ari comes with a crew, and Carter is blindsided by the attraction he feels for the assassin as well as being completely charmed by Remi and reluctantly impressed with Ivan and Kyou.

This book was lighthearted and _fun_. I enjoyed every gosh darned minute of it, from Ari's unconventional parenting, to Remi with her vulnerability and swagger, to the 'crazy uncles'. The romance between Ari and Harrison was sweet and nice but the story itself drew me in and kept me interested.

Can't wait til for book 2!

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review 2019-11-27 04:28
2 Crooks, 1 Realtor, 1 Housekeeper and a Whole Lot of Thievery
Thieves - Steven Max Russo

Last month, I posted my thoughts on Steven Max Russo's second novel, The Dead Don't Sleep, and now I get to focus on his first book.

 

Skooley (I kid you not), is a small-time criminal with aspirations of greater things (and, let's be honest, delusions of at least a bit more grandeur than he actually possess). He runs afoul of actual bad guys in Florida and makes himself scarce, hiding out in New Jersey for awhile. He gets a job in a restaurant and meets Ray. Ray isn't as an accomplished thief as Skooley, but he'd like to be. And he knows where to start: their fellow co-worker Esmeralda had an idea.

 

You see, she's got aspirations and dreams of her own. Hers are on the legal side, it's nice to say. She's a housekeeper, a restaurant hostess at night, and does some grunt work at a hair salon when she's not working as either of those. She's trying to save money for beauty school while taking care of her mother and younger siblings. She's making progress, but it's slow and she could really use a little boost.

 

Esmerelda tells Ray about the owners of a house that she cleans who take off for a month or so every year at this time. They're the kind of people who leave cash and expensive things around with no one to check on them. Ray tells Skooley.

 

So Ray and Skooley break and enter, with the idea of spending a couple of days carefully and thoroughly pillaging this house. Almost immediately, things don't go according to plan and the three conspirators are mired in distrust, frustration, and assorted moments of larceny.

 

There's a subplot involving a real estate agent named Loretta. She blows off a little steam one night after work by having a little too much to drink. Somewhere between being one and three sheets to the wind, she runs into Skooley on a break from his plundering. In case there was any doubt at this point for the reader, what happens next definitely qualifies Skooley as a villain. Other than that, it wasn't until the very end of the book that I saw anything redeeming about this storyline. Once I did, it all made sense. But man, I spent a long time wondering just what Russo was trying to accomplish with it.

I wouldn't call this fast-paced, it's more of a slow-build. More than that, it's steady and always tantalizing about what's coming next. Steady enough that you won't want to put it down.

 

This is really an Elmore Leonard-esque plot and batch of characters, but it has none of Leonard's style. Which is not a complaint—I'm trying to describe, not challenge—if he'd tried, I'd spend a few paragraphs describing the ways that someone who isn't Elmore Leonard shouldn't try to ape his style. Instead, you get the same types of characters in tight situations, which is good enough.

 

There are really two conclusions to this novel—and both are a lot more satisfying than anything I thought the novel might be leading to. And the last line is a killer, make no mistake.

 

All in all, a solid Crime novel featuring lowlifes, misguided people, and a few hardcore bad guys. It's also enough evidence for myself that I'm going to grab the next Russo novel in a heartbeat. I dug this one, I think you will, too.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I am grateful for that, but not so grateful that I changed my opinion.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/11/26/thieves-by-steven-max-russo-2-crooks-1-realtor-1-housekeeper-and-a-whole-lot-of-thievery
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