A Heist Story by Ellen Simpson

I really like Ellen Simpson’s first book, The Light of the World. It captured my attention and gave me a fabulous story with captivating characters. So needless to say when her second book dropped I raced to get started on it.

Right from the beginning, I was like okay what do we have here and Ocean’s 11 type heist story, maybe some Keyser Söze big reveal type character. Nope, no we have none of those things. I’m really not sure what we have other than a lot of talking and characters that are just unlikeable. Marcey and Kat are just awful. So unpleasant, the more they hooked up the dirtier the story felt. You have to have someone for the reader to cheer for. The main players are so horribly dreadful. If the story ended with their demise I would have cheered.

I hate ragging on a book. I really do, especially when the author is obviously a very good writer. The problem everything piece of this book is so long, so confusing and then it’s just over. I am assuming this book was setting its self-up for a sequel, but it didn’t make me want to come back for more. I would love to read another book by Ellen Simpson, I just don’t ever want to read about Marcey or Kat ever again.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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The Shewstone by Jane Fletcher

Patience is a virtue. This was told to me over and over as a child growing up. Let me tell you me younger self had no time for this. I had places to go, things to do an endless ball of energy. As I have gotten older my patience level has grown leaps and bounds. The Shewstone requires this virtue but I can tell you if you wait it is so very good.

Eawynn Achangrena is the daughter of a nobleman. They only limitation to that birthright is she happens to be his illegitimate daughter. Her father has ideas or grandiose, he wants to increase his standing in society so having a bastard daughter will not do. At the tender age of six, Eawynn is taken by her father to the Temple of Anberith to live and be raised by the priestesses, to become one later down the road. While Eawynn has all of her needs met, her life is dull and she is encompassed by a feeling of detachment and boredom. Her temple job is guarding the Shewstone, which basically means cleaning the room it is housed in all day.

Matt is a street kid, a runaway from a terrible abusive father. She lived on the streets stealing food to keep from starving to death. On day after being chased down in the streets she hides under a cart and breaks into a home. Eating all she can until she is caught red-handed by the home owner. Luckily for Matt, Edmund Fleming, takes her in and hones her natural skill, thievery.

The book can basically be put into two halves. The first is Matt infiltrating the Temple of Anberith, under a false identity to scope out the place and figure out the best course of action to steal the Stewstone. Of course Matt and Eawynn have terrific chemistry and feel pulled towards each other. Life however gets in the way of this romance, both have jobs to do and neither is in a place for any type of romantic encounter. Eawynn is Matt’s ticket to the Shewstone and she holds the very key she needs to unlock it from its gilded cage.

The second half of the book is more fantasy in nature and more of an action adventure.  While the romance is still there it definitely takes a back seat to the fantasy elements. Still very good but I found myself missing the character thoughts and relationship push/pull.

Overall, I loved this book. I was hooked on the plot and the characters are absolutely delightful. This is a really good book. Sometimes I felt it was a little slow but I was far from bored. I can promise you that you will love Eawynn and Matt.

4 out of 5 stars

ARC from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books

The Shewstone
by Jane Fletcher
Link: https://amzn.com/B01FUM2XUC

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Rulebreaker by Cathy Pegau

Futuristic crime! Okay I can dig that especially if I can grab that book for less than $2.00.  Let it be known that this book is a gem at this price point. You literally cannot find one that is better.

Liv Braxton is straight up a thief. Oh no, she is not going to steal your purse or wallet, that’s small time. She is going to rob your bank! This bad girl is unapologetically ruthless. She takes what she needs and the bigger the payoff the better. So when offered to score mega bucks on a corporate heist, she is all in, even if she has to work with her ex-husband.

Zia Talbot is the corporate mark. She is the one that Liv needs to become besties with and get all the precious knowledge from. She holds the key to millions of dollars just waiting to be stolen my Liv and her unscrupulous partners. All is going to plan until Zia captures Liv’s heart.

I really liked this book, but I could not fall in love with it. The main issue that I had is you know so much about Liv but I felt a bit isolated from Zia. I wanted to know more about her and what made her tick. She was set-up as very interesting character but everything was basically surface after that. I also thought a few of the sub-characters played too much of a role. Overall this is definitely worthy of your time. This is a sci-fi that is not overly world building but more focused on a thief with a good heart.

3.25 stars out of 5

Rulebreaker
by Cathy Pegau
Link: http://amzn.com/B00BZPIH6S