Monday, July 11, 2016

A Gift for Guile by Alissa Johnson

Never Trust a Thief

Once a famous officer of Scotland Yard and now a renowned private detective, Sir Samuel Brass has better things to do than shadow a reckless hellion in her misguided quest for atonement. But when the daughter of a notorious criminal-and a former thief herself-returns to London to right an old wrong, Samuel is drawn back into the dangerously exciting world of Esther Walker-Bales.

Beautiful and conniving, maddening and brilliant, Esther is everything he shouldn't want. She's a liar. She's a con. She's a thief. And God help him, but he'd do anything to keep her safe.

Esther knows she's put herself in terrible danger, but nothing will stop her from making amends that are long past due-not her family's enemies, not old fears, and certainly not the domineering, interfering and undeniably handsome Sir Samuel Brass. Yet whenever he's near, Samuel makes her long for a life that can never be hers...and wish she were worthy of being saved.

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4 Cat & Mouse Stars.

Alissa Johnson is a new-to-me author, and I did not read the first in this series. I do suggestion doing so. While I had a slight struggle with who was whom, not reading book one didn't take away from my overall enjoyment.

I won't bore you with a repeat of what the blurb states, or a book report style review that has plot spoilers. The following review is my impression on the writing style and the characterization.

I found Johnson's writing style to be fluid, without flowery purple pose that a reader usually finds in historical romance. I enjoyed the way the author described things, setting the scene, but left most of it up to my imagination, instead of spelling out every detail. The story was allowed to be the most important detail, not the pattern on the draperies. Another notable difference, instead of Lords and Ladies attending an endless stream of balls and suppers, we have a private detective and a thief as our hero and heroine.

Ester is the daughter of a thief Samuel had arrested then used as an informant – a thief herself. The story starts off with a slow-burn, push-pull romance dealing with Cat & Mouse banter, where both Samuel and Ester think themselves the cat.

Ester is a strong female lead, who can take care of herself, who has shown flaws and insecurities – she's feisty, without coming off as a woman who speaks and thinks herself invincible but then plays the damsel in distress.

Ester and Samuel help each other. Both sensible and mature, they communicate, not allowing miscommunications to drive the conflict of their story. I appreciated their maturity immensely. While the story is romance-centric, as they deal with an intrigue/adventurous storyline, it's not a lusty read. So don't expect a bodice-ripper, as A Gift for Guile is a story/character-driven book.

Recommended for fans of historical romance. Now I'm going to go check out the first book in the series.

Alissa Johnson is a RITA-nominated author of historical romance. She grew up on Air Force bases and attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She currently resides in the Arkansan Ozarks where she spends her free time keeping her Aussie dog busy, visiting with family, and dabbling in archery.

Connect with Alissa

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Gift for Guile (The Thief-takers #2) by Alissa Johnson to read and review.

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