4 star review

Review – A Gift for Guile by Alissa Johnson

Gift for Guile.jpg

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.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

I picked up this author following a recommendation from Nalini Singh, and when I saw she had a new series coming out I couldn’t help but snatch it up. Ostensibly this series is about the Thief-Takers, but in my opinion they are really more the women’s stories. The last book was about the an older sister, and this one is about the younger one.

And despite the fact that there is a much darker history with this character, she is literally laugh out loud funny at times. There were places where I laughed until I cried. And there were places were I just wanted to cry for these two characters who had such sadness in their pasts. Johnson writes characters you can just feel if you know what I mean.

The story moved along quickly, the mystery was multi-layered and nuanced, and it kept me entertained so that I could hardly bear to put it down. But it was the characters that really got to me, particularly Esther. She was a delight, and a scamp, and a thief and a liar, and she was also more. I’d actually say that Samuel did more growing, Esther had already done her soul-searching and had set herself on the path of who she would become. And it was lovely to watch her get there. Samuel on the other hand had to adjust quite a bit, not in any unnatural or false ways, but still, I always enjoy when it is the man who has to adjust himself and his life more for the woman than the other way around.

As seems to be Ms. Johnson’s talent, her story and her characters left me feeling happy. I recommend it.

A Gift for Guile (The Thief-takers)

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