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Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Thief's Last Kiss by Chacelyn Pierce

The idea of a thief leading a dual life is an exciting concept for me and not a very common story-line in the IR  genre. Honestly, I don't think that I've ever read a story with a professional thief as a heroine in this genre before. Not only is the heroine a thief, but the hero is also. Basically, you have two individuals who are on the shady side of the law. So when I saw A Thief's Last Kiss I was curious and wanted to read it. Unfortunately, it failed to deliver the great story that I was hoping for.

Have you ever walked into a movie that's already started? That's the way that I felt reading A Thief's Last Kiss. As a reader I felt like I'd been dropped in the middle of a story that was already taking place and I needed to catch up. Yes it starts at a place of action and excitement with our heroine in the middle of a heist, but after that things go downhill for me. Ciana McCollum is a professional thief. She's good at what she does and she gets a thrill from stealing. A small part of her, however, believes that she wants a normal life with a normal man. As a result she's created an alter ego in Cici Wade. CiCi is the opposite of who Ciana really is. She works in an office, has a nice house and a devoted boyfriend named Ethan. Ethan is caring, is in the process of moving in, and wants her to marry him. The problem is Ciana/CiCi is in love with someone else. That someone is her partner in crime Jerrick. Jerrick is a mastermind who's taught Ciana everything that she knows. They have an intense history together and not only when it comes to crime. But Ciana fears that Jerrick can't give her what she needs and that she'll always be second best when it comes down to the next heist. She agrees to do one last heist with Jerrick and then they'll go their separate ways for good. But she finds that nothing is as simple as it seems and everyone seems to have secrets.
Sounds good right? Well it was, up to a point. The problem is the entire story is already established. Ciana and Jerrick's relationship and how it got to the point that it is in this book? Established. Ciana/CiCi's relationship with Ethan? Established. All of the relevant parts happened outside of the scope of this story and it felt like I was being told about them rather than enjoying those parts as they played out. It felt like there should have been a first book, or that I was reading a few chapters of a larger book. Because I felt this way I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Did I care if Ciana chose Jerrick over Ethan or the other way around? Unfortunately, no I did not.
There is a pretty major twist that happens as you near the end of the book. Since I try not to give spoilers I'll just say it really wasn't that big of a surprise. What happens at the end of the book (near the end) was a surprise however, and I didn't buy it. As a matter of fact, I didn't like how that played out at all. It kind of ruined Jerrick's sincerity and frankly I don't see a man like Jerrick being down for what's revealed. It kind of ruined the story quite thoroughly for me. Like I said no spoilers if I can help it, but if you read the book let me know what you think about the turn of events. Particularly that last turn, I really want to know what you think about that.

I like Chacelyn Pierce as an author. I think her stories, (see my review of The Emperor's Treaty) have an air of originality to them.  This story just didn't do it for me. I needed more, and with more history I think that this could have been a pretty good book. Well, except for the reveal near the end of the book, I just didn't like that at all.  In fact, I had to take away a full point for it. The bottom line is this is a book with wasted potential. The heist scenes were great, but everything else lacked. Unfortunately it wasn't enough for me to grade it higher than a 2 out of 5.

*The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

Published: April 2014
Pages: 182
Rating: 2 out of 5
Available for Purchase at:

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