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A Talent for Trickery

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Talent for Trickery (2015) Alissa Johnson

Set in England in 1872

Owen Renderwell is the Gentleman Thief-taker. The rescue of a kidnapped duchess made his name–and the names of his companions, who soon quit to become private investigators.

Charlotte (Walker) Bales is the daughter of one of the most talented thieves and scoundrels in London, but after her father’s death, fled with her sister and young brother to the country, where no one knew them, to try and rebuild their lives as the Bales family.

Eight years and not a thing has changed,” she drawled. “I vow, I feel a young woman of two-and-twenty again.”

Things had changed. Drastically, in his mind. They’d been friends once. But her father’s death had shattered her world, and for that, it seemed she would never forgive him.

Several thefts and a murder have brought Owen back to Charlotte, because she was her father’s aide in encryption and… other things.

One of the many excellent things about this story is how Peter, the younger brother is portrayed.

Peter was fourteen. He still secretly (he thought) slept with the small embroidered blanket she’d purchased during his infancy, and he ogled girls like a randy old man. He was a good boy. He truly was. But sometimes he raged over nothing or seemed to become indignant over everything.

Exactly like a fourteen year-old boy.

Another thing I especially like is that although there are serious misunderstandings between Owen and Charlotte, they aren’t stupid misunderstandings, and when it’s realized that they are misunderstandings, things are cleared up and that stupidity is past. It doesn’t mean either trusts easily, but that lack of trust is easily comprehended.

It was a distressing predicament to stand at the crossroads of justified fury and complete remorse with no clear sense of which direction one ought to step.

And they’re fun together, especially when she’s still mad at him.

“Insightful of you,” she said with a glance over her shoulder.

He stepped up beside her. “You needn’t sound stunned. Some people consider me a man of exceptional insight.”

Other people considered him a barbaric reprobate and a disgrace to titled gentlemen the world over. She looked at him with great pity. “Might these people be your mother?”

His mother belonged in the category of “other people,” but he appreciated the barb nonetheless.

Also, she’s not stupid.
(H)he looked at her, expression cool and unyielding, and mouthed the word, Stay.

Which was both insulting (she wasn’t a hound to be ordered about) and unnecessary. Of course she was going to stay. Where was the sense in going downstairs?

I quite liked this–despite the boinking.
Rating: 8.5/10

Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca

Categories: 8/10, British, Mystery, Re-Read, Romance     Comments (0)    



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