Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bites & Nibbles-- A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson & A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley

A Talent for Trickery (The Thief-takers, #1) by Alissa Johnson

A man of the law and the criminal he fell in love with. Murder. Encrypted messages. Secret identities and danger. A chance to right past mistakes and maybe find love and forgiveness. A Talent for Trickery was full of so much yummy historical goodness!

Okay so real quick. These two have a past. Her daddy was a criminal and code master who made a deal with the law (Owen) to spare being prosecuted. But things went bad, he died during a case, and, well, Lottie is good on and pissed at Owen for his part in things. But now , 8 years later, there's a new case and it's led Owen and his men to her doorstep for help in breaking a code left by a murderer. He just might have brought more to her doorstep than they bargained for though when someone starts sneak attacking their group.

First, I couldn't resist this gorgeous cover! It pulled me right in and so did the characters. I had a lovely time slowly uncovering the past as Lottie and Owen set aside their broken trust in one another (and hurt feelings) in order to solve the murder. I really liked both of them and that while they could flub up or react on pure emotion they could also admit when they were wrong and apologize to each other. I love when characters actually act like adults. They weren't perfect along the way but they were solid.

The mystery of the codes they were trying to break was interesting. I liked seeing them work through her father's old notes and Lottie's mind work over the possibilities. And I enjoyed the danger as they tried to figure out who was attacking. If it was someone from their current lives or someone they'd wronged in the past that was out for revenge. There were moments that seriously had my palms sweating!

It's a slower moving read but one that kept my attention and has me very excited for the next book in the series. I can't wait to see what's in store for his friends and co-workers.

Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim—and a title—for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard’s most famous detective was working alongside London’s most infamous thief…and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.

Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.

Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie’s life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he’s near, Owen has a way of making things complicated…and long for a future that can never be theirs.

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | Goodreads

A MacKenzie Clan Gathering (MacKenzies & McBrides #8.5) by Jennifer Ashley

omg Ian MacKenzie. I just. *swoons* He is the most amazing hero. I loved every little second of A Mackenzie Clan Gathering. It's a quickie read but full of mystery, passion, family, danger and the aforementioned most amazing hero ever, Ian. (who was the hero of book one in the series)

It's told from Ian's POV as the family gathers together at Kilmorgan Castle and before everyone arrives, while Ian and his family are the only ones in residence, there's a break in and priceless works of art are stolen. Not only that but it sets off a run of very odd things happening around the family and that spark Ian's suspicions. 

I love spending time with Ian. He's such a fascinating character (he has what we'd likely call Aspergers these days) and seeing his life and thought processes as he tries to piece together what's going on was so very interesting as was a secondary storyline involving his condition and trying to 'fix' him. 

It was fun catching up with all of the different characters. Seeing who has children now, etc (it's 10ish years since book 1). Ashley always leaves me with a wistful smile on my face. Seeing all of the Mackenzies together and how much they love each other just does me in. There's a spot of heat between Ian and his wife, some very sweet moments with his children and some danger thrown in as the culprits are uncovered. It was a delightfully fun encounter with characters I've come to love and adore over the years. Definitely recommended for those who love the series! 

Ian Mackenzie is awakened at Kilmorgan Castle one night to find robbers stealing the priceless art collection of his oldest brother, Hart. Since Ian and Beth are the only ones in resident at Kilmorgan at the moment, Ian decides he must find the art and the culprits before the family shows up for Hart's birthday gathering. With Inspector Fellows and Beth, he investigates, though Ian is somewhat worried by Beth's late husband's brother, a retired missionary, who decides to visit. Does John Ackerley hold the "cure" to Ian's madness? And can Ian discover what has happened to Hart's treasures, and who is targeting the Mackenzies before the enemy strikes again?

Return to Kilmorgan Castle to visit the Victorian branch of the Mackenzie family, and catch up on the brothers and friends, their children, and their lives. 

Amazon | Goodreads

*image links to Amazon


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