The Lady is a Thief
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.
I don’t read a lot of historical romance, a few here and there when I need a change of pace from my norm, and when I decide it’s time for one I tend to waffle over which one to choose, but A Talent for Trickery was pretty much a no brainer. It wasn’t because I’ve read anything by Alissa Johnson before, I haven’t, but instead it was the cover that caught my eye. I don’t typically base my choices on the cover, but I loved the composition and the contrasting colors used in and then I saw the opening line to the description “The Lady is a Thief” and after reading the rest of the description, I was sold on giving this on a go, because just the idea of a man of that era going to a woman, and thief, no less for help was just too intriguing to pass up. And I must say that I’m happy I did because I found A Talent for Trickery to be a very enjoyable and engaging with interesting characters and some nice twists and turns to the story.
Owen I really liked. He is used to being in control and yet he isn’t unreasonable. He actually listens to the wants and needs of those around him and will adjust, or even apologize for his actions, if they prove to be logical. There is a sweet, sexy and playful side to him, and though he is quite confident in his capabilities, he’s not necessarily as confident when it comes to Lottie and it made him much more real and relatable to have even that slight vulnerability. Lottie is a smart, take charge and do what needs to be done woman who doesn’t allow people to walk all over her, but while she does like to have things done her way, she can look past her own wants and make exception. Lottie’s love of her family and the lengths she went to in order to keep them safe shows what a huge heart she has for those she cares about.
I really enjoyed the progression of Owen and Lottie’s relationship from the moment they see each other for the first time in eight years, to them finally discussing and coming to an understanding about what had torn them apart and then to the two of them realizing and coming to terms with their feelings for each other. I like the fact that they both held an equal amount of power in their relationship. The respect they had of each other’s intellect was practically equal to that of their physical attraction to each other. And the bantering/arguing that went on between them was quite amusing and also showed how well suited they were for each other.
I’m a sucker for well written supporting characters and Gabriel and Samuel, Owen’s men, fit the bill. The bantering between them was fun and felt real. There is also a bit of mystery about them that has me wanting to find out more. Peter, Lottie’s brother and the youngest of the family, was very believable as a 14 year old boy on the brink of becoming a man with all the growing pains that go along with it. But it was Esther, the middle sibling, who intrigues me the most. Though she is younger than Lottie, there were many times when she appeared older and wiser and as the story reached it’s end, she is the one that I have the most questions about.
I liked the writing style and enjoyed the dual 3rd person POV. The twists and turns in the murder case were very well done and though it did take a while for things in regards to the case to really get going, once it’s did I had a difficult time putting the book down and I was quite pleasantly surprised at the outcome, especially since I definitely didn’t see it coming.
The Bottom Line: If you like your historical romance mixed with a little mystery and suspense and well written characters, then this one is for you!
~ ARC provided by SourceBooks Casablanca via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Alissa Johnson lives in the rolling hills of the Ozarks, where she is hard at work on her next romance.