Review for Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls #5.5 & Heist Society #2.5) by Ally Carter

Double Crossed by Ally Carter

TITLE: Double Crossed
SERIES: Gallagher Girls #5.5 & Heist Society #2.5
AUTHOR: Ally Carter
PUBLICATION DATE: January 22, 2013
PUBLISHER: Hyperion Books, an imprint of Hatchette Book Group
PAGES: 89 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 5 stars

Macey McHenry and W. W. Hale are both incredibly bored at an upper crust societal ball. There is more to both than meets the eye and when the simple party turns into a hostage situation, they both learn more about each other and the people around them than they ever thought they’d need to know. Can they use their spy/thief know-how to prevent any bloodshed? Or will the bad guys prevail?

The entire ensemble of characters in this novella are all equally intriguing. Macey is smart and cunning, with that fighting knowledge that makes me wish the magical academy she attends were real and that I could sign up. Hale is an upstanding guy, in a manner of speaking. Sure, he’s a thief in his spare time, but he’s completely loyal to Kat, refusing to even flirt with Macey in the most superficial way. He’s also pretty intelligent, seeing a few minor details that Macey missed. Then there is Kat, the woman behind the scenes. She redefines the word smooth. Slick as hell with plenty of knowledge and background in everything from a con job to an upscale heist to picking a strangers pocket.

I must confess that though both the Gallagher Girls series and the Heist Society series have been on my reading list for quite some time, I’ve never been overly excited about either. Sure, they had looked interesting, but they were not something I was just dying to read. I wasn’t entirely sure how well the spy/heist stuff would play out in a novel. It works great on screen (I’m a huge fan of heist movies), but I wasn’t sure if all the minute description required would bore in writing. Well, I can now officially say that they have been bumped significantly higher on my to read list. If they are half as good as this novella I’ll be in for a treat. It was everything I could want, with the right amount of humor and suspense to keep me guess and craving more. If you want to give this series a try, this is the perfect thing to start out with. Yes, it is in the middle of the series, but it’s easy to follow along and, right now, it’s free for the kindle. Go give it a try!

****Thank you to Disney Book Group for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for The Redemption of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #2) by Jessica Sorensen

The Redemption Of Callie And Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: The Redemption Of Callie And Kayden
SERIES: The Coincidence #2
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLISHER: Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group
PAGES: 320 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 4 stars

Kayden’s life has gotten worse. His dirty little secret is now public knowledge and Caleb is threatening to press charges for the fight. Callie can’t stand watching Kayden struggle, but she has her own set of issues to work through and just hopes he doesn’t push her out of his life now that she knows his secret. The two both struggle to win back their lives in this installment of their story.

I loved it. I hated it. I’m a bit on the fence about parts of it. Kayden and Callie are the same great and interesting characters we loved in book 1. The side characters are the same, with a bit more of Callie’s brother thrown in, and they all felt well rounded and real. The story itself is enthralling and entertaining and leaves you wanting more.

My issue? Well, it almost felt like this should maybe have been just part of the first book instead of a new novel? The first third focuses on Kayden’s idiotic fucking decision that Callie deserves better and he must avoid her at all costs. Yeah, you can just imagine how I felt about that.

After we finally get over that, things improve quite quickly and all the expected things happen, plus a few unexpected ones. My issue is that if we take out the beginning stupidity, then this book would have been quite a bit shorter. Wouldn’t it have been easier for everyone if we just combine the last half of book 2 with book 1 and call it a day. Sure, that would bump book 1 to around five hundred pages, but it would certainly be better that that murderous rage-inducing cliffhanger at the end of book 1. This one ends with a minor cliffhanger and, though I’m dying to read the next one, it wasn’t nearly bad as the first one.

Bottom line? If you liked The Coincidence Of Callie And Kayden, then you’ll love The Redemption as well. Just be prepared for that “You deserve better than me” speech because I promise you it will happen, multiple times.