Spotlight Tour – Guest Post + Review & Giveaway: A Talent for Trickery (Thief Takers #1) by Alissa Johnson

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Welcome to the Spotlight Tour of A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson, one of my favorite historical romance to date! 
In this tour stop, you will find my review (I just couldn’t resist!), a little note (pointers basically!) by one wily female protagonist and a giveaway that you wouldn’t be able but enter! 
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, and feast my lovelies ❤

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.

Review
I received an eARC of the book via NetGalley in excahnge for an honest review

If you have read the blurb (of course you have!), you’ll know exactly why I requested to review this book!

It has three things that I love –

  1. Historical Setting.
  2. A heroine who is as away from the otherwise normal society as sun is to the moon.
  3. A hero who is challenged by his need to do the right thing.

Most historical romances tend to have those typical heroines who are supposed to be “smart” and as removed from the society and yet tend to be a part of that society that so abhor.

Now here’s where Talent for Trickery tends to differ – it has a heroine, Lottie who was a criminal and helped her father with different “jobs”. Now she had believed that her father had turned to the straight and narrow in life with the help of Owen Renderwell, a man she considered her knight. A knight she fell in love with. A knight who she thinks betrayed her father and in effect, her.

“My father used to say morality was a currency. The very poor sell it off quickly because it is the only thing of value they possess, and the very rich spend it frivolously because they’ve other commodities with which to replace it’s value.”

Owen Renderwell on the other hand, leads a team of highly specialised “task force”, a task force responsible for Lottie’s father’s death and redemption. Owen is a standup guy, and he understands that Lottie hates him for what happened with her father, yet knows that telling her the truth about him would be all the more devastating. So, he keeps quiet and watches over her and her siblings from afar!

This story is a beauty – I loved LOVED every single aspect of this book! From the plot, to the characters, to the writing, every single aspect of this book was on point! Every thing!
The mystery was an added bonus, and I say added, mostly because the relationship between Lottie and Owen was a book on its own and yet I get the author’s need for them to be shocked into relaising their need and love for each other (that’s why we read books no?).

Owen and Lottie are absolutely the perfect combination, not just because they are opposites, but because they balance each other out – where Lottie is short tempered, Owen is calm and where Lottie is impulsive, Owen is methodical. I could go on, but you get the gist right?

Lottie, honestly reminds me of me. She is a girl who has had to grow up before her time and she has done that quite exceptionally! She is hard headed but that hard headedness comes from being too emotionally scarred and it is beautiful to watch her open up to Owen.

I remember reading this book, and there came a point where I realised that Lottie and Owen’s relationship reminded me of mine. And it touched me like no other part of the book ever could!

So yes, I am hoping that Alissa Johnson continues with this book as part of the series, because these are characters I would love to revisit! ❤

“I don’t love everything you’ve done, and I an’t promise to love everything you will do, or that you will love everything I do. But I love the person you are, the person I have always known, and the person you will be. I can promise that.”

Rating
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 5
Recommendation
You love reading Historical Romance, and are a little miffed at the same sort of content, the give this one a bit of try! You’ll love the difference there is in the same romance we read everyday!
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Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Sourcebooks
 Guest Post
 
Hello Readers!
 
I’m delighted to introduce A Talent for Trickery, the first book in my new Victorian-set “Thief-takers” series. Our hero, Private Investigator Owen Renderwell, is on the hunt for a thief and murderer. And he knows just how to catch his man. All he needs is a little help from our heroine, Miss Charlotte Walker-Bales. The daughter of an infamous confidence man, Lottie is in a unique position to offer insight into the mind and motives of a hardened criminal. There’s just one flaw in Owen’s otherwise excellent plan. Lottie hasn’t spoken to him in eight years. She has no interest in working alongside a man of the law, and certainly not the one who betrayed her trust, endangered her family, and broke her heart.
 
Lottie did agree, however, to deliver a brief message to those readers who claim no affiliation with The Thief-takers, Scotland Yard, or any other investigative or law enforcement agency.
 
To whomever it may be of interest,
 
I have received of late a fair number of requests for advice on how best to lie, cheat, steal, and swindle one’s way to fame and fortune.
Obviously, I have never personally engaged in such reprehensible behavior. 
 
I will admit, however, to being the eldest daughter of the late Mr. William Walker, who was alleged (but never officially proven) to have been a successful thief and trickster. You will find below a page taken from one of his journals.*
 
William Walker’s Guide to Trickery and Deceit. 
Lessons for my darling [name redacted]
 
1.       Pick your mark carefully. Don’t toy with a tiger when a kitten will do.
 
2.       Know your mark well. Learn his fears, his desires, his strengths and weaknesses. One cannot manipulate a man without first having a firm grasp of him.
 
3.       Never take from a mark more than he can afford to lose.  Steal a hundred pounds from a prince, and it’s unlikely he’ll report the crime. He would prefer to quietly suffer the inconvenience than admit to the shame of having been duped. Steal a shilling from a pauper, and he’ll hunt you down like a dog. Which is why you must always…
 
4.       Use an alias, change it often, and never stay in one place for too long. Don’t make it easy for your enemies to find you.
 
5.       Be careful of the lies you tell. But more importantly…
 
6.       Be careful with the truth. Nothing will land a body in hot water quite so quick as too much honesty.
 
7.       There is no honor amongst thieves. If you must work with accomplices, then make certain that, no matter how many parties are involved, you are the least trustworthy of the lot. In this way, you will always know from which direction betrayal is most likely to arise.
 
8.       Disregard 7 if your accomplice is also your father.
 
9.       Carry upon your person a set of lock picks at all times. One never knows when one might need entrance through a barred door, or exit from set of manacles.
 
10.   Know when to give up on a scheme. No plan is fool-proof. You cannot possibly account for every conceivable obstacle and danger. When the odds of failure outpace the chances of success, walk away. No amount of coin is worth your freedom, or your life.
 
*This material is offered only as an example of my father’s creative musings on a theoretical life of crime. It is not an admittance of actual criminal activity undertaken by any member of my family.
 
However, were I the sort of woman inclined to take such instructions to heart, I believe I would pay particular attention to lesson number 6.
 
With Kindest Regards,
Miss Charlotte Walker-Bales
 
Giveaway
Well here’s the best part – you have a chance to win a Historical Romance Book Bundle Featuring Alissa Johnson’s A TALENT FOR TRICKERY
All you need to do is click on image the image below to be taken to the rafflecopter! 😀
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About the Author
Alissa Johnson is a RITA-nominated author of historical romance. She grew up on Air Force bases and attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She currently resides in the Arkansan Ozarks where she spends her free time keeping her Aussie dog busy, visiting with family, and dabbling in archery.
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