Thief by C. L. Stone
“Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pickpocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming…
Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.
Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.”
Before I start this review, I just wanted to say that I have had this review sitting in my drafts for about a month. And since then, I have reread the first book in the Ghost Bird Series, and I am hoping to get that review up soon!!!
This is a new adult, reverse harem book… just letting you know. For those who don’t know, reverse harem is a genre where the female of the story has several love interests at the same time.
The main reason as to why I picked this book up was because I heard that this series would later have a cross over with the Ghost Bird Series (also by C. L. Stone and is set in the same world). I’m a huge fan of the GB Series and have wanted to start this one, so that was the little bit of encouragement I needed to pick it up! Again, this series is NA where the GB is YA (that transitions into NA but up to book 12, it’s still YA).
So, I may or may not have spoiled some of this series over the past couple of years because I had read some GB fanfic where the writers had incorporated some of the SB characters. I had a vague idea of who and how these characters acted, and I expected to hate Kayli because no one seemed to like her based on their stories. But, I like her (at least in book one). Sure she’s stubborn, but her heart is in the right place.
This story jumps right into the Academy and what it does. Thief takes place between books 6 & 7 of the GB series, but you don’t have to read that series to understand this one. But I was living for those moments because it’s my favorite RH series (and one of my favorite series in general).
If you like tough women who lives by her own rules, you’ll probably like this series more than GB. Kayli listens to the guys (sort of) and does what she thinks is right even if it isn’t part of the plan. I can understand why some people don’t like her because she is very head-strong which is a huge change up from Sang in the GB series… okay I won’t talk about GB anymore in this post!
I like how this book is set at a faster pace with Kayli learning and figuring out about the Academy. The Academy is a secret organization that helps solve different crimes and helps the community of Charleston and nearby areas. The bad thing about Kayli and the Academy is that the information the guys gives her is very vague (although they aren’t really supposed to tell her anything but they’re trying to earn her trust so she will help them) leaving Kayli to become very wary of this organization despite her growing feeling for the guys.
Let’s talk about the guys. So, all of the guys are between the ages of 18 (almost 19) to early 20s. Each of the guys play an important role in this group and has their own talent. They also have rough pasts that shaped them into the current life they live trying to help others from dangerous situations.
- Axel is the leader of the group. He is very calm and focused. There’s not much that shakes him up.
- Corey is the computer geek of the group that is able to hack into most anything. He is the one in the group that is always upbeat and happy.
- Brandon is Corey’s twin. He is more reserved and has a harder time trusting new people because of his past.
- Marc is the second in command in the group. He has two different color eyes (blue and green), and he seems to get into arguments with Kayli the most.
- Raven is an ex-Russian criminal. He is the scariest and most intimidating guy out of the group with his tattoos and piercings.
- Kevin isn’t seen much in the book (foreshadowing that he won’t be in the group much longer). He doesn’t want Kayli in the group in fear that it will make the group fall apart because someone will want to date her. He also has a girlfriend that doesn’t know anything about the Academy and has to keep secretes from her.
After working with the guys to get this mysterious man’s key card to see if he is dealing drugs, she has to figure out where her loyalties lies with the guys who belong to an organizations that pick up weird jobs or Blake Coaltar, the man who is supposedly the bad guy trying to buy a huge batch of badly made synthetic drugs. Kayli has to trust her instincts and hope that she is making the right decisions because ultimately, it will affect more than herself.
With each new piece of information, Kayli faces a new cross road. She feels an obligation to the guys that promise to help her get a new life and help her brother Wil get into college. Yet, she also feel the same sparkly butterflies that she has for the guy towards Blake despite all of the accusations towards him.
Happy reading until next time,