Reviewed by Mandi
I liked this book but I do have two frustrations I’ll get to in a minute. Penelope Blue (I love that name and I LOVE the way the hero says it in this book – always rhyming it with a sensual undertone) grew up with famous jewel thief for a father. He amassed a great fortune in stolen goods, hid them and then disappeared, assumed dead. Penelope doesn’t know where her father’s fortune is – and many people would love to discover it. This book starts with Penelope and her very close friends (also fellow jewel thieves) all set to steal a two million dollar diamond necklace that is coming out of a vault in a jewelry store. This necklace eluded her father for years, so she feels extra incentive to steal it, to honor his thieving memory. However, there is an obstacle. Penelope’s husband is a FBI agent and he happens to show up as an undercover bodyguard when the necklace makes an appearance (and Penelope is hiding in the air vent). She knows this is not a coincidence. Not being able to figure away around her hulking husband, she has to abandon her plan. Which really pisses her off.
You see – their marriage is somewhat of a farce. Grant, her husband, knows Penelope is a jewel thief – and she knows he knows – but they have never admitted to each other. She started dating him to keep an eye on him, because he was following her moves as she planned thefts. This led to marriage, again the other very wary of the other’s motives. Do they even really love each other or is all a game??
This book is told all in Penelope’s point of view, so as the reader you are unsure, just like Penelope, how much Grant really knows. You assume he knows pretty much everything about her, but he is a very good actor, a cold stone FBI agent, so there is some doubt sometimes. You also get the sense that he deeply loves her, but Penelope is unsure about his true feelings and intentions, again leaving some mystery about their relationship.
I really liked both Penelope and Grant. Penelope is a super fun heroine – funny, stubborn, energetic. She lived a hard life, and now has such a strong group of friends – but it all gets a bit jumbled as she gets in too deep with her FBI boyfriend/husband and feelings start to come about instead of keeping her head in the game to steal all the stuff. Her close friends add a lot to this book and I’m really looking forward to getting more of their story. Some are more mysterious than others, and I love the bond they all share, and the emotions that bubble up when Penelope has to choose the job or her relationship with Grant.
My two frustrations are: One, the book goes back and forth from present day, when she has been married to Grant for a year and the opportunity arises to steal the necklace. In the past we go back to when Grant and Penelope first meet and start dating. I feel like the past portions really weigh the book down and I just wasn’t interested in learning how the meet. I found it a bit boring. I liked their predicament in present day – married, but hiding everything. In love with each other, but would never admit it.
Second, Grant is hot. Like, really, really hot. BUT – their romance takes a back seat to everything else. I wanted more page time together of just them. This book has a chick-lit feel to it, and the sex scene definitely goes that route, as in brief and didn’t give me nearly enough of hot and sexy AND naked Grant. I enjoyed this story, but as a romance book, it’s missing the romance somewhat. It’s in there, hiding and sometimes makes an appearance with very growly Grant but I wanted more of it.
Looking forward to book two.