Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sleight of Hand by Kate Kelly

Title:  Sleight of Hand
Author: Kate Kelly
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Stolen Hearts#1

Main Characters: Sarah and Chance
Release Date: September 2011
ISBN: e-book
Publisher: self-pubbed

Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: spicy

This book was provided to me by the author in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:

Chance Spencer, doesn’t steal. At least, not any more.
Suddenly suspected of stealing half a million dollars of original paintings, Chance Spencer can’t afford to have the FBI delve too closely into his covert past. When one agent in particular endeavors to put him behind bars, Chance coerces the real thief’s daughter, Sarah O’Sullivan, into helping him flush her wily father out of hiding. Both want him found. Sarah, to warn her father of Chance’s intent to turn him over to the FBI. Chance, to hopefully catch the thief red-handed. To succeed in capturing the thief Chance must keep Sarah close to him. But his plan quickly deteriorates when the stakes for his freedom soar. How can he ruthlessly use the woman he’s falling in love with?

Sarah O'Sullivan is also looking for her father, but for different reasons. With her best friend getting married, Sarah realizes she's alone in the world and needs her family. That would be her father, who has been absent most of her boarding-school life. When Chance arrives in New York to inform her he's going after her father, Sarah follows him to Canada, hoping to warn him before Chance or the FBI find him. But living in close proximity with Chance, Sarah soon starts falling in love with him. She struggles with her divided loyalties as the FBI and the local police close in for an arrest. Someone has to be arrested for the theft. Chance or her father?

My Review:
Chance has one purpose in his life at this point...stay out of jail. A Harvard law student who graduated at the top of his class eight years ago, his life took a turn that he never expected. He's done things that he's not proud of, but he had his reasons for doing them. He's extremely smart and methodical, but when it comes to Sarah, he loses all perspective.

This is a suspense novel, but for me the suspense came from Chance rather than the stolen art story line. The reasoning behind all his actions are never fully laid out, so for me, I kept reading to figure out exactly what he had done and why. When it all came to light, I think I loved him even more. This is a man who, when he cares, he cares deeply.

Sarah is simply trying to find her father. Her best friend has just gotten married and she's come to realize what all she's missed without having her father in her life. She follows Chance up to Canada to do just that, but she doesn't realize that he actually tricked her. He wanted her to come so that she would draw her father out. I liked Sarah. She's recently discovered what's missing from her life and isn't afraid to go after it. Even when Chance is pushing her away, she sticks to him and her plan for helping her father. She isn't going to be forced into abandoning either one of them.

Carrying the story completely is the romance and chemistry between Chance and Sarah. They need each other although they definitely don't realize it at first. They both have these little vulnerabilities that just made me love them. I liked them together and I liked the setting of this little Canadian town. This is a small town with the quirks and characters that you expect to find. The snowy wintry weather and setting makes for great romantic ambiance.

There were a few holes within the story line that I didn't feel were sufficiently answered, but overall I enjoyed the story enough to make up for that fact. One of the interesting side characters in this story is the FBI agent, Gage, who is tracking Chance in the hopes of catching him when he screws up. I was excited when I realize he is the hero in book #2 in this series.

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