Jenna's used to taking risks. After all, in the con game, risks are half the fun. But when she and her partner are paired up with another team of talented thieves, the stakes are higher than an of them could have anticipated. Ethan's not just her competition; he's the one man that makes her second guess her rather solo life. But giving into temptation in the face of danger is a risk she just might have to take.
Judging Covers: I actually liked the previous cover design better, but from what I hear, Hallmark has brainwashed the literate world into believing that red + white = Valentine's Day. Throw in a heart or two, and they are rendered incapable of reading a synopsis. Or something like that. Not that this cover is bad — I just happen to think Mr. Creepy Glare is, well… creepy.
The Verdict: I enjoyed this one before, so I thought I'd check it out in it's new skin, and it's just as good as I remember.
Jenna's at the top of her con game when she lands herself in a bit of trouble, and the incredibly handsome, irritating, overly-confident Ethan is the one to bail her out. They've been fighting an attraction for what seems like forever, but falling in love and settling down isn't in the cards for con artists known the world over. But everything changes when their respective business partners fall in love with each other and decide to get out, leaving both Ethan and Jenna to wonder exactly what the future holds for them. Until then, though, there's one last job, one of the biggest for any of them, and while it seems like easy money, it's not even close. What follows has Ethan and Jenna relying on each other for both comfort and safety, though even that is hard to come by. But it's just the right opportunity to let their true feelings for each other come to light.
I have to admit that I had some trouble getting past the names. If you knew my life, you'd understand, but let's just say that Ethan is probably the absolute worst name for me when it comes to a romantic hero. It was so disturbing that I ran a find-replace script and changed his name just so I could get through the book. But once that hurdle was cleared, it was pretty damned awesome.
Since I'd read the story before, I had an inkling of what was coming when they went to pull off that one last job, but since I didn't really recall all the details, I was just as shocked and devastated as I imagine the characters were. Part of me wanted to hate the story for including such a heartbreaking scene, but in all honesty, I think that's a big part of what made it such a great read. If the criminal life were all rainbows and cotton candy, it wouldn't be nearly so intriguing.
Ethan and Jenna are perfect for each other. They're both strong and capable, intelligent and snarky, and not the least bit interested in sugar-coating their lives. They live for the excitement of the con, something it's unlikely any other potential romantic interest would ever understand. But for a criminal, Ethan is refreshingly sensitive and considerate, and his feelings for Jenna bleed through even before either of them are willing to entertain the thought. In some ways, it reminded me of those old Hollywood movies, with strong, classic characters caught up in the dark crime world. The proper term escapes me, but you know what I mean.
I don't want to give away the whole plot, of course, but suffice it to say that Jenna and Ethan's story is one of so many emotions. They made me laugh, had me on the edge of my seat, and made me want to cry when it was all falling down around them. Theirs is certainly a story worth reading.