I read this book and wrote this review in 2017, but I’m only now getting around to posting it because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. But I’ve enjoyed the next two books more, so I’ve decided to continue reviewing this series. That’s just my disclaimer as to why I’m reviewing a book three years after reading it :-P
*This review contains spoilers about which love interest Kelsey ends up with in this series.*
It hurts me to give another book in this series a less-than-stellar review since I absolutely LOVE the original Thieves books, but I’m really having mixed feelings about this spin-off series. I had issues with the first book, I loved the second book, but this one brought me back to having issues.
I feel like this was 80% sex and 20% “Oh yeah, Neil’s thing is supposed to be in this book too.” There weren’t that many actual sex scenes, but there was so much about Kelsey needing to get laid, thinking about all the different men she had feelings for, literally needing a man to keep her inner wolf under control, fantasizing about and getting turned on by everyone… At one point, her men were having a conversation about HER life, and she was too distracted to even join in because her breasts were being touched.
I was also bothered by something that I consider dub-con at the very least. *MILD SPOILER* They used Trent’s body in order for Gray to have sex with Kelsey (using some sort of magic) but didn’t get her consent beforehand. She thought it was just Gray and didn’t realize it was actually Trent’s body because of some illusion. Not only were they using Trent’s body, Trent’s mind was present too, even though he wasn’t in control. They also didn’t use a condom. I know they were helping her, but she was clearheaded enough at that point that they should’ve asked. It doesn’t matter that she was ok with it when she found out—they didn’t know that she would be, so they shouldn’t have assumed or made that decision for her. *END SPOILER*
Speaking of Kelsey’s men, she ended up with both Gray and Trent, but the shift from triangle to menage felt rushed and forced into the book, and I don’t feel like it’s brought anything to the story so far.
Some other issues I had: Trent and Gray kept calling Kelsey “sweetheart” in a way that sounded condescending. Men were literally making decisions about her life for her (e.g. no one even asked her if she was ok with being in a menage relationship, Gray and Trent moved into her place without asking). Kelsey brushed off Zoey’s past rape in an almost joking way in her thoughts. Kelsey’s sudden strong desire to have kids didn’t seem natural or in-character. And let’s not forget that Kelsey literally needed men to have sex with her in order to keep from going berserk and killing people.
I feel like this book was trying to be feminist but missed the mark entirely. Kelsey talked about how she never submitted except in the bedroom, and she was made out to be this strong female character because she could fight and drank beer and ate burgers, but that’s not what makes someone strong. Or maybe I’m wrong and the book wasn’t trying to be anything and this is just Kelsey’s character, and that’s that. But it was disappointing because I actually loved her character in the previous book.
There were a couple things I liked though! For one thing, I’m glad Marcus is no longer one of Kelsey’s love interests. I’m sad that he probably won’t be in the books as much now, but Kelsey wasn’t right for him, and he deserves to find someone who is.
My favorite thing was Neil and Chad’s relationship, even though there wasn’t much about it. I would love a book about them. They’re just so cute together, and although Chad is possessive and intense, he seems to always be there for Neil and really love him. And we haven’t seen much of Neil in this spin-off series, so I just wonder how he’s changed, how he’s been, etc. He’s a very lovable character. I was happy for him when he finally confronted his past in this book and seemed to start going back to his old, confident self because it had seemed like he had been haunted.
There was also a surprise character appearance that I enjoyed. *SPOILER* Lee was back for a little bit! Well, kind of. *END SPOILER*
Last but not least, “‘The king has a tat?’ // Trent touched his right pec. ‘You know the symbol on the queen’s necklace? He’s got it right here.'” I loved that little tidbit so much. It makes me so happy to know that Daniel and Dev finally have something meaningful to tie them together, since they each already had something with Zoey.
Anyway, I know Lexi Blake can weave amazing stories, but this spin-off series just hasn’t been quite working for me, at least not when it focuses on the romance. I love the original characters and the world too much to stop though, so I’m still reading and seeing where things go.
*This is a spin-off series, and I highly HIGHLY recommend starting with Steal the Light. The original characters have a heavy presence, and I don’t think this spin-off series will be as enjoyable if you haven’t read the original one.*
Fans of Lexi Blake's Thieves series and Books 1 & 2 in her Hunter series. Anyone who likes laugh-out-loud hilarity, heart-wrenching emotion, complex and flawed but still lovable characters, action, heists, sex, supernatural creatures (especially vampires), and lots of adorable relationships of all kinds (Thieves). Anyone who likes alpha males, menages, and paranormal/urban fantasy with significant romance and sex (Hunter). Anyone who likes feisty heroines, lovable characters, polyamorous romances, and complex, long-game plots (overall series).