Reviewed by Jess
AUTHOR: Shea Godfrey
PUBLISHER: Bold Strokes Books
LENGTH: 264 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2017
When a world-class thief runs into a bounty hunter just days before the biggest deal of her life, a payday to retire on becomes a game of cat and mouse that could change everything.
Cassandra Marinos, a thief who has never run from a challenge or met a painting she couldn’t steal, finds herself in a precarious position when in possession of not only a Rembrandt worth a small fortune, but a long-lost work of art worth untold millions. Bounty hunter Finnegan Starkweather finds herself in a unique position as well. While recovering a stolen Rembrandt would be a sweet bounty, settling an old score is worth even more. And while Finn is a brand new handsome distraction for Casey—despite the danger she represents—Finn has been looking for Casey for far longer than she’s been looking for revenge.
This book is the long-awaited third book by Shea Godfrey and her first book outside of her high fantasy “Arravan” series. Godfrey writes in a rich, lush prose that glides right off the page. While this book is marketed as an erotic romance, the writing style leans towards the literary, making it an enticing, genre-bending read.
But sometimes, Godfrey’s writing style gets in the way of the story. While her dramatic, flowery dialogue works wonders in her fantasy books, it comes off as a little goofy and stilted between a quiet bounty hunter and a glamorous art thief. While we long to see Casey and Finn together, too much time is spent on descriptions and long declarations of love, which I tended to skim. The characters (from rambunctious children to sad old men) speak with a longing, unrealistic cadence that often makes it hard for me to suspend my disbelief.
The plot in this book is intricate and intense. You have to be constantly paying attention to understand what is going on because there are a lot of time and location jumps and a lot of supporting characters. While much of the book takes place in California, there’s a lovely, crisp European atmosphere to Casey and Finn’s adventures, giving it a vibe not unlike a Guy Ritchie or James Bond movie.
And if you enjoy butch/femme dynamics in your lesbian romances, this is a great choice. Finn is a great butch character who is characterized as the perfect blend of masculine and feminine, and when she and Casey are together, there is plenty of steam. It gets a little kinky, too—I hope you’re prepared for some strap-on action and liberal use of the term “Daddy!”
While there are some issues with tone vs. content, this is a really enjoyable read that will keep you invested from beginning to end. The characters are unique and have wonderful chemistry. Godfrey is a really top-notch storyteller who knows how to blend plot with superb romance.