I have never read a Nicola Rendell novel I did not end up adoring, but her latest offering also happens to be one of the sexiest and most exhilarating romances I have ever come across, and the kind of book you just want to keep reading over and over and over again. With prose that is crisp, satisfying, and delightfully witty at times, Rendell is a master at shifting tones and keeping the reader emotionally engaged—her most erotically charged scenes always complemented by perfectly timed notes of goofy joy or moments of raw, unbridled emotion between the characters—but it is the sheer uniqueness of her storylines that truly puts her in a category all her own. Two sexy jewel thieves, a cute miniature Dachshund, an RV named ‘The Love Boat’, and one of the craziest jewel heists ever attempted—if you’re looking for a story that is truly the whole package, look no further!
Every guy’s got his thing. Some go for red heels, some go blondes in fishnets, some have it bad for redheads in shorts that show off some ass. Not me. My thing, my type, was standing right in front of me. Long, thick dark hair. Jeans. T-shirt. Beat up Chuck Taylors. With a laugh like that. Nothing better on earth.
After spending the past seven months in prison for moving stolen jewels, forty-year-old Nick Norton is ready to live life on the straight and narrow. But nothing could have prepared him for a dark-haired bombshell with an infectious laughter, a big, kind heart, and sticky fingers to come storming into his life and make him lose control over himself completely. As he watches her effortlessly steal a two-karat diamond ring from a jewellery store, Nick is both intrigued as well as drawn to her in every possible way, and even though he knows he should stay away from her, he ends up doing the very thing he shouldn’t be doing—he follows her home.
“This is how it’s gonna be,” he said, zipping up his too-big motorcycle jacket up on me, and sliding his hands into my back pockets to pull my hips into his body. “I’m gonna drive you back to my place. I’m gonna take you like you deserve to be taken. Every second from now until you fall asleep in my arms is going to be me, doing my thing to you, and making your eyes roll back in your head again and again.”
Dear God. It’s me, Stella. Thank you. So, so much.
Being followed home by a sexy stranger covered in tattoos and driving a Ducati might not be every girl’s definition of being pursued by a dashing hero, but for Stella Peretti, meeting Nick has felt fated from the moment they first laid eyes on one another. Their chemistry is immediate, urgent, undeniable, and the more she gets to know him, the more she believes him to be the embodiment of the man she’s always hoped to find in life. But no matter how explosive their connection is in and out of the bedroom, there is a huge part of her life that Stella has to keep hidden from Nick. Because Stella is not just a thirty-four-year-old dog sitter who lives with her two best friends—she is also the head of a super-secret trio of jewel thieves planning their greatest and final heist to date.
Everybody thought we were dog sitters. Everybody thought we really were good girls. Everybody thought we were best friends. All true. But we were also known as the Shimmy Shimmy Bangs. We were the Lady Robin Hoods of the American Southwest. And we were going to do one last jewel heist. The biggest of them all. The North Star.
It would be our final job, the biggest payoff, and it would set the three of us up forever. No more risks, no more worry. Whatever we dreamed would be ours.
Once all their secrets are out in the open, however, it becomes clear to them both that they could be a lot more than just two people burning up for one another—they could become partners in life who could also understand each other in a way that few people could. And when Stella’s upcoming jewel heist suddenly becomes a one-woman show, Nick gets his chance to prove to the woman he knows he is falling for that he has her back no matter what.
He wasn’t just some hunky guy who got me all hot and bothered. He was a guy who, for better or worse, could relate to my crazy, unconventional, decidedly not-the-girl-next-door secret life. He was a guy who I could actually be myself around.
As they embark on their Pink Pantheresque jewel heist adventure, their feelings for one another only continue to grow, even when pulling off their plan comes at the cost of their happily-ever-after.
A better life was waiting for all of us. And damn it, I was going to make sure we got a chance to live it.
A truly fun read that is sexy, exciting, unputdownable through and through, and with a cast of characters you cannot help but love from the start, the wonderful distinctiveness of the storyline is only surpassed by Nicola Rendell’s superb writing style and endless creativity. She’s the kind of author whose brain I’d just love to pick and this was a top read of the year for me.
“I want a promise from you that when it’s all done, that won’t be the end of you and me.”