Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Recent reading: Confidence Tricks by Tamara Morgan

I’ve had this one on my Kindle for some time and didn’t really expect to like it, so consistent my beginning-of-the-year attempt to whittle down the TBR pile at a brisker-than-usual pace, I gave it a try. I figured I’d read a chapter or two and ditch it.

Nope. Turned out I really liked it.

So, Confidence Tricks.

Incredibly typical romance cover, with the added detail that her attention is clearly more on the fact that she’s picking his pocket than on him. Still, basically, shirtless dude, embrace, yeah, this is your basic romance cover. Certainly the cover is not the draw, at least not for me.

Here’s part of the Goodreads description:

Asprey Charles has always assumed he would one day take his place in the family art appraisal and insurance firm. “His place” meaning he plans to continue to enjoy his playboy lifestyle, lavish money on his Cessna, and shirk every responsibility that dares come his way.

But when a life of crime is thrust upon him, he is just as happy to slip on a mask and cape and play a highwayman rogue. After all, life is one big game—and he excels at playing.

Poppy Donovan vows that her recent release from jail will be her last—no more crime, no more cons. But when she learns that her grandmother lost her savings to a low-life financial advisor, she’s forced to do just one more job.

Fine, whatever. The description is not a turn-off; in fact, there are things I like about it. But for me it’s not especially a draw, either. Plainly I picked this book up because of someone’s recommendation, don’t remember whose. Then the opening suggested that the book might well be too light and fluffy for me and I let it sink down toward the bottom of the TBR pile.

Turned out it’s not too light and fluffy, except for the beginning. Instead, it’s witty and humorous. There’s plenty of depth to the characters and plenty of unexpected turns in the plot, and yep, really enjoyed it.

Here’s a characteristic tidbit that shows off both the wit and the characters: Asprey is inviting Poppy out on a date … to help him steal his brother’s espresso maker. (This will be the sixth time he’s stolen the same model espresso maker from his brother.)

“If I get the machine first, you can ask me anything about what Graff and Tiffany and I are doing.”

That was almost too good to be true. “And you’ll tell me the truth no matter what?”

“Unless you’d rather do something else,” he offered. “Drink a nice Pinot and discuss French cheeses.”

“Oh, I”m in.” There was no use pretending this wasn’t exactly how she wanted to spend the evening. Her, Asprey, a good challenge, better stakes. “But if I find out you cheated, I get two questions.”

The two of them trade questions and answers for the rest of the story, which Morgan uses cleverly to reveal plot and character. The romance is fairly slow-build and pretty believable. Both characters are definitely likable, though at times I did feel that Poppy was being too hard on Asprey. Granted, he plays the insouciant rich playboy pretty convincingly. Still.

The ending had one element I liked, but to say anything about it would constitute a spoiler. Fundamentally a good resolution, though presented at a rather brisk pace considering the relatively slowish pace of the first 7/8ths of the story.

Bottom line: I immediately picked up another book by Tamara Morgon when I finished this story.

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6 Comments Recent reading: Confidence Tricks by Tamara Morgan

  1. Hanneke

    I trust your recommendations and descriptions, you’ve led me to several books I’d not have encountered otherwise which I lived, and heloed me to steer clear of some that would have been too dark for me. This sounded as if I might like it, so even though I’m not into the idle rich nor jailbirds, I went to pick it up on Kobo to sample.
    Turns out, it’s entirely free, at least on Kobo, at least today!

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