Review: Confidence Tricks by Tamara Morgan

 

 

 

Title: Confidence Tricks

Author: Tamara Morgan

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

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.

It’s all going smoothly until the necklace she intends to pawn to fund her con is stolen by a handsome, mocking, white-collar thief. A thief who, it turns out, could take a whole lot more than money. If she’s not careful, this blue blood with no business on her side of the tracks could run off with the last thing she can afford to lose. Her heart.

Warning: This book contains masked crusaders, a remorseless con woman, and plans to boost a ten-million-dollar painting. Expect high speeds and fast hands.


Review:

Confidence Tricks is a fun, fast-paced romance with a likable ex-con protagonist.  I loved Poppy.  She is different from most romance heroines, and she’s brutally honest about her prospects for the future.  After she falls for rich guy Asprey, she understands the reality of their relationship, as in, there can’t be one.  How can a guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who has never wanted for anything, understand that a future with Poppy, a poor girl who has been living on the edge for years, is out of the question?  It was the difference in their social status that really attracted me to this story, and by the end of the book, I was convinced that Poppy and Asprey would find their HEA.  It wouldn’t be easy, but, dang, they deserved to be happy!  Together!

The story starts out with Asprey completely at Poppy’s mercy.  She’s got a stiletto heel jabbed against his throat, and she’s not afraid to use it!  She’s already dislocated his shoulder, and she’s not going to hesitate to inflict more bodily harm.  How dare he interfere with her mark?  She has been hanging around with slimeball Todd for weeks, all in an effort to steal back the money he stole from her grandmother.  How dare these amateur thieves try to steal her thunder.

I enjoyed the power imbalance between Poppy and Asprey.  She is hard as nails and can open a can of whoop ass on him without even thinking about it.  Asprey, on the other hand, is like a genteel Robin Hood, stealing back jewelry and art from their owners so they can collect on insurance policies.  Why? Because everything that he and his older brother are stealing are fakes.  Oops!  The cons are very convoluted in Confidence Tricks, and there were several times when I had to throw away everything I thought I knew was going on, because Tamara Morgan had me totally bamboozled.  Clueless.  It was fun watching as the web of deception unraveled, leaving the characters second guessing themselves. 

I was entertained by Asprey and Poppy’s unusual courtship.  They try to steal an espresso machine in a bet for answers to the burning questions they have for each other. They don’t quite trust each other, but as they are thrown from one dangerous adventure to the next, they find that they don’t have anyone else to rely on but each other.  When Poppy’s less than shining history is finally revealed, Asprey doesn’t seem phased at all.  He can put her past mistakes in the past where they belong, though he constantly questions why she would act as she did by turning herself in.  The romance is hot and flares quickly out of control, and I thought that the two made a great couple.  Even better, Asprey’s older brother is disapproving and trying to find ways to drive the two apart.  Stupid brothers!

I did think that the action lagged during the poker games.  Poppy and Asprey just can’t compete with Paul Newman and Robert Redford; I don’t think any characters could.  How do you pull off a better sting than those guys?  I don’t think you can, so these scenes didn’t work for me.  The rest of the cons did, though, and I was caught up in the rest of the intrigue and suspense.  And again, I loved the stark contrast between Poppy and Asprey’s backgrounds.

If you enjoy suspense, danger, and cons in your romance, I think you will like Confidence Tricks.  Not sure? Check back later today for the opportunity to win a copy for yourself.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by author