I loved this until the last 5th of the book when my real world knowledge got in the way. I love a heist, so diamond thieves hooking up to commit acts of Robin Hood is entirely my jam. Heist romances require leaps of faith and unfortunately this one required too big a leap for me at the end. That said, it was a really fun ride and I do recommend it.
Nick is trying to be a reformed jewel thief. He is out on parole after serving several months of a sentence when he tried to pass stolen goods to an undercover cop. He’s sitting on his motorcycle in front of a jewelry store watching a woman look at engagement rings. He’s about to leave when he sees her phone fall out of her purse and slip under the counter. That prompts him to go in. Stella is not looking at engagement rings, she’s stealing one. And thus is born a beautiful friendship.
From the first, Nick is gone on Stella. Rendell gives us enough of Nick’s interior life to make his instalove believable. There are very specific reasons that Nick and Stella fit with each other in a way that no one else would.
This is in KU, and you can borrow it as an audiobook. Sebastian York and C.J. Bloom are good narrators for this story. Sebastian York narrates a lot of romance and fells the head over heels voice. C.J. Bloom occasionally veered into a too sugary territory, but that might be more a problem created by the author.
Because the shenanigans at the end didn’t work for me, a few things I had noted on the way were harder to let go of. It bothered me that though Stella had been masterminding a gang of thieves since she was a child, Nick still had to steer her away from a couple of obvious mistakes. She’s not incompetent in the book, just maybe a bit less competent than she should have been.
Regardless of my quibbles, this was fun.