October 7, 2013

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: The Thief Redeemer

 The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

The Thief Redeemer, by Leigh Clary Abdou
Published September 9, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: e-book, provided by AToMR Tours and the author in exchange for an honest review
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Brandon Wilson is trouble.

As leader of the largest car theft ring in Atlanta, GA, life is coming at him faster than he can handle. While the criminal world views him at the top of his game, the truth is, he’s breaking apart, piece by piece. He’s not sure how much more he can take before he completely shatters.

He’s able to manage this facade until he meets Claire Peters. As a part of a kidnapping scheme gone bad, she’s literally delivered right to his warehouse door. As his love for her grows, Brandon finds himself caught in an impossible dilemma. With his lifestyle, he knows he can’t keep Claire, and yet, he can’t risk letting her go, either. His men think he should make her disappear forever, but she’s his angel who still believes in second chances.

Can someone be so lost they’re beyond saving? And if salvation is possible, how does Claire show him the way?

Can a thief be redeemed?

You know, most of the books I read have a character - usually the hero - who is terribly misunderstood. He's inherently a good guy who everyone thinks has done bad things. But, the bad things he's done have either been done for a good reason, or he hasn't done them at all. You know what I'm talking about? Well, the big difference with The Thief Redeemer is that our hero really has done those bad things. For no good reason. Is it bad that I found that strangely compelling?

I kept waiting for the big ah-ha moment where the real story would come out and we'd find out that Brandon is an undercover cop or working an angle for the good guys. But, no. He has a tragic story, to be sure. One that would certainly mess up anyone. But, his answer is to turn to a life of crime, boosting cars, murdering those who get in his way, and kidnapping girls for leverage against his enemies. 

Despite Brandon's unfortunate profession, I really liked him. He's unhappy with his life, yet doesn't see any way out. He's angry and dangerous and headed for death himself. Until Claire. He meets her, spends time with her and realizes there might be a way back from where he's at. 

I have to say, Brandon's and Claire's relationship was a little insta-lovey, and that's really not my thing. At least the characters address it at some point in the book during a conversation about whether they believe in love at first sight. Once they were together, though, their relationship was really sweet. I was a bit disappointed by the fade-to-black sex, but that was a minor annoyance. It was a slow burn with them - they didn't even kiss until more than 50% through. But, once they got together, I loved them together.
"I've never experienced anything like this before, Claire. You own me. You don't realize it, but you have the power to destroy me."
Overall, I liked the story about Brandon's road to redemption. I was curious as to how he was going to get his HEA - it seemed nearly impossible due to his many, many very bad crimes. It kept me very engaged and invested in the characters and what happened to them. 

However, there were definitely parts of the story that were just a little too unbelievable. I don't know about you, but if someone out there kidnapped my kid, there's no way on Earth I'd ever support them hooking up later. No matter how much of a changed man I thought he was. I don't think many parents would. 

The big question as to whether a thief can be redeemed is answered and in a satisfying way. Although there is a lack of sexy times, the feels are definitely there. If you can get past the unbelievability of some plot aspects, The Thief Redeemer is a worthwhile NA read. 

About the Author

Leigh Clary Abdou is a graduate from the University of Georgia and wrote her first book in the third grade. That story, along with a collection of poems and other books, can still be found in their original location - a purple Trapper Keeper.

When Leigh isn’t writing, she’s reading or watching reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. She considers being a wife and mother her life’s greatest accomplishments. The Thief Redeemer is her debut novel. 

Learn more about Leigh Clary Abdou --> Website / Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter 

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