Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Standalone Novel
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Cary Talbot has found the perfect mark. Marigold Shelley is filthy rich, and her newly found grandson, Isaac Shelley, is poised to inherit her huge estate, complete with a priceless wine collection. Cary concocts a plan to con both of them into selling the crown jewel of that collection to him at a bargain price. Since Isaac is young, single, and gay, part of Cary’s scheme to get close to the Shelleys includes seduction.
But Isaac isn’t the sheep he appears to be. He isn’t even the grandson he appears to be. Isaac is, in fact, running quite the con of his own.
These two masters of the confidence game are pitted against each other, and both are after the ultimate prize—a chunk of the huge Shelley fortune. It’s only when a third cunning player comes in and is ready to outwit them both that they must band together and beat their opponent or see all they’ve worked for slip from their grasp one ruby-red drop at a time.
Review: This was a very sexy little caper about two grifters out for different scores falling for each other. I was pretty much hooked from the first few pages. This was totally unlike anything I’ve read lately. I really enjoyed it.
After growing up on the streets Isaac assumes his new identity in the hopes of playing the role of a rich elderly woman named Marigold’s long lost grandson. It’s his chance to hit the biggest jackpot of his con career. He just didn’t expect to like the woman so much. He’s moved into the giant house and is laying the groundwork. Gaining her trust. Things are going pretty good. Then suddenly a gorgeous older insurance agent shows up on his grandma’s doorstep and things get complicated.
It’s not Cary’s first time playing the “insurance agent”. He’s got his eye on a very rare set of wine in Marigold’s collection worth a fortune. Cary is very good at his chosen profession. He has an amazing assistant and partner to help him out. When Marigold invites him to stay in her guest house at her winery while conducting his audit Cary thinks this will be an easy job. The grandson, Isaac is already checking him out. Cary isn’t above using whatever advantage he can to get the job done. Including gaining the affections of Isaac. It doesn’t hurt Isaac is hot as hell. Neither man really knows who the other is at first but they fall for each other none the less. Both struggling with guilt and keeping their focus on the reason they’re both at the estate. To grift money from Marigold. Not to fall in love.
So I pretty much loved this entire story. Yes, I guessed who was who fairly early but I didn’t REALLY know until the end. It didn’t take away anything from the story for me. I loved the characters in this book. Isaac was good at conning but this job was his first one done alone. Without his need to make his mentor happy, he just didn’t feel right about it. I enjoyed his struggle with the guilt. He felt at home, safe and loved for the first time since he could remember. I was a total sucker for Isaac’s sweet and bad side. Because after he meets Cary. The boy got a little naughty. In the best way. And of course lets not forget he’s a con artist.
Cary was just the type of guy I like to read about. Clever and charming. Not exactly squeaky clean but totally likable. I could see him endearing himself to anybody he sets his focus on. I also like how he was supposed to be this true professional but when it came to wanting Isaac he just couldn’t control himself. They literally couldn’t keep their hands off each other. It was a delicious mix of adorable and lusty goodness.
The plot was pretty good I think. The ruthless con artist Black Mamba coming after them was pretty exciting and the effect it had on the guys was great. The anticipation of will they, won’t they pull of the heist was nice. I liked the MCs together and I liked them fighting. Both of them had conflicting sides that came out when they were together. Instant friction! The secondary characters were a lot of fun. It’s always nice when you enjoy reading the pages when the MCs aren’t together almost as much as when they are.
Overall this was a really enjoyable read. Unique. Likable characters. Great chemistry between the MCs. Fun! Another really good book by this author. Keep them coming please!