REVIEW: How to Shield An Assassin (Unholy Trifecta #1) by A.J.Sherwood
It’s not stealing if you’re stealing it back….
Ari had a game plan for life. Shoot people. Get money. Hang out with fellow criminal friends. He saw absolutely no reason to change that plan until one dark night in Memphis, when a little girl reached out to him with pocket change and a desperate plea for him to help her.
Adopting an abused little girl off the streets was, needless to say, not part of the plan. Ari had no idea what he was doing with an eight year old. He especially didn’t know how to juggle taking contracts and raising a little girl.
Things get more complicated when the mercenary, Carter Harrison, approaches him with a job. He needs Ari’s expertise to get into the very high-security museum, Knowles, and steal back Monet ’s Water Lily Pond. The job isn’t an easy one. He’d need more than the two of them to make it happen. It’s further complicated because Ari’s not sure what to do with his new daughter while working this job.
And for that matter, how’s he supposed to handle the sexy mercenary?
Not child safe but child approved, children know best, Remi approves this book, idiots in love, but Remi loves them anyway, criminals make the best uncles, family of choice, Ari acknowledges Remi as the smarter one, Carter admits his own insanity, nothing blows up, Ivan is very disappointed by this, Kyou has PLANS for Remi, licking solves all problems, bedsheets, lifeskills, children should come with warning labels, it’s not stealing if you’re stealing it BACK, right?, the author once again regrets nothing
Dear AJ Sherwood,
I read your book on the recommendation of a close friend whose tastes mirror mine probably 95 percent of the time. Sadly this was not one of those times. My friend warned me that the story will be fun if, and only if, I could suspend my disbelief. And this was my main problem – suspending disbelief was too hard too many times.
The blurb pretty much tells you the outline of the whole story. If it is in the blurb, for me it is not a spoiler and fair game to talk about in my review, so readers beware. Moreover, if I have an issue with the plot point or characterization I may have to reveal it otherwise how would I explain what my problem was?
Ari is an assassin, but he is of ” he only kills horrible people” type. Note, this is not the suspension of disbelief that I am complaining about. In fact, usually the only times I can read about assassins if they are Ari’s type OR they don’t feel like they should be killing people anymore type. I have a strong suspicion that they have very little to do with real assassins :).
Somebody (I wish I could remember who it was ) once wrote something to the effect that if you make small details believable for the reader they are more likely to go along with you when you are trying to sell outlandish big plot point and I think this is so true.
See, abused little girl who follows you while you are trying to do your killing assignment and decides to hire you to kill her abusive stepfather may be a character I can convince myself to go along with to see what happens next. Even though I know of course that this is already from the very beginning of the story is a pretty outlandish development to put it mildly.
But NO NO NO man, you cannot adopt this girl after you um helped her out with her dilemma. This is called kidnapping no matter what your good intentions are, okay?
But even then I could probably persuade myself to go along with and check my brain completely at the door. This abused eight year old becoming criminal master mind in training couple months after meeting her adoptive father though, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I kept being thrown out of the story over and over again.
Which was too bad really, because the relationship between Ari and his merry band of criminal brothers was sweet and gentle and I could see myself liking them. Same thing with his new boyfriend . I mean I liked how protective Carter felt of Ari, I thought the pacing of their relationship development was wildly off (if one can even call it relationship development – oh I cannot figure out what this is, oh couple days later why don’t we date), but I liked them together.
The job they were given was also kind of ridiculous – no, not because they had to steal Monet, but the precise circumstances of why they had to “steal it back”. Since the blurb wisely did not share this at least, I won’t either. So it was ridiculous, but once again I do watch heist movies, I can handle over the top stealing jobs for the sake of fun. What I disliked was that I was kind of bored during the time they prepared to do the work, not even sure why.