Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pickpocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming…
Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.
Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.
Meet an all-new Academy team in Thief, the beginning of the Scarab Beetle series.
Warning: This is a new adult series. Readers of the other Academy series may need some caution as this series will contain mature sexual and violent situations and themes.
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Last summer I read a book called The Academy: Introductions and whilst it wasn't the best book ever it completely had me hooked (my review) since then I have been eagerly enjoying each new release in the series that just keeps getting better and better. I was very excited to hear a few months ago that the author was writing a New Adult spin off to the series that would be following a different Academy team.
This is set in the same world as C.L. Stone's other Academy series but stands completely apart and none of those books have to be read before this one. If you have read the other series all the way up to book 5 - Drop Of Doubt - then this is an even more amazing as there are a few little "treats" that will make you smile.
It is kind of hard not to compare this to the other Academy series. So far I am definitely preferring this - The Scarab Beetle series - to The Ghost Bird Series. This book started very powerfully and the action started here rather than us having to wait several books. Kayli is much more feisty than Sang and doesn't seem to need to be rescued all the time.
Kayli is the kind of female lead I love; she is pretty kick-ass but also has a realistic vulnerability. She has had to learn to be tough by protecting herself and her brother from an abusive, alcoholic father who does nothing to look after them. After picking one too many pockets in an attempt to get money for rent and food she finds herself being chased by a group of guys. Worried that she is about to get thrown in prison Kayli is somewhat surprised when they offer to pay her family's rent for a month, get her a job and help her brother get into College early in exchange for assistance with one little task.
What Kayli doesn't expect is for the job to end up a lot more complicated than she first thought and having to rely on the boys and their mysterious "Academy" to help her hide and stay safe. She also doesn't expect to find somewhere she feels that she truly belongs.
One thing you can expect from any of C.L's books is for there to be a large abundance of book boyfriends and Thief was no exception. You get not one but six, actually make that seven, amazing guys to swoon over and Kayli clearly has a complicated love life ahead of her. There is some romance in this book though it doesn't take over and Thief is more action driven than romance driven.
I NEED more and was really sad for this book to end even though it ended brilliantly. I am eagerly looking forwards to more in this series as this was such a fantastic start.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this has not affected my opinions or rating in any way*
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