It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review, and honestly, it feels so good! Ace of Shades was my first read of spring break, and I’m here to tell you that this book needs to be high on your list of anticpated April releases. Before I get into the review, here’s a quick look at the summary:
” Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.
Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.”
First off, I was not prepared for how much I was going to love this book and get sucked into its world. Ace of Shades is so layered that there’s an element within in for everyone. Political intrigue? Check. Badass female characters? Check. A slow burn romance? Check. Morally grey, complex, and messy characters? Triple check.
Le’ts start with the main character, Enne, who I absolutely adored. Her character was well-developed, and her growth was fantastic to read. She rose to every challenge, and her determination for the truth drove the story. Next up is Levi. I LOVED LEVI!!! He’s black and bisexual (the rep isn’t ownvoices, to the best of my knowledge), and his personality leapt off of the page. He was just as complex as Enne, and I loved how their flaws and overall personalities fit together. I’m so glad that Ace of Shades is dual POV, because it really allowed me to connect to both of the characters so much more.
All of the side characters were just as well-developed and integral to the story, and Jac was definitely another favorite of mine. The world building in Ace of Shades is incredible. There are a ton of details that really make you feel like you’re in Sin City, without feeling overwhelmed. The pacing was also great, primarily due to the ticking timeline that Levi and Enne had to deal with. The stakes were high, and they drew me into the story even more.
All in all, Ace of Shades felt fresh and original. It was the first book that I’ve read in about a month, and it quickly snapped me out of my reading drought. I can’t wait for the next installment, because I need more, so much more. Ace of Shades blew all of my expectations away, and I highly highly recommend it.
Happy reading, happy writing, and happy blogging!