Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Monday, January 13, 2014 with 11 comments
Title: Lady Thief
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet, book #2
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

You know when a sequel just blows your ever-lovin' mind, leaves you screaming and angry and in ruins?  Lady Thief is that kind of sequel.  I don't know how the author managed to make me fall even harder for these characters, but she did. And now my poor heart is in tatters after that ending.

Okay, so, if you know the story of Robin Hood fairly well, a lot of what happens in Scarlet and Lady Thief won't come as a surprise to you, but the way that events unfold is sure to.  You might think for a second that in this one instance, Gaughen's going to go the traditional route and orchestrate the same sequence of events you've come to know as the history of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.  But you'd be wrong.  Though I've had many of my theories pan out over the course of these two books, I still feel like the story is remarkably fresh.  I think the fact that I'm able to foresee a lot of what's to come is actually one of my shortcomings, not the author's.

I am still so in love with the fact that Scarlet is who she is, that she's survived what she has, and she still manages to persevere, to fight and love and do what she can for the people of Nottingham.  Scarlet's narrative is sparse but that doesn't keep her from painting a very brutal picture for us.  She doesn't hide her feelings nearly as well as she once did, though, and with what's going on now, it's no surprise.  I had so hoped that she'd finally get her chance at happiness, but it looks like it wasn't meant to be, at least not yet.

Robin is a bit broken after what he suffered in the first book, and Scarlet bears the brunt of his inability to cope.  As such, she's forced to make a decision that will change the course of her and Robin's future, though not as either of them expected.  Neither of them knows of the stratagems already at play when Scarlet accepts a bargain from Lord Gisbourne, and when Prince John involves himself in her affairs, all hell breaks loose for Scarlet.

Fortunately for Scarlet and Rob, they find -- or rather, make -- time for romance along the way.  Because of their honor and devotion to each other, I feared we'd go another book without so much as a single kiss between them, but they put that aside to bask in each other while they can.  Nothing about their future is set in stone, and if the past is any indication, they have a long road to travel before they can truly seek solace in each other's arms.  So it was nice to see them give in to their hearts and take a moment or two for themselves, even if doing so was technically wrong.  (I'm not here to judge, but Scarlet is a married woman.  Just sayin'.)  Their love story is raw and achingly painful, but deliciously so, and despite all odds, I'm still betting on them.

The other characters' stories have all become compelling in their own rights.  [Little] John may finally be over his roguish ways, which is quite the change from the first book.  Much is showing just how capable he is and is full of worthy advice for Scarlet.   Even Gisbourne's story arc proves quite intriguing.  He may be pure evil incarnate, but in the beginning, he was such an enigma and as much as I loathed him, I still wanted to know how he came to be the man he was.  I got more than I bargained for in that respect, but it's fitting and makes the story that much more captivating.

As I said, if you know anything of the lore surrounding Robin the Hood and his entourage, you can guess where the story is headed for both him and Scarlet, especially with the death of the sheriff and Prince John's political machinations while his brother is away.  But the ways in which the end result was achieved were still shocking and at times, utterly heartbreaking.  Guard your heart,'re in for a bumpy ride.  And if you're waiting until the third book is out because you've heard about the tear-inducing cliffy at the end of Lady Thief...well, that's all well and good, but it's still going to be there whether you wait or not, and you can't change what happens, much as you'll want to.  So, what I'm saying is, hurry up and read it so we can discuss and be miserable together while we wait for book three.  ;0)

GIF it to me straight:
I won't be able to wait another year...I won't...iwontiwontiwont.

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2)

About the author:

I am shamelessly addicted to staying up far too late (it feels like stealing time), diet coke (it burns so good), Scotland (stupid country stole my heart and won't give it back. Interpol has been ineffective for prosecution) and thieves (so I guess I'm not that mad at Scotland).

Find A.C.:

Website | TwitterFacebookGoodreads | Tumblr


  1. Book one was a fun read, but I wasn't sure that I liked it enough to read book two. Your review has me intrigued and eager to give book two a try. Lovely review, Jen!

  2. I still haven't jumped on this series yet, and your review is making me wonder why. I'm not all too familiar with the legend of Robin Hood other than his influence on robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, so I'm pretty sure I'd be very surprised by all the revelations in this series. And Scarlet is a married lady, involved with Robin at the same time? I'm very curious by this aspect, especially because you're rooting for their love. I need to get started on this series! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jen. Wonderful review! :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  3. Oh, MAN. Jen, I already have too many books to read, how can I squeeze in Scarlet and Lady Thief, too? But clearly I must! When you get this excited over a series I know I have to give it a try.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  4. I can't even remember Scarlet. Why did it seems like it's been a while? I remember liking it but I have absolutely no clue whatever happened in the story. I might have to do a re-read.

  5. You know that when I finally read a sequel, it's going to be bad because my heart already broke when I read the FIRST paragraph of this review. I CAN'T TAKE THIS. I'm glad Scarlet is still herself, but all hell breaks loose? *breaths heavily* And then there IS romance, woo!, but then there's a big cliffy? MY EMOTIONS. So, yeah, I'm already fangirling big time, but that's because your review is great and Gaughen is amazing.

  6. Ok, I couldn't read your review just because I've just started (today) Scarlet! I have just read a few pages and am in love. Tonight I'm dedicating to it. I will be visiting again to read this once I've finished Lady Thief :-) So happy to see a 5 star rating from you--my reading twin! I know I'll love it yay!

  7. oh man, I started reading this review and then realized it was book two because I was admiring the way you have all the book info above the description. I think I might start doing mine that way because I look up to you. <3

    is my nose brown yet?

    I think I need to go check whats going on downstairs. I hear brian with his power drill, and aubrey yelling crap at him at the top of her lungs. This could possibly not end well. lol

  8. Oh and how do you do those little add to goodreads links? One of the things I really want to improve on this year since I'm down to part time hours now, is being a better blogger. I really should learn this shit.


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