The Thief by Kate McCarthy ~ Sarah A’s Review

After years of working in the family business, Arcadia “Ace” Jones has become a renowned car thief. Trained from a tender age, it’s the only life she’s ever known. Longing for a future that doesn’t hold the promise of prison, she makes the decision to go straight and earn an honest living.

But the Marchetti Organisation won’t accept her retirement, forcing her to complete a job so big it’s almost impossible. She’s on a tight deadline but an irritating biker dude keeps thwarting her attempts to deliver.

Kelly Daniels likes to tinker with bikes and cars. He’s content with operating the car restoration business he owns alongside his partners, until an annoying little thief manages to steal a Dodge Charger right out from under his nose.

He gets pulled into her treacherous scheme and they form an unlikely bond. When it becomes a race against the clock to pull off the heist of the century or end up behind bars, Ace and Kelly realise they have more to lose than their freedom—each other.

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I’m so glad to have finally got Kelly’s book. I was so intrigued by him when we first met him in a previous book; I knew he needed his own story. I could not have ever anticipated just how wonderful he was actually going to be, though. Everything about him was so fascinating; I was under his thrall for the entirety of the novel.

The Thief is a standalone novel. It is a spinoff from Kate McCarthy’s Give Me series, but it is not imperative to have read those novels first. Reading Casey’s story, Give Me Grace, would give a little insight to Casey’s side of their relationship but Kelly’s side is covered in The Thief, so not reading that book does not detract from this story at all. The Thief is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Kelly and Arcadia.

Even though I knew Kelly’s story, the prologue of The Thief completely blew me away. It was a total gut punch and, god, I can’t even fathom going through something so awful, so life-changing at such a young age. I’m not sure who Kelly would have been without that formative event in his life, but it was easy to see how the events of that horrific day formed the person he became for the entirety of the novel. Whether it was his anger, his overbearing protectiveness where Arcadia was concerned, or his fear of letting himself truly depend on anyone, the horrors of his youth peppered all facets of his personality.

Arcadia had an equally interesting, if far less devastating, upbringing. She was definitely a product of her very interesting childhood, and the unconventionality of it made her an enthralling character. She was, for the most part, wild and unpredictable, while she could still be sophisticated and demure when the situation called for it. I absolutely loved her.

Kelly and Arcadia were good for each other. Beyond their explosive chemistry and the way they highlighted one another’s best qualities, they also gave each other a safe place to land. Something they’d both been missing, Kelly for far longer than Arcadia. I loved how the shelter they provided one another’s hearts and souls allowed them to find healing from their pasts. Beyond all the action of the book, this was definitely a story of healing and growth.

The Thief was fast-paced, the entirety of the novel – barring the epilogue – covered fewer than twelve weeks, but so much happened in those weeks, it felt like Kelly and Arcadia had been together forever. All the danger, lies, threats, and intrigue served as a great way to make them bare the deepest parts of themselves so freely, and I was enamored by how honest they were with one another when they could have easily let misunderstanding destroy them. It was SO refreshing to see a couple in a romance novel actually speak to one another and hash things out.

Kate McCarthy is a no questions asked, read everything she writes, author for me. She won me over with Fighting Redemption, and since then I’ve read everything she’s written, and there hasn’t been a miss in the bunch. I love her style, and her characters are always so strong, I fall head over heels in love with every single one. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in The Cop.

My breath catches. This was only supposed to be about wild sex with a hot, irresistible man. I should have known. The moment he walked inside Fix I knew he was a paradox. A puzzle, one I played with, slowly fitting all the broken pieces together until the whole picture now sits before me, a picture so beautiful it steals my breath.

“Kelly.” He watches me, his face close to mine. “You were never meant to get involved. It’s not your fight.”

He draws back like I’ve slapped him the face.

I fumble for his hand, grabbing it before he can withdraw any further. “It’s always been my fight. I don’t have friends. I don’t have boyfriends. I don’t sleep around. I’ve always kept people at arms-length because I don’t live a life where I can answer the kinds of questions they ask of me. Then you came along and I thought maybe this once it would be nice, real fucking nice to pretend I could have something beautiful for myself. Only you weren’t what I expected. You pissed me off. You made me laugh and you made me ache, and you made me want you so damn much. You did all that and now I can’t imagine how I lived a life without you in it. You give so much of yourself without even realising it. Even now you’re taking my fight and making it your own, and I hate myself for being so selfish and letting you.”

 Kate McCarthy is a USA Today Bestselling author who resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works full time on her writing. 

She has two children, two dogs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the world that help keep her sane.

When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites.

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