Synopsis by Goodreads
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 a 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.
At first, I wasn’t sure where this book was taking me but I absolutely adored the journey it took me on. Ace of Shades is the first book I’ve read by Amanda Foody and I tell you now that it won’t be the last. Especially, because I need to know what else happens in The Shadow Game series.
Amanda’s world building is truly amazing. At times, it feels that you are the one walking around the North Side of New Reynes trying to outrun the gangs. It’s a world of fantasy and magic that doesn’t feel quite that different from reality, which makes it a bit more easy to relate.
Foody also writes some very complex, diverse and likeable characters. I realised that this was the first time I read a book with a male bisexual character. A black bisexual gang lord?? If that doesn’t lure you to read this book, then the casino lights and the gambling certainly will.
I’m a sucker for romance, and I absolutely love books when the chemistry is there and the moments where the couple almost kisses keeps happening. Especially when it comes to a series, I love the anticipation of the ‘Will it happen?’. It’s like the author is teasing us, and Amanda surely delivers this romantic suspense very well with Levi and Enne.
The only reason why I haven’t given this book 5 stars, is because I felt that is a bit of a slow burner, which is something that I love with romance but not when it comes to action. The story is quite interesting from the beginning but the action does take a bit to get going which can make some people not stick with it until the end. However, once the action picked up I couldn’t stop reading until the very last page. I finished the book wanting more. I still do!
I also love the way the magic or talent is portrayed in this book, is quite an unusual take on things. Peculiarly, because most of the time I felt that the characters weren’t constantly using their talents to get what they needed. Said that, I’m hoping that with the second book things get even more magical and dark. I love how much darker things got by the end, in terms of plot and also character development.
Overall, I utterly loved this book and for sure I’ll be reading the next instalments of The Shadow Game series. If you love a Las Vegas inspired fantasy world, with mystery, gangs and magic then Ace Of Shades should be your next TBR book.
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody is available in paperback and you can get it now on Amazon(affiliated link).
Thanks HQ Stories for sending me a paperback copy of Ace of Shades in exchange for my honest review.