Worse than a thief, is a liar.
Kayli Winchester can finally let go of her thieving past and for once walk on the right side of the law. She’s had enough of the hustle and is determined to become the good girl.
But her brother, Wil, is still missing. On the hunt for him, she discovers something worse than a missing sibling: Marc, Raven, Axel, Corey and Brandon. These aren’t just scoundrels with hearts of gold. They’re flat out criminals. But they’re criminals who need her.
In a ruse to draw them away from her brother and learn more about this so-called Academy, Kayli joins them on a mission to Florida in search of a missing little girl. Kayli will do anything to make sure her brother is safe. She’ll find their leader. She’ll discover their intentions. She’ll infiltrate their ranks. And if they try to threaten her brother or herself, she’ll burn them all.
But when these five hot Academy teammates all contend for her heart, her resistance starts to crumble.
Maybe she wasn’t meant to be the good girl, anyway.
“You’ve got to be the best sort of sweet devil, or one hell of an angel. I haven’t decided which, yet.”
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
I really liked this book. It was fast paced and constantly kept my attention. There was a lot more character development which I always enjoy. We got to see more of the boys’ backgrounds which made me understand and love them more.
I found myself getting drawn deeper into each of the boys and I couldn’t pick. I called Kayli out in my last review for not stopping the boys when multiple boys where trying to kiss her (not that I was complaining). But if I’m being honest, I couldn’t choose either; they are all great guys.
Axel is the rock. He holds steady and Kayli knows he will always be there when she needs him. Marc has so much passion and he would do anything for Kayli. He’s only known her for a few days yet her cares about her so much. Raven is silly most of the time but when it comes down to it, he is a giant grizzly bear when it comes to Kayli. He would seriously hurt anyone that tried to harm her. Brandon with the sad eyes. Kayli knows something/someone hurt him very much in the past causing him to be the way he is. He has so many walls, but once he lets them down, she’ll find that he has the biggest heart of them all. Corey, the giant teddy bear who wouldn’t harm a fly unless someone he cared about was in danger. In that case, he would hurt anyone that dared try.
In the last book, when Brandon said Corey was gay, I honestly didn’t believe it. I thought that he showed too much interest in Kayli to possibly be gay. I thought he was bisexual or Brandon was just trying to protect his baby brother. I was right. Corey is bisexual which I thought provided some realistic factors to the story and I thought it was brilliant on C.L. Stone’s part. Not only is he bisexual, he has a crush on someone on his team. Axel mentioned it so it can’t be him, Kevin is in a relationship so he’s out, Brandon is out for obvious reasons. That only leaves Marc and Raven. My money is on Raven at this time. Corey didn’t think it was a good idea for him to go wake up Raven and sent Kayli to do it at the beginning of the book. At the time, I thought it was because Raven was dangerous if he was woken up, but looking back on it, maybe it was because Corey knew Raven slept naked and Corey wouldn’t have been able to control his… reaction… to it. That would have tipped Kayli off quick. Little did he know that she already thought he was gay.
Axel mentions to Corey that he didn’t know if the member on the team that Corey has a crush on would be interested in Corey, leading me to believe that it is possible he does. If said member is Raven, I don’t know if he is bisexual at this point. In the first book, he did make comments about male parts that I didn’t think a straight man would say but I kind of brushed it off. Because of Corey’s crush, it is causing me to psycho-analyze everything the boys say and it is driving me crazy because I am dying to know.
Kayli, on the other hand, made me angry a few times. Call me biased, but I knew that the Academy boys weren’t bad people and her listening to Blake after all he did in the first book made me angry. I didn’t understand how she could go from hating him to trusting him enough to team up with him. He brings up a few circumstantial problems with the Academy boys and she immediately jumps ship and doesn’t trust them? They have never given her a reason to not trust them when Blake has given her plenty, yet she still listens. Is she for real? I am very concerned with her budding relationship with Blake. I’ll admit it, he could be perfect, but he isn’t an Academy boy so he is a problem. Unless he joins their team, which I honestly don’t see happening anywhere in the near future, he will only be a distraction to Kayli and put doubt in her head about the boys. If he joins the group and proves himself trustworthy, then he gets my okay to join in the reverse-harem situation Kayli is in right now. Unfortunately, no matter what I want, I have a feeling that he will become a permanent love interest for Kayli. The fact that Kayli can’t seem to pull away when he kisses her sends a big red flag to me that he is here to stay. Blake’s whole personality is brilliant on C.L. Stone’s part as an author but for the reader, he is a problem. If he can’t join the group or prove he’s not a threat to Kayli’s relationships with the boys, I want him gone. Point blank. Period. I might be being a little harsh on him but in this series, if you aren’t Academy, you don’t cut it for me.
While we are on the topic of Blake, I really didn’t appreciate him taking Principal Hendricks side and blame the Academy for Mr. McCoy’s disappearance. The book quoted him perfectly: He is on the outside looking in and automatically assumes the boys are bad. Excuse me? Weren’t you just trying to poison a village of people in the last book? He has no room to talk. Then he accused them of taking Wil? Is he for real? AND KAYLI ACTUALLY LISTENED?! I can’t even begin to express how stupid that was on her part.
Is it wrong that I’m not concerned about the whole Wil plot line? I think it’s the fact that I met him previously in The Ghost Bird Series, but I just can’t bring myself to care that he’s missing. They mentioned towards the end of the book that the girl he was interested in was Sang and I nearly fell off my bed laughing. I’m sorry honey, but she’s got nine boys at home and I think that’s enough. The fact that Kayli said that to Mr. Blackbourne was priceless. Is it just me, or did I detect a little bit of jealousy in Mr. Blackbourne’s response of how Sang couldn’t be interested? I don’t know; it might have just been wishful thinking on my part.
I am very interested to see where the Kevin plot is going to go. He is just background noise when it comes to this group. He isn’t playing any major roles and if you pay attention while reading, you will notice that when the team is telling Kayli where everyone is, they don’t think to mention Kevin. I don’t really know what purpose he serves to the story right now besides being outspoken about Kayli not joining their team. I think at some point he going to end up leaving their group… Maybe Blake will take his place?
I was glad I got to see a few of my babies from Ghost Bird in this book. I miss them and it always warms my heart when they are mentioned or seen in this series. I’m hoping they will be seen more in the future. (Crossing my fingers now.)
I thought C.L. Stone did a great job of balancing the plot plot and the romantic plot. She has an uncanny ability to straddle the line on if the book is plot driven or romantically driven. She is great at it which causes me to never lose interest or get bored. Because of that and thousands of other reasons, I will be reading the next installment and anything else she writes
… 5,000,000. Kevin
…… 1,000,000,000. Blake