Tuesday, June 27, 2017

~*♥Release Blitz with Review♥*~ Path of Thieves by Sunniva Dee


Path of Thieves
Sunniva Dee
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Football hero by day and thief by night, Charles “Cugs” McConnely leads a double life in the small town of Newbark, Florida. At sundown, the seventeen-year-old turns burglar, forced into the business by the man who should be teaching him the difference between right and wrong: his father.
Cugs is a pro at both games, but only one can secure him a college scholarship. It should be an easy decision, a no-brainer—if Newbark hadn’t proffered the only life he knows.

After run-ins with Nadine Paganelli, his accidental victim and the sole person to have caught him in the act, Cugs starts to realize that hearts can be stolen too.
When his long-lost sister makes contact, lies are uncovered and truths revealed. Suddenly, Cugs finds himself questioning both plans and loyalties. Because sometimes the only way to move forward is by pulling the bottom out of the past.

EXCERPT:

Last night wasn’t good. Dad’s getting more eager. He wants to accomplish so much on his shopping sprees, blaming a more expensive life now that Step-Cynth’s with us. I’m not in a place to meddle, but it seems six-packs of aprons aren’t the only things she buys on his bill.
My father’s becoming sloppy. Yesterday, we returned in the early morning after hitting almost a dozen houses. The owners of four of them were still at home. Yeah. He isn’t doing his homework the way he used to.
Thing is I’m tired. I don’t see a change in sight. Now, I try to keep my eyes open as I drive the wreck to Orlando to meet up with Keyon. Which is going to come back and bite me in the ass. What other option did I have though, come off as a coward to, in the words of Liza, “freaking Keyon Arias of Alliance Cage Warriors?”
Keyon is already there when I enter the Hard Rock Café. He fills out his side of the booth with fighter shoulders and wide thighs. Elbows on the table and bent over a glass of water, he lifts a hand in greeting as soon as he sees me. My chance to chicken out just dissipated.
“Cugs,” he says, voice husky like it is after a fight. Maybe that’s his voice now. I remember it light, prepubescent, I guess, from back when my own had the pitch of a little kid.
“Keyon.” I tip my head, acknowledging him without a smile, and then I sit down in front of him.
“Soda?”
I think of the possibility of going to Gainesville for the tryouts. “Ice water.”
Keyon doesn’t need to do much to get the waitress over. Half-turned to our table, she’s hovering with a watchful eye. When he glances up, she meets his stare immediately and hurries over.
“How are you?” From his expression, he’s not just being polite. He wants to know. “It’s been so long since we’ve talked.”
“I’m good,” I lie.
“What have you been up to? Your sister has been trying to get a hold of you.”
I’ve steeled myself for questions, assuming they would come. I didn’t think he’d start with them right away though.
“Oh you know, living it up in Newbark.” I do a long, purposely fake nod hoping it will make him laugh. Instead, he studies me, starting with my eyes then traveling over my face.
“You liking it there? How’s your old man?”
I shrug, unable to lie about him. “Married again. To a girl Paislee’s age.”
His eyes widen a little. “Is that so?”
“Yeah, as of a few months ago.”
“Geez.” He blows air out his nose. “New stepmother, huh?”
“Yeah, she isn’t exactly Mom.” And there, I said it. I hope he doesn’t notice. I open my mouth to add something, whatever, to get us off the subject, but he jumps in before me.
“You miss your mother?”
Silence.
Snowmen. Hot chocolate. Cold summer lakes. Blue lips.

 Title: Path of Thieves
Author: Sunniva Dee
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, Coming of Age
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Rating: ★★★★
Young-Adult books are my jam. They’re also my bread and butter depending on how you look at it. Food analogies aside, I don’t think, even when I’m a senior citizen, I’ll ever stop loving the way it feels to read one of these books.

To be transported back in time to a period I honestly hated when I was in it, but enjoy because of all of the emotion present within it. Which is definitely one of the things I enjoyed most about this novel. The feeling behind it. The angst, self-doubt, awkwardness of every first encounter. There really is nothing like it because it’s all very real. No matter what side you find yourself on in the social ladder. The joy in moments, the sadness in others, it’s a tumultuous time for a person, but one that I like to think a lot of teens come out stronger for having endured.

Cugs is an interesting character in this way because he’s popular (star athlete in football, who catches the eye of more than one person) but he’s not self centered, OR a jerk. He’s also not in the same social standing as a lot of others he interacts with, but he can often appear like he is. He’s just a guy that seems to fit everywhere.

Minus the whole “shopping” part. Yes, I said shopping, but if you paid any attention to the title of this story you know it’s not actually shopping I mean.

The romance that took place within this story, it drives a lot of the decisions Cugs does make, but it isn’t everything that this book stands on. No, for this reader, I enjoyed the romance, but I focused more on the changes that he made within himself. The lightbulb moment if you will when he wakes up and he realizes for himself (not because he’s gonna lose a girl, or his team or his secret is about to be found out), that the way things have been going is wrong.

The family dynamic here on both sides was powerful. On one end you’ve got the darker side with his father and the other side, the light as he struggles to figure out what is real and what’s not. Is his mom really his mom, etc. Biology versus his memories and the things he’s been force fed to believe play a big part here and I enjoyed seeing the struggle to rise out of that, plus the payoff when he does. The happy so to speak.

So yeah, as much as I loved the romance, I loved this book so much because it was more than that. More than football. It was Cugs doing what I have a teenager his age doing right now. Growing up. Becoming a man and rising out of his childhood, no matter how bad or good it was.

For a first foray into the world of Young-Adult, I do believe this author did it justice. She took a unique idea, one that for this reader worked and she ran with it, creating a very realistic world within it, and characters that weren’t just paper cut-outs but who felt to me to be real people. My hat is off to her for stepping away from her New Adult roots and diving into often stranger waters.

I also enjoyed the connection that was made here to another of her couples in the New Adult realm and exactly who they were to Cugs and what they came to mean by the end of the story. It was a nice little trip back in time to another book I enjoyed and it was nice to catch up with those characters in Keyon and Paislee again.

If you’re like me and YA is your jam or even your bread and butter, then I suggest you give this book a chance and hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much, if not more, than I did.

My thanks to the author for letting me read an ARC of this before official release. This is definitely a journey I’m glad to have taken.




Author Bio:
Between studies, teaching, and advising, Sunniva has spent her entire adult life in a college environment. Most of her novels are new adult romance geared toward smart, passionate readers with a love for eclectic language and engaging their brain as well as their heart while reading.
Born in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the author spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece--Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in Los Angeles, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah.
Sometimes, Sunniva writes with a paranormal twist (Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love). At other times, it's contemporary (Pandora Wild Child, Leon's Way, Adrenaline Crush, Walking Heartbreak, and Dodging Trains, coming in late March 2016).
This author is the happiest when her characters let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep the reader on her toes until the end of each story.



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