Shimmy Bang Sparkle by Nicola Rendell
Narrated by Sebastian York and CJ Bloom
Standalone Romantic Comedy Suspense
*While my reviews are spoiler-free if you don’t want to know more about the book, after the first paragraph skip down to likes and dislikes and the Down & Dirty review*
Shimmy Bang Sparkle was my first Nicola Rendell book, and let me tell you, it won’t be my last! This ladies, THIS is why I read (or listen in this case). If you were to write the perfect book for my tastes, Shimmy Bang Sparkle would be it! It has an older couple (He’s 40, she’s 30s), humor, banter, some action and adventure with some suspense, likable characters with great friends, good sexy times, an adorable dog, and it made me feel good and happy reading it. What more could I ask for? NOTHING, because this may be my favorite audiobook this year.
First off, I have to mention the GORGEOUS cover and the title. I love them both so much! But honestly, I loved everything about this little gem of a book (see what I did there? GEM?) When Nick gets out of jail after being caught stealing jewels, he is ready to turn over a new leaf and go legit. But as he’s is riding his Ducati down the street, he notices the most beautiful woman in a jewelry store. She was like a beacon to him and he couldn’t stop himself from watching her through the window even though she was trying on engagement rings. Then she threw her head back and laughed and Nick was a goner.
“Every guy’s got his thing. Some go for red heels, some go blondes in fishnets, some have it bad for redheads in shorts that show off some ass. Not me. My thing, my type, was standing right in front of me. Long, thick dark hair. Jeans. T-shirt. Beat up Chuck Taylors. With a laugh like that. Nothing better on earth.”
He went into the store to get near her and caught Stella executing one of the smoothest thefts ever. He was just out on parole. He knows he needs to stay away from her, but damn, she was even sexier now.
“Never in my whole life had I seen anything so goddamned smooth. She seemed sweet, she looked so sexy, and to top it all off, she was utterly badass. I needed to get my hands on her. Now.”
Stella was one of a group of three gorgeous, badass female jewel thieves that are almost an urban legend. They are completely professional and never leave a clue. The three best friends are pet sitters by day and have been doing their Robin Hood style thefts together since they were kids. For months they have been planning one last heist that would set them up for life. It’s not easy to date normal guys when you’re a jewel thief, but when Nick tells her his background, she realizes that maybe she could finally be herself around this guy.
“He wasn’t just some hunky guy who got me all hot and bothered. He was a guy who, for better or worse, could relate to my crazy, unconventional, decidedly not-the-girl-next-door secret life. He was a guy who I could actually be myself around.”
When her planned heist hits some snafus, Nick steps in to help. Together the two of them rent an RV nicknamed the Love Boat and pose as newlyweds with their adorable dog.
“This was real, even if it was for show. This meant something, even if it was pretend. Sometimes the real truth was right in the middle of the lie.”
There was a little instalove in this story, but personally, I loved that aspect. They bonded about something so unique (being thieves) that it totally worked for me. I loved both of their inner voices, and the chemistry between them was amazing.
“With a single look, he could make the world fall away.”
I loved that he was a big protective alpha but he let her run the show since he was just helping her. I loved that he appreciated every single thing about her.
“She was everything I’d never known I needed, and everything I could never be without.”
- Everything, seriously. (But I will list a few of my favorite things.)
- Super-likable characters, including secondary.
- A completely unique storyline.
- The dog.
- The Texan was a great villain (I picture the guy from Toy Story with the cheese curl fingers).
- The sex was just the perfect amount and dirtiness and never felt like it was too gratuitous.
- I had a smile on my face the entire time and almost didn’t want to listen because I didn’t want it to end.
- A little suspense.
- Very little angst.
- The friendship between the women.
- Fun and flirty.
- A complete standalone.
- I could nitpick a few TINY issues if I HAD to, but all I can think of right now is how much I LOVED this book, not on things I didn’t like.
The narration was AWESOME. Starting out from Nicks POV, I love when Sebastian York does mature romantic comedy; he was absolutely PERFECT for the part. CJ Bloom could not have been a better choice for Stella. I was just saying the other day how great she is when you have 3 main female characters because she changes her voice entirely for each. I think the narrators made this amazing book even better!
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 5++++++ Stars, 4.25 Heat