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A modern-day interpretation of Robin Hood? Sign me up! The moment I heard about the Robbin’ Hearts Series, I was intrigued and ready to dive in. The first two books, ROBIN IN THE HOOD and STONE OF THIEVES, are out now, and the final book, SHERWOOD'S END, is coming later this fall. While the first book in the series is upper YA, the second book is New Adult with mature scenes that aren't meant for younger readers. The two books are also different in tone from one another, and, in fact, can each be read on their own, though they do interconnect.
ROBIN IN THE HOOD follows Robin as her family falls from grace. After a stroke that leaves her father in bad shape and exposes the fact that the once-rich family is now broke, Robin and her father flee to Turtle Shores, a hidden trailer park. Robin uncovers her father's shady past and dives into some illegal adventures of her own as she teams up with the hot and mysterious Creek to make money fast. The heart of this book is truer to the story of Robin Hood and stealing from the rich to help the poor.
STONE OF THIEVES is more of an original fantasy. Events from the end of the first book lead to a new adventure overseas for Robin and Creek. There are more mystical elements as Robin comes into her destiny and realizes she's more powerful than she ever knew. The outlaw gang from the first book is missing, but there are many new characters that give the novel a darker twist than its predecessor. I don't want to go into too many spoilery plot details, however!
The two books are definitely different in tone from one another. You can choose to read them on their own, though they build well and expand the characters and their world. The first book focuses on making it on your own and discovering first love (Though, warning: Insta-Love is in full force here!). The second book, on the other hand, has a more-established couple going off on an adventure together, and the relationship matures significantly. There's a lot more romance and relying on one another to survive. There's also a lot more fantasy! I like the way Reed brought new magical elements into the story and spun it around to keep it interesting. When the second book ends, you're left wondering about the journey that will lead Robin and Creek into the third book. Things happen fast in both books, making it hard to put down until you have answers. At times, it was hard to suspend belief over how easy things were for our thieves, who always got away scot-free, but it was easier to swallow because everything had that laid-back Robin Hood air to it.
I'm intrigued to know more about Sherwood in the final book and to get answers that have been brushed aside up until now. I'm also hoping that things come full circle and readers will be reunited with the eccentric folk from Turtle Shores, since I missed their nuttiness in the second book! At the same time, I think we're about to get another new cast of characters!
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