{Double Review/Giveaway} ROBIN IN THE HOOD and STONE OF THIEVES by Diane J. Reed

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   BANK ROBBERY WASN'T EXACTLY WHAT I HAD IN MIND WHEN I filled out my career development profile in class this year. Sophomore girls at my school are expected to check off lofty goals, like "doctor," "lawyer," or my personal favorite, "entrepreneur." According to our mission statement, we're the movers and shakers of our generation, destined for Ivy League colleges like Harvard or Yale. But one thing you learn quickly at The Pinnacle Boarding School for Girls--everyone is lying through their teeth.
(ROBIN IN THE HOOD, Page 1, US paperback edition)

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!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: R ( sexual content )
Language: PG15 ( cursing, references to a lot of shady lifestyles, etc. )
Violence: PG13 ( There are some character deaths, but nothing overly graphic )
Other: ( robbery, mention of abuse )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

While neither cover screams Robin Hood or necessarily goes together in terms of imagery, the black and white with a pop of color connects them. The paperbacks also have a lovely velvety feel to them!

The second book with its pop of red is my favorite of the two, and also lends a fantasy vibe to the book that I didn't get looking at the first cover!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Diane J. Reed
Release Date: Oct. 1, 2012
Publisher: Bandits Ranch
Received: For Review


“Is it any wonder I became a bank robber?”
But she never dreamed she’d fall in love…

Wealthy high school student Robin McArthur thinks she has it all figured out when it comes to bilking her wealthy dad for guilt money as a substitute for his genuine affection. Until one day he suffers a stroke, and she learns the brutal truth: 

They’re broke. 
Her stepmom has skipped the country. 
And everyone from bankers to bookies has lined up in her dad's hospital room to collect on the millions he's racked up in debt.

Panicked and desperate, Robin figures she has two choices. Either surrender to the pestering caseworker and live in a skanky foster home, or take a chance and sneak her dad out of the hospital to make a run for it. Little does she know that stealing a car and hitting the road means that before the day is through, she will rob her first bank.

Now an outlaw, Robin finds a backwoods trailer park to hide her dad from authorities. There, she encounters Creek, a local bad boy who also commits crimes to provide for their motley neighbors. Realizing she could use Creek’s help, Robin proposes an ingenious plan—they should team up to rob banks together. But when their partnership leads to a romance that turns Robin’s world upside down, she soon begins to discover that people are more precious than pocketbooks, and real love means opening your heart to the kinds of treasures money can’t buy…

Author: Diane J. Reed
Release Date: May 8, 2014
Publisher: Bandits Ranch
Received: For Review


The Stone of Thieves . . . for centuries its magnetic draw has twisted the hearts of ambitious men and women with the promise of power, passion, and intrigue until it fell into the hands of unlikely thieves Robin and her boyfriend Creek. But can they steal their destiny away from the curse that pursues this magnificent ruby heart? As the stone begins to spread its sorcery, Robin races to find her long-lost mother in Italy in the hopes of discovering the truth about her unique gypsy heritage and the ruby heart that is rumored to steal souls. Yet when the desire for this stone by powerful members of her family threatens their very lives, Creek decides to take matters into his own hands to protect Robin, his greatest treasure of all . . .

STONE OF THIEVES is a sensual, stand-alone new adult novel and the sequel to ROBIN IN THE HOOD in the Robbin’ Hearts Series. Due to mature themes, readership is advised for ages 17+.

Diane J. Reed has a Ph.D. in English and a lifelong passion for books—both popular, forgotten & literary—as long as they touch her soul & make her want to tuck them under her pillow at night to remember them in her dreams. She writes novels that are infused with enchantment, where characters dare to break through boundaries and believe in true love. She also has a soft spot for artisans & outlaws of the heart, those who burn brightly to live each day as a gift—because it is! She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to visit Diane J. Reed's website at www.banditsranch.com or message her here to share the whispers of your spirit.


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  1. Thank you for your beautiful reviews & for featuring my books on your website! I'm working hard on the sequel, Sherwood's End, and hope to have it ready soon. Until then, happy reading! :D


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