Friday, July 31, 2015

REVIEW/RELEASE BLITZ: The Con by Justine Elvira

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Jagger had three rules for every con:
1. Don't back out
2. Don't forget the story
3. Don't fuck it up
I broke them all.
I first met Jagger when I was just nine years old. He was an older boy who gave me twenty dollars to buy a new pair of ballet shoes after I dropped mine in the mud. That's when I fell in love with him.
And love would be my downfall.
I would run into Jagger over the years and I'd watch him as he'd hustle strangers out of their money with his latest scam. He lied, he cheated, and he took advantage of anyone he could. Most importantly, he never got caught.
Well, until he needed me to help him pull off his biggest con to date.
I thought I could do it. He told me it was easy to make money through deception, and I believed him because he had a lot of it.
But I should have known that nothing is guaranteed.
My name is Ronnie and now we're on the run.
*Recommended for 17+ due to subject matter and sexual content.

~Book Review~
4.5 Stars

Growing up in broken homes in a poor trailer park doesn’t offer a lot of a future for the kids that inhabit The Evergreen Subdivision.  For Jagger, it means from an early age a life of schemes, crimes, and cons. For Ronnie, it means dancing must be an escape.  But from the time she lays eyes on Jagger, fate might just choose their paths.

While the synopsis hooked me (I fancy ‘love on the run’ stories), the background really touched me. And so what you get with The Con is not just a hot sexy times on the run adventure—although you do get that! But you also get this sweet, intriguing tale of young love, sometimes bittersweet, but also real and touching.

The reader is first introduced to Jagger and Ronnie through a collection of pivotal moments in their adolescent and teen years as Ronnie negotiates growing up in a dead-end community, devoid of parental guidance with scare opportunities.  Jagger is instantly her hero, but he’s more of a rough around the edges, not always upstanding white knight.

Once the background story has thoroughly sucked you into these two characters and the pull they feel between each other, the circumstances are set up for ‘the con’ or perhaps, the con gone wrong.

Heartbreak, love, and fate are strong themes of the story.  The author does an amazing job establishing the sometimes desolate feel of Ronnie’s socio-economic hardships growing up as well as the psychological influence it’s had on Jagger’s self-identity.
“‛While you were worried about the Lola's of this world, I was worried that those kinds of women were all that was meant for me. I never thought in my wildest dreams I could have you.’"
You can’t help but root for them to get together and find some kind of “success,” a life beyond the only opportunity-limited world they’ve ever known.
“‛You're mine and I keep what's mine safe."
“No two words have ever been truer. I've been his since I was nine years old. It only took him eleven years to realize it, too.”
Yeah well, that’s a man for you. Jagger is quite the sexy bad boy. While there are hints at his non-committal womanizing way, it’s thankfully never shown in detail and when the situation gets sticky, it puts him on a steamy path with one woman, making Jagger a pretty sweet book boyfriend sure to make some ovaries weep. 
“‛Your body is beautiful, twinkle toes. After what we shared last night you shouldn't have to hide it from me.’"
Risk, trust, and loyalty also play a role in the story and the plot. And danger lurks just around the corner. 
“I'm okay if death comes tomorrow, as long as he continues to give me this perfect bliss tonight.”
The majority of the book, with the exception of a small section, is told by Ronnie’s first person POV. I did crave more of Jagger’s POV. It would have been nice to get inside his head a little more.  But, all in all, it’s a page-turner; full of emotion without angst, steamy encounters and an unpredictable suspense adventure plot in the second half. 

Jagger leans in close to me and I stop breathing as I focus on the way his body moves. I watch his lips as he takes in staggered breaths.
"Have you ever been kissed, twinkle toes?"
I let out a shaky breath. "No."
Jagger's palms graze my bare knees before placing his hands on each side of the bed so my thighs are trapped between them.
He leans in closer. "Do you want that to change? Do you want me to kiss you?"
I can't speak. I can barely move, as the very thing I've dreamt about these past three years is finally about to come true. Jagger is asking me if I want him to kiss me. Somehow in my state of shock, as my blood begins to boil from anticipation and his lips proximity to mine, I'm able to nod my head yes.
He hovers above me as I look up into his eyes. His lips are just inches from mine. A million thoughts are racing through my head and I can’t seem to think straight. I want to remember every second of what's about to happen, but instead, just as his lips are about to brush against mine, I whisper, "Why did Ky call you Ace?"
He grins down at me, his gaze flickering to my lips before he looks back up into my green eyes. "Because I'm good at everything."
I don't have time to process his answer. My eyes flutter closed as his lips connect with mine. I don't move and my lips stay firmly closed as he kisses me. I feel hot... everywhere. My face is flushed, my lips are tingling and I don't want this kiss to end.
Jagger pulls away slightly. One of his hands comes up to my face and he places a finger on my lower lip. "Loosen up, twinkle toes. Part your lips and just go with it. I want to see what you taste like."
His finger slides away from my mouth and then his lips meet mine again. This time we move together, our lips fitting perfectly with each other. His kiss is soft and I feel his tongue graze my bottom lip before tracing my top lip. I open my mouth allowing his tongue to tangle with mine, and it's everything I imagined it would be.
He doesn't take it any further. The only parts of our bodies that touch are our mouths and when the kiss is over I know I'll never be the same.
Jagger's sparked something inside me that can only be tamed by him.
It was the best first kiss in the history of all first kisses and I know I'm going to crave more.

~Author Info~
I guess this is the section where you want to know more about me. Hmmm…

I am a book lover. I love to write them and I love to read them. I began publishing my own stories several years ago under many different pen names. In the spring of 2013 I published my first story under Justine Elvira. Writing is my form of therapy. I love to take the stories in my head and write them down on paper.

I'm spontaneous and took a chance on me, leaving an incredibly secure and prosperous job to write full-time…

... and I've loved every minute of my life since.


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