Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody | Casinos, Gangs, & So Much Tension

Going into this book, I literally knew nothing other than that it was a fantasy set in a city loosely based on Las Vegas. Casinos, debauchery, gangs… New Reynes isn’t called the City of Sin for no reason. I’ll admit that I expected to enjoy this book. I wasn’t expecting that I would LOVE it 😍

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody
(The Shadow Game #1)
Hardcover | 411 pages | Purchased

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets… and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school – and her reputation – behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, Enne has only one lead: the name Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected – he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unravelling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

Enne herself is a great character. She’s tiny and doll-like with a personality to match, but a few days in New Reynes has her shrugging off that persona and she becomes a fiery little thing. Though Enne always believed she wanted nothing more than to make her debut as a dancer, the City of Sin reveals several truths she can’t ignore. What is her talent really? Who were her biological parents? I thoroughly enjoyed Enne’s journey of self-discovery. She was just such a fun character 🤭

And then there’s Levi. I don’t know what it is about this guy but he’s absolutely fantastic. Despite the fact that he’s up to his neck in an investment scam that seems to be going south, he still manages to find time to help Enne. Admittedly, the promise of a couple thousand volts was what drew him in initially, but a few days with Enne and he wants to help her, payment or not. Con man or not, Levi Glaisyer is just a good guy. Kind of 😂

Though Enne and Levi couldn’t be more different, they strike up an unlikely friendship after Enne begins working for Levi’s boss, Vianca. Despite this book being set over the course of only 10 days, their relationship still feels like a beautiful slow burn and I was screaming for them to JUST KISS ALREADY. I absolutely loved everything about their relationship and could only hope that the sequel gave me what I needed.

Despite the fact that they mean certain death, the Shadow Cards – and the Shadow Game in general – were so intriguing. If you receive an invitation, you’d better say your goodbyes because nobody survives the Shadow Game. Unfortunately, Levi has gotten on the bad side of the wrong person and now his days are numbered. The stakes are high and I was SO desperate for Levi to succeed, despite being highly curious about the game itself 😬

Everything about this book felt so tense, but the last quarter really had me on the edge of my seat. A lot happened at the end of this book and all I can say is that I am SUPER glad I ordered a copy of the sequel so I could immediately dive right in! This book surprised me in all the right ways, that’s for sure.

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The cover is so nice.