(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
It’s been years since the car accident, but with every disappointment Evelyn finds herself wondering about her forgotten days in London. After being dismissed from her job, she unknowingly wanders past an old friend who reintroduces himself by breaking into her home. Armed with a photograph and a handful of gems, he convinces her that after dropping out of her study abroad program, she befriended a group of accomplished thieves. Drawn to the handsome stranger in her living room and seduced by the idea of finally knowing the truth, Evelyn travels to London to face her past and understand what could’ve caused her to make such uncharacteristic life choices.
As conflicting memories surface, Evelyn fights her attraction to the Irish rogue, Finn, while sparring with the intimidating group leader, Ari. There’s the added problem of forgetting where she’s stashed a small fortune. Realizing too late that darker forces are closing in on her, Evelyn fights to save herself and the lives of those she’s grown to care for.
I hate to admit it, but the only reason I even considered reading this book is that it was free on Amazon at the time. Normally something like this would scare me off because I’d think “Oh, just another action movie wannabe”. You could say that I’m a little judgmental with these things, but I still did go into Stolen Skye with an open mind. You never know, right? It might actually be good.
The truth is, it’s better than good. It’s great!
I know it sounds like Evelyn has Hollywood Amnesia and she sort of does, but at least Nina Loard justifies it as the rare fugue amnesia (where victims can get their past memories back and don’t lose the memory of how to do basic things like tie their shoes). The main reason why I didn’t throw this book at the wall despite the amnesia cliche is that it wasn’t actually a cliche in this book. Evelyn is significantly hindered by her lack of past memories and she knows it. Sometimes memories come back to her if she’s in a setting from that memory, but it’s not a great big rush just when the plot finds it convenient.
Evelyn was a great character, to be honest. She’s smart and determined when she has a goal, but at the same time she’s still a little unsure of herself. I know I would be too if I was in the place where I lost my memories with these people who knew my former self. The whole art theft ring wouldn’t help either. Ari and Finn are two very different men and no, it’s not a typical love triangle in this case. Evelyn naturally grows attracted to Finn, but then something happens to sort of spoil their relationship. I can’t say anything without giving away a major spoiler, but let’s just say that it both did and didn’t surprise me.
For a character-driven novel, Stolen Skye is quite fast-paced. Of course there’s Evelyn rediscovering her past, but then a lot of the plot consists of her re-training as a thief and helping to plan a theft at one of the most famous museums in the world. (This particular theft not being illegal as they were hired for a publicity stunt.) We also see Evelyn try to learn what led to her accident and subsequent amnesia. Trust me when I say that where there’s lots of money involved, there’s a lot of criminal activity and the people with said money become targets.
What really stood out for me in Nina Loard’s book were her vivid descriptions of the locations. I’ve never been to London (something I plan to remedy in the future) but through her writing I felt like I was right there along with Evelyn. Her descriptive style appeals to me and although it’s not typically what you’d see in an action thriller, it somehow works because she has a good sense of timing. Few authors can both describe the characters’ surroundings adequately and still have lots of action going on. It’s an important skill and Nina Loard certainly has it.
This was definitely one of the best books I’ve stumbled across, paid or free. I’m so glad that I gave it a chance and went into it with an open mind because I’ve found a great new series that I’m dying to read the next book of. So check out the Skye Trilogy, people! It’s hard not to love it!
I give this book 5/5 stars.