Book Reviews

The Mastermind (Long Con Adventures 1) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Barb on 04-June-2021

Book Blurb

Once upon a time in Rome, Felix Salinger got caught picking his first pocket and Danny Mitchell saved his bacon. The two of them were inseparable… until they weren’t.


Twenty years after that first meeting, Danny returns to Chicago, the city he shared with Felix and their perfect, secret family, to save him again. Felix’s news network—the business that broke them apart—is under fire from an unscrupulous employee pointing the finger at Felix. An official investigation could topple their house of cards. The only way to prove Felix is innocent is to pull off their biggest con yet.


But though Felix still has the gift of grift, his reunion with Danny is bittersweet. Their ten-year separation left holes in their hearts that no amount of stolen property can fill. A green crew of young thieves looks to them for guidance as they negotiate old jewels and new threats to pull off the perfect heist—but the hardest job is proving that love is the only thing of value they’ve ever had.


Book Review

Amy Lane is among the best at complex character development, and she absolutely rocks at giving voice to deep emotion, pain, and then recovery from broken relationships better than anyone, in my opinion. This story is a prime example of a highly complicated long con complete with a family of the heart, a reunion of two souls destined to be together forever, and Revenge with a capital R. Oh yes, Ms. Lane knows how to plan and carry out Revenge.


In this first book of what promises to be an amazing series, readers meet the main couple, their family members, and their “gang”—a group of young men and women who are so good at what they do that they can do it outside the law and get away with it. But here’s the catch—they are doing it for someone’s benefit, i.e., for something good—somewhat like a modern-day Robin Hood gang. And because there’s not enough page space to go into a description of every secondary character, I’ll just say that each one is memorable in his or her own way. We get to know them and enjoy their quirky personalities while focusing on the main crux of the story.


Felix and Danny are now middle-aged men who met on the streets of Rome many years before when Felix was running from a man he’d just robbed. Danny, an experienced street rat at that time, saved him and that began their early adventures: running cons, stealing precious art, and picking a few pockets for change. When they hear of a young woman who desperately needs to get away from her wealthy, domineering, and abusive father, they plan her rescue in their first long con. That was twenty years ago and they were inseparable for the first ten as Felix and his new wife (the girl) and Danny all stayed together to help raise her child. But circumstances led to a blowup ten years ago, and Danny left, never to speak to them again. Until now.


Because now, Felix is in trouble, and Danny will do anything to help him, including becoming involved in his life again. Felix’s wife is his best friend and loves Danny equally. In fact, she looks on both of them as her saviors and she wants nothing more than for the men to get back together. This story is highly complex and interesting but underlying all the drama and danger is this couple’s reunion. These men are meant to be together and when they do finally meet behind closed doors, well… it’s Amy Lane so it’s hot, hotter, hottest.


There are heartache and heartbreak and heartwarming moments galore in this story. And there’s a long complex con that’s ingenious in its execution. A very satisfying ending completes ‘The Mastermind’ and gives us a very hopeful start to a new series that I, for one, can’t wait to read. 





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 243 pages/85564 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-April-2021
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Buy Link