Kayli Winchester is still recovering from her last adventure and is out hunting for her missing brother, Wil, when Ethan Murdock calls, asking for help. Billions of dollars have gone missing and Kayli is the perfect person to find them – as one of the few people Ethan trusts.
Only one problem: The team is led by Blake Coaltar.
Kayli negotiates her way into a co-lead position, but for the Academy guys, that might not be good enough. The Academy doesn’t trust Blake and the last thing they want is for her to get mixed up with him.
The guys can’t persuade the willful Kayli to abandon the cause. They give her five days to convince them they should stay in this job. If she can’t, the boys want her to walk away.
Kayli goes undercover and becomes the hot topic around some of the most wealthy and powerful CEOs in Charleston. Now she has to prove she’s a secret investor for old Mr. Murdock from before he disappeared, and convince them all she’s the real deal. She dives into her assignment head-first, but one uncovered complication after another threatens the mission.
No matter how close to the chest Kayli plays her hand, secrets have a way of being discovered, and Axel, Corey, Brandon, Marc and Raven aren’t going to like the truth she’s keeping from them. Being forced to work together for a week with an enemy may tear them all apart, leaving Kayli with nothing.
It might be up to Blake Coaltar to save them from each other. (Goodreads)
I would like to thank C. L. Stone for sending me an ARC copy of this book – it was a nice surprise in my inbox!!
For anyone who knows me, follows my blog/reading habits etc. knows that I am a huge fan of C. L. Stone and all books to do with The Academy – whether that be the Ghost Bird series or the Scarab Beetle series. She publishes, I read. It is that simple. so receiving this book was a bit like christmas come early for me.
I think my favourite thing about this book was the fact that Stone used all of the same characters from the previous book and expanded using the events also from the previous books. Sure, there were new characters, but there weren’t as many as before – therefore we are not left confused as to who is who. We also visit characters met in the other Academy series, aka, Sang’s group of misfits and a couple of men from another team who gives advice to the guys on having a multiple relationship with Sang/Kayli (depending on which team you are looking at).
Kayli’s development in character was also pretty interesting to watch. She has gone from being someone who followed the boys into whatever trouble they got themselves in, to becoming the leader of their next mission. This forces the boys to place their trust in her, just like she was, and in some ways still is, forced to place her trust in them. She is put into a decision making role, which makes her appreciate people like Axel more. I liked the fact that the boys followed her lead, even if they weren’t exactly comfortable or on the same page with the decisions she was making. It reinforces the idea of family first and trust.
What I didn’t quite understand is, when someone chucks you off of a boat, why would you want to get back onto said boat? Pretty sure most people would chuck in the towel and say “hell no!” I was happy that she stuck by Blake throughout the book, even if the boys didn’t want her too and even when he seemed to be being targeted the most. I feel like their relationship deepened the most and the reader can actually see the feelings that they have for each other, whereas before, it didn’t seem all that realistic – it was more like flirty fun.
I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the next instalment! I gave this book 5/5 stars!