Review: Trick Roller (Seven of Spades #2) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

It’s the height of summer in Las Vegas. Everyone believes the serial killer Seven of Spades is dead—except Levi Abrams and Dominic Russo—and it’s back to business as usual. For Levi, that means investigating a suspicious overdose at the Mirage that looks like the work of a high-class call girl, while Dominic pursues a tough internship with a local private investigator. The one bright spot for both of them is their blossoming relationship.

But things aren’t so simple. Soon Levi is sucked into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, even as his obsession with the Seven of Spades intensifies. Dominic knows that Levi isn’t crazy. He knows the Seven of Spades is still out there, and he’ll do anything to prove it. But Dominic has his own demons to battle, and he may be fighting a losing war.

One thing is certain: the Seven of Spades holds all the cards. It won’t be long before they show their hand.

Vague and slightly squirrely review coming right up!

I'm an unabashed Star Wars fan. Every time they rereleased the original trilogy I bought it. I wouldn't even venture to guess how many times I've seen them. I love them all but I love The Empire Strikes Back just a liiiiiitttttlllleee bit more, though it took me YEARS to figure this out. With its great space adventures and Yoda, revelations and the relationship development between Han and Leia, how could it not be? Plus, it has the most epicest of epic movie lines of all time:

Bet you thought I was going to say:

Close but no, I am a sap and apparently have been for a long time. I've built my bridge and made peace with this.

Trick Roller has those same qualities. Like many romance readers I like to see relationships develop. I'm voyeuristic that way. Trick Roller gave those little bird's-eye view bubbles where we get a front row seat to the intimacy building between Dom and Levi. So many moments where I felt like I was on the journey with them and as a reader, that's where the magic is. Those tiny details that so often get overlooked in other narratives were showcased here.

Almost immediately there is a beautiful, perfect, quiet moment after Levi and Dom have spent the night together for the first time where Levi is getting ready to leave for work. He's admiring Dom who's still asleep-his square jaw, his broken nose, his size- and he can't help touching him. Dom kisses his fingertips before drifting back off. In that moment I knew right along with Levi that they're becoming something more. Another one happened after Dom's had a rough night and is on the razor's edge of backsliding and the only person he even considers reaching out to is Levi. Levi sticks with him through the next day and intuitively knows how to shake him out of his funk. That sparring scene was gold. Pure gold.

Couples who yin-yang well, who bring out the best in each other is one of my favorite things. Dom and Levi are opposites in many ways and the way that those differences compliment one another was a joy to read. There is an honesty in the way this relationship is developing that's very relatable in that they're both letting their dating guards down, letting the other truly see them which is the mark not only of growing trust but a healthy relationship.

Of course there's some finding religion inducing, crazy hot sex-dirty talk, biting, making excellent usage of their size difference in creative ways. Of course there is a level of desire between them that's unspeakable. This is CK we're talking about here and she deserves a medal or something for the second sex scene 🙌 but the intimacy that's building between them through those moments when they get lost in the other... yeah. That's what I live for when reading romance. By the end of Trick Roller they have become a 'we'. They are a unit, reliant upon the other, though they've not uttered the big L word yet and I'm certain there will be more obstacles for them to overcome, I feel that they are meant to be.

The thriller aspects were more subdued and less heart attack inducing since the Seven of Spades is supposedly dead, but there are subtle clues that will likely have greater meaning as the series progresses, so it's by no means a throwaway book. Even though it's early in the series I'm going to go out on a limb and say I believe this one has the potential to be my Empire Strikes Back complete with the OMG-no way can I live through the wait cliffhanger, but I'll get back to you.

Trick Roller is not a standalone; it is book 2 in a 5 part series and I wouldn't recommend trying to read them out of order.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley.

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