Double-Crossed

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

First let me say the description of this book is very, very deceiving.   It only describes 10%  of the story.  The remaining 90% is about the "MOB".  And the multitude of mob characters.  
I actually had to make a chart to keep track of all the characters.  The Moretti's, Diego, Sophia and Paulo, Sophia's cheating husband his father and their 2 ungrateful sons.  The Terzo family, Benito, Caterina and Lucan.  The Jaiton family, Remi, Mano and their father.  Casino Moracan manager, Robert Wallace, Alex Bell and Dean Jasper.  The lead characters,  hit man Reed, pal Oscar, Victim, Brinley, son Finn and mother Wilma.  Not to mention the detectives.  And the list goes on.
The majority of the story was about all of these families fighting against each other.  The only way they solved their problems was to kill the disloyal member.  Lots of killing.  I found it very difficult to follow who was talking and about who.  Too many characters to follow.  Basically read like a B movie.
The love story was ok but very small.  And a bit unbelievable.   We are supposed to believe the hit man Reed, is really a good gal because she basically only killed "bad" people and of course she had a very hard childhood. 
This is a very small storyline that took me way too long to read.  If you are into mob stories and do t mind charting the characters,  this book is for you.
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Excellent start to what I hope is a new series. We have a new setting, and new characters with all of Ali Vali's excellent story telling and well developed characters, with a tie in and guest appearances from old favourites, including my favourite of all the author's characters, Remi Jatibon. Highly recommended.
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Double Crossed is a crime thriller and the first book in the Vegas Nights series.  This is a great book with plenty of action set in “Sin City” Las Vegas.  

The two main characters are Reed Gable and Brinley Myers.  Reed is a thief and part time assassin for hire.  She was a product of a broken foster system and had a very rough childhood.  While part of the foster system, she met her best friend, Oscar, who becomes her partner in crime.  Reed grew up on the streets of Vegas and knows the ins and out of the casinos and the mobsters who are involved with the establishments.  She is considered to be top in her field and is hired to take on difficult jobs.  

Brinley Myers is raising her son alone.  Her ex-husband is in prison.  She comes to Las Vegas and accepts a job as an accountant at the Moroccan Casino.  Shortly after starting the job she realizes during an audit that the numbers in the books are incorrect.  Unfortunately for Brinley and a co-worker, a “contract” is issued on their lives.  

In this series readers will find that Ms. Vali has incorporated characters from the Cain Casey series.  Remi and Mano Jabiton play a fairly large part as supporting characters in this book.  It must be noted that readers do not have to read the Cain Casey series to enjoy Double Crossed.  However, if you haven’t read about Casey, you are missing the “mobster flavor” that Ms. Vali puts into these books.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to additional books in this series.  Of course, I recommend all books written by Ms. Vali.  I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I haven’t read a mystery this good in a long time. For me it was a nice change from the typical lesfic romances. This story revolves around two women who are polar opposites. Reed is an accomplished thief and hit woman and together with her partner Oscar they have amassed a vast fortune. The other main character, Brinkley is a sweet,  naïve accountant  who is also a single mother. She is new to Las Vegas.
The action takes place in casinos and involves  everything from money laundering, drugs, and contraband. There is also several mob families involved in all the action. So of course there are double crossing, blackmailing, and everyone wanting a bigger piece of the pie. In the mist of all this action we have Reed trying to fulfill a contract to kill an accountant but when she get Brinkley in her crosshair, she sees she has a young child with her. Reed cannot kill a child so she takes both mother and child and hides them out until she can figure what to do with them.  Brinkley plays it smart and does what is asked of her in order to keep both she and her son alive. Will she be able to be successful? Will Reed continue to have a heart and continue to protect Brinkley and her son? 
This is a quick read even though at times it got confusing between all of the mob families and all the actions going on between them.  The unexpected sweet story about the interaction between Reed and Brinkley is excellently written.
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While I liked this story and characters, it was bit convoluted. There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of players in this one so it can get a little confusing.
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Double-Crossed
(Vegas Nights #1)
by Ali Vali

ebook
Published September 1st 2019 by Bold Strokes Books


Goodreads synopsis:
Hit woman and thief Reed Gable works for the highest bidder, no matter where the job takes her. An orphan of circumstance, Reed knows the streets of Las Vegas better than anyone. Growing up rough has gotten her to the top of her profession, and she plans to stay there.

Accountant Brinley Myers, a recent hire at the Moroccan Casino, discovers a money laundering operation orchestrated by the New York mob and suddenly her life and the people in it become collateral damage.

Reed has Brinley in her sights and is ready to close the contract when she sees Brinley’s son in the car with her. Even hard-hearted Reed can’t kill a mother in front of her child. Before Reed can come up with a plan to finish the job, she’s double-crossed. It’ll take all her street smarts to keep herself, and her surprisingly beautiful mark, alive.

***

3 Stars

This is the first book in the Vegas Nights series by Ali Vali.

This book was pretty complex in reality. The whole money laundering storyline was top notch. It was the back and forth between the families as they put out hits on each other in retaliation which made this book sing. You can tell this book is female focuses since a lot of the important positions in it were filled by women instead of men. I could totally buy that scenario but what I found lacking was the whole lesbian romance.

This is marketed as a female-female romance but I didn’t really find that to be the case here. Yes, there was an eventual relationship between the two leads Reed Gable the hit woman and Brinley her mark. But this story was more about the whole Vegas casino life and mob connections than their eventual hookup. The relationship is sprinkled here and there throughout the book but nothing really grabbed me and pushed me through the book to see if they would remain together.

Reed is a thief who occasionally supplements her income by doing hits. She has a screwed up and complicated past. The fact that she doesn’t kill Brinley is fascinating but I never really bought the whole connection between the two. There was a scene of momentary release in the middle section but there wasn’t much build up to it so I felt it fell a bit flat.

I have read a lot of romance lately and wanted this to be just as good but I came away feeling blah. This book did the whole mob/casino/money laundering storyline much better. I feel like you could have left out the entire female-female romance and this book would have been just as good.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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Hit woman and thief Reed Gable works for the highest bidder, no matter where the job takes her. An orphan of circumstance, Reed knows the streets of Las Vegas better than anyone. Growing up rough has gotten her to the top of her profession, and she plans to stay there. 

Accountant Brinley Myers, a recent hire at the Moroccan Casino, discovers a money laundering operation orchestrated by the New York mob and suddenly her life, and those in it, become collateral damage. 

Reed has Brinley in her sights and is ready to close the contract when she sees Brinley's son in the car with her. Even hard-hearted Reed can’t kill a mother in front of her child. Before Reed can come up with a plan to finish the job, she’s double crossed. It’ll take all her street-smarts to keep both her, and her surprisingly beautiful mark, alive. 

This is a fantastic read from Ali Vali, providing a new twist on 'Godfather' genre. With sexy protagonists in Reed and Brinley, this is a must read for those that like their lesbians hot and their crime fiction authentically real. If you are a fan of Vali's Cain Casey series you will definitely like this book. In fact this is a much better read. The villains are more authentically drawn and the plot more twisty than the Casey series. Highly recommended if you prefer lesfic with a bid of substance than a straight (pardon the pun!) love story. Enjoy your read!
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2 Stars. This book was just okay, it dragged a lot. This book is about Reed Gable, a woman who works as a thief and assassin for the highest bidder in Las Vegas. When she is sent to kill Brinley Myers, an accountant for a casino, she cannot complete the task. Reed cannot kill a mother and decides to go against her employer and protect Brinley and find out why she was sent to kill her. They work together to try and take down the people trying to destroy her. 

I found this book a little confusing. There were a lot of names and people to keep straight related to the mob and the casino heads. There was a lot of information thrown at you and I did not always care to keep it straight. The romance between Reed and Brinley seemed a little forced and weird and I never really believed it at all. It seemed to happen all of a sudden towards the end of the book and did not seem to hit towards it at all. This book was not well written, in my opinion, and I could have done without reading it. At first, the mystery surrounding the casinos seemed interesting and fun to read, but then it just got convoluted and confusing. I would not recommend this book, skip it and read a better lesbian romance.
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Reed is a thief and sometimes hit woman in Las Vegas.

She finds herself staring at not just her target, Brinley, on day, but also Brinley's son Finn. And she can't kill them. Instead, she brings the mother and son to her own house and starts trying to figure out how to get Brinley back to her life.

At the same time one of her other hits is like a domino, and suddenly people are dying, the cops are involved, and even a big wig (mob wise) from New York appears. The question is, can Brinley, Finn, and Reed stay out of the worst of the fray.

I'd read one of the Cain Casey books (and plan to read the others), and this novel's feel was definitely a lot like that, even though the characters were definitely different. They were still written so that they 'bad guys' we were supposed to root for weren't totally horrible and had enough redeeming qualities that I didn't feel icky rooting for them.

There was one part that I had a very big problem with though. A private folder on a public computer in a library. Nope. No, No, Nope. We literally have software that prevents that, and not even genius sidekick Oscar (loved his character by the by) could change that, and another nope to breaking in at night to the library. I know of libraries that have motion sensors, definitely cameras, all sorts of security systems. I know that it's fiction, but, we librarians are very serious about the privacy of our patrons and making sure that no one's privacy is broken when they use the computer (or that the computers are used for not legal things).

It was a fun read, and it looks like it's the start of a series, which is the most exciting part I think.

I received this book via Netgalley thanks to Bold Strokes Books.
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Double Crossed by Ali Vali
Las Vegas Nights #1

Reed Gamble and her friend Oscar had a hard childhood. They have stayed together through it all and established a lucrative business taking things. Sometimes those things are the lives of people but usually take things instead of lives. One day Reed’s moral compass is tweaked and she makes a decision she then needs to deal with. What was that decision? Not to fulfill the contract to kill…

Brinley Myers….

Brinley is a single mother who has just moved from Louisiana to Las Vegas hoping to make more of her life while getting away from the biological father of her son. Landing in a plummy job that will provide well for her and Flynn she settles in and begins an audit for the casino she just started working for. Little did she know that the job, the audit or something else would put her in the cross hairs of…

Reed Gamble…

This was an intense action-packed story that might have some questioning what Reed and Brinley could possibly have in common or find to admire in one another. And yet, I could see how the two might gravitate to one another. Reed was a person true to her friends and evidently had hard boundaries she learned about in this story. 

This book had more than one mafia family, plenty of intrigue, a succession of murders and eventually a HEA for Brinley and Reed. I now wonder if Oscar or someone else will star in book two of the series. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

4 Stars
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This one took me a while to read, which surprised me a bit. It doesn't really focus a lot on thief and hitman for hire, Reed, and her mark, Brinley. Instead Vali works hard to set up the movers and shakers of the Vegas underground, before a ton of action actually goes down. Of course, Reed's actions on a job sets off a domino effect that has the Mob families in charge of Las Vegas reeling. We see what the heads of families are doing in reaction to the killing of a prominent mobster, and the scheming that goes along with it. It really does highlight that any innocent person can get caught in the cross hairs when someone messes up, but lucky for Brinley finds odd numbers at her new accounting job for a casino and is face to face with Reed, she is saved by Reed's unwillingness to get an innocent person involved.

There are some issues here, one being that Vali tries a little too hard to be gritty and dark and there are some weird way that manifests. There's a surprising amount of sex that doesn't involve the leads, and sometimes the sex does lead to some interesting deaths. There's also the focus on the mobsters, as opposed to Reed and Brinley. Reed does make it clear that Brinley may still be on borrowed time, but the tone of their scenes together doesn't suggest any type of urgency. It doesn't feel like Brinley and Reed are in much danger at all. It also loses the focus on the interesting character of Reed (because she does display some real awkwardness that you don't really see in a character like hers) and I wish we had more time with her.

Overall, though, there aren't too many lesfic books like Double-Crossed and it is refreshing to see an author like Vali continue to churn out books like these. Excellent crime thriller, recommended for those who like these types of books.
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Reed Gable is a thief and a hit woman but when her next contract would entail the death of a child, she just can’t do it. The next few days spent with the little boy and his mother lead her to rethink her life, a life she has chosen for no other reason than it allows her to survive. There’s a lot more happening (a war between Mob families, for instance, which is not surprising since the story is set in the Cain Casey universe) but you’ll need to read the book to find out. I can’t summarize without spoiling.

A few pages in, I was convinced it was time to admit that Ali Vali’s books are not for me. I’ve read a few and, apart from Carly’s Sound, I haven’t been able to relate to her universe. Her writing is good, she’s great at creating complex characters, it just doesn’t work for me.

Usually.

I realized mid-way that Reed was growing on me. There are still some things I didn’t entirely enjoy but I got rather invested in Reed’s story and how she would deal with Brinley and her child. I really liked Brinley’s relationship with her mother, Reed’s path to redemption (in a twisted but believable way), Brinley’s strength despite the tears… And who wouldn’t cry when faced with the situation she found herself in?

So I guess I’m not ready to give up on Vali’s books after all. I’m already looking forward to the next one in this new series.

I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
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Killing a cheating husband, you can agree with (in fiction), but the 19 year old, I found that hard to get past. This made it difficult to engage with one of the main characters of the book. I know it was integral to the plot development and the whole point of a contract killer is not being nice, but still it held be back from enjoying the story and the burgeoning romance. Likewise with the other character, starting an affair with a killer didn’t feel like a proper reaction to a death threat, especially after the other death. Having said that, it’s a good read and as always with this writer very well written. Lots of detail about how the crime families interact and the way Vegas operates, which is fascinating and gripping. Also I can never get enough of Remi Jatibon. So nice to revisit such a great previous player from the Cain Casey books. Looks like this may be a new series. I hope so as Ms Vali is one of my favourites and in general the whole falling for the mobster usually works well.
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As always, Ms. Vali has written another deep in characters book, with a great plot.  I will admit, at first I wasn't sure I was going to like one of the main characters, Reed.  The first few chapters you don't get a real warm fuzzy for her like you did in her past books with her 'bad boy' girls.  Reed comes off as much more hardened, and what seems like a cold hard killer, but leave it to Ms. Vali to have me cheering for Reed in the end.

Even though this book is not part of the Cain Casey series, it does bring in Remi, Dallas and Mano Jatibon but only as supporting characters to the plot.  The story takes place in Las Vegas, and the Gemini establishment is brought in (thus Remi and Mano) but the majority of the story line is tied to another casino and characters.

I did like the other main character, Brinley, she is basically in the wrong place at the wrong time.  and when Reed is hired to kill her, I really thought I was not going to finish the book.  But it all takes a twist, and once Reed and Brinley work together, this is where you start to see another side of Reed that you want to see come out ahead.

As I said in the beginning, the story has lots of characters to follow, all written well, and all the bad folks you want to see harm done to them :-).....that has the Cain Casey stories feel to it :-).  Definitely a good read to pick up this fall, I read it cover to cover in one sitting, and as always look forward to more from Ms. Vali.

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but would have written the same opinion if I had come across this author on my own.

To see my Amazon review, it is under CC-Ms. Vali did it again
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I love the Cain Casey universe and .I can't wait for the next book in this saga. Reed and Brinley are a fantastic couple and I can't WAIT to see how Reed's new job works out. Ali Vali is one of my favorite authors and no one writes mob stories better than she does.
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Ali Vali will always be in my top 3 favorite authors of all time. This new work only cements her place more securely. It was very exciting to meet new characters in this book while catching up with some old friends ( I've reread the Cain Casey series so many times I feel like I know them for real). I loved Reed and Brinley. I imagine that Finn will be a more fleshed out character as he ages, assuming we'll be seeing more from Ms. Vali with these characters in a series. As always, this book is written in her almost lyrical style and it works perfectly. The storyline is interesting, dramatic and well fleshed out. There are a lot of new characters with intersecting plotlines, but I'm hopeful that's the author laying the ground work for gobs more books with these two. Also, I LOVE the chess analogy near the end of the book. So graphically descriptive you can visualize it. Well done all around!
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Reed is a Hitwoman and Thief.  She will except any job as long as the price is right.  Brinley is an Accountant.  She moves and gets a new job that puts her life in danger through no fault of her own

This is a new series from this author.  I loved her Cain Casey series and this one is up there with them.  I was hooked on this book from start to finish.  Some of her characters from previous books made an appearance which I loved.  I loved the story line, loved the characters (Reed being my favourite from the main characters), pace just about right.  There was a little romance which was slow burn which I also liked.

If you are a fan of crime then I would recommend this book.
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Bad girl falls for damsel and her toddler in distress, with lots of violence and heavy action. I am a Cain Casey fan and this series is definitely in line to be just as enthralling with a large cast of characters and some character carryover. Brinley Myers, a strong women and protective parent. I like how she evolved as the story unfolded. Reed Gable, hit women and thief. She does what she needs to do to survive. But is it the only way. The bad girl with an unsettling childhood presented in such a way that it is difficult to not cheer for her. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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Just so you know from the beginning, I am an extreme Ali Vali fan. I have loved every single book I have read of hers, and I especially love the ‘Cain Casey’ and ‘Sept Savoie’ series, so when I heard that she was starting a new series based in Las Vegas, I was over-the-moon happy. After reading Double Crossed, I am still just as happy, if not more so.

For all of us die-hard Ali Vali/Cain Casey fans, this is the beginning of a great new series. We meet Reed Gable, a woman with a horrid past. She was put in the foster care and group home system at the age of five, where she quickly learned that she could count on no one but herself. As an adult Reed became a hit woman, stealing and killing for those who hire her. She relies heavily on her sidekick and back-up, Oscar, her only friend from her childhood. She kills without mercy until the day she finally reaches the one line she will not cross. That’s the day she meets Brinley Myers, the woman she has been contracted to kill. When she sees that Brinley is the mother of a young son (who is with her at the time of their first contact), she balks, but Brinley has already seen her and realizes what she is there for. But Reed’s past might be Brinley’s only chance for a future. Thus begins a complex and compelling tale that had me on the edge from the first page to the last.

This is also the story of mobsters, several family groups loosely connected to a major New York mob, with each family group trying to capture as much Vegas territory as they can. We also get to see the Jatibon family (from the ‘Cain Casey’ series) again since they are in Vegas with their own business. Though they are secondary characters in this book, it looks like we may see more of them in this series. I hope so, anyway.

There is violence in this book, and lots of killing, but there is also romance, love, and the beginning of a great new reading adventure. I can’t wait to read more of this intriguing story.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.
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An honest review thanks to NetGalley.  This was a great read by Vali, I loved Reed and it was amazing being able to walk into her life.  I would recommend reading the Cain Casey series before this one as there are a lot of characters in the previous book.  The only issue I had, which I have in a lot of Vali's books is that there was a lot of pages of dialogue with the mob characters.   I found myself skipping through these pages to get back to Reed's story.  If there was more of Reed I would have rated this book much higher.
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