May 19

Fallen Jester by Devney Perry Review


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Leo Winter loves his life. He works when he needs money. He rides when he craves freedom. He frequents the local bar when he wants a good time. The Tin Gypsies might be a memory, but the bachelor life he lived with his motorcycle club still suits him fine. So when a one-night stand surprises him at a family barbecue and claims she’s pregnant with his child, he’s certain he’s died and gone to hell.

Cassandra Cline took one night off from her structured life. One. And now her wild fling with the local bad boy has turned her life sideways. Her dreams and academic career are circling the drain, and none of it would have happened if she’d stayed far, far away from Leo.

Except avoiding him is impossible, especially when she’s forced to move home to Clifton Forge, Montana. And he refuses to leave her side when a series of strange accidents put her and their baby at risk. But are they accidents? Or is she standing in the middle of a battlefield she doesn’t understand?

Her only allies are people she barely knows. And a man who has the potential to steal her heart. If only he’d stop playing the fool.

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I am positively enchanted with the Tin Gypsy series from Devney Perry. With each new book, these characters and their stories draw me further into their world. Perry works her magic in these stories by blending a heart-pounding suspenseful arc with a challenging, complicated and heart-racing romance and intriguing characters. Each book in this series has been unputdownably addictive! Having finished Fallen Jester, the fifth book in the series, I barely got the chance to enjoy my fix before I found myself in the familiar territory of anticipating the release of the next book.

Leo Winters, the notorious playboy of Clifton Forge, is gorgeous and charming, and while he’s definitely done his part to live up to that reputation, it’s getting a bit stale. The real-life embodiment of the bad boy all the women want to tame, there is so much more simmering beneath his impossibly sexy façade. Cassandra Cline is a hard-working, driven college student. She’s got goals to achieve and a future planned and, so far, she hasn’t let anything derail her pursuit of them. That is until she takes a night off and fate puts a fantasy in her path. Unfortunately fate seems to enjoy putting Cassandra in the wrong place at the wrong time, as shortly thereafter she finds herself in the middle of a nightmare. As if all of that weren’t enough, she survives that nightmare only to learn that one night with Leo left her with a whole lot more than just some great memories.

Cassandra unnerves Leo with not only this news, but also with her ability to see beneath his surface. She puts a voice to his confusing and jumbled thoughts and feelings. She’s strong and brave and willing to go it alone, but she’s also patient with Leo as he absorbs this information and attempts to process it. He stumbles, and she gives him every chance to regain his footing. But once again fate steps in with a series of accidents that at first glance appear to be innocent. But as these accidents start stacking up, their intensity and frequency ramp up, and these innocent incidents suddenly look a bit more insidious.

Fallen Jester is the story of a two support characters from Stone Princess, and while mention is made of the events that unfolded in that book, for the most part this book takes place afterwards. It was still an incredibly suspenseful storyline that had me tapping my Kindle furiously. One of the things I love most about Devney Perry’s writing is that she fully develops her characters, giving her readers the chance to really get to know them. Pairing Cassandra, an insightful and understanding young woman, with Leo, a man who needed someone with precisely those qualities, gave this romance a bit of an opposites-attract vibe that was particularly rewarding. Leo wants what Cassandra is offering, he wants his own family, but he fumbles as he tries to take hold of it. Each time he did, I held my breath wondering if this would be when Cassandra’s patience snapped. I kind of loved this about her, though. Sometimes a character who is so patient, who endures the way Cass did, can come off a bit doormatish, but she most definitely was not. She was firm and strong in her convictions while giving Leo the chance to figure it out. It was a spectacular reading experience watching this dynamic play out.

Leo and Cassandra’s love story was a captivating mix of magnetic attraction, heart-tugging emotion and death-defying disasters. Their story was hair-raising at times and heartbreaking at others, but Perry still infused plenty of hope into their happily ever after. This steamy yet tender romance with its riveting suspense plot commanded all of my attention, and I struggled between flipping the pages fast enough and forcing myself to slow down and savor this story. Five smooches from me for Fallen Jester by Devney Perry!

~Danielle Palumbo




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