Drop of Doubt (The Academy #5) by C.L.Stone

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Regina | 4 Comments

Drop of Doubt (The Academy #5) by C.L.StoneDrop of Doubt by C.L. Stone
Series: The Academy #5
Published by Arcato Publishing on January 22, 2014
Pages: 568
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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Sang Sorenson and the Academy boys return to Ashley Waters High School but before they get a chance to even settle in, Sang' s life is threatened by an anonymous caller.

They retreat to the protective walls of the Morgan estate, a safe house for when the boys are under fire. But when new threats can break through those barriers that once kept them secure, it leaves Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North rushing to figure out who is hunting them.

But when you' re fighting a ghost who seems to know all your secrets, retreating is no longer an option.

The Academy, Deceptively Strategic

Hair washing; it’s the new sex.

There’s a shift in tone to Drop of Doubt. The first hundred pages had me nostalgic for the prior four books in this series, but nostalgia was quickly replaced with a strong desire to consume this installment down to the last drop. No doubt about it.

Sang really comes into herself in this novel and acknowledges that she is more than her mother’s daughter. Sang is becoming a pro at discovering her strengths and developing them every chance she gets. Dr. Green, Mr. Blackbourne and the rest of our sexy dog group are noticing this tide in Sang’s demeanor. While some of our studs are open to utilizing what Sang has to offer and letting her play a bigger part in the Academy, others vehemently object to it. But nobody puts Sang in a corner. Sang plays a starring role in the dangerous Academy business that takes place in DoD, and she stays one step ahead of the Academy boys throughout a diabolical game of cat and mouse.

C.L. introduces our most curious villain yet in DoD; Volto. This white masked vigilante adds an ingenious layer to The Academy series and gave me the impression that C.L. has just been warming up with the previous four books. She crafts chic-flick like moments interspersed with action-thriller scenes of the highest caliber that truly give this book a cinematic scope.

Volto
Volto

While this addition to the series is not as heavy on the one-on-one time with each guy that we have been spoiled with in the other books, the intimate moments Sang shares with a few of our Academy studs makes up for it. Silas made my belly button blush in this book, and Victor takes a turn at washing Sang’s hair. This act has become a viable replacement for sex. Seriously. This intimate transaction blazes with pent up passion.

Victor and Sang’s connection in this novel is deep. Some girls will be Team Victor all the way after reading DoD, but despite C.L.’s best attempts to make me fall for Victor (aka fire eyes), my heart still burns true for Nathan. Nathan fans might feel a little left out in Academy #5, but will hopefully be appeased with the moments Sang shares with Luke. Luke was the unlikely star for me in this book, and I found myself pining for him as much as I do for Nathan.

I let out a loud sigh and pushed my hand against his chest. “Luke, you’re…”

“Handsome? Devilishly clever?”

I couldn’t find the word I wanted, so I opted for poking at his chest and started walking off.

“Sang?”

I stopped, turning to find Luke right behind me. […] His palm caught my face before I could pull away. His fingers threaded through my hair. Then he released one hand and picked up mine, dropping it on my mouth.

And he kissed my fingertips. […]

He backed his head away, his half-closed eyes met mine. “I need to take you home, and if I kiss you now, I’ll end up keeping you here.”

I’m working on a third possible cast for The Academy. Here’s a teaser:

Luke A#5.1Luke A#5.2

 

Drop of Doubt raised the bar for this series. C.L. Stone has mastered a delicate balance of action-mystery-thriller with titillating yet sentimental romance. Academy fans are in for a sexy and suspenseful turn of events in book five. It’s a pulse-pounding thrill ride that blends Pretty Little Liars style intrigue with intense action sequences paused with seductive encounters.  C.L. indirectly answers a question that I’ve had about someone in this series and I’m curious to know what you thought about it. Please share your thoughts and comments below. I promise not to bite… unless it’s a Full Moon.

You can find my reviews of the previous books in this series here. And hop over to Meredith and Jennifer’s Musings to check out their thoughts on Drop of Doubt. You can check out my short and sweet interview with C.L.Stone about her writing process here.

 

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Classical music nerd by day, freelance writer and blogger by night. When I review books, I don't dish out and rehash every character and detail. What's the point of reading a book if you give most of the deets away in a review??? My reviews are more about my impressions and over all experience with the book. I am also a world-renowned armchair psychologist, and love to psychoanalyze authors.
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