Ellaine Greene has simple desires. She just wants to do her best as the event coordinator for the local aquarium, to support environmental conservation efforts, and to keep immature man-children out of her life.
So when a major donor to the aquarium demands Ellaine find a magician for her granddaughter's birthday party, all she can imagine is a long line of card chuckers and coin flippers wearing cheesy sequined vests.
Instead, she gets Xander Hollatz, a sophisticated, powerful man in a crisp suit, with nimble fingers and a warm smile.
He's the man for the job, no doubt. And, to her surprise, she realizes he might be the man for her, too. Will she let her doubts get in the way of their feelings for each other?
And when everything goes wrong at the birthday party, will he be able to perform a miracle to save the day?
Sleight of Hand #1: Private Performance is a 17,000-word novella, introducing readers to Ellaine and Xander's passionate and tender romance, to the fascinating wildlife inhabiting the aquarium, and to the mysterious world of professional magicians.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mega hot magician? Well, that’s a nice change of pace for a contemporary romance! Ellaine finds herself in a positon to greatly benefit her life’s work at an aquarium, if she can make a large donor very happy. Namely, find a magician to perform at the donor’s granddaughter’s birthday party. Ellaine has no clue where to start, and is imagining old men pulling rabbits out of hats. What she doesn’t expect is Xander Hollatz. A talented and world-renowned performer, she has no clue why he’s interested in performing for her. She also doesn’t expect the chemistry between them, and the fact that after meeting, she can’t get him out of her mind. Is it possible that Xander is interested in more than his performance? Well, well, well…hellllooooooo Xander. My goodness. Not only is he hot and talented, but smart too. I thought it was very cool to see behind the scenes of the world of magic a bit. And with Xander as the tour guide, I’ve no complaints. Rawr. I also really liked the chemistry between Ellaine and Xander. For me, this is a must for any romance I am going to enjoy. I want the butterflies of the initial attraction just as much as the characters do! This is my first book by this author and I have to say, even though it’s a short story, I was pleased. I thought it was a well-told and interesting book with characters that were relatable and fun. I can’t wait to see where the story takes us in the next book, which is over 200 pages. Bring it! 4 stars. Reviewed by Sara Squared for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy Provided for review*
3.5 Hot Stars! Private Performance and Repeat Performance should be read in order and actually read like one seamless book, so I am going to review them both as if they were one book. Private Performance is a 60 page short story/novella and Repeat Performance is a more of a full novel length at 269 pages long, so reading them back to back seamlessly makes the most sense (in my crazy mind). This was my first time reading Reese Galloway and I really liked her imagination, creative take on telling a story and her writing style. I will definitely be picking up another book of hers in the future. The Sleight of Hand series is different from anything I have read and I really enjoyed the journey this book took me on with the magic. Xander, our hero, is a magician and the reader gets to get up close and personal with how Xander works and get a sneak peak at some of his tricks while he is teaching Ellaine. I really enjoyed the magic in this book, it wasn't cheesy, it was fascinating. Private Performance introduces us to Ellaine and Xander and we get a taste of their personalities, their lives and the intense chemistry between these characters. Repeat Performance seamlessly takes the story that was started in Private Performance and takes off on a ride that had a few unexpected elements. I enjoyed this book. I liked the look behind the scenes at Ellaine's job at the Aquarium and I really liked the look inside Xander's world as a former famous magician. Reese Galloway did a great job laying out this story and giving the reader tension, temptation and great characters. Where this book lost me a bit was in all the side characters and secondary plots. The tangents seemed to over take the story at times (like the whole deal with the volunteer, the street magician and the old mentor guy) and left me feeling like I need more time with just Xander and Ellaine which I didn't really get towards the end. Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Xander alone made this story worth reading, he is a fantastic book boyfriend to add to your list! If you are wanting to read something different from the ordinary and dip your toes into falling in love with a magician (this isn't a fantasy, it is his job) then Private Performance and Repeat Performance would be a great fit for you. Reese Galloway is an Author I will be looking out for in the future, I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
Have you ever wished before starting a new author or series that if only you could have a sneak peek, or a taste test, you might decide to give them a try? I know I have. My free time and my funds are both valuable enough that I don't want to waste them on something that just doesn't suit me. The beauty of what Reese Galloway has done with the start of this series is to give us just that... A sneaky little taste of the goodness that is sure to follow in this new series. The first book is a novella, basically the meet-cute for the couple. We get the front row seat as Ellaine, the event coordinator for an aquarium, meets the mysterious Xander, magician extraordinaire. For some reason, in my head, I had magician synonymous with dominating alpha like personality, aka Mr. Macho. But he wasn't that. Confident? Yes. Jerk? No. He showed a more sensitive side that was a nice compliment to Ellaine's hesitance. There is an extremely sexy scene near the end of this story and it was interesting knowing a man had written it through Ellaine's POV. We get to know Ellaine fairly well, while Xander remains, largely, a man of mystery. I look forward to learning more about him in the coming books. By reading, (and enjoying) this first novella, I feel rather confident in continuing the series, certain I will enjoy it. If the blurb interests you, I encourage you to grab this first book and give it your own taste test. You might just find a new author to enjoy. My taste test rating? 3 stars.