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Playing with Fire

(Criminal Elements #1)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The rules are simple: Get in. Get out. Get paid.

Loner Renee Devereaux is a thief with a lot to hide, and trust is a risk she rarely takes. Stone Anders is a mercenary and hitman, but being a hired killer isn’t fitting like it used to. But while they are criminals, they are anything but common. Renee and Stone are Talents, and their supernatural powers give them an edge i
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published August 31st 2016
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Average rating 4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  32 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I received an advanced copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this book. Paranormal mystery is not usually a genre that I read, but I am glad that I did. It took a chapter or two for me to get into it, but once was I into it, I was hooked.

It starts with a simple job that brings together the two main characters, Renee and Stone, for the first time. Of course, the job is not so simple and it goes wrong, which sets up the rest of the story. Renee an
Oct 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn't get into this book. I really wanted to, but I felt like there wasn't enough character building, or world building. There wasn't enough description for me.

The other thing that bothered me is that sometimes the characters spoke in a different language, and of coarse I couldn't understand a word of it with no translation. I feel like that put a damper on the book for me. I prefer to understand and get to really know the character so that I can experience the book fully.

Rose Montague
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read with plenty of action. Add in some mystery, magic, and romance and this one is a real winner.
Sarah Northwood
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe how seamlessly the story ties together, written by a writing duo, it surprised me that the book works together so well. It's certainly not a case of two writing styles blended together, the whole story is put together as if one Author wrote it. The story utilises fantasy magical elements but rather than using these as convenient tools to overcome obstacles, the characters need to work together to meet their goal/s. At times I found the plot based story a little drawn out for my ...more
C.L. Schneider
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Playing With Fire is the first book in the Criminal Elements series and the debut novel of the husband and wife writing team of Cris and Clare Meyers. It introduces the characters of Stone and Renee, international criminals who possess an innate talent for magic. After meeting on a job in Russia that goes horribly wrong, Stone and Renee run into each other again years later. Deciding their skill sets and talents work well together, they form a partnership that soon turns romantic. When they are ...more
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book from the authors in exchange for a review.

Let me start off by saying, the little snippets one can find on the #1LineWed hashtag on Twitter do not do this book justice. It is so much more. More complex, more characterization, more everything. 140 characters can only tell so much of the story. But, they are what piqued my interest in wanting to read this book.

It starts out pretty simple: a job. It brings main characters Renee and Stone to
J C Steel
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Playing With Fire is an urban fantasy set in the underground world of international crime, where the top operators use magic to augment their more mundane skills. Renée Devereaux is a professional thief, flying about as far under the radar as she can. Sam ‘Stone’ Anders is a hitman for hire. When they meet on a job in Russia, the fact that the job requires both of their diverse skill sets turns out to not even be the strangest thing about it, and it takes all Renee’s magic with stealth and Stone ...more
Jessica Jesinghaus
Check out this review, and many more, on my blog

5 out of 5 stars

What a seriously fun romp! I truly enjoyed this book, cover to cover (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Playing With Fire introduces us to Renee and Stone, a pair of 'independent contractors' in a shady world of thieves, grifters and hackers. But they're not typical thieves. In their world, the best contractors have Talent; the ability to control elements such as fire, water, or the ether. Some
Ame Terra
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ping. I have a message. It’s from an Indie author I’ve become chummy with on social media recommending a book. A book called Playing with Fire by Cris and Clare Meyers. I thank her and place it on my “to be read” list.

A month goes by, maybe more and I’m searching my Kindle library for a new read. Playing with Fire by Cris and Clare Meyers catches my attention. My first thought is who the hell would do that? Co-write a book with their husband. My second thought is how are they still married? My h
Meghan Rider
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am big into Urban Fantasy, so reading this was not a hard choice- and I’m glad I did. Mixing magic with conspiracies and snark always makes for a good read. All of the main characters had more to them than meets the eyes; with secrets on top of need to know with some “why should I tell you?” thrown in. It is nice to have characters with depth and lives beyond the scope of the story to read. And I appreciate it when the magic makes sense. I liked how it was incorporated into their lives here, i ...more
Yvonne Davies
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Renee and Stone are both Talents, people with magic but each with their own expertise. Used to working alone, they both do jobs on the wrong side of the law, but a botched job in Russia is the start of a beautiful working and personal relationship. Whilst after Russia they go their separate way, they meet up a few years later when Stone is doing a small security job. From that moment, they start working as a couple. When they are hired to pull off a heist involving a magical gem and get revenge ...more
J.B. Richards
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Action, excitement, thrills, chills, hidden agendas, magic, suspense … and even a little behind-the-scenes romance ... “Playing with Fire” is (and here’s the good news) only the opener for the Meyers’ planned novel series, “Criminal Elements”, leading their pack in edge-of-your-seat thrillers off to a great start. Brilliantly cast, with characters of dimension and “Talent” (I use the word “Talent” in reference to what the authors call their protagonists who possess a particular skill-set of supe ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many Urban Fantasy novels about Private Investigators, so few about master criminals :)

Most importantly, criminals who don’t immediately bond over the fact that they both escaped the same betrayal together.

You see that in stories like Leverage, but that’s exactly the opposite of what would happen when untrusting people are betrayed; instead, this book shows us a montage of the two leads bumping into each other here and there over the years, and them gradually coming to trust each other makes
Daryl VanQuakebeke
I've always been into the fantasy/sci-fi books, when I saw this as an option and read the description I had to try it and I'm very glad I did! In my opinion, it's a PG-13 version of similar books in this genre which gives people from about junior high age or so and older a very good read! The characters are easy to follow and combine light romance, comedy, seriousness, and light suspense. The hardest part would be the foreign language that is used occasionally. However, some of it can be loosely ...more
Aliya DalRae
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural
Urban Fantasy in its Truest Form

“Playing with Fire” is Urban Fantasy in the true sense of the word, without the romantic entanglements that a lot of UF books are bogged down with these days. It is a fast paced crime novel with an elemental twist of magic that keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat.

The characters are complex and diverse, and I found the interactions between them both entertaining and intriguing. My personal favorite was the cool and aloof Stone Anders. His relationship with
A. Rick
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully done mix of crime, shapeshifting, and magic.

Once I started the only reason I put it down was because I couldn't stay awake any longer last night, and finished as soon as I got up this morning. In kindle speak, it was a real screen swiper.

I was impressed by how well the two authors blended the planning for, and action leading up to and during the main heist. The character building scenes gave a mental 'visual' that perfectly defined each character as individuals. I also liked that the
C A Feiger
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

I really liked this book. The characters were fun and the dialogue was excellent, the volley of words between the characters while they found themselves in the story was excellent. I liked this book right away. People in a place far from home and looking to get themselves in and out of a place without getting caught. Grabbed me right away. And as the story progressed I was interested in where the characters were going and what they w
Jennifer Laird
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was excellent. The authors deliver a thrilling story with interesting characters and great world building. If you like a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat-this is the book for you! Will definitely be reading more by this husband and wife author team!
C.L. Ogilvie
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rules are simple: Get in. Get out. Get paid. It’s always just one job, and everyone scatters—sometimes in less than favorable circumstances.

Renee and Stone are Talents, and their supernatural powers give them an edge in a high stakes business where one wrong move could be their last. A chance at revenge draws them into a job they know they shouldn’t take. The job: Steal a dangerous magical artifact before it can be used. Along with the deadline, they’ll have to deal with a loudmouth hacker
Douglas Landsborough
Playing With Fire is the debut novel from Cris and Clare Meyers. It follows the story of Renee and Stone, two career thieves that are more than your average burglars. Renee and Stone are both Talents, people who are born with the ability to use magic. After being left for dead in a heist-gone-wrong, Renee and Stone are both eager to exact revenge by doing what they are best at: stealing.
The story falls under the urban fantasy genre, taking place in the modern era. It delves into a world that not
S.K. Wee
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story about two international thieves for hire. Renee and Stone (Sam) first meet in Moscow while working a job set-up to fail. They managed to escape separately and meet up again on different jobs and decide they work well as a team. They both are gifted with additional talent that helps with their chosen occupation and also adds excitement to the story. Eventually the past comes back to haunt them. Highly recommended.
J.M. Northup
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't Judge This Book By Its Cover!
I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review.
When I first saw the cover, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. I cannot be more honest than to tell the authors to invest in a quality cover because the current one doesn't do it justice! THIS BOOK WAS GREAT!
I enjoyed the characters, even the offensive techie, Rook. Of course, my favorite was the female protagonist, Renee.
I thought the use of magic and spells was refreshing. The variances in talents and h
Sarah Mountford
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres so I was excited to read Clare & Cris Meyers first novel, and it doesn't disappoint. Magic blends believably into their detail filled modern day criminal underworld as we follow the easy to like but realistically imperfect Stone and Renee through their lives, where each day is filled with intrigue. ...more
This is a Goodreads win review. Renee and Stone are thieves with a talent in magic.
Jennifer Zamboni
rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2020
Clare Meyers
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Eve V
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! The characters were so well developed and interesting! I can't wait to read more from this series! ...more
rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2017
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, paranormal
An interesting beginning to a new series.

Magic, shapeshifting and crime all blend together to make this enjoyable read by husband and wife team, Cris and Clare Meyers.

Talented thief, Renee and her partner, Stone, join a trio of shapeshifters, Rook, Carlos and Grace, to steal a magical gem, and take revenge against the man who set them up on a previous job.
But in their line of work, nothing is quite what it seems.

Although the book is much more about the planning and the action, I did enjoy getti
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2018
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Brain to Books Cy...: 2017 Clare and Cris Meyers, Fantasy Author Showcase 26 16 Apr 09, 2017 12:38PM  

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Criminal Elements (3 books)
  • Fly by Night (Criminal Elements, #2)
  • Shifting Identities (Criminal Elements, #3)

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