A Cunning Plan

Fiction - Suspense
312 Pages
Reviewed on 10/11/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

If Astrid Arditi could have one magical power, it would be to create time—to write, to enjoy her children, to unpack (she’s moved five times in four years), to sleep in, to learn how to cook, and to hit the gym. Or at least, to locate the one nearest her.
While waiting for her magic powers to manifest, she reads, eats way too many cakes, daydream, and thanks her lucky stars for her whirlwind, wonderful life.
Born and raised in Paris, Arditi recently moved to Brooklyn where she lives with her husband and two young children. A Cunning Plan is her first novel, book One in the Sloane Harper series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite

I loved A Cunning Plan by Astrid Arditi. The story follows Sloane Harper who is recently divorced but still madly in love with her scumbag ex-husband. Sloane is approached by an IRS agent named Ethan Cunning, who convinces her to help spy on her ex-husband’s new girlfriend’s boss. She did not count on possibly falling for the boss. This helps Sloane to discover who she is and what she really wants in life.

In A Cunning Plan, Arditi mixes romance with humor and a side of adventure. This recipe was the perfect combination and the reason I enjoyed this book so much. Sloane was a very likeable character who had great chemistry with everyone she came in contact with. At first I thought she was going to be annoying because of her weird obsession with her ex. Those feelings for her quickly changed as I read on. It was actually the “cookie incident” that had me laughing out loud and changed my perspective of her. The “whore incident” was another thing that had me spitting out my drink. That was a good reminder to watch out what you say around children. Arditi also taught me what a WASP is.

I was surprised at how the book actually ended. I was expecting something totally different. However, I thought the ending was perfect. I really hope that this is not the end of Sloane Harper. I would love to see more books about this accidental spy. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys funny romance books.

Rosie Malezer

A Cunning Plan is the first book in the Sloane Harper series by Astrid Arditi. Recently divorced Sloane Harper is obsessed with her ex-husband Tom’s mistress, Katherine Stappleton. Tom takes every possible opportunity to rub Sloane’s face in how successful, rich and hot-in-bed Katherine is, leading to Sloane’s every spare moment being spent staking out her nemesis’s workplace. No matter what it takes, Sloane is determined that some day soon Tom will come back to his family. While pondering this delusion, Sloane is stunned back to reality when a stranger climbs into the passenger’s seat of her car, pulling the door closed behind him, and stares at her. Agent Ethan Cunning introduces himself and requests Sloane’s assistance in bringing down one of London’s most notorious crime lords, Gabriel Varela, who also happens to be Katherine’s boss. Initially, Sloane refuses to help, worried that it might put her children in danger, but after Katherine threatens to have Sloane’s children taken away from her, Sloane reaches breaking point. Deciding to stop being everybody’s emotional punching bag, Sloane steps up to the challenge of taking Katherine’s boss down, determined to destroy Katherine’s life in the process. Notifying Ethan of her plan, Sloane dives in head-first and goes out on a date with Gabriel Varela, but when he tells Sloane that he knows everything about her spying ways, she finds herself far deeper in over her head than she could have ever imagined.

Astrid Arditi’s entertaining tale of indecision, bullying, infidelity and growth was most definitely what the doctor ordered. Filled with fun and suspense throughout, A Cunning Plan details a jilted and desperate divorcee’s life, with her ex-husband fueling her every obsession. With the introduction of an IRS Agent and a Colombian crime lord, jealousy suddenly fills Sloane’s life from all directions, like bumpers on a crowded pinball table. I loved the main character’s realization that she is worth more than she has ever given herself credit for, and that her future is what she proactively makes it, not simply what she sits back and hopes for. As Sloane’s confidence shines through, so does the romantic interests of the two new men in her life, making this a game of cat-and-mouse where each step catapults the player into a world of trickery, lust, love and romance. I very much enjoyed every page of A Cunning Plan and recommend it to readers who enjoy a mind-swirling thrill of suspense, romance, action, frustration and humor.

Trudi LoPreto

A Cunning Plan will quickly have you involved in the events taking place in Sloane Harper’s life. She is divorced, a mother, a daughter, and a friend trying to find her true self and making many mistakes and having several successes along the way. Sloane is recently divorced as we meet her taking care of her two young daughters. Her mom has come to stay and help for as long as she is needed, and her best friend is always there to share in her adventures. Sloane is sure she can win back Tom and return her family to normal, but the path she takes to try to make this happen is nutty, quirky, dangerous, romantic, funny and hard work. As she stalks Tom’s new girlfriend, Kate, day after day, she soon finds herself being approached by IRS agent Ethan with a special assignment to follow Kate’s rich and dangerous boss to discover what he is covering up. The adventures begin and Sloane quickly finds herself becoming involved in a world she never dreamed really existed. It is sometimes scary and at other times really fun and romantic.

I found it hard to put down A Cunning Plan because I couldn’t wait to find out what the final outcome would be. Astrid Arditi made all of the characters come alive and had me cheering for Sloane. A Cunning Plan is the story of a woman learning that she is stronger than she ever believed; a story of romance; a story of mystery, murder and suspense. I highly recommend this book and look forward to meeting Sloane again in the near future. I would love to see this on the Hallmark channel; it would make a great movie.

Divine Zape

A Cunning Plan by Astrid Arditi is an interesting novel about a woman’s desperate efforts to reunite with her ex-husband, an entertaining read for those who enjoy stories involving investigation. Sloane Harper wants her family to be complete again, she wants her ex-husband back, so she stalks him and his mistress, bent on finding out what they are up to. But can she get his attention away from the stunning girlfriend, Katherine Stappleton? IRS agent Ethan Cunning knows he can only nail Katherine’s boss by going through her. When the agent meets the desperate ex-wife, an unusual alliance develops between them. The question is: Who become the winners in this game of the shadows?

Astrid Arditi has created very interesting characters and an intriguing plot, a beautiful opening for the Sloane Harper series. Told in the first person narrative, the voice comes out powerfully and readers get a glimpse of the conflict taking place in the mind of the protagonist. From the beginning she informs readers that she has spent many hours staking out her ex-husband’s mistress, whom she believes has been having an affair with him even while they were still married. The hook is powerful and the reader wants to see what happens between Sloane and the mistress. The characters are also interesting, fully developed and likeable. The relationship between Sloane and Ethan embellishes the plot and creates a sense of suspense as readers are curious to see how things turn out for the two. A Cunning Plan is an enjoyable read.

Ruffina Oserio

A Cunning Plan by Astrid Arditi is a powerful opening in the Sloane Harper series, a story that shows what a desperate woman would do to have a family reunited. Sloane Harper wants her ex-husband back and it seems to be an obsession for her. She stalks her ex-husband and his girlfriend for long hours. Her path crosses with Ethan Cunning, an IRS agent who is after her ex-husband’s girlfriend, Catherine, for completely different reasons. Now they share some interests, but can working together get them the results they want? Can Sloane succeed in uniting her family and bringing her ex-husband back to live together with their two children? Will Ethan Cunning succeed in getting to Catherine’s boss through her?

Readers are immediately introduced to the protagonist and to the conflict, which is very important in this kind of story. Curiosity is aroused as the reader wants to know what happens. The mind of the reader is filled with questions such as: Does the girl knows she’s being watched? Will the stalker lose control and betray herself? What will happen next? But Astrid Arditi uses such questions to create suspense and interest in readers. The characters are well developed and the pace is good. I enjoyed the prose, the role Ethan played, and the suspense created around his part of the story. This is the kind of book that will interest readers looking for something intriguing, a story with suspense and psychological depth. I would like to read the next book in the series, and this means that A Cunning Plan was a satisfying read.

Olivia de La Villeguerin

A good Romance , fresh &, funny, the book of my Summer
I loved it