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Scarlet - A.C. Gaughen I love Robin Hood stories, I mean, who doesn't? So when I saw Scarlet I just knew I had to read it. To say that I bugged the hell out of the Netgalley people until I got the request accepted, is putting it mildly. I got the request accepted yesterday, and I finished reading the book today because I could NOT put it down. Let me tell you now this is no simple retelling. The level of depth, gritty action, and heartfelt romance that A.C. Gaughen brings to the tale Robin Hood is something that will leave you breathless. Meet Will Scarlet, a scrawny thief who only a few know he's really Scarlet. A girl! Scarlet is a great heroine. She's snappy, though, a master knife fighter, and the best thief of them all. She isn't just part of Robin's band, she's like the mastermind! The one they all look to for who to steal from, when, and how. Scarlet is extremely kind with the people, so much so that she sometimes will forgo eating for days because she gives the food to others. But even with all the good she does, she still believes her soul is black as tar and unredeemable. Aside from dealing with a guilty conscience, Scarlet has one heck of a time between Robin's glances and swift caresses, and John's teasing and rough charms. She doesn't have time to be thinking about love, not when the people are being brutalized by the sheriff, not when she doesn't deserve their love. I loved how all the basic elements of the Robin Hood tae are still there; the gang of merry men boys, the drunk friar, the barrels of wine, Sherwood forest, etc. For a moment I thought one important character was missing, but then it was revealed and I was like "hell yeah!" Seriously. Like I've dreamed of the moment of that character praying a more important part, and it's done here beautifully. (Notice I'm being vague in an attempt not to spoil this.) Most of all I like how in Scarlet all the deeper issues of politics, social status, injustice, and gender are brought forward. For me Robin Hood has always been more on the fun side of tales, but Scarlet is a bit darker while still maintaining the wit and comical aspects. Scarlet is just a wonderful addition to the Robin Hood retellings. And by the looks of that ending I hope it will have a sequel coming out because Scarlet's story is not done yet! So if you love Robin Hood, strong and complex heroines, ruthless and murderous villains, and sweet first time romance, you'll love Scarlet. It comes out February 14th so go ahead and pre-order your copy now!*I received this book via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*