Behind the Scenes: Kayelle Allen

A Divided Heart: Thieves’ Guild Academy Book 3

The Thieves’ Guild Academy teaches three things. Honor above profit. Skill above chance. Family above all. So when the Academy decides to turn away an alien child who’s too unruly to train, Professor Brinn Halin intercedes. Despite the warnings of his handsome ex, the Headmaster, he fosters the precocious four-year-old girl.

Academy Headmaster Kam Zavala oversees a school full of trainee thieves and hackers, and he’s used to their tricks. This latest student, a headstrong but brilliant little girl, has gone beyond a simple hack. Her work threatens to implode the ancient Academy itself. As a disaster of epic proportions unfurls, Kam must take action.

But when the child’s breach uncovers a deeper, more insidious hack, the two master thieves must work together. Is there truly honor among thieves? These two have a second chance to prove it, save the child, restore the Academy, and preserve their newfound love. The question is, will they trust their well-honed instincts, or follow their long-divided hearts…


◆In a school filled with hackers and thieves, how do you trust your heart?

◆An MM second chance sci-fi romance set in the Thieves’ Guild Academy

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About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle Allen writes Sci-Fi and Sci-Fi Romance (both straight and MM), with mythic heroes, immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. Her passion is to create both commissioned and original art, employ extensive worldbuilding with inventive behind-the-scenes peeks, and write tightly woven tales with unstoppable, unshakeable, unforgettable characters so real you’ll swear you’ve met them. Enter her Ever-Expanding Empire, claim your immortality, and discover a whole new universe of stories.

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In A Stolen Heart, book 1 of the Thieves’ Guild Academy series, one of the central characters stood out. Brinn served as the conscience of the hero, nudging him in the right direction at various turns in the story. I yearned to give him his own happy ever after, so when I started working on more books for this series, Brinn popped straight to mind. Because Brinn had served as the conscience before, I assigned him that role again. In A Divided Heart, he prevents a four-year-old girl from being sent to the imperial foster system by taking her in himself. One of the young fosters in A Stolen Heart, Hahlibeth, becomes his partner in rearing the child. Brinn and Hahlibeth work as a brother-sister team, and their mutual past made them fun to write. When Brinn goes on a dinner date with Kam later in the story, Hahlibeth gives Brinn a card that reads, “This card entitles the bearer to one late-night disheveled arrival without judgment.”

Character Development

By page three of A Divided Heart, you get a hint that Brinn has a secret in his past, some tragedy or mistake that he’s struggling to overcome. Brinn had helped rear his half-human foster brother (about 20 years younger) and enjoyed working with children, so when he decided to foster a half-human girl, he was expecting a similar situation. But where Brinn’s foster brother was a cuddly and sweet kitten, the little girl he fosters is pint-sized territorial lioness interested in nothing Brinn has to say. She even refuses ice cream. To show how determined she was, when Brinn brings her home, she allows an android servant to take her heavy bag, even though she’d refused to allow Brinn to help her. When he asks why, she says it’s because androids are supposed to help people, so she doesn’t owe him anything. Then adds when you owe someone, they control you, and as she puts it, “No one controls me.”

Watching Brinn help this child overcome her own tragic past and learn to trust again was my favorite part of the story.

The other main character is Headmaster Kam Zavala, with whom Brinn shares a romantic past. But because Kam spearheaded the move to send the child into the imperial system, he starts out as persona non grata with Brinn. Seeing Kam come around to Brinn’s way of thinking, and reopening their relationship was fun to orchestrate. Who doesn’t love a second chance? Especially when the couple starts out as enemies and moves to lovers.

Setting and Worldbuilding

In the world of the Thieves’ Guild Academy, young, orphaned children are often cared for by the powerful Thieves’ Guild. Those with aptitude are trained to become master thieves (or at least competent ones). Anyone with a contract can’t be arrested, so the Guild employs a contingent of lawyers and its own forensic teams. Thieves are taught contract law, and can be hired by companies to keep other thieves from committing corporate theft. The Academy stands by three principles. Honor above profit. Skill above chance. Family above all. The challenge is to uphold these things while searching for love that lasts. But in a school filled with hackers and thieves, how do you trust your heart?


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