Friday, January 11, 2013

Vouched Book: "To Love a Thief" by Darcy Burke

To Love a Thief
Darcy Burke
Secrets & Scandals #4, but works well as a standalone
Publication: September 2012, Intrepid Reads
Genre: Historical Romance

Amazon B & N Goodreads
To set things right, she has to be very wrong…

Former constable Daniel Carlyle hasn’t the foggiest notion how to be a viscount. No one is more shocked than he when his father’s second cousin and his son die on the same day. When a prominent earl offers to guide Daniel through Society and the House of Lords, he’s grateful to have a champion. Things seem to be falling into place when he meets a lovely young woman he intends to make his viscountess. Until he catches her stealing from his mentor.

The moment Jocelyn Renwick glimpses her family's stolen heirlooms in the possession of a wealthy earl, she demands their return. He dismissively insists they’ve been in his family for generations, and she privately vows to get them back at any cost. But the law-abiding Lord Carlyle foils her plans, and she reluctantly partners with him to solve the theft of her property. When they discover the earl is up to his ears in criminal acts, he threatens to link Daniel to his gang of thieves. Jocelyn must decide if justice for her family is worth risking a chance at love.

I picked this up for free* on Amazon and expected the usual Historical Romance: the lustful attraction at first sight, emotional denials, and ruination leading to a post-haste marriage. But To Love a Thief was a refreshing little surprise. Although a novella, it had just enough mystery to keep the suspense and round off the story so the romance wasn't the only drive behind the book.

The main characters' backgrounds and personalities complemented the plot and each other. Jocelyn's a paid companion and occasional thief. Daniel's a former constable turned viscount. Her impulsive nature highlighted Daniel's steadfast honor, while his uncertainty in his new station and the peerage of the ton gave testament to her confidence and how comfortable she was in her position.

I appreciated how realistic their circumstances were, especially. There were no extremes. Though high-ranking, Daniel wasn't best friends with dukes or the king of the underground. He wasn't a rake or the catch of the season. Nor was he a complete stud that I wanted to roll my eyes. Likewise, Jocelyn wasn't the belle of the ball. Neither was she poor or a damsel in distress. They were realistic, endearing.

I also liked how they didn't fight how they felt for each other but embraced it. The marriage wasn't convenient, and this is the first time I cheesed—in the best way possible—at the proposal. Even though the ending fell just a tad bit flat, the epilogue left me wanting more. I haven't read any other part of the series, but I plan to, especially the next two books. I loved the secondary characters and look forward to their stories.

A light, refreshing read to pass the day, with a dash of danger, a little heat, and without having to read the series to appreciate it. For fans of honorable heroes and fun heroines who know what they want and take it.

Secrets & Scandals series

Coming Winter 2013 ...

and Scoundrel Ever After

* Price subject to change without notice.


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