After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.
After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as his heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.
As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.
Hurrah for another Jen Turano book. If you’re not familiar with her work, each book is a fun jaunt set during the Gilded Age. It’s where society boys and girls get into all sorts of scrapes and hijinks, while sometimes mingling with the masses. Or it’s where young working men and women get into all sorts of scrapes and hijinks while trying to improve themselves, and sometimes mingle with society. To Steal a Heart mostly falls into the second category, although Nicholas has already crossed the divide between the classes and acts as a bridge for Gabriella and her friends.
The first title of the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency series explores the founding of the Agency after Gabriella helps prove a singular woman’s innocence in a jewel theft. Nicholas and his motley crew of household staff assist the ladies when muscle is perhaps needed more than brains, although he could lose his standing as a member of The Four Hundred if his activities were discovered. Mixed in with the mystery of multiple jewelry thefts is Nicholas’ search for a bride, Gabriella’s decision to assist him, and revelations regarding their parentage. (Don’t worry, there are two sets of parents. This isn’t the Original Star Wars trilogy. We’d never have the required happy ending if that were the case!) There’s enough to keep a reader guessing until the end when the final secrets are revealed. And even then, I had a couple of questions regarding secondary characters.
Turano’s cast members stand out with their distinct personalities – including Winston the pirate dog – and there are multiple witty quickfire exchanges between the two leads. While maybe not my favorite of her novels, To Steal a Heart is a wonderful way to pass the time and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, To Write a Wrong, which is scheduled for release in August 2021.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 17 November 2020
Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.
Jen Turano’s Website https://jenturano.com/