Title: To Steal a Heart
Author: K.C. Bateman
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Synopsis: In a dazzling historical romance that’s perfect for fans of Sabrina Jeffries, Lisa Kleypas, and Courtney Milan, debut author K. C. Bateman brings Napoleonic France to life as a master spy and a beautiful thief find love and intrigue in each other’s arms.
Forced to do the bidding of a corrupt government minister, Marianne de Bonnard agrees to plant incriminating evidence in the offices of France’s most notorious spymaster. Under cover of night, the tightrope-walking thief puts her skills to good use—until her aerial stunt is foiled when her target appears in the window and, with consummate poise, helps Marianne off the wire and into his lair. The tremors that run through her body are not just from fear; there’s an unwanted frisson of desire there, too. But is it because of her elegant, wickedly handsome host . . . or his proposition?
Nicolas Valette has had plans for his graceful trespasser since he witnessed her unique skills at the Cirque Olympique. Sinuous as a cat, Marianne is perfect for his next mission, but she refuses his generous offer for fear of disobeying her family’s tormenter. When their mutual enemy auctions off her virginity to the highest bidder, Nicolas leaps at the chance to purchase her cooperation. Keeping her will be like trying to tame a wild animal, but what’s life without a little risk? Besides, Nicolas and Marianne both want the same thing: revenge—and, perhaps, something else that’s equally delicious.
Disclaimer: An arc was provided to me from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5/5
What I liked about it…
I really liked this book. It’s literally the perfect book for readers out there who want romance, action, and a strong female character. After many attempts at leaving the Cirque Olympique and under her vicious uncle’s torment, Marianne is at a loss. She’s torn between selling her virginity off to the highest bidder in order to protect her sister, Sophie, and risking both of their futures in a brothel house . Being the protective and loving person she is, Marianne puts herself up for auction only to have Nicolas purchase her. He’s arrogant, bold, and dangerous. Everything about him screams bad news but what can you do when you’re his property?
Instead of leading into the typical plot of female falls for male even though both seem highly not suitable for each other, K. C. Bateman explores the side of historical romance that is hardly seen. She creates a character that slays her own dragons, takes care of her own family, and can pin a man down with a knife. But despite being headstrong, Marianne is still very relatable. She doubts her appearances. Her small breasts, short hair, and not too pretty face makes her feel inadequate compared to Paris’s finest ladies. Mixed with low self-esteem and the inexperience in the sex department, Marianne suffers a lot of self-doubt. And that is exactly why I like her. She’s relatable in that way. Yes, she knows she doesn’t need a man like Valette to protect her at all times but she also knows Valette’s sweet compliments make her warm and fuzzy.
And what’s not to like about the sexual tension between both characters? They’re on a mission from the very beginning chapters of the book but Valette knows never to compromise business with pleasure and yet, he finds himself longing to touch her. She finds him arrogant but she longs for him to come closer to her so she can feel the warmth of his skin near hers. It’s swoon worthy. If sexual tension isn’t enough, the fluffy bits will definitely win you over.
What was really different about this book from other historical romance novels were the action scenes. Everything felt like a movie. People were punching and throwing knives or walking tight ropes. Bullets were slicing the air and hitting directly into chests. It was awesome to read!
What I didn’t like…
The one thing that caught onto me was the writing style. It seemed way too modern to be a classic historical romance and I think that’s a shame and a good thing. It’s a shame because typical historical romance readers fall for the time period. The time period encaptures the essence of it all. From the dresses to the way people speak really affects how readers place themselves into the stories. Because the characters speak in unstructured and fluid like ways, I find it hard to believe their living in the that time period.
It’s a good thing for readers who tend to avoid historical romance. Often, my friends tell me that they prefer modern day contemporary over historical because of the difficulty of the language. They find it hard to fall into the word because everything is so structured. However, if you’re like this, then definitely try out this book!
Why you should read it?
Read it for the action and the kick ass heroine!