Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.
As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.
When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?
Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.
I must admit, when I first glanced at Heart of the Steal, I was not interested. The cover is not what I’m used to. I also wasn’t terribly familiar with either author’s work. But because I’m always looking for something different and a little unexpected, I gave the excerpt a read. Well, it was enough. I’m glad I took the chance because this book was really charming and absolutely consuming.
2% mark: laughing my pants off, which by the way continued sporadically throughout the story.
33% mark: I was cheering the protags on so they could get it on. <bow chicka wow wow>
50% mark: basking in the swoony glow of their growing mutual affection.
Somewhere between 50 and 70%: still loving the banter and growing affections yet at times feeling a bit bored. Some parts of the story didn’t exactly carry the plot forward but I suppose were used for character development later? I’m not disappointed. However, I remember feeling a bit like I could have skimmed and it would not have mattered.
(much) Later: conflict, resolution, the end. This…this was a bit quick for me. Earlier, the self reflection done by each H on their growing feelings for the other ended up feeling bit repetitive. In comparison, the conflict had such a quick turnaround time to resolution followed very shortly by the story just…ending. I don’t know, I wanted to see them a little more, live in their reconciliation a bit longer. That’s probably because I loved the characters so much, especially Armory. Had it been drawn out I would probably be sitting here complaining about that too, so whatever.
Also, this book made me super hungry. Lots of functions attended and dinners had by the H and H that were laden with delectable fares and bubbly drinks that had my mouth watering. I also loved the attention to detail of, or Armory’s inclination towards, fine clothing. I rather loved all of Armory’s tastes actually. Was he a bit pretentious? Absolutely. However, it was balanced it so nicely with his desire to make William happy that it became so cute that you just had to love him for it.
I’d for sure recommend this book; in fact I already have to multiple readers. It was a funny, fun, lighthearted read that I will most likely pick up for a reread sometime.