Debut author K.C. Bateman with the first in her Secrets and Spies historic romance series is on the blog today. Napoleonic era France is the setting for the intrigue and adventure. Please read on for my review of
To Steal a Heart
Marianne has been the sole support for herself and her sister, working at the Cirque Olympique. Brought to Paris, their cousin Duval is their “overseer” an official tasked with managing the city’s brothels, he threatened to place both girls (then 14 and 10I in one. Marianne, desperate to protect them both, deals away her free choice by making a deal to support them without Duval’s interference. In return, she needs to work for him, stealing and spying.
Given an assignment to plant incriminating evidence in the apartment of Valette, a spymaster of renown and highly placed in society, Sophie heads out to do her cousin’s bidding and is caught in the act. But, Nicholas, after hearing her story makes a counteroffer: protect she and Sophie and bring down Duval if she works one mission, with and for him.
Oh this was clever: Nicholas and Marianne are instantly attracted, but the game is afoot and the mission is a dangerous and wholly audacious one. Marianne’s quick wit and determination to succeed, part her personality and partly driven by her desperation to keep her little sister safe from the various monsters that exist in the world. While she’s raw and untrained, really, her innate bravery, talents and intelligence slowly work on Valette, something that has never happened before in his long career. Dialogue, while often more modern than one would expect, is perfectly timed and add to the story. Flirtatious passages carry double and triple meaning as they feel one another out, both denying the attraction until the other shows their hand. Clever, action packed and laden with sexual tension the story moves forward without a hiccup, and provides a wonderful read.
Title: To Steal a Heart
Author: K.C. Bateman
Series: Secrets and Spies #1
Genre: France, Historical Romance, Napoleonic Era
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 23 February, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦Audible
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.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: