About the Book
After a 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. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend-until he abandoned her.
After being taken under a wing of a professor who introduced him to society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed 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.
I was so excited to read this book! Jen Turano is one of my favorite authors, and she did not disappoint with To Steal a Heart. I absolutely fell in love with all of the characters-Gabriella, Nicholas, Daphne, Eunice, Monsieur Villard…each one of them were unique and fun and made the book entertaining.
What I especially love about Jen Turano’s novels is how funny they are. And this book was no different. Gabriella, Nicholas, Daphne, Eunice, and Monsieur Villard always seem to end up in these humorous (and dangerous) situations.
I love Nicholas. He is such a gentleman. And he clearly cares for Gabriella. He has such a good, Christian heart. He tries his best, being in high society, to help those who were in the Lower East side, thieving to survive. But what I think I like about him most is the fact that he has a dog. A dog named Winston, to be exact, who wears an eye patch and loves to be spoken to in a pirate voice.
Gabriella is stubborn and proves time and again that she is a capable woman, especially after living out on the streets. She starts her investigation business when a friend is falsely accused of stealing. This catches the attention of society, and she and the entire boardinghouse she lives in becomes The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency.
My absolute favorite character out of all of them, though, was Daphne. Also part of The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, she doesn’t fare well in stressful situations. She tends to faint when nervous and always carries smelling salts with her. She also carries a notebook with her to write down “poems”-or, rather, book ideas since she is actually an author. But since at that time female authors were not popular, she wrote under an assumed male name.
Other characters such as Monsieur Villard and Eunice did certainly make the book that much more enjoyable. Not only that, but I also like the author’s writing style. It’s fast paced. And I like the humor in her stories. It definitely makes it a light read. But don’t be fooled-there are some serious moments in the book, such as Gabriella’s journey to find out who her parents are. And also the issues of high society, and the divide between them and the poor. When I started getting into Gilded Age fiction, I often wondered how those in the New York Four Hundred treated those less fortunate than themselves. I’m sure some were kind, but, as shown in To Steal a Heart, some were also snobby and looked down on others.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book. I have no complaints and it’s definitely one of my favorites. I would definitely give it five out of five stars.
I received a complimentary copy of the book and this is my honest opinion.