Genre: New-Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: Hearts #5
This book can be read as a standalone but it contains spoilers for Hearts of Blue.
Thief of Hearts is another installment in the Hearts series, and this one follows Stu, the oldest of the Cross brothers.
In order to protect his family, Stu has to steal a painting and to do that, he has to seduce a teacher, Andrea Anderson. Andrea, a 28-year-old widow, teaches an Adult Education class and has no idea of the intentions of her new, ex-con student. As the two of them grow closer, problems start to arise for Stu as careful seduction evolves into real feelings.
I was pretty excited for this book. Not as much as I am for Hearts on Air but still. I was curious to see a different side of Stu and I definitely did see that.
The novel is told only from the perspective of Andrea so while we knew why Stu was behaving the way he was, she didn’t, and that gave the narrative an interesting quality because we, as readers, were waiting for the other shoe to drop. That worked in the book’s favour, but also had drawbacks which I will get back to.
The book took a bit of warming up for me. It was still good and I liked the side-characters. It was the protagonists that I had a problem connecting with. And I didn’t start to really enjoy the book until the last third, which was great.
Stu was a very assertive character. A bit too assertive for my taste. And he would say stuff like “I don’t like other men looking at you” and I would think to myself, you know who talks like that? Controlling, crazy assholes. But in that last third I started to like him. He was a sweet guy and he grew on me. Andrea, on the other hand, didn’t.
She was a very cowardly character, in my opinion. Always running from her problems, sometimes literally running away from people who presented a problem. She was also very prone to misunderstanding, enough to be kinda stupid. I didn’t dislike her, per say. She was just… like the kid beside you who drops his pencil for the tenth time… She changed a little but not much. My reaction toward her was usually:
But despite that, I understood her and Stu’s relationship. She may have been exhausting but she was also a very kind and selfless person, always wanting to help, which worked for Stu. The romantic chemistry between the two worked.
The novel was also well-written, had a good pace, good ending and an awesome epilogue. It was really funny (LOVE Travis!) as well. As for the thing I wanted to get back to… The steal-the-painting plotline.
It was weak. We never really felt the gravity of the situation with Stu’s family, something that could have been remedied had there been dual POV. But more than that, there was no tension or intensity that comes along with thievery. It felt more like something to move the plot along, a plot-device, that the actual plot. And that was the main problem with the book. Andrea was more of a personal opinion.
Overall though, I enjoyed this book and while it wasn’t the best book of the series (that’s still King of Hearts) I do recommend checking it out. And while you do that, I’ll sit here and wait for Travis’s book, Hearts on Air.