Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86391-4
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Our lawyer hero Decker Riley is already pursuing psychologist Desiree Gaines when Thief of My Heart begins, so this book may not be completely newbie-friendly. However, I read this book with little recollection of the previous related books, and I can catch up just fine, so it’s not that daunting to new readers, I believe.
Anyway, Decker thinks Desiree is the hottest thing ever, but Desiree has reservations about reciprocating his interest as everyone knows that Decker is a bigger player than all the Olympics contingents of the northern hemisphere combined. Also, she is still unable to move on from a past grief, what with her having put her late fiancé on a pedestal and all that. Can Decker break down her defenses and show her that he’s all about love and commitment where she is concerned?
Thief of My Heart is a simple story, and it contains some of my least favorite plot devices (mostly because I come across them every other book in this line until I’m bored of them), but I have a great time nonetheless reading this story. A big reason for this is that, even when they are not exactly reinventing the wheel here, the characters still appear to be adorable real people that do things like real people may do in their situations. Decker is persistent, but never stalker-like or creepy. Desiree can play hard to get, but her behavior never feels contrived or silly. These characters have a chemistry that feels natural, and as a result the romance feels right indeed. On the whole, conversations here flow great, and I find myself chuckling frequently, although I have to admit that some of the scenes with secondary characters border on cheese (especially that of Decker and his buddies in the opening of this story).
The author also includes some minor drama from bitchy ladies, surly teens, and more – nothing too overwhelmingly distracting from the romance – and these aspects actually bring out the best from Decker and Desiree. These are nice people, even with their obvious flaws, and I really like them. In other words, Decker and Desiree are the kind of characters this author serves up on a good day, and that day must be very good indeed when Janice Sims cooks up this book.
If there is one quibble, it’s how the author has Desiree behave more like how people would expect a shrink to be than how an actual shrink may be. Typically, shrinks won’t tell people what to do, they ask annoying questions to prod their clients to come to certain conclusions or epiphanies. Desiree, on the other hand, often has no qualms telling people what to do or imposing her opinion on what is right or wrong to the people who come to her for advice. This is a minor issue for me, but it may be hard for readers who take this more seriously not to roll up their eyes when Desiree plays the shrink here.
Anyway, Thief of My Heart is a charming story that delivers romance along with humor, good chemistry, some drama, and characters that make me smile. This book is basically a steal. Oh, and the cover is hot.