Heart of the Steal (Renee’s review)

Title: Heart of the Steal
Author: Avon Gale and Roan Parrish
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 306
Reviewed by: Renee
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5


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.

It took me a while to get into this story. It wasn’t that the writing wasn’t great – it was. It wasn’t that the story wasn’t interesting – it was. What wasn’t happening, for me, was connecting with either MC.

The story begins with you thinking it’s going to be a play on The Thomas Crown Affair. And that just isn’t my thing. Then there’s the cover. Holy Mary, Mother of God, and all that is holy – that is one helluva cover fail. Cringe. And Amory Vaughn, one of the MCs, has a long, silver braid. I’m thinking that some wouldn’t find that to be hot. And by “some,” I mean me. Vaughn also speaks with a stiffness that sounds so pretentious, I kept getting pulled out of the story.

It took me three days to get to 35%. And, peeps, I can do 35% in an hour on most days.

But then I got to 40% this morning, and it just clicked. I started relating to and understanding the MCs, which had been my biggest complaint thus far. And The Thomas Crown Affair it was not.

The story became completely relationship-focused. Combine that with the amazing writing that this duo is capable of, my now-felt connections, and the smokin hot sexy times……and the latter part of this story came together really well for me. I even felt the feelz at the climax.

And that damn kitten nearly did me in, no lie.

So I’m settling on 3.75 stars rounded up.

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Galley copy of Heart of the Steal provided by author in exchange of an honest review.


I love boys who love boys! I'm in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.