Title: Stealing His Heart
House Line: Dreamspun Beyond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Length: 66,605 words
Reviewed by Sammy
Love sneaks in like a thief in the night.
Danny’s parents raised him to believe his wolf was a curse. He’s part of the wealthy and powerful Connoll Pack, but only nominally. He abandoned that world to volunteer with supernatural kids, and he isn’t looking for a mate….
Max is a shifter who is also a detective. He’s working a case that could make or break his career. Danny’s caught up in the case he’s on, and he’s also irresistible. They’re a bad match—Max, an Alpha having trouble with his new powers and Danny, who trusts Alphas as far as he could throw one. But they can’t get enough of each other, and they might bond before they even see it coming.
They could be amazing together, but they have to get past a few obstacles—especially since someone close to Danny might be involved in the thefts Max is investigating.
If you’d been told all your life that your inner wolf was wrong and should be denied and hidden then imagine your surprise when the cop who comes to investigate your home robbery sets off every bell and whistle only your wolf can hear? Even though Danny comes from wealth and prestige he’s given it all up in order to run his foundation to help orphaned and displaced supe kids. It was an easy thing to do considering his father was a controlling and nasty alpha who unwillingly bowed to the pack alpha when necessary but kept his wife and son in line with an iron fist otherwise. All his life Danny had been told that his werewolf side was something to be hidden and made to do so because his father had the alpha voice that could compel Danny to obey. That attitude shaped Danny into the man he was who wanted to help all kinds of shifter kids who had been tossed aside by either their parents or pack alphas who deemed them unlovable. As a result of both is job and his own upbringing, Danny looks rather unkindly toward any “alpha asshole” until he meets Max.
Max is a newly vested alpha just coming in to his powers and still learning to control his baser instincts. Surrounded by a loving family, Max is not prepared to meet his alpha mate nor is he ready to deal with the emotional fallout such a bonding will trigger. But Danny sparks something deep inside Max like no other and if he is willing to be patient with Max then the alpha bearcat is more than willing to consummate the bond that grows daily between them. Unfortunately for both men there is an outside force that could spell real danger to both Danny and one of the boys he saved from the street through his foundation. Max is on the case but even he may not be able to save Danny from the gang that is currently threatening supes and humans alike.
Author Bru Baker has undeniably written a lovely romance with the release of her latest novel, Stealing His Heart. Max and Danny have incredible chemistry and even though theirs is an instant attraction and a fairly quick admission of love, this story really feels like a slow building love story. The author has written a funny and close-knit family for Max that not only makes up for Danny’s lack of loving support from his own cold hearted parents but who also embrace Danny unconditionally as well. Honestly, I loved every interaction between Danny and Max and I was so pleased at the way the author chose to have them communicate and work through both Danny’s reservations about being an alpha mate and Max’s reactions to having so much thrown at him all of a sudden while still learning what it was to be an alpha. This vital piece of the story was well done and very satisfying.
However, I felt the mystery element of this story took a real back seat to the romance, at times. While the police work scenes were plausible and vital to the story, I often struggled with the way in which the author connected Max’s detective scenes with the rest of the story. There were times when I felt there were real time gaps between the two. For instance on one page Max and his partner, Oscar, were talking about a stake out and on the next page Max was with Danny and I was unsure as to how many days or hours had passed and if the stake out had even occurred. This happened more than once in the novel and it made me go back and reread sections to make sure I hadn’t missed something. Then there was the subplot concerning Danny’s parents, in particular, his mother. Throughout a good portion of this book, Danny’s mother was coldhearted and the mouthpiece of his bastard of a father, then suddenly there was an emotional 360 on her part and no real explanation as to why. While the author took the time to have Max be concerned that her capitulation might hurt Danny if it turned out to be false, there was no real follow up as to why it suddenly happened. Danny’s parents were such a strong influence on how he viewed his wolf side and the pack mentality—particularly obedience to an alpha, so glossing over this aspect of the book I felt did a disservice to the story the author was building.
In the end, despite these few glitches, I would still recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good supernatural love story. Max and Danny certainly had chemistry in spades and their story was delightful to read.
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