Cover Image: A Heart Worth Stealing

A Heart Worth Stealing

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I was pleasantly surprised by "A Heart Worth Stealing" by Joanna Barker. As an avid romance reader, I always enjoy a good love story, but this one exceeded my expectations. The novel is a delightful blend of romance, mystery, and witty banter, making for a fast-paced and enjoyable read. Although the story is told from a singular POV, I found myself wishing for a glimpse into Jack's perspective. Despite this, the novel's plot kept me on the edge of my seat, as I correctly guessed the culprit by chapter 5, but was still taken aback by the unexpected twist towards the end.

With its period setting and trope of annoyance-to-love, along with elements of forced proximity and slow burn, "A Heart Worth Stealing" has something for every romance lover. I highly recommend this novel as a perfect beach read for the summer season. Although I don't usually assign ratings, I would give this book a solid 4.3, rounded to 4 on Goodreads.
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A Book Worth Reading!
The daughter of a magistrate Genevieve is an independent heiress whose father’s watch is stolen. Cue our MMC a private investigator Jack. Mystery abounds as our two leads work together to solve the case. This was the perfect mix of mystery and historical romance. The characters were likeable and well rounded. The mystery itself was a little predictable but with a few unexpected twists. I think in the case of this plot the predictability is a gift from the author so you know what to expect. The romantic tension was perfect with just enough banter and flirting. The MFC Ginny is such a strong and believable person. 
This book was excellent and I highly recommend it.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Joanna Barker has become an auto-read author for me in the historical fiction genre. I haven't read anything by her that I've been disappointed with. I tend to stalk NetGalley for any new releases by her, which is how I stumbled upon A Heart Worth Stealing.

Genevieve's father passed, leaving her his estate. He has an older daughter that is Genevieve's half-sister. Most people would have expected him to will his estate to his oldest daughter. Since she's married, her future is more secure than Genevieve's. However, Genevieve and her sister have a strained relationship. Genevieve feels like everyone is expecting her to fail. And it seems like someone out there might be going out of their way to ensure that she does.

I don't read too many mysteries. Certain authors seem to do it well enough that keep me guessing. But it frustrates me to figure out the "twists" before they are revealed. And unfortunately, I felt like the villain of A Heart Worth Stealing was pretty obvious. It wasn't until a small part at the end of the book that I even remotely questioned whether I was right.

I did enjoy learning more about the concept of a thief-taker. I love how historical fiction teaches history in a way that makes it entirely fascinating. Reading historical fiction has taught me so much. I would have never known these small pieces of fact or history without finding stories that discuss them. I don't know that they make a huge difference in my life, but I find it fascinating, nonetheless, and it helps me to see how learning history through literature is so much more enjoyable than the history textbooks forced upon our children in school.

As always, the love stories are what I read for. I might have found Jack and Ginny's story a little cheesy, but it wasn't too cheesy. I can't fault too much. I wasn't cringing or rolling my eyes.

A Heart Worth Stealing is one I blew through. I didn't want to put it down. During one of the busiest months of the year, I read this book in like two days, I think. I liked the relationship between Ginny and Jack, but I loved the side story of the relationship between Genevieve and her older sister. The mystery was too easy to figure out, but I wasn't reading this one for the mystery. A Heart Worth Stealing gets 4 Stars. Have you read A Hearth Worth Stealing? What did you think? Let me know!
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It's not too often that I read about independent heiresses in the Regency era, so it's a nice breath of fresh air when it does happen. (I still really enjoy the traditional Regency stories too, though.) Ginny is trying to prove to everyone that she can handle the estate just fine, and as a result, she tends to take too much on. I enjoyed watching her interactions with Jack, and watching her walls start to crumble as she came to the realization that she could still be strong and independent while accepting help.

Jack's character was wonderful. He had his own past that he was dealing with, but he was the quirky, humorous person that Ginny needed. Their story was sweet and, thankfully, not an insta-romance. I definitely prefer the build-up over instantly falling in "love."

This is a clean, quick read, and I definitely recommend it.
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A Heart Worth Stealing by Joanna Barker 

Ginny & Jack Forever 😍

I absolutely love this sweet historical romance. The mystery was fun and the premise fresh for the genre. It has all the pizazz of a contemporary P.I. romance but give it regency and bam Barker has created a masterpiece. 

The side characters were charming (especially Jack's family) and I hope we see a few of them get their own story. 

The swoon is real and I would gladly steal Jack for my own if I didn't already have the most perfect husband. 😉

Content: mild violence, kidnapping, kisses
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Genevieve Wilde cannot seem to find the help she desires with the local authorities in recovering her father's missing watch. It was the last item he gave her prior to his death and it means the world to her. Ginny reaches out to a thief-taker to recover the watch at the insistence of her dear friend, Beatrice. Jack quickly determines something else is afoot as a not-so-random series of misfortunes seem to be riddling the estate.
Joanna's strength lies within her ability to write a fantastic love interest. I loved every page featuring Jack and might have grumbled a bit with any scene he was not in. I'm sorry, not sorry. He's charismatic, full of humor and banter, and stole every scene. The mystery element takes a backseat to the romance but the cover indicates such and I was here for it.
Thank you to Shadow Mountain and Netgalley for the advanced copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.
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I couldn't have picked a better book to end 2022 with. This book was excellent!! Sometimes I read a book and wish the heroine wouldn't be so gullible or wouldn't be so quick to think the worst of the man she's falling for so I was so so grateful that Joanna Barker mastered that in this novel with such a loving and trusting relationship among the two main characters. I loved watching the growth in Ginny's character and I especially loved the scene in the tree... So well written!! I also hope she writes a spin off novel with Beatrice because there definitely is a story there I can't wait to read!

Clean romance. 

I was given a copy from the publisher, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A fun and charming opposites attract regency Romance. Ginny is a headstrong and independent woman. Thinking she could manage and run her estate on her own. She didn’t need a man to marry as she was happy on her own. Missing her father terribly she had relied on one gentleman that had proposed marriage a couple of times but she felt no connection to Mr. Northcutt. when some strange coincidences started happening around her state and someone threw a rock through her window with a threatening message did she decide to hire a thief taker. Jack had originally been bow street runner but after some trouble, he turned his pursuits to being a thief taker. Making the journey to the outskirts of London. He met up with his new client, Miss Genevieve Wilde. You couldn’t find two people who were more opposite and yet were constantly drawn to each other. I loved the camaraderie and banter between these two. Watching their attraction grow and breaking down the walls to allow for romance was very sweet. The story held a lot of mystery and drama, with many twists and turns And plots to throw you off course. Do you think you have the mystery finally figured out doing something else changes and makes you question if you are a good detective. I think the author Joanna Barker is a great storyteller. I have read and enjoyed all of her books. This is a Sweet wholesome romance/mystery and is well worth the time to read it. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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"A Heart Worth Stealing" is a Regency romance with a mysterious twist. Ginny Wilde is trying her best to keep the Wimborne Estate running after her father's death left her both alone in the world and in charge for the estate's upkeep. When her father's pocket watch, a beloved heirloom that she draws strength from, is stolen from her study, local magistrates aren't able to track down the culprit. So she decides to take matters into her own hands and hires a "thief-taker" from London to investigate on her behalf. Enter Jack Travers... 

There were a lot of elements of this book that I really enjoyed. Ginny was a wonderful character, and I particularly liked how her strength and vulnerability were well balanced. She was shouldering a lot of responsibilities and had to make some difficult decisions independently throughout the story, while also at times also accepting that she needed to rely on the help of others. The dialogue between her and Jack was well written and witty as their relationship developed. Having this be a blend of mystery and romance was quite unique compared to other historical romances that I have read and added a lot of tension and twists to the plot. (Also the cover design is absolutely stunning and fits the characters so well!)

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes closed door/sweet historical romances, fans of authors like Mimi Matthews, and people looking for some mysterious suspense alongside their love stories. "A Heart Worth Stealing" was my first book by Joanna Barker and definitely will not be my last. I am looking forward to reading through her back catalogue and will be watching for more new releases in the future. 

*DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC of this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing through NetGalley for the purposes of providing an unbiased review.*
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While this book is my first read by the author, I can firmly say, it won’t be the last, from her eyes for details to her talent to breath life into her characters by making them larger than life and definitely people I would love to meet in real life, I was sucked into the pages of this book and only nighttime forced me to put on hold the last chapters of this tale.

And what a tale it was. Told from Genevieve’s point of view, in the first person, we are invited in her thoughts as she was writing in her diary, like if we were the recipient of the story she narrates, retelling the present events as they occur in her view. 
I am definitely in love with Jack. He is far from perfect, it is what makes him even more endearing as he holds on his mistakes and always tries to correct them. He has such a good heart even if it is wrapped in his rakish behavior. After all it is what makes him stand-out, the mischievous glint in his eyes and his swaggering persona.
A charming rogue, one who thinks he knows what he wants and expects from life. Not afraid to offend or annoy if it leads him on the right path.
Jack is so devilishly captivating, yet cunning and clever.
Why despite everything she says, Genevieve is as much appealed, even when she harrumphs and grumbles about his demeanor, she can’t lie to herself how much he affects her.
After a year of mourning, trying to recover from her loss, she is still overwhelmed by her task as she struggles to deal with every dent appearing on her path. For so long she has been sheltered under her father’s watch, but she is now determined to prove she can stand for herself without anyone else help. Why she drowns herself under her duties.
But by doing so, she does not know anymore where she stands, whom to trust as her allegations are not even taken seriously.

So when it comes solely to her to act, she believes she has few choices in front of her. Why despite her doubts she agrees to hire Jack. As for his flirtatious way and their bickering, he appears as her only option to solve her case.
The author gifts us a witty action loaded story of two people walking on the edges of society, each at one end yet they find a path to meet in the middle.
5 stars 

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 kisses

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher, here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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A Heart Worth Stealing by Joanna Barker is a sweet romance, with some mystery and great banter!

This story follows Genevieve “Ginny” Wilde, who has inherited her father’s estate and is doing her best to keep it running. The book opens with her finding out her father’s watch is missing, as a result, she hires Jack Travers to track it down. Jack is a former bow street runner and an expert at finding missing things. Ginny is pretty sharp with investigative work and she and Jack don’t always agree. However, as they start to trust each other and work together they find out they make a pretty good team. 

I loved following Ginny and Jack in this sweet romance as they solve a mystery together. The characters in the book were my favorite part. They are written well with great banter between them. You are rooting for Ginny from the start and as she grows throughout the story. 

If you are looking for a fun, sweet mystery romance, then this book is for you! This clean romance is a great read for all ages and will have you grinning the entire time. 

Thank you, Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley, for the free copy of the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Joanna Barker writes another FAVORITE!

I loved this book so much!!! I loved the story, I loved the characters, I loved the damsel in distress moments.

Jack and Ginny standing in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g!!!

I just love how these two characters complimented each other and made each other into even stronger people than they thought they could be!

I loved that this story reminds us what is most important!

Loved loved loved!
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Ever since she inherited Wimborne following her father's untimely death, Ginny has been determined to prove herself to those around her - but plagued with innumerable small and not-so-small problems. But when her father's watch is stolen, she realises this is something she can't deal with on her own. When the local magistrate declines to help, she decides to hire a thief-taker to recover the watch, but Jack is not at all what she anticipated. In fact, as they spend time together, Ginny begins to fear that he may steal more than she'd ever dreamed possible - her heart. Can they find the watch thief before the escalating problems around Wimborne turn fatal? And can this unlikely pair find happiness together?

It's been a while since I read a book by this author, but reading this reminded me how much I love her writing. I was drawn into the story from the very first page and found it very hard to put down. In fact, reaching the end was slightly bittersweet because I didn't want to say goodbye to Ginny or Jack - however satisfying the ending! I loved watching Jack gradually work his way into her life - and heart. I also loved watching Ginny develop the confidence to be able to admit when things are going wrong, and accept that no one can handle everything all the time without help. All in all, a delightful read - highly recommended.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
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Oh my goodness, I loved this book so much! I seriously smiled so much as I read it. It just has it all--great writing, a compelling plot, a great setting, amazing characters, and fantastic banter. Oh man, I love characters who are intelligent and witty and have good banter, and Ginny and Jack both fit the bill. Ginny is my favorite type of heroine--she's smart and independent and not about to sit by while Jack does all of the work. And Jack is my favorite type of hero--he's got a little bit of the bad boy element to him but has a good heart and tries to support Ginny rather than hold her back. The only thing that might have made this book any better is if we had some chapters from Jack's POV. It is adorable as it...but man, even a few scenes from his POV would have been amazing. (Actually, I'd love to see ALL of the scenes from his POV as well as Ginny's. I'm sure that wouldn't ever happen, but maybe the author will give us a bonus scene sometime in the future...I can only hope!) Easily one of my favorite books of the year and one I definitely want to re-read soon!
5 stars and one of my picks for Best of 2023.
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“I had the feeling that not kissing Jack Travers would turn out to be the greatest challenge of my life.”

I loved this book! I always love a good mystery and a good romance, and this book has both! I love the witty, flirtatious banter between Ginny and Jack. And Wily made me laugh! 

After Ginny’s late father’s watch goes missing after a dinner party, she decides to take the unconventional route and hires a thief-taker to track it down. She didn’t count on him being someone so charismatic. And she definitely didn’t plan on him lying to her half-sister and pretending to be a cousin. But it will all be worth it if he manages to get the watch back. 

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Joanna Barker is such a fun writer! This story is about a feisty Magistrate’s daughter and a thief-taker. Can you see the chaos that can produce?! 

There are several things I love about this tale, but these are the highlights: 

•Positive Father/Daughter relationship 
•Love of the written word
•Air of mystery
•He falls first
•Witty banter
•Importance of good friends
•Forced proximity
•Things aren’t as they seem
•You can’t choose your parents (or their choices), but you can choose what to do about it. 

If any of those are what you love in a regency/historical romance, then definitely read A Heart Worth Stealing. 

*Thanks, NetGalley, for my eARC copy to review*
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Ginny and Jakes story kept my attention from the start. Ginny is trying to keep a manor a float since her fathers recent death. It’s hard as a woman during that time period and she does her best to keep going until suspicious events keep happening. She reaches out for Jacks assistance . Who knew she would fall in love with this dashing gentleman ?
I loved that it wasn’t a fall in love instantaneously situation more gradually over time which made it more real to me. I loved “meeting” Jacks family and learning more about Ginny’s sister. 
I laughed out loud during reading and was shocked by who is ultimately “the bad guy” . What a great read . I will definitely read again and add to my personal collection. You can’t go wrong by reading this book. 
Thank-you to the publishing company  for  providing me with a complimentary copy of this fabulous book in exchange for my unbiased review.
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This book was everything I hoped it would be and more! A regency romance with just the right amount of mystery, action, romance and resolution. Suspicious events start to take place at Ginny’s family home including the loss of her late father’s treasured pocket watch. She decides to hire a thief-taker named Jack who at first irritates her, but quickly becomes something more. Jack is the ultimate swoony love interest and their chemistry can’t be beat. I loved this one!
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A Heart Worth Stealing by @authorjoannabarker 

Before I knew there was a #bookstagram world, Joanna Barker was a must buy for me. I didn't even need to read the summary to know it was gonna be good. Literally all I needed to know was that she was writing a new book. Imagine me throwing my money at her and yelling "take it! Take it alllll!!!"Years later nothing has changed. NOTHING! (*sing it as if you were Whitney Houston 🎶 Nothing, nothing!!!! 🎶)

I am sure Tasha (@the_clean_read_book_club) and I will exchange words of who's Joanna's biggest fan but I know that you know that I know that I win. 💪😉

Kidding aside this book is amazing! 

Ammm mmm mmmmmmazing!

This story is well-written, unique, and ammmmmmmmmazzzzzing! 🤣 

I adore the main characters and their ability to be fiesty and lovable all in one scene. 

If you have read this, can we take a moment to appreciate the tree scene??? Like whoa! Way to find a place for THAT moment!!!

Anywhoos, Joanna, I love you and your awesomeness. Please keep writing and remember I am your biggest fan 😘
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I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It was such a sweet romance with entertaining characters and plenty of longing. I adored Jack. That cheeky, tease. He had some great lines...

"It is difficult to speak when one's lips are already occupied." ... He can "occupy" me any day with words like that haha! 

I'm positive lovers of regency/Victorian romances will adore this one.  Its closed door but the author plays her cards right and still brings the romance. This is the kind of book that makes you happy. It was an easy read that I finished in a few days. 

The plot twist was a little too obvious. I'm a terrible detective and I saw it coming early on. Since the book starts with Ginny trying to solve a theft and Jack is literally hired to solve the crime, I had hoped we'd have more of a mystery to solve but It wasn't there, this is not a bad thing. Just a personal preference of mine. 

There were some very angsty moments and I would have loved one more as a cherry on top during the epilogue. It was sweet and satisfying but I would have liked to end on a super high note.
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