Cover Image: A Heart Worth Stealing

A Heart Worth Stealing

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

4.5 ⭐️

This book was beautiful, inside & out—from the characters, to the cover, to the themes, to the storyline! 

Jack & Ginny were amazing! They had an enemies-to-lovers & reverse grumpy-sunshine feel that just worked so well. And Bea was simply marvellous—I would be so happy to read her story! 😍

The mystery had enough twists to keep me on my toes & I was beyond pleased that my suspicions proved correct.

Also, the title tie-in… ahh, so perfectly touching! And this line has my heart:

“Esse quam videri. To be, rather than to seem.” 💛

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
Was this review helpful?
BOOK REVIEW - A Heart Worth Stealing - Joanna Barker - 5/5 Stars

I'm a little late to the party on this book but the wait was worth it! A Heart Worth Stealing definitely lives up to all the hype and more! Regency romance will always be my first love so this book is going on the favourites list. It had everything you want in a Regency romance, beautiful intelligent herione, dashing flirtatious hero, clever wit and banter, lovable best friend, unpleasant relatives, dresses, a ball, mystery, a bit of adventure and of course lots of romance and kisses!

This book was the perfect example of enemies-to-lovers! Lots of verbal sparring without all the unnecessary anger and yelling. Jack and Genevieve were well matched and I so enjoyed them trying to outwit each other. Their mutual respect of each others intelligence and abilities was refreshing and it was so nice for the female MC to be the 'hero' #iykyk Oh and did I mention the need-a-fan-because-I'm-going-to-melt swoony kisses! Well there's those too....

Jack has made some mistakes in his life that cause others to look down on him and judge him for who he is but as Genevieve gets to know him, she's able to see beyond the labels placed on him to the heart of who he really is. Isn't that what God does for us? We are constantly making mistakes and sinning against Him but God looks beyond that to the person within and loves us anyway. He loves us despite what we've done or where we've come from or what labels the world had placed on us. He loves us even knowing that many of us will not love Him back. How amazing is He!
Was this review helpful?
This was both a good mystery and a good romance. I enjoyed the characters that the author created. I would read more books by this author, especially if the two main characters became leads in a detective series.
Was this review helpful?
This novel had everything I love about a good enemies-to-something more storyline, as well as a twist of a mystery that kept me guessing until near the end of the book. Miss Genevieve Wilde has lost her father and she is doing her best to keep Wimbourne, the family estate, going on her own. When her father’s pocket watch is stolen, the local authorities don’t take her seriously, so she hires a former Bow Street runner, Jack Travers. As the investigation begins, Ginny questions whether she should have hired Jack at all. His unorthodox methods bring results however, and soon they realize that the stolen pocket watch is part of a bigger scheme to hurt Ginny. Can they solve the puzzle before anything happens to her?

This story has so many things to love about it. Our hero is handsome and witty, but more than that, he is smart and does his job well. It was gratifying to see Jack and Ginny’s relationship evolve as they worked together. Their chemistry was so well-written that instead of rushing through to see how it ends, I literally savored every page. The author also writes a compelling growth arc for Ginny as she works through her grief over her father and her relationship with her half-sister in healing old family wounds. The villain was believable and the ending was just the comeuppance you want to see. A Heart Worth Stealing had an expertly intertwined romance and mystery set against a well-described setting with secondary characters that you want to know more about. This book is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far.
Was this review helpful?
A New Favorite Proper Romance!

Genevieve Wilde, a feisty little redhead whose father left her a large inheritance, including Wimborne, her family home. “Ginny” enjoyed her new role at Wimborne no matter how hard it was. Her life was filled with running her household, keeping up appearances and missing her father. She dismissed the need for help from anyone until theft, coupled with her magistrate not taking her seriously, bid her find another way to locate her father’s stolen watch.

Enter Mr. Jack Travers, the former Bow Street Runner she hired to find her father’s watch, suddenly missing after a dinner party. With shades of dashing heroes like one might encounter in The Three Musketeers or Robin Hood, Joanna Barker displays her ability to weave a story with depth and plot twists within an exceptionally paced storyline.
This quote from the blurb is an apt description of our hero…
“He is frustratingly flirtatious, irritatingly handsome, and entirely unpredictable, and Ginny wonders if she’ll be able to resist such a man.”

Readers of historical romance with mystery elements will adore this swoony jaunt. In my opinion, this book has no flaws save Jack’s name being said a bit too much. It is a 5* read through and through with a 5* narration.

Elizabeth Knowelden is a narrator I will definitely listen to again. Her accent, diction and pacing were so well suited for this storyline while her portrayal of each character kept me present in every scene. The chapter breaks were hailed by a pause and chapter number to keep the reader on track. Knowelden and Barker have collaborated well to produce an excellent story with an excellent narration.

This book is suitable for teens and older with no inappropriate intimate scenes and no bad language. I received this book from the author/publisher free of charge, with no expectation of a positive review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a delightfully fun story! The characters are intriguing and captivating. The plot is unique, but also possible. I also liked the hint of mystery that was included in this story. That mystery also set this story apart from other stories. I'd recommend!
Was this review helpful?
Joanna Barker has written some lovely romances that I’ve enjoyed in the past so I was quite excited to try this one out too. Unfortunately this is my least favorite so far and I think it is due to the mystery. The mystery aspect of this book was incredibly slow and sluggish and I knew from the VERY beginning who the bad guy was…there weren’t any twists or turns…it was just a very slow walk to the painfully obvious ending. 
There were some touching moments here and there …particularly when Ginny was reminiscing about her father or trying to make peace with her sister. And the pace did pick up once Ginny finally realized who the bad guy was but it was too little too late to save the book overall from a mediocre rating. 

I want to give an extra star just because this author seems to be a super sweet person but that wouldn’t be an honest review so I’ve got to stick with 3 stars! 

Thank you to Shadow Mountain for the advanced reader’s copy of this book. I truly appreciate it!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this love story! It is full of mystery and intrigue, all while being wrapped up in a warm hug of a love story! The unlikely match of a well to do daughter. She hired a thief to help her find something that was stolen from her house. What pans out is hilarity and swoons. Mystery and so many twists and turns. I love the mystery of it. Typically regency romances don’t have a ton of it, but this was full of it, and it fit the story perfectly!
Was this review helpful?
“I needed you and you came.” 
“Never doubt that,” he said, barely audible. “Never doubt that I will come for you.”

@authorjoannabarker does it again! Another perfect regency with the delicious twist of a mystery. 

Ginny is a successful and determined woman who is running her estate perfectly well on her own until the mysterious theft of her most precious heirloom — her father’s pocket watch. After not feeling heard by local authorities, she hires a thief-taker. 

Jack arrives and Ginny is shocked to find a disastrously handsome and flirtatious man at her service. I have soo many of his one-liners marked in my book. Their banter is top notch!  

Ginny and Jack are forced closer physically and emotionally as threats to her estate become more sinister than the original pocket watch theft.

The mystery portion of this book is exciting and page turning. Just when I thought I might have it figured out, there was a twist I absolutely wasn’t expecting! Add romance on top of this and you have your next five star read! 

Read for : 
Social class difference 
Slow burn 
He protects her 
The best kissing scenes
The oak tree 🫠
Page turning mystery 

I feel like the popular quote about this scene has been commonly used enough that we can talk about this. She kisses him first!!! Where has this been all my life in regency romances? Best. Thing. Ever! Also, where can I find a giant oak tree? Will my husband ask too many questions if I drag him into a tree to make out?? So many questions.. 

“It was as if our souls had been yearning for one another, and we hadn’t known it until this moment. But now it was clear as a mountain lake. He was made for me, and I for him.”

Many thanks to @netgalley for the ARC of this lovely book! Opinions are always my own.

Content: Clean. Kissing/minimally detailed make out. The trigger warnings contain minor spoilers for the mystery so read on only if needed. ❤️

TW: Theft, harassment, kidnapping, and house fire.
Was this review helpful?
Joanna Barker’s books are always a delight and this one was no different!
I absolutely loved Jack and his wit and charisma and while Ginny took a minute for me to warm up to I ended up liking her character as well! And the two of them together were fabulous with sparks flying from the very first meeting!
The mystery element of the story was engaging and kept me guessing till the end! 
In short this book was a wonderful read that I thoroughly enjoyed and cannot recommend enough!
Was this review helpful?
A determined heiress hires a charming thief-taker to aid in her search for her beloved late father’s watch, only to become embroiled in an increasingly dangerous mystery in A Heart Worth Stealing, the latest Proper Romance® from Shadow Mountain Publishing.

I was hooked from the very first, clever line:

 “My study had been overrun by men.” (Loc 44)

Why was the missing watch so important?

“Father rarely did anything without consulting his watch. It was a part of him. If ever a soul could be seen in an object, that watch was Father. Steady, sturdy, practical. Loved.” (Loc 112)

I could go on and on about the heartwarming prose in this story. I have enjoyed everything I’ve ever read by Joanna Barker, yet, remarkably, each book is even better than the last. She is on my list of favorite historical romance authors for so many reasons, but especially for the emotional depth she gives her characters.

Authentic Characters

Ginny and Jack are simply delightful. Relatable. Realistic. They are humanity brought to life on paper, with all their imperfections. Calling their sparkling dialogue “witty banter” seems almost like a tired compliment compared to how enjoyable it is to read. Their supporting cast is wonderful as well.

Oh, the Emotions!

Evoking a variety of emotions is the pinnacle of a five-star read for me, and Joanna Barker is a superstar at this masterful skill. A Heart Worth Stealing made me laugh, cry, and swoon from all of the beautifully wrought emotions spilling forth from the genuine characters and significant situations.

Action-packed Suspense

Secrets are revealed, unexpected plot twists and villains made me gasp aloud, and some heart-thumping action kept me riveted. It was a fantastic surprise to discover a gripping mystery in the midst of a lovely romance.

Proper Romance

Lovers of authentic historical romance will adore the sweetly sincere love story in A Heart Worth Stealing.

5 out of 5 Stars
Was this review helpful?
I liked the lead a lot and enjoyed the way they brought the two together.  I didn't quite buy the full chemistry there but I was invested in the story and resolution
Was this review helpful?
🤍 A Heart Worth Stealing 🤍

Another great book by Joanna Barker! I love Ginny’s loyalty to her house and her father’s memory. Jack is amazing! I love his attitude, flirtatiousness, and general good humor. I love the journey these two characters take together.  Also the banter is perfection. 
Read this for the historical romance, mystery, humor, and heart felt moments.
Was this review helpful?

I just started this book and I’m already loving it! It’s very in line with the other Proper Romance novels with the addition of a mystery. I really love Joanna Barker’s writing and her characters! I think Jack is going to be a new favorite MMC. I love his blend of cheekiness and sweetness that’s apparent from his first appearance. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the eARC!
Was this review helpful?
Yes yes yes!! Soo good. A little bit of mystery. A lot of swoony gentleman goodness. Sweet romance. Kisses. All the good stuff while remaining wholesome.
Was this review helpful?
A Heart Worth Stealing by Joanna Barker is a fun, lighthearted regency romantic mystery. Ginny is grieving her father and treasures the watch he left her. When it goes missing, she’s desperate to get it back. So desperate, she hires Jack. Jack is a perfect balance to strait laced, proper Ginny. He is funny, also very intelligent, and enjoys drawing her out. While I could easily figure out the culprit early on, the story was more about their developing relationship and providing opportunities for entertaining dialogue and interactions.
I did love the resolution and the discovery. It was thoughtful and explained well. I also enjoyed seeing the restoration to relationships in Ginny’s life. I enjoyed how devoted Jack and Ginny were to each other and both determined to put the needs of the other first in all things.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.
Was this review helpful?
This was a delightful read from Joanna Barker! I loved everything about Jack and Ginny's story! I especially enjoyed the mystery that was woven into this sweet romance! 

I received an ARC through Netgalley and all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Romance, suspense and Regency is a great combination. I loved this story. There is so much going on and the mystery kept me guessing. Jack and Ginny are really fun together. I loved their banter, but also their sweeter moments together. There are some wonderful secondary characters and some questionable ones as well. This story pulled me right in and I hated when I had to put it down.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley and this is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
If you’re looking for your next Regency fix? Then here you go! A Heart Worth Stealing is all things fab and swoony tucked within a gorgeous cover!

The author does such a great job pairing an intelligent, slow-to-trust heroine with a charming, bend-the-rules, thief-taker. The plot was engaging that I struggled putting the book down. The romance was well-paced and full of sparks. And the overall book was just stellar.

I’m excited to see what’s next from this author!

I received a NetGalley copy. My opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
A Heart Worth Stealing by Joanna Barker is a well written, plot driven novel that has a light under current of romance. The premise of this novel definitely intrigued me and the mystery is definitely the main driving force of the story. Barker’s writing is easily engaging and she has an easy tone which makes this novel a quick paced read. I think technically this novel has a lot going for it, I neither hate nor overly enjoyed this novel. Ultimately I did not really connect with the hero and heroine enough to really root for their romance, so I did not feel fully invested. I do think that Barker has a really lovely way with her words and there was definitely some charming and bantery moments. 

Overall, if you love a soft and cozy style mystery that is very light on romance than this novel might really work for you. Well written and an easy read, I think that many people will find this to be exactly what they are looking for.

Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?