Cover Image: A Heart Worth Stealing

A Heart Worth Stealing

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Member Reviews

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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After the death of her father Genevieve is trying to prove herself capable of running the estate he left her. After her watch gets stolen and not being taken seriously by the local magistrate she seeks help elsewhere. In walks Nathan Travers. 

This latest from Joanna Barker is an enjoyable read. The mystery was well paced and engaging. 

I liked Genevieve although I did find her unnecessary defensive and suspicious towards Nathan at the start of their relationship. She's also the type of employer that everyone dreads, also looking over your shoulder and questioning everything you do. Nathan was a gem, so heroic and intelligent, he was definitely the ideal hero. 

Joanna Barker has always been an autobuy for me and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy from Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an honest review.
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Ginny Wilde is the magistrate's daughter and the sole heir of the Wimbourne estate.
At 23, she's trying to prove herself that she is capable of looking after the state and handling all the business after her father's passing.
However, when one night her father's pocket watch was stolen and other incidents started to happen around this state Ginny reached out to the police but with no help she decided to take matters into her hands and hire an investigator.

Jack Travers is a young handsome man and nothing like Ginny has expected and what started as a formel relationship turned into something else when Jack had to pretend to be Ginny's cousin and live with her in the same house so they can keep their business a secret and catch the thief.
Will the lines blur between love and work? or will all be casual? You have to read to find out 😉.

Great characters
Amazing banter
Sweet romance
All in all perfect
Thanks to @Netgalley and the publisher for granting me an ARC of #AHeartWorthStealing in exchange for my honest review.

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A Heart Worth Stealing
By Joanna Barker
Release date: MAY 2, 2023

I have not read one of Joanna Barker’s book, but this one was a great one to start with. She has produced a wonderful mystery & romance all in one!  These characters are just so wonderful and funny with their banter and interactions.  I do love a good mystery and Joanna delivered and kept me wondering who stole her watch.  
Sowerby, England, 1802

Miss Genevieve Wilde—a magistrate’s daughter and independent heiress—is determined to meet life’s challenges all on her own, just as her late-father had taught her. So when her father’s pocket watch is stolen, she will do anything to get it back, especially when the local authorities prove incompetent.

She takes a chance and contacts a thief-taker to find the watch. It’s a choice Ginny regrets when former Bow Street officer Jack Travers arrives on her doorstep. He is frustratingly flirtatious, irritatingly handsome, and entirely unpredictable, and Ginny wonders if she’ll be able to resist such a man.

But after Ginny discovers that the missing watch is just a small part of a larger, more frightening plot against her, she needs Jack’s help more than ever. To protect her home and her reputation, the two enter into a risky charade—pretending Jack is her cousin so he can begin his investigation, starting with the household staff. As they work together to unravel the mystery, Ginny finds herself falling fast for her charismatic thief-taker, leaving her heart in just as much danger as her life.
Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for allowing me an ARC to review.  All opinions are my own.
#AHeartWorthStealing #NetGalley #ShadowMountainPublishging #ProperRomance
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If you were hoping for a sweet romance with an engaging investigation, you won't find it here. You will find an unlikeable (and at times mean) main character, tedious internal dialog, and a tedious slog through an mystery. While I'm reading that the setting is the regency period, the dialogue and some of what is happening in the story is more modern and therefore implausible.

I'm surprised an editor didn't smooth it out the many rough spots. For example, after noting that a character's clothing has been mended or patched several times, Genevieve's inner dialogue has her making fun of his clothing. It's unnecessary and mean. She thinks of her stolen watch as "in the grubby hands of some nibbler, hidden away in those horrible flash houses or being sold for ale money." Forget the awkward writing, she's basically assuming that the watch was stolen by a poor person and she seems to have distain for the poor. (For what it's worth, the word "nibbler" gained popularity in the 1950s.) I had a hard time discerning whether changing the often used term "wrong side of the blanket" to "under the wrong blankets" to describe Jack was deliberate or not. The fact that there are many historical inaccuracies makes me think it was done in error.

The hero's background (specifically, his job and parentage) is strikingly similar to the one in another historical mystery series that was published in the last year. Perhaps it's coincidence.
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#BookRevew: A HEART WORTH STEALING by Joanna Barker

“It is not the path I would have chosen, but it is the one I have been forced to travel.”

I have always enjoyed regency romance with mystery. I have enjoyed the author’s other books and this one did not disappoint. Genevieve was close to her father, so his untimely passing shook her. She became the mistress of Wimborne overnight. Her father’s favorite watch was stolen. She had to seek help from a thief-taker. That didn’t go well at first and Genevieve was always suspicious of Jack. 

This slow burn, enemies to lovers romance had fun and witty banters. I enjoyed the humor between them, but I was also a bit displeased by Genevieve’s impulsiveness. She did some things that were not very smart in my opinion, though it made the story exciting. Their forced proximity rattled Genevieve more. Jack’s roguish and sweet ways eventually won her over.

The plot was well paced. The fun twists and turns in the story were engaging. The scenes at Jack’s home were delightful. I’m glad that Genevieve was renewing her friendship with her sister. Regency fans will surely enjoy this fun read. 

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: 02 May 2023

Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing  for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Dear Joanna,

Ginny loves to write so I thought you would like a letter...

Once again you have delivered a fantastic swoony historical romance. This time around you gave us a mystery to solve with a little adventure and I was here for it!

I would describe Jack Travers as handsome, sweet, flirty with a little side of arrogance...YUM. I love how he is on the edge of society expectations and so he gets to run his mouth quite a bit. The banter is 😍😍🔥🔥 enough said.

You gave us a heroine that is a bit of a risk taker but smart, genuine and the perfect firecracker for your Jack. The dialogue in this story is absolutely perfect! And I thoroughly enjoyed watching each of them make mistakes and owning up to each other. It was so sweet and tender 🥰

Thank you for giving me this lovely regency escape. the mystery was fun to solve and I enjoyed every minute of Ginny and Jack's love story!

I LOVED this book! I'm here for all your written words Joanna! I need more of your books on my shelves!

Love, Kira

P.S. what is with those tree scenes?
I see a trend 😂🥰😍🔥😘

P.S.S. this book releases May 2nd!

P.S.S.S. thank you to @shadowmountainpub @properromanceseries @netgalley for the early copy! 

*Romance- kisses
*TW- kidnapping, trauma, death of loved ones, grief

✨QOTD✨ who is an auto buy author to you?

#aheartworthstealing #joannabarker  #shadowmountain #mayrelease #properromance #newbook #historicalromance #histfic #sweetromance
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Ginny is doing her best to hold together the estate after her father suddenly passes away. She misses him so! Ginny carefully winds his pocket watch every day and tries to do what he would do. When the watch goes missing and the local authorities don't seem to be taking it seriously, she decides to take matters into her own hands and hires someone to track it down.

Jack, however, is not quite what Ginny expected. He doesn't seem to take directions very well. And somehow, he has ended up posing as her cousin!

I love the 1st person narrative. I feel like we get to go deeper into feelings and thoughts. And Ginny struggles. She was "beginning to feel something for Jack. Something deeper than friendship or mere attraction. A low burn in my stomach when he looked at me. The urge to laugh when he teased..." "Looking at me in a way that made me feel like I might burst into flames."

Esse quam videri.

Thanks to netgalley for the eARC.
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Sleuthing and action meet a happily ever after!

Although I love a Proper Romance more than anything, I do not love a first person POV. Our MCs have such great chemistry, but we never get the hero’s point of view. This was super disappointing to me!
However, other than that I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. The resolution of the mystery was unexpected. The characters, as I said, are so lovely. Their conflicts felt grounded and not overblown. Absolutely worth reading! 

Star Rating: 3/5
Tropes: Business woman, bow street runner
CW: Death of parent, violence, injury, kidnapping

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Mystery and Romance, Yes Please!

When Genevieve's father dies she inherits the estate and spends the next several months trying to prove to her staff, her step-sister, and the community that a woman can manage an estate.  In the midst of her struggles to prove herself, someone steals her father's pocket watch.  When the local magistrate won't take her seriously, she hires a thief taker to retrieve it.   The more Jack Travers discovers, the more Ginny finds that the pocket watch is just the tip of the iceberg.   Someone is out to undermine her, frighten her, and possibly destroy her.  As much as she doesn't like Jack's familiar way with her, she needs him more than ever, and possibly even wants him at her side.

I liked watching Jack wear Ginny down.  He liked ruffling her feathers, and she needed someone to help her take a step back from her responsibilities.  I really loved when she met his family, and her best friend was a delight.  I hope we get her story another time.
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So many fun tropes in this story- opposites attract, forced proximity. Loved the mystery aspect and the time period- definitely gave it "Miss Scarlett and the Duke" vibes. I enjoyed both main characters and watching their relationship progress. It was fun to figure out who the villain was, and the ending was intense and exciting. Would definitely recommend!
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Joanna Barker can do no wrong in my eyes. Every book she writes is consistent in all areas. Plot, character development, setting, side characters, details/description,'s ALL THERE. Every single time. I don't know how she does it, but she does.

'Though I had control of my own estate, I was just a single woman. How was I to keep my home safe? I had no one left to guide me. No mother since the day I was born. No sister since Catherine had decided I was a thorn in her side. No father. Tears burned in my eyes. I fought them back. I needed solutions, not a headache.'

Enter Jack Travers :)

Jack is a jack-of-all trades who specializes in solving mysteries and crimes as a "special investigator". From the second you meet him, you will be hoping to find him on every single page lol. He is witty-has a fabulous comeback for everything. He is exasperating to our female main character and he knows it---and it makes him exasperate her even more. It's banter gold!

Ginny, our female main character doesn't want to rely on anyone to help her, but knows when she is in over her head. Little does she know bringing Jack into her life will put her way in over her a way she isn't expecting. I love her strong personality. I love that she knows her own mind. I love that she's human and owns up to her mistakes and assumptions and I LOVE HER AND JACK!

Ginny and Jack just might be the best literary couple of 2023!

All the love in the world for these two!

Annnnnd then we get into the plot...the mystery and slightly suspenseful who dunnit that will keep you turning pages almost faster than you can read! I had suspect after suspect lined up and loved questioning, and re-questioning myself at every twist and turn.

This is one of those books you would love to see turned into a movie, but then second guess because you know it will never be as good as the book and you don't want it ruined!

This is another perfect novel from Joanna Barker and another book to add to my all-time favorites list!

If you're ready to swoon, laugh, sigh, hold your breath while trying to solve a mystery this book is for you!!

Thanks to the publisher for the copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley and Shadow Mountain publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.

Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Romantic Suspense, Proper Romance, Sweet Romance, Historical Mystery
Heat level: Sweet (you'll get some great kissing in this one)

There are Regency books, then there are REGENCY books. This is the latter and ahh-mazing! There's just something so great about this era for romance novels. They make me swoon and smile.

Our heroine, Ginny Wilde (who is anything but wild), is grieving from the loss of her father and running the estate solo. She has to be stubborn not to bend to society's wishes to tell her she's doing everything wrong. And because her mother was a governess, she's striven her entire life to perfectly proper. Not a hair out of place. Not an expression unschooled. Not anything that would bring her under scrutiny. Her one exception is her best friend, Bea, who is brash and says what she thinks—but Ginny will never abandon their friendship. She also has her servants to rely on and Mr. Northcott, the new magistrate. Ginny dismissed her run with bad luck, but once her father's beloved pocket watch is stolen, she must take matters into her own hands.

Jack Travers is the opposite of Ginny—brash, flirtatious, moves without a care in the world, and a thief-taker! (Oh my! How scandalous!) He's also wicked smart, matching his wicked smile. (Insert swooning now.) Jack also knows about not fitting in with society with a father who won't publicly claim him, but he no longer cares. The freedom he represents is enchanting—carefree in a world of rules and strictures concerning conduct. And so, he becomes Ginny's "cousin" to stay at the house without raising too many eyebrows while trying to find the culprit attacking her house.

I loved how each of the secondary characters had a backstory and how they fit with Ginny's life. This is such a fabulous read that will give you all the sweet romance feels.

The BANTER! It's so delightful! And the mystery adds extra zest to this romance. I loved how I was questioning whodunit from the beginning. (I will not reveal my thoughts on the matter so you can enjoy it to its fullest.) I adored learning more about thief-takers in the British legal system.

And whose heart do you think gets stolen??? You'll have to read to find the answer. This book deserves an award!

I highly recommend this book!

Put it on your TBR! Run out and buy a copy! You won't regret having this book steal your heart.

Happy reading!
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Two words. JACK. TRAVERS. This man! Oh my goodness, he’s a good one! I loved all his flirty remarks and his playful personality…and of course his handsomeness. 

I have loved everything of Joanna Barker’s that I have read and A Heart Worth Stealing lived up to the swooniness that is a standard in her writing. 

This is a Regency Romance with a bonus mystery storyline. I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery, while not being actually scared since I’m a wimp with scary stuff. It had just the right balance of action and mystery while still giving a lot of page time and focus to the romance. 

The kisses. And ALMOST kisses. Sheesh! Joanna just threw propriety out the window while still keeping it clean. Ooo the chemistry and angst were so good! 

If you like Regency or Historical Romance, pick this book up! You will not regret it. 

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A Proper Regency romance/mystery.  Genevieve Wilde is managing her father’s estate.  He was a magistrate before his death and she has been raised as a gentleman’s daughter.  The morning after a small dinner she finds her father’s watch has gone missing.  It has more sentimental value than monetary.  When the police and new magistrate aren’t hopeful of the watch being found she decides to hire a thief-taker, or private investigator.  Enter Jack Travers.  He is an illegitimate son of earl who is educated, served in the military and is also a former Bow Street Runner.  Of course Ginny involves herself in his investigation causing some clashes between the two.  But as threats escalate they need to trust and work together.

This is a very enjoyable, well paced novel.  The culprit is fairly easy to guess and I am happy with how the story wraps up.  There is a little more familiarity between the two because they are not aristocracy but they try to keep the rules of the time.  Also it is told entirely from Ginny’s POV.  This is clean with kissing only and some peril.  Suggest for any age who enjoys romances.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC and I am leaving a voluntary review.
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A lovely blending of romance and mystery, with characters seeking purpose and contentment amidst big life changes. By the final chapters, I was completely in love with Genevieve and Jack and their relationship. In the beginning, they seem total opposites who could only nettle each other to distraction, but soon enough they're indispensable to each other's daily happiness. I appreciated that their love was built as much on attraction as on mutual respect, and there was nothing more swoonworthy than Jack's (eventual) deference to Genevieve's capability and judgment. The longing glances and passionate kisses come close, however.

My thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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