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Heart Thief

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I was warned about him. I should've listened. But I didn't.

Of course, I also thought Ryker Martel was about to propose.

He didn't.

I was ready to say yes.

He was ready to wait a little longer.

Now he's out of the country on an extended business trip and I'm staying in his penthouse apartment with seeds of disillusionment taking over my soul.

Ryker reminded me that his estranged brother might show up out of the blue at his penthouse. He told me to let him know right away if he did. He'd take care of it.

His brother is bad news. The rebel, the black sheep of the family.

"Don't trust him," Ryker said. "Stay as far away from him as possible. He's a thief, a snake."

Warning duly noted.

And ignored.

I considered myself equipped to handle whatever was thrown my way. I was wrong.

Nothing prepared me for Zane and the havoc he would wreak in my life--and in my heart. He turned me upside down and knocked me sideways.

Falling for the other brother is never a good idea. Keeping it a secret, even worse.

Especially when he proves to be the thief he was purported to be.

My heart will never be mine again and I want it back.

But it has been stolen and I'll never be the same.

Never.

Formerly part of the series, Love Under Wraps. Three standalone novels by three different authors about secret love stories.

Book One: Heart Thief by Taylor Dean.

Book Two: Rules are Made to be Broken by Mylissa Demeyere (Now book one of the Rules series.)

Book Three: A Wrinkle in Forever by Charissa Stastny

295 pages, Paperback

Published November 1, 2019

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About the author

Taylor Dean

30 books715 followers

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or suspense-you'll find all sub-genres of CLEAN Romance in her line-up.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews
Profile Image for Katie (Hiding in the Pages).
2,839 reviews205 followers
November 8, 2019
I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! This is a favorite and my heart was completely stolen with this swoony romance Mila is a professional pianist and her boyfriend, Ryker, asks her to be caretaker to his penthouse while he's out of the country on business. But when his estranged brother, Zane, shows up, all bets are off.

Zane and Mila fit together and complement each other like a hand to a glove and like peanut butter and chocolate. I love how real Zane is and how he subtly starts carving his way into the center of Mila's heart. Whereas Ryker is only falling, Zane is already there. His adoration, passion, and genuine care and concern won me over from the get-go.

There's something about a forbidden and secret romance that adds an element of excitement and fuels an already combustible chemistry to high swoon levels. Taylor Dean writes a magical escape that captivated me from start to finish with its charm. I absolutely adored these characters and lived vicariously through them from China Town to Jeopardy to Lucky Charms. I'm still swooning over here.

Content: mild+ swoony romance (kissing, some light innuendo)

*I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.*
Profile Image for Julie Carpenter.
1,355 reviews148 followers
October 15, 2019
Have you ever picked up a book and found that it connected with you in ways you weren't expecting? Or sometimes you pick up several different books in a row and they all have some sort of connection with each other. Not necessarily on purpose, just the randomness of it occurring with the books you're reading. Sometimes I find that I'll read several books in a row that have the same character name in each of them. Or they're all set in the same location. Kinda crazy when you think about how randomly I picked each individual book to read. Or one time, I read several books close together and a character (main or secondary) had my name. I always think it's fun to come across those types of random occurrences. But I also love when I read a book and feel like the author glanced ahead in time and saw a moment in my life and pulled little pieces of it so that when I read the book, I'd be reading about what was happening in my life. Does any of my rambling thoughts there make sense? Please say yes?! I hope I'm not the only reader out there who has experienced this happening.

Well, Taylor Dean definitely saw the future and what was going on in my life and included it in this book. Seriously! She's amazing! Not only have I adored her writing for a long time, but now, she's got an incredible gift to add to her other talents. Ok, yes, I am having a little fun here with my review. But I still think Taylor Dean is amazing! I truly do adore her books and characters. And sometimes I really do feel as if she knew exactly the emotions or moments happening in my life when she wrote her characters' stories. Now, that being said, I'm not talking about the tragic moments and sorrows per say, just some of the moments and some of the emotions.

Now, back to this book and my moments of life...maybe the connections are a little stretched but I thought it was fun and funny! First, Mila is a performing pianist. That's me (ok, maybe I'm not a Juilliard graduate like her but I perform and absolutely love and adore the piano)! Second, a character in this book had bronchitis then pneumonia. A family member in my household has had bronchitis and pneumonia for a while. Third, a character in this book has a broken finger (or more). My daughter broke her finger a couple nights before I started reading this book! And lastly, the emotions. I've not experienced the depth of some of the sadder emotions that a character feels but when I was reading this book, I was having some different experiences that were causing many sadder emotions to be present in my mind and heart. And the opposite emotions of joy and love, yes I was even experiencing those sweet emotions as well.

So maybe my connections might be a touch silly but they were my connections. And they definitely helped me feel more towards the characters and moments and emotions of this story. And let me tell you, I loved it all! As I was reading and processing the characters' lives and thoughts and feelings, I was also processing my own. And isn't that what books are for us? A balm? Even if they're not 100% spot on with our own lives, but have just a few little connections...don't we learn and grow as we read them? I do. I may be a book-aholic, but boy, oh boy, do I ever learn a lot.

In true Taylor Dean fashion, she took me on a journey that I won't be able to forget. These characters, their interconnections, their ups and downs, the twists and turns, the unexpectedness of it all, and yet the expectedness of it all (the sweet love story and happy ever after) all added to me creating more connections and growth. I might jokingly say that I hear the voices of characters in my mind and that they become my friends, but I'm also serious. These characters all help me learn how to navigate relationships. These characters came from someone's experiences and perceptions. Maybe that's why I love reading so much. I'm a people person and a people watcher. I love to see and understand the whys, and books (well written characters) definitely delve into my people watching and understanding side.

I've gone off on a long winded tangent there. Hopefully you're not lost in my rambling thoughts and somewhere in there, something made sense. I guess the biggest take away I'd like you to get from this review for this book is, learn and grow from the characters' openness and struggles and joys. Find something that speaks to you and enjoy your own journey of self discovery with Mila.

I read another review for this book and they said they'd already read it multiple times. I'm finding myself thinking back on the other books by Taylor and this one and wanting to just indulge in having a marathon and reading them all. Yes, I enjoyed all the ones I've read that much, and want to read all the ones that I haven't gotten to yet because of what I know this author will deliver in her writing and characters.

If you're looking for a sweet and power packed emotional love story, this is one I highly recommend. I giggled. I cried. I sighed. I swooned. I ugly cried a couple times. I ached. I soared. And I loved every moment of it!

Content: Clean. This book has several topics that can be more emotional. Death, loss of a loved one, depression, but I loved how the author was open and said she pulled from her own personal experiences. She didn't try to pretend like she knew how others felt, but she wrote about what she felt. Everyone who deals with depression can experience it in a completely different way than another. Many emotions but I felt like it was discussed and written in a beautiful way that can help in learning to understand and hopefully heal. Some mild innuendos but nothing further than kissing.

I received a copy from the author. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.

Happy Reading!!!
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,043 reviews569 followers
May 1, 2020
Really really good.

I forgot to come back and do my review, so I'll have to wing it. Mila is disappointed when her boyfriend askes her to housesit, instead of propose! She begins to question everything about their relationship and if they're really meant to be. Things get more complicated when his estranged brother, Zane, shows up and they get along so well.

This was a really fun "forbidden love" story, really sucked me in and turning the pages. I liked Mila and Zane, they have good chemistry. I also liked that nothing actually happens with them until after they're both well and single.

Content: Clean romance, no language or violence

Similar Books You May Enjoy...
Rules are made to be Broken (Love Under Wraps Book 2) by Mylissa Demeyere Wrong Brother, Right Match (Anyone But You #3) by Jennifer Shirk How I Met Your Brother by Janette Rallison
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,933 reviews242 followers
November 1, 2019
This book is yet another reason I adore Taylor Dean. Honestly, I just LOVE her books. They make me feel things and that is ALWAYS what I'm looking for as a reader. The characters feel real- like they could be me or someone I know. It's that familiarity that Taylor Dean excels at. I will tell anyone who will listen that Taylor Dean is one of my favorites. I was hooked from my very first book, years ago, (I Have People) and from there I binged on every book she had written. Then I stalked her, I mean followed her, and I've never looked back.

Do you know that song, Stolen by Dashboard Confessional? 🎵 You have stolen my heart🎶 ? That was the song playing through my head for half of this book. Mila's heart is definitely put through the ringer in this book because life is not easy. Bad things happen to good people. Life can get overwhelming and sometimes, sad. Mila feels the high of highs and the low of lows. See? Real.

There are so many things I loved about this book. The San Francisco setting! Mila's love for music and piano playing. Sparks!! (vs. no sparks and the very real distinction in this book) I loved the conclusion and the epilogue. It made me utterly happy and content.

Oh! And one more comment about this book cover. I loved it before I read the book but then, after reading this book, oh my perfection. This cover is an absolute PERFECT snapshot of a scene from this book. 😍💙!!

No matter what kind of day you are having today- good or bad- my advice is to pick up this book and enjoy the journey it will take you on. You won't be sorry. This book is on KU if you have that! Happy reading!

Content: kissing, depression

- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Mylissa Demeyere.
Author 8 books336 followers
October 2, 2019
I read an ARC of this book. It was one of those books that pulled me in from the start and had me reading up until the late hours only to wake up in the morning to continue. I loved Zane's playful attitude and the way he brought the best out in Mila. I loved the fun, witty comments and the playful banter between these two. Seeing the sparks ignite had me rooting for them even though this was a forbidden romance. The heart thief sure stole my heart, right along with Mila's.
So far I have read this book twice, and I already long for a lazy day to kick back and loose myself in the pages again. Loved, loved, loved this one.
Profile Image for Kathy Jo.
709 reviews113 followers
March 5, 2022
5+ Stars

You guys! Can I just tell you how much I loved this book?! Once I started it, I had the hardest time putting it down. I kept telling myself: "Just one more chapter. Just one more chapter". Well, that "one more chapter" turned into me staying up way past my bedtime and finishing the book. I just had to see what happened next! Haha.

I absolutely adored Mila and Zane! I found myself rooting for them from the moment they laid eyes on each other. I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop and found myself letting out little dreamy sighs throughout the book. The feels were most definitely real my friends!

I just have to say that Heart Thief is one of the best books I have read all year. There are some sensitive topics that are discussed in the book, but Ms. Dean does an exceptional job handling them. It's one of the many reasons I love her books. She's not afraid to tackle those difficult topics and does it in a way that keeps the reader engaged and helps them to gain a better understanding of said topics.

I suffer from depression myself and let me tell you... it sucks! There are days where I have to force myself out of bed. I know that if I give in just a little bit, I'm going to have an even harder time pulling myself out. When it comes to my depression, one of my saving graces has been reading. I don't want to even imagine where I would be right now had I not discovered my love for books.

Y'all I highly recommend that you grab this book! It's amazing! I already want to read it again. Hehe. I can't wait to see what Ms. Dean has in store for us next!

And can we take a minute to just admire these two?! I absolutely LOVE them! What do you think?!

description
Profile Image for Charissa.
Author 12 books73 followers
September 25, 2019
Love-love Dean’s latest story. I read an ARC, and this contemporary forbidden romance wrapped my heart up tight and didn’t let go. Mila, a professional pianist, is certain Ryker, her boyfriend of 10 months, is about to propose before he heads off to Japan for business. When he asks her to be the caretaker for his penthouse instead, she is crushed. He assures her they’re on the same page, but she starts to notice all the things that don’t mesh with them. Forget being on the same page; they seem to be in whole different books. After he leaves, her disillusionment grows. When Ryker’s brother shows up unannounced, she is frightened. Ryker warned her about his black sheep brother, but Zane is nothing like what Ryker and his mother described. Although, as the title implies, Zane is a thief, because he steals her heart.

I adored this story. It was fun seeing Mila’s growth as a person as she goes from settling for an okay guy to knowing what she really wants in life, after meeting Zane. It’s a fun, heart-pounding romance with all the happy thrills and tingles readers want, but the book also deals with the sensitive issue of depression. You get a glimpse into that darkness, which I appreciated as I felt it helped me feel more empathetic to those who deal with this in real life. If you love forbidden romance, this is a great one. Falling for the other brother can’t lead to any good, even if it feels so right. You’ll have to read it yourself to see how everything comes together (or not). It’s a well-written romance with all the feels I crave when I read. Bravo!
Profile Image for Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...).
1,450 reviews428 followers
December 28, 2019
Oooh, this story really brought out all the feels! I love when I'm experiencing the emotions of the characters, especially when they have such great chemistry and an interesting story to go along. The family dynamics were complicated and provided the conflict in the unexpected romance Mila finds herself in the middle of. The contrast between the brothers was stark, and as layers are peeled back and revealed, I was drawn in more and more as the story increased in intensity. This is one of those books that you just can't put down, with plenty of angst, the thrill of new love, and the personal difficulties that the characters struggle through and you just want to tell them, "You're not alone!" Overall, this is one of the standout books I've read this year and plan to definitely re-read it again in the future!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Profile Image for Christina.
656 reviews26 followers
March 6, 2022
A wonderful and unpredictable journey

Another fantastic book by this talented author! I really enjoyed this one and loved that it led me on an unpredictable journey. Taylor has such a talent for creating relatable characters, true depth to human emotion, and storylines that tug at the heartstrings.

I really related to and loved Mila in this story. She is such a great protagonist- kind, funny, and determined, with a zest for life. I loved her relationship with Zane- wow he was a perfectly swoony hero! Theirs was a toe-curling clean romance I couldn’t put down. But as always, it’s not as simple as that.

There were so many more dimensions and elements to this story. Lots of life lessons that jump off the page and realities that go hand-in-hand with love, loss, and destroyed dreams. Definitely had me crying at parts, but so worth the the satisfying ending.
Profile Image for Heidi.
316 reviews63 followers
November 25, 2019
Sweet clean romance

This was my first time reading a book by this author and I loved it! I can't wait to read more by her.
Heart thief was a fun sweet romance with a few twists and turns and adorable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Alisa.
766 reviews35 followers
November 5, 2019
I was so excited to find out that this is Book 1 of a 3-book series! Because I will definitely be reading the other books when they come out!

Mila is disappointed when Ryker, her boyfriend of 10 months, doesn't propose. Instead he asks her to take care of his penthouse apartment while he is out of the country for 3 months.

Mila has been warned about Ryker's brother, Zane. But that in no way prepares her for when she actually meets him. The more time she spends with Zane, the harder it is to resist him. And she starts seeing sides to Ryker that he's been hiding from her these past 10 months. His perfect image is definitely hiding some dark secrets! Zane has his own secrets, too... How's a girl supposed to sort everything out?
Profile Image for Jackie Johnson.
75 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2019
The Heart Thief took me so many places and on so many journey's with Mila, Ryker, and Zane! It reminded me of a Snow White/Cinderella story with a modern day twist that only Taylor Dean could blend and do so seamlessly!! I was so wrapped up in Mila, Ryker, and Zane and trying to figure out what was really going on, and I was so invested in their lives I could not put this book down!!!! It was truly a ride worth going on and the Heart Thief truly stole my heart completely!!! In fact I'm going to read it again, I loved it. I had an ARC copy and this is my honest review.
204 reviews2 followers
November 2, 2019
Wow! So much emotion to this book. Taylor Dean paints with words. I laughed. I cried. I did a happy dance. I fell in love with all the characters. I didn't want to put this book down. I did not want it to end. I was not disappointed with any of it. A great read.
Profile Image for Vibliophile.
1,462 reviews75 followers
November 2, 2019
A riveting romance with a dash of fairytale!

This is an engaging cinderella-flavored story where the hero is both Cinderfella AND Prince Charming.

Mila is in a relationship with mama's boy Ryker. Apparently she doesn't know the rule of looking at a guy's relationship with his mom to have an idea of what you can expect from him in marriage - but she's beginning to figure it out.

His brother Zane is not quite what she was told, and coming from a tight-knit family herself, she hopes to help reconcile the brothers. The more time she spends with Zane, however, the more she realizes how critically flawed Ryker is.

Mila's relationship with Zane is wonderful - they have the complementarity that she & Ryker do not. But that can't happen because it would definitely add to the brothers' conflicted relationship.

Things get increasingly complicated and Mila is caught in the middle of the family's toxicity, eventually becoming a victim of it.

This was so well written. The author keeps it real and yet not too heavy. Even when Mila is wrestling with depression at one point, it doesn't overwhelm & weigh down the story (something undesirable for those of us who read as an escape), yet is still believable & so tenderly drawn.

There were a few points that I might pick at, but the story engaged me so fully and so happily that I didn't care to - that's big because there are few books that can keep my inner critic voluntarily quiet! The happily-ever-after was satisfying and the epilogue was both touching & funny.

*Clean romance level: passionate kisses
Profile Image for Teya Teya.
Author 10 books101 followers
November 5, 2019
This is an amazingly written book. The tenseness throughout that is implemented from the situations are paramount. It's the kind of feeling you get in a horror or thriller book, but not as strong or intense. It builds and increases and you wonder who's right, who's wrong and what is going to happen next. This is a love story not a thriller. The way she takes you into the mind of a situational depression is something I've never read before. I've read books that tell you their going through something, but not entering the deep dark place described. I understand it so much better myself having a night of post partum depression after one of my children that I can't even figure out how to describe. This is incredible. It was written with heart in mind. Well done. WOW!
1 review
October 4, 2019
Taylor Dean has done it again! If you like books where you can immerse yourself in the story and relate to the characters’ feelings you will love this book! Don’t start it though unless you have some time on your hands because you won’t want to put it down until you are done.

I really enjoyed this book! The only bad thing was realizing it was over. ❤️❤️❤️ Give it a try, you’ll be glad you did. It’s a very sweet, clean, endearing romance.
180 reviews2 followers
October 30, 2019
I recieved this book off taylor in return for a honest review

I liked this book i connected with the characters and thought it was a nice touch that she touched on mental health but not to much,i loved the ending how the brothers reconnected with each other

Nice easy read book
735 reviews1 follower
April 28, 2021
Heart Thief is a clean, wholesome, easy read by new-to-me author Taylor Dean. With a contemporary setting in San Francisco, an interesting premise, and realistic characters, this story drew me in and kept me intrigued. I’ll be looking forward to reading more of her books.
Profile Image for Linda.
720 reviews76 followers
November 11, 2019
I’m always happy to read a book by Taylor Dean. Her books are so uplifting and filled with love. She has a writing style that keeps you wanting more. This book is no exception. It’s so good you won’t want to stop reading.

“It’s you, Mila, you. You’re the love of my life, the one I want to marry, the one I wnat to have children with. I know you think your life is over, but you once told me you had another dream besides the piano. And I want to give you that dream. A houseful of children, made by me and you.”
(I love this)

Mila had two dreams. One playing the piano and the other having a family. A man to love and many children.

Take a man and woman who may be in love. What if everything you think you know about him is based on lies? What if it’s some cruel kind of joke? Can you forgive a man who treats you like you are more his property than his girlfriend? The love of his life? This is what I see in Ryker and Mila’s relationship. He’s more of a mama’s boy who thinks he has to have Mila no matter what. But is he right for her?

Along comes Zane and Mila loses her heart for real. At least she thinks so. He’s the exact opposite of his brother, Ryker. He knows humor, he loves to dance, he knows what love is and he knows how to show it. Or is he too just after the girl because his brother has her? Can Zane be to good to be true?

These are a few of the decisions Mila has to figure out. Through many ups and downs she is torn. What she thinks is true may not be. These brothers are so messed up. So torn apart. They have been lied to for most of their lives by the ones that should have loved them unconditionally.

Love can be such a wonderful thing. The things that go along with it can be also and will be if it’s the right person. I completely understand why Mila could not stay with Ryker. He seemed so cold and calculated and serious all the time. He was not with her completely. His heart was just not there. Yet he didn’t want his brother to be with her. These brothers have so much to overcome. Many years of confusion and bitterness between them. Is Mila the prize or is she truly for one of them?

Taylor Dean outdid herself with this book. I loved it so much. As with all of her books there is a lot going on. Love, laughter, seriousness, tears, lots of tears at times, a cruel stepmother in this one and two half brothers who could have had such a good life together. Been there for each other to the end. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not to late.

This is a 5 star book from and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Profile Image for Jana.
94 reviews2 followers
November 3, 2019
It’s no secret that I love all of Taylor Dean’s books. I’m so excited whenever a new one is released. When I read the synopsis and saw the cover reveal for Heart Thief, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!
In true Dean fashion, Heart Thief sucks you in with the first page and doesn’t let you go until the very end. She takes you on a journey with Mila, Ryker, and Zane, that will have you cheering for love and crying with a broken heart.
If you like reading clean romances, grab your copy today. It will not disappoint.
Profile Image for Jillian.
647 reviews14 followers
November 4, 2019
Loved it!

Quite a while ago I read Chasing Fireflies by this author. It was a good book but then I kind of forgot about this author. I was so happy when I stumbled on this book this week. It was an enjoyable story I loved the contrast between Zane and Ryder. The lack of humor on Ryder’s part was hilarious. There were lots of twists and turns to the story. Things I wasn’t expecting. I loved the journey this took me on. Lots of fairytale comparisons of the missing prince with an evil queen, seriously evil. I was totally Team Mila and Zane!
Rating: PG/PG-13, clean, wholesome
Profile Image for Pascale’s*ARC,Unwind,Read,Review.
1,635 reviews23 followers
November 2, 2019
This author is amazing at turning my emotions into a pretzel! So many twists and turns! I was convince I had everything figured out in the story but she turned it a different way than I was expecting it to go. An excellent read and highly recommended.
1,533 reviews
November 22, 2019
Absolutely loved it. Like all of Taylor's novels be prepared for every emotion- sadness, giddiness, sorrow and joy. You'll stand as a cheerleader on the sidelines with the characters - booing, encouraging and celebrating.
Profile Image for Lucinda.
Author 22 books1,299 followers
November 11, 2019
3 1/2 stars. There were some 4 star moments and some low 3 star. Lots of unnecessary drama. Overall I liked it but it wasn't my fave from this author.
Profile Image for Maralee.
544 reviews
May 30, 2022
4.5 stars. New author for me so I wasnt sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the ride!
Profile Image for Tana.
129 reviews7 followers
April 15, 2020
I picked up this book, my first read by this author, expecting a warm "hallmark"-type read. You see, I go through phases in my reading. I will read several dark mysteries in a row, then some WWII fiction, then some cheesy romance, and around and around and around. I'm coming off of a dark read and needed something cheery. Something thoughtless. That is exactly what I thought I was getting after reading the first half of this book. But then it happened. My assumptions about this book were so wrong. This story got under my skin. This book hit me right in the feelings and took turns in the story that I, in NO way, saw coming.

This book, true to its name, stole. my. freaking. heart.

I loved everything about this book. The characters, the simple writing style, the happy dances, the dog - everything! This is definitely a book I will return to in the future.

This story is deceptively simple. The author delves into some really deep subject matter in a simple way that tore me up inside. For this reason, I have no other option but to give 5 stars. Taylor Dean gave me no choice!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews

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