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To Steal a Heart

(Secrets and Spies #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  628 ratings  ·  154 reviews
K. C. Bateman brings Napoleonic France to life as a master spy and a beautiful thief find love and intrigue in each other’s arms.

Forced to do the bidding of a corrupt government minister, Marianne de Bonnard agrees to plant incriminating evidence in the offices of France’s most notorious spymaster. Under cover of night, the tightrope-walking thief puts her skills to good
ebook, 363 pages
Published April 18th 2020 (first published February 23rd 2016)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  628 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy
Marianne is a woman in a tough spot like many women during those times. She is doing her best to protect her sister and that includes doing things she doesn't want to do. Nicolas needs Marianne and when he catches her sneaking into his home, he seizes the opportunity. I enjoyed the development of their relationship through a plot that ropes in a rich history. It was entertaining to read Nicolas' attempts to treat Marianne as the others he's dealt with in the past when she clearly made him feel d ...more
It's not often I make a first book a DIK, but I gave this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded-up.

I was lucky enough to read a number of very strong début novels last year, and that trend is continuing into 2016 with K.C Bateman’s To Steal a Heart, ( Secrets and Spies book 1), an action-packed, sexy romantic adventure story set in Napoleonic France. The story grabbed me from the first page and wouldn’t let me go until I’d finished it – which I did in about two sittings.

Marianne Bonnard h
Joanna Loves Reading
I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected. Which is likely part of my problem. Too high of expectations. I am typically a fan of spy-themed HRs, so I was excited to try this one. The spy aspect and the historical context in which it was used here was interesting. I just felt the romantic connection felt forced. There was a big age gap 35 to 19, which does not typically bother me but felt very apparent here. There were frequent mentions of his experience versus her innocence (romantically)m and t ...more
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
I loved this impressive 2016 debut novel from K. C. Bateman. Set in France just before the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, it combines a well-written, action-packed story, intriguing characters and a sensual romance.

Following the death of his younger brother, Nicolas carries a deep sense of guilt for having survived when his brother didn’t, and his life no longer has any real meaning. The danger, intrigue and excitement inherent in the world of spying and his desire f
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.25 Netgalley for honest review.

Very impressed with this debut author and her writing.

Marianne de Bonnard works for the circus as well as her very revolting and terrible Uncle. Working for her uncle as a thief, she uses her talent for tight rope walking to steal for him. He has used her sister, who is several years younger as leverage to manipulate Marianne to do is bidding. Marianne's parents died in a fire when she was younger and her Uncle became their guardian to an extent.

Nicolas Valette
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this read, my first book by K.C.Bateman. The spy HR theme isn't my usual read, but it was quite well written on the whole, and the story moved along fairly quickly. It is reminiscent of Joanna Bourne, some of whose books I have also enjoyed.

Nic, the spy H, is gorgeous. Marianne, the h, is a circus performer and a thief, which is an interesting premise. The opening of the book is novel and fresh, and draws you into the book. I will now add the other books in the series to my
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marianne de Bonnard high wire artiste at the Cirque Olympique in Paris has been blackmailed for years by Duval a corrupt government minister, she agrees to plant incriminating evidence in the offices of France’s most notorious spymaster, in fact she’d agree to almost anything to keep her sister Sophie safe. Under cover of night, the tightrope-walking thief puts her skills to good use, that is until her aerial stunt is foiled when her target appears in the window and, with consummate poise, helps ...more
(Nat) Reading Romances
I was enthralled!

I wanted to get to know sophie at the beginning of the book, nnd see more dialogue between them as well. She’s the reason Marianne goes through so much! I wish the next story would be Sophie and Andrew’s, or that we’d at least have a novella. They sound like a sweet couple. Nicolas and Marianne were on fire together!

It's an unique story, fast paced and a page turner! I'm not usually a fan of thief heroes/heroines, but this one worked out splendidly. I just feel TO STEAL A HEART
Space Cowgirl
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smoke 🔥and Shadows

Vastly Superior ADULT Historical Napoleonic War Era Romance that takes place in France.
Paris 1815
I can't say enough about how good this absolutely amazing novel about Nicolas Valette🐺🍆⛲💪🔫🔪, a British/French spy master who seems to be a double agent, working both for the British and the French who want to oust Napoleon. He lives only for the revenge for the death of his brother in a French prison camp under the rule of Napoleon.

Suave, skilled, devastatingly handsome and ruthless
K.C. Bateman
Feb 23, 2021 is currently reading it  ·  (Review from the author)
TO SETAL A HEART is FREE on all platforms for readers in the USA, UK, AUS, Canada and India until March 4th. Grab your copy today!

"A thief. With a parasol. On a tightrope.
Even in his strange world, it was a first.
Nicolas Valette drew his evening cloak around him, crossed his arms, and smiled into the darkness. Mademoiselle Marianne Bonnard was proving to be everything he’d been promised, and more."
#YouJustStartedaBook .To Steal a Heart
Shannon Dyer
Pretty close to perfect! I will definitely read more of Ms. Bateman's work in the very near future. ...more
I waited a couple of days before writing this review to allow the book to percolate in my mind for a while. Why did I need to do that? Well, the book had some good things (and good reviews) going for it.
Here are some of them.
Good characterisation- lots of description and interaction between hero Nicolas and heroine Marianne.
Terrific imagery of that tumultuous time in France when Boney was having a second shot at running the show in Europe, before he got his at Waterloo.
Fluid, well-written story
Tracy Emro
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

I really enjoyed this book - it was a well written, fast paced and very entertaining. I would rate this book 3.5 rounded up for excellent writing. This book vaguely reminded me of the movie Entrapment with Sean Connery & Catherine Zeta-Jones. Not the actual story - but the training and the older man/younger woman scenario.

Nicolas Valette is a spy, but his sole purpose in life is to destroy Napoleo
4.5 Stars

I found about K.C. Bateman and To Steal a Heart through a review on Caz's Reading Room. I was intrigued by the setting and the description of the heroine. And my expectations were definitely met thanks to the beautiful writing, action-packed plot, and steamy love story.

Marianne is a tightrope walker who is under the thumb of a corrupt official. Often she is forced to perform various illegal tasks in order to achieve Duval's goals. Her latest assignment forces her to sneak into the offic
Vellum Voyages
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

4 helms

Please follow me on my blog :) Review originally posted on Vellum Voyages

A Loveswept title! I'm so glad they are publishing again & have branched out into historicals. I didn't realise they were publishing historicals until I came across "To Steal a Heart". It's all very exciting as I devoured these from my local library when I was in high school and they really cemented my love for romance novels :) It felt like a happy reunion reading a Loveswept & what a great debut for K.C Bateman! As
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: published-2016
I read this book on an impulsive whim after reading Caz's review of it at AAR and am happy I did. It feels very much in the tradition of Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady and has many similarities, including France as a setting, the entrapment of a virtuoso young woman who has preternatural skills, and a dark and at times ruthless spy who needs her as a potential weapon against Napoleon, so much so that he is willing to kidnap her and blackmail her into helping him. The entire book is gripping and t ...more
I'd like to thank Net Galley and Love Swept of the Random House publishing group for providing me with a free uncorrected proof copy, in e-book format, in exchange for an honest review of To Steal a Heart.

Historical romance is one of my favorite genres of books. This is the first of K.C. Bateman's books that I have read.

This story takes place mainly in France toward the end of the Napoleonic wars. The main female character, Marianne de Bonnard, and her sister Sophie are orphaned due to a tragic
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a historical Romance set during Napoleons time . Hero is Nicolas and Heroine is Marianna .
Marianna has a job to do. It's to plant some papers in an office . She doesn't know what is in those papers but she has no choice . Marianna also does tightroping in the circus . So Marianna has no choice to do it that way . She's half way to the office when she sees the office is occupied by the person that has that office . Nicolas is that person . And he has a job for Mariana . Nicolas helps Mar
Sissy's Romance Book Review
This is book one in the "Secrets and Spies" series. This is my first book by this author and will not be my last. I fell in love with her writing and this story. There were some tough scene where I thought the hero, Nicolas Valette had been a littler hard on our heroine, Marianne de Bonnard. But it did not stop me from enjoying this book.
Marianne has had to take care of her and her sister since she was fourteen years old. They had been sent to their uncle after her parents were killed in a fire
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is set in France towards the end of the Napoleonic wars. The people are suffering and corruption is rife among those in power.
Nicholas Valette is a spy, and he needs someone to help him on a particularly dangerous job. This person needs to have special talents.
Marianne Bonnard has two jobs. In the circus she is a tightrope walker and knife thrower, but she is also a very skilled, if unwilling thief. The person who controls what she steals is a great danger to her and her sister.
This book
Christine Woinich
This story kept me in my chair. The heroine is a strong woman. Marianne will do whatever it takes to protect her sister. She even steals information and runs into a spy. Nicolas is a man who will not let anyone in. He carries more than his share of guilt. They push each other's buttons, and the heat builds. Nicolas promises Marianne that they will be together. Their hearts get involved, and things get interesting. The history of Napoleon fills in the background with some interesting tidbits. I r ...more
WOW... Note to self: KC Bateman is the name to remember. Note to fellow goodreaders: Best debut in historical romance I've read in a long long time. No, not just debut, best book I have read in this genre in the last few years. This is huge for me, considering a lot of my autobuy authors' recent effort has been mostly bust. Now I have hope. The next book can't come out fast enough. Note to the publisher: find her a better illustrator next time. Invest in this one, guys. She's going to be huge. 5 ...more
This novel was dark. the heroine was abused, beaten and finally coarsed to risk her life to save a royal she didn't know. I didn't like how the hero initially treated her rough, demanding even knowing her history and her fears. Although she was brave, I felt the hero left her even more vulnerable. this is not love. Disappointed. ...more
Becca Walker
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. I was hooked completely, I've had a few DNFs recently and I'm not a fan of spy themes but I absolutely loved the passion and intrigue in this novel. The writing was gripping and the characters perfect: Sassy stubborn heroine and dark dangerous hero.

Just wish I could of had an epilogue, I didn't want it to end.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spies! Romance! Circus acts! There’s a lot going on in this book.

Marianne is a tightrope walker in the circus by day, and Paris’ best thief at night. Forced into thievery by a horrible man in order to save her family, Marianne is caught trying to plant incriminating papers in the office of Paris’ greatest spy, Nicolas Valette. So he blackmails her into working for him! See, he’s trying to overthrow Napoleon and he needs Marianne’s special skills to pull it off. Nicolas is dedicated to his missio
Marianne is a tight rope walker who’s skills are needed to help make a daring rescue. Nicolas is the spy master extraordinaire who recruits/buys/expects Marianne’s help. He’s always correct and seems to have the answer to everything, much to Marianne’s dismay. What’s a spy to do when he meets his match?

First off, I think this is the first time I’ve read a MC in an historical romance who worked for the circus! Marianne’s job was unique and interesting to get her rationale behind why she enjoyed
Alana Bloom
(2.5 rounded up)

Not my favorite Bateman book. Set in a fractious period of French history, our heroine made for an intriguing character. A former aristocrat turned cirque performer and thief, Marianne is just trying to get by and protect her younger sister Sophie. Nicolas is an accomplished spy with his eyes set on revenge.

It has been a while since I've read a historical romance based outside England so this was a treat. Gritty Paris in the grips of revolution was an interesting backdrop for Mar
Deb Diem
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To Steal a Heart is my first book by K.C. Bateman, and I've already bought the next book. It was that good! Ms Bateman has delivered a well-written book and furnished it with phenomenal characters. Marianne and Nic's story is loaded with suspense, action, humor and sizzle. This book will grab your attention at the first page and keep you riveted until the last. I totally enjoyed reading To Steal a Heart and look forward to reading more from the talented K.C. Bateman in the future. To Steal a Hea ...more

I had been wanting to read this story for a long time, it had been on my wishlist, and I was gifted this story by another authors generous GC. I could not imagine having to wait for it again.

This story is a slow bubbling cauldron of so much suspense, excitement, danger, and love that it sucked me in every time I put my hands on it. The story builds from the moment Marianne and Valette meet, not under good circumstances, and doesn't stop until the flames burn. Set in the time of Napoleon an
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blown away

Bateman hits another home run! Found myself holding my breath on more than one occasion. Steamy romance and daring adventure. Fabulous book!
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Kate Bateman (also writing as K. C. Bateman) wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she'd 'never finish the thing.' She gleefully proved him wrong. Her Regency and Renaissance-era romances all feature her trademark feisty, intelligent heroines, wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to both strangle and kiss.

When not traveling to

Other books in the series

Secrets and Spies (3 books)
  • A Raven's Heart (Secrets & Spies, #2)
  • A Counterfeit Heart (Secrets & Spies, #3)

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