Heart of the Steal by Avon Gale & Roan Parrish
Published: July 11, 2017 by Philtre Press
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.
As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.
When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?
When William Fox agrees to attend a fancy party that his twin sister is catering he does so reluctantly, after all, spending an evening around a bunch of rich snobs isn’t really his thing. But when he meets the unusual Amory Vaughn everything in his world is turned upside down. After a passionate encounter, Vaughn wants to impress William so he uses his other skills to steal the painting William was admiring at the party and leaves it like a calling card outside William’s apartment door. But what Vaughn doesn’t know is that William is an FBI agent in the Art Crimes division and now Vaughn just might be truly be in trouble.
I really enjoyed the tension between an art thief and an FBI agent. This set up a lot of good scenarios where Vaughn and William have to confront their personal morals and how it affects other people. I also liked the growth both characters go through as they learn to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Both characters are very strong willed and believe wholeheartedly in how they see things, so this was a challenge for both, especially William.
“I don’t know who you are — the man who raises millions of dollars for charity, or the man who steals things, seemingly for fun.”
The intimate scenes between these two were a little off for me, especially the first one. It’s clearly a case of insta-lust, which is fine with me, I don’t mind characters that jump into things with little knowledge of each other. However, the moments leading from talking to sex were just very abrupt and something was missing. I have a hard time describing it but it was most evident during their first time together, but also still lingering in a few of the intimate scenes that follow. There was also a lot of anger in the early sex scenes because William is frustrated by his attraction to a thief. This may have been affecting how I perceived the beginning parts of the book.
3 stars – it was good