Book Review: A Heart Worth Stealing by Joanna Barker

About the Book:

Page Length: 288

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Synopsis: 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.

Upon reading an advertisement in the paper, 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.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

This is my first book by Joanna Barker, and I really enjoyed it. It has an intriguing mystery, layered and interesting characters, and a sweet and charming romance.

Ginny and Jack are both dynamic characters with interesting backstories. They come from very different worlds, but that doesn’t affect their growing feelings for each other. They are both strong and intelligent characters, and they have a wonderful opposites-attract, slow-building love story. Jack has this charming, flirtatious, and teasing way about him that totally exasperated Ginny. It’s sweet and comical at the same time. He has a more adventurous spirit, and she’s a bit more practical and reserved. They complement each other well, and they make a good team throughout their investigation. They also have great chemistry, and I adored their flirty banter. Their kisses are super swoon-worthy too.

The relationship between Ginny and her dad is also lovely, and there were some really touching moments, especially that last letter he wrote. (I may have cried when I read this part.) You can tell Ginny still struggles with her grief over the loss of her father, as much of the story revolves around Ginny’s love for him and her need to still feel a connection to him even though he’s gone. The relationship stands in stark contrast to Ginny’s relationship with her half-sister, who treats Ginny poorly.

I thought the mystery was intriguing too. Ginny knows someone stole her father’s watch, and with other strange occurrences happening around her home, she is determined to find out who is behind everything. There were a couple of twists that kept me guessing, and the potentially dangerous situations add to the suspense of the story.

This book is definitely worth checking out if you like proper historical romances or romantic suspense. Thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing for sending me a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



About the Author:

JOANNA BARKER firmly believes that romance makes everything better, which is why she has fallen in love with writing Regency romances. When she’s not typing away on her next book, she’s listening to podcasts, eating her secret stash of chocolate, or adding things to her Amazon cart. Joanna’s books have received praise from Publishers Weekly, the Historical Novel Society, Readers’ Favorite, and more. She thinks being an author is the second-best job in the world—right after being a mom. She is just a little crazy about her husband and three wild-but-loveable kids.

A Heart Worth Stealing is the 50th installment in the Proper Romance® series, a collection of award-winning, clean romance novels written by 13 authors across a wide spectrum of genres, including Regency, Victorian, and Contemporary. These stories feature relatable heroines, handsome heroes, obstacles to overcome and happy endings. Learn more at

Shadow Mountain Publishing is a publisher of New York Times bestselling books and series. We cultivate stories worth telling, questions worth exploring, and beauty worth sharing to improve the lives of families, children, and our society. Learn more at

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