Gideon Cole was a great talent and was making a name for himself as a barrister of some regard, hard working and vigilant he won most cases, unfortunately most of his clients were poor and unable to pay. While it certainly added to his reputation, it wasn’t supporting his efforts in winning him the hand of the current reigning queen of the ton, Lady Constance Clare. With no title and little wealth his ‘master plan’ to wed the wealthy daughter of a Marquis was running into roadblocks.
Lily Masters, also had a great talent – that of picking pockets and it was this talent that had her surviving the streets of St. Giles and able to provide for herself and her 10 year old sister Alice. She’d almost never been caught but that run of good luck was about to come to an end when she attempted to pick the pocket of Gideon. She escaped his clutches but a day later, it would be Gideon who came to her rescue and used his last 30 pounds to buy her freedom from a sure trip to Newgate prison.
Gideon offered Lily a proposition to repay her debt in posing as the cousin of his friend and pretending to be Gideon’s new love interest. Gideon was hoping that Lily (who he’d noticed was ever so much more beautiful after she’d been cleaned up) would give Lady Constance a case of jealousy and make the way to his asking her to wed that much easier. Unfortunately, as Gideon molded Lily into her new role, Lily slipped under his hard shell exterior and found the caring and gentle man beneath that was just beginning to realize that his ‘master plan’ had one great flaw in it – it hadn’t allowed for a little thief to steal his heart.
*** With this latest novel by the author of RUNAWAY DUKE, Ms. Long proves that she is not a one-book wonder as she writes a totally charming and wholesome tale that will leave the reader sighing in great contentment. Her depiction of Lily, smart, strong and compassionate was brilliant and well quite literally, this ‘thief’ will steal your heart. While Gideon kept up the pretense of wanting so much to triumph with his ‘master plan’ the author softens your view of him with a deft hand that captures him in a perfectly poignant mood. I confess it brought tears to my eyes. In addition, she supports the story with a wonderful cast of secondary characters that will enchant the reader in this wonderful new entry. I highly recommend both this book and this author to be put on most romance lovers ‘auto-buy’ lists.