Roan Parrish – who wrote the Middle of Somewhere series I love- and Avon Gale – who wrote the Scoring Chances series I adore and a ton of other books – teamed up and wrote a book! Male/Male romance seems filled with these amazing writing duo’s; Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy, Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell and now we can add Roan and Avon to this great list.
Vaughn and William meet under semi-inauspicious circumstances when the two appear to hit it off at a party and in an attempt to woo William, Vaughn sends him a piece of art that William was admiring at the party. The inauspicious part would be the stealing and delivering the stolen piece to William, the FBI art crimes agent.
The only 2 things I didn’t like about this are 1) the cover. When I saw it I thought that maybe it would make more sense when I read the book. But after reading it I still am not getting the cover…the ponytail I get (Lucius Malfoy LOL!), but nothing else. And 2) that initial meeting. Don’t get me wrong – it was a super hot first meeting and I loved it. But as I got to know William throughout the book it just did not seem to be in his character to hook up in a public space with a guy he just met.
““Wait, do you really have a spreadsheet?”
He was giving me that same suspicious look that I’d seen him direct at the candy display and my Lucius Malfoy costume. I leaned in close, and said in his ear, “If it makes you hot, I do.”
He practically choked on a mouthful of candy and I patted him on the back. After clearing his throat, he said, “You make me feel…complicated things, Amory.” Amory. It sent a shiver through me that pulsed in my stomach and made me feel like I was smiling even though I wasn’t. “
Well,” I said. “Excel may have powerful tools to deal with complications, but I’m sure we can find more interesting ways to map out your feelings.”
But beyond those two things I really adored this book, the two main characters, and the plot. The two main characters both have an interesting back story that I cared about and I wanted to know more about them each instantly. What I loved about Heart of the Steal is that it manages to be both character and plot driven simultaneously, which I don’t think is an easy thing to accomplish.
““It’s okay to give yourself permission not to be a hundred percent perfect and noble and correct all the damn time.”
The tension that arises within this book is one that I found incredibly believable and one that could easily come about in a relationship between two types of people such as Vaughn and William. Vaughn stole my heart (ha!) with his rebellious, rich, lonely attitude. Will is his total opposite, being that he’s an FBI agent and complete rule follower.
“But the moments when he did…the moments when he allowed himself to loose his hold on the person he thought he had to be, and give himself over to what he wanted, what he needed…they leveled me. In those moments, his desire was pure and needy and he was desperate to fall apart, secure that he wouldn’t be punished for it. And I had made it my mission in life to create a whole world where he could feel that way.”
This book has it all – light-hearted, funny moments with the two of them that genuinely had me giggling at their banter (which is my kryptonite). Sexual tension that lit up the page with seriously hot dirty talk. Secondary characters that I wanted to know more about. I love this writing duo and I hope there’s more from them!
ARC provided via A Novel Take in exchange for an honest review.
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Title: Heart of the Steal
Author: Avon Gale & Roan Parrish
Release Date: July 11, 2017