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Having previously enjoyed a book of Tess Gerritsen’s I decided to try another one. Stolen is the second book of two books in the Tavistock Family series. Had I realised I would have read the other book first, but I had no idea and don’t feel that I missed anything by not reading it.
Stolen was originally published as Thief of Hearts in 1995. I have no idea when or why they changed the name of the book (may be for the British market), but the one I read was published in 2008. On her website it is touted as a romance novel, yet I got it from the crime section of the library and there is a picture of a smoking gun on the front cover!
The story goes…… A ship and its cargo sink off the coast of Spain. The crew are delighted when a rescue boat appears soon afterwards, only to be shot in the lifeboat leaving no witnesses, or so they thought…….
The story continues when Clea Rice breaks into the home of Guy Delancey looking for something. Whilst there she is disturbed by fellow burglar Jordan Tavistock on a gentleman’s mission to recover some rather explicit love letters written to Guy by a married lady friend of his. When they are almost discovered in the break in and have to run they are separated before Jordan can learn her identity. They then bump into each other again when Clea decides to take a more direct approach to getting what she wants from Guy’s house by changing her appearance and her name – becoming Diana Lamb - and turning up at a polo match. Guy, with his reputation as a womaniser is easy to pick up and Clea finds herself as his date for the next few days.
When Guy is killed in an explosion Jordan and Clea are thrown together when it becomes obvious that Clea was the intended target.
Cue the inevitable cat and mouse chase through the English countryside and London – Jordan and Clea trying to stay alive and stay one step ahead of their would be killers whilst the price on their heads increases. Clea gives Jordan many versions of what she is looking for and who she is throughout the book as she is unable to trust anyone and wants to keep him at arms length. There is the usual bit when Clea wants to leave Jordan as it is her problem to deal with and the guilt she feels for involving him, plus the lack of trust. She thinks she will be better on her own, and he is determined not to let her go and to help her sort everything out. And then there is the obvious spark between them and the inevitable kiss that they end up sharing. Jordan’s Uncle is a Lord, so they have money and contacts at their disposal to help them in their quest to discover the truth.
The storyline itself is quite good, and I enjoyed reading it and slowly gathering the facts to discover what had happened, the relevance of the sinking boat, what Clea was looking for in Delancey’s room and why people wanted to kill Clea. The padding around it was totally predictable and nothing special.
Overall a quick easy read. Great for those of you who like romance books, not quite the crime novel I was expecting! I would not really recommend and will be more careful when selecting her books in future.