REVIEW: Thief of Hearts by L.H. Cosway
Seduce the teacher. Meet the cousin. Make a deal. Steal the painting.
Andrea Anderson has no clue of the thoughts churning around in the dark and dangerous ex-con’s head as he enters her classroom. In fact, she’s momentarily lost for words. Not in her entire teaching career has she had a student who looked quite like Stu Cross. A widow at just twenty-eight, love is something Andie hasn’t considered a part of her life for a very long time. However, when lingering touches turn to whispered words and hot, searching stares, she begins to wonder if maybe she should take a leap of faith. But Stu is in her class for a reason, and it has nothing to do with love. He’s there to burrow his way into her life and repay a debt, otherwise his family will suffer. Andie is the first person to show him true kindness since he left prison, and though he doesn’t want to mislead her, he doesn’t have another choice. Before long, Stu can’t tell whether or not he’s acting anymore, and his feelings for Andie could throw all of his carefully crafted plans into complete and utter disarray.
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How do you start a review about a book you loved and a thief who you didn't?
By apologising to the author.
Dear L.H Cosway,
For the love of all that is beautiful in this world please forgive me for doubting I'd love Stu Cross.
Your Biggest Fan,
We first met Stu Cross in King of Hearts through Alexa. And I didn't love him. In fact he infuriated me which is odd because I usually love the bad boys! Arrogant, Confident, Articulate and convincing when it comes to things they want. Stu Cross was all these things in spades and I didn't love him for it. I didn't hate him but I barely liked him. When I read Hearts of Blue I disliked him even more. He does one good deed at the end of the book but to me it didn't redeem him. I honestly can't even pinpoint what is about Stu Cross that wound me up so much but I tolerated him and understood the need for him in this series.
When I found out that the 5th book in the Hearts Series was going to be about Stu Cross I was just a little bit disappointed. But there always has to be one character in every series that you don't like right?
FORGIVE ME L.H. COSWAY!!!
I don't know what I was thinking....
"One of these days you're going to look at me and think, now there's a bloke I could fall in love with"
Stu Cross was not the man I thought him to be and really I should have known better! He's always been a family man proving it more in Hearts of Blue when he took the fall for the Family Business but he never really showed how kind, considerate and intelligent he was. He was gruff, crass and incredibly charming! There were so many characteristics to Stu that you never got the chance to see when reading King of Hearts or Hearts of Blue. Sometimes you just need the right person in front of you to bring out the right characteristics and Andrea/Andie did that in Stu.
"Sometimes it's the ones who don't look like they need help that need it most"
Andrea was the polar opposite to Stu at the beginning. Compassionate, caring, classy and refined. She came from a wealthy background and married her High School sweetheat straight out of school who unfortunately passed away suddenly after a tough battle.
"At one I understood why I still wore my ring. It wasn't simply sentimentality. It was a reminder of the pain. A constant symbol of all I'd lost. Perhaps subconsciously I thought that if I kept the pain at the forefront of my memory I wouldn't let it happen again. It was self-preservation, plain and simple."
Andrea's heart had been stolen from her when losing her husband. and after that she stopped living, she concentrated on her work as an Adult Educational Teacher and helping her brother Alfie who lived with her. Her life was essentially on hold until Still Cross walked through the door.
"One thing was for sure: Stu Cross wasn't as predictable as I thought, and even though I was the teacher in this situation, somehow it felt like I'd just been schooled"
The relationship between Andrea and Stu was beautiful, full of tension and banter and a lot of push and pull. While one knew what they wanted the other wasn't so sure. The Plot Twists in Thief of Hearts really added to the dynamic and character development of this story and i thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Im pleased to say that by the end of Thief of Hearts Stu Cross had found a way into my heart truly making him the Thief of Hearts!
I was so impressed with how well written Thief of Hearts was but not at all surprised as L.H. Cosway has this innate way of writing that truly captivates your heart and attention. It takes true talent for an author to make you fall in love with a character you disliked and L.H Cosway has that talent in spades. And as always the 5th book in the Hearts Series has made it into one of my all-time favourites. This series just goes from strength to strength and will always remain in absolute favourites list!
L.H. Cosway has another winner in her latest novel. That was so good. As a fan of this series I was looking forward to this release and it has moved into one of the top faves spots for sure. It was smart, witty, and sexy and I loved every minute. I was captivated by the twist and turns of the plot. Clever, amusing and entertaining. The story telling is wonderful and will hold you till the last page.
Andie is a adult education teacher and one day a new student arrives in fresh out of prison Stu Cross. It took me sometime to remember Stu, I blame shoddy memory. After all he was previously mentioned and not so well liked then. Regardless this can still be read as a stand alone, just know he's the eldest Cross brother and took the fall for an illegal car business before. This is not your typical student teacher romance either, Stu and Andie's has more layers and a different take on the trope.
"Even when you give up on yourself I won't give up on you."
At first glance these two are polar opposites the outspoken bad boy meets the conservative mild mannered teacher. Stu is a lot more than meets eye though, beneath his gruff exterior, brooding and hard exterior. A lot more in depth, intelligent, big heart and family guy. Andie stopped living when her first love passed away a few years ago. Still she remains kind, vulnerable and open hearted. But this student of hers makes her feel alive. They have little common ground but with each moment spent, plus recent turn of things, they are brought closer together.
"People like you give people like me a soft place to fall."
Andie was attracted and intrigued by Stu right away there's just something about his charisma and appeal. Stu was pretty forward in his intentions and attraction too. Oh this guy and his dirty talk will make one blush and swoon! He's good at that. The tension and a push and pull between these two, battle of the wills felt exhilarating. Challenging each other to step outside their comfort zone. Through spending time together, banter and talk, slowly but surely our heroine falls for our alluring hero. Then you have Stu's caper where you know it's one those that have things behind the scenes yet to be revealed. Makes my spidey senses tingle and keeps me guessing. I thought I figured it out but it completely took another exciting turn like beauty of a con.
The combination of a love story, sneak plot twists, humor in between, fun quips all make up one fantastic story. I loved the vast differences in these characters, especially the Cross family with the different personas. She writes her characters well that feel so life like. Throw in a Hunger Games reference I'm quite happy.
Lorraine has a way to bring out the best in her secondary characters that they are essential to the overall story and tug your heart strings. That ending is brilliant too! Thief of Hearts makes you think about the assumptions and stereotypes that are common and to look beyond them and you might get something better. There is one more Cross brother and I can't wait for his book! Oh plus there’s a novella coming too!
About the Author: L.H. Cosway
L.H. Cosway lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories. L.H. is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.