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Stealing His Heart

Stealing His Heart

4.2 20
by Diane Alberts

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Tara Harris is a professional thief with a conscience. She makes her living retrieving priceless stolen items from sleazy rich jerks, and returning them to their rightful owners. Until a routine nighttime assignment when Tara suddenly finds herself pinned against the wall. And oh, does the hard male body pressed against her feel good. And damned


Tara Harris is a professional thief with a conscience. She makes her living retrieving priceless stolen items from sleazy rich jerks, and returning them to their rightful owners. Until a routine nighttime assignment when Tara suddenly finds herself pinned against the wall. And oh, does the hard male body pressed against her feel good. And damned familiar...


Jake Forsythe was Tara's former burglary partner, until he left her naked in bed—unsatisfied—and disappeared from her life years ago. Now he's back, hotter and more naughtily delicious than ever. And he has a nice, blackmailing kind of proposition—Tara can either help him with a secret project, or she can go to jail. But the moment Tara agrees to help Jake, she realizes she's just made a deal with a sexy-assed devil. Because this time, she stands to lose something more precious than any rare objets d'art...

Each book in the Shillings Agency series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Temporarily Yours
Book #2 Stealing His Heart
Book #3 Seducing the Princess
Book #4 Taking What's His
Book #5 Say You're Mine
Book #6 His Best Mistake

Product Details

Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
Shillings Agency , #2
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File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Stealing His Heart

A Shilling Agency Novel

By Diane Alberts, Candace Havens

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Diane Alberts
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-061-6


Tara Harris slipped into the shadows of the trees, her breath coming fast. For a second, she was sure she'd been had. There was a shout, followed by some scuffling from inside the house. She'd been worried the door would open, and she'd be caught in her black jeans and sweatshirt on the jerk's front porch.

But the door remained closed. All signs of possible discovery from within had silenced. Her careful calculations hadn't failed her ... yet.

She hunkered down behind the overgrown plant, peeking around it cautiously. Right on schedule, the door opened and out came her target. He wore an expensive suit, and had his arms slung over two half-naked women. Mistresses vying for a new provider, more than likely. They must be desperate if they were trying to catch him on their hook. He had a reputation for being more of a dick in bed than he was out of it.

And that was saying a lot.

As the threesome passed, she held completely still, not daring to so much as breathe. This was the crucial moment. It was the small span of time where she could be seen, if she'd been even a centimeter off in her calculations. The chauffeur opened the door for them, and the group slid inside. Within seconds, they were gone. And she was alone.

Thank God.

She took a shaky breath, allowing herself a moment of victory before she moved her focus back to the house. Lurking behind the shrubbery, she made sure no one turned on the lights. One could never be too careful when it came to breaking and entering, after all. A few assignments back, she'd entered a house immediately after her target left and walked in on a celebrity's husband, naked and handcuffed to the bed.

He'd assumed she was the dominatrix he had ordered, come to bring him pleasure laced with a healthy dose of pain. She'd sent the real dominatrix away. Retrieved the item from his home she'd come to steal back, and left him for his wife to find. The next day, the tabloids reported he was in rehab for "personal issues."

Seemed silly to go to rehab for enjoying sex, but who was she to talk? She wasn't exactly an expert in the S&M department. She wasn't the type to relinquish control to a man, whether it be in the bedroom or out of it, so she might not be the best fit for that lifestyle ... no matter how much she liked reading about it in books.

When the interior of the house remained still and dark, she pulled the hood of her sweatshirt over her head and crept to the door. Since she'd done her homework beforehand — obviously — she already knew it would take mere seconds to disarm the security system. It was ridiculously easy. Too easy, really. She almost wished the idiot had gone to greater measures to keep a thief like her out. Almost.

But then again, it was rare she encountered a challenge anymore.

Although ... she had struggled with a code last week. In fact, it had almost beaten her. But in the end, she'd prevailed. She made it inside that asshole Soltese's house, and the British earl who had flown all the way to the United States for her help had his heirloom vase back in his country estate where it belonged.

She'd get the same results tonight, too.

Glancing over her shoulder, she wired her phone into the system and waited for the code to pop up. When the six-digit encryption lit her screen, she keyed it in. The green light flashed twice, and she grinned. Easy as taking candy from a baby — not that she did that. She had to draw a line somewhere.

She entered the same digital password into the front-door system. People always thought that it was safer to use these electronic locks. What they didn't realize was any hacker worth their salt could easily break in. And once they had the code ... they could get anything they wanted. And she wanted that painting.

She'd get it, too.

Slowly, she opened the door, wincing when the hinges creaked. After shutting it behind her, she shoved her phone into her pocket and headed left toward the family room. According to her source, that's where the artwork would be. It was. The expensive piece hung over the fireplace in the opulent room. The muted hues of the meadow were more striking in their simplicity than she'd ever believed possible.

She took a second to admire it. The piece of work had been completed in 1547, and had been in the royal family until the early nineteen hundreds. After that, it had mysteriously been sold to an unknown buyer. After years of obscurity, it had shown up deep inside the Viotollo mob. The head of the crime family had stolen it from a wealthy American CEO when the man refused to sell it to him, and she had every intention of returning it to him.

She wished she could hang it over her fireplace for a little while. It would go nicely with her Monet. But this one wasn't for her. It was for her employer, and she wouldn't steal from a good person like him. It was against her code.

Even thieves like her had rules.

She took a step toward the framed piece, flexing her gloved fingers. When she was halfway across the room, the hair on the back of her neck stood up. A hushed footstep and a small shift in the air alerted her to the presence of another person.

Someone was watching her.

She tried to spin around as quickly as she could, but she was too late. Within seconds of her sensing another person in the room with her, she was pinned face-first against the wall. The arms that closed around her were strong and solid, yet the man's grip was gentle.

Something slammed across her mouth, effectively cutting off her cry — and her breath, too. She kicked backward, desperate to strike out at her attacker in any way she could, but she didn't hit anything. If anything, the arms encircling her squeezed tighter.

Jesus, who was this guy? The freaking Rock?

"Shh." Her captor pressed his cheek against her temple, his hot breath washing over her ear. For some reason, her body responded to his touch. As if it knew him already. What. The. Hell? "Don't move. I'm going to uncover your mouth, but if you make a sound, you're done. Understand?"

Aaaand that explained her body's reaction.

She knew that voice. She would know it anywhere. Jake Forsythe, the man she'd had a crush on all throughout her teenage years ... and then some. What was he doing here? Was he up to his old ways?


Last she'd heard, he was in Iraq fighting the war against terror. Right before he left, they had shared one glorious night together, where they'd been thisclose to sealing the deal, but something held him back. He'd left her naked on her bed, and they hadn't spoken since.

She didn't know he'd returned to the country, let alone Maine.

"If I let go, will you stay quiet?" he asked, his voice raspy. "Will you obey me?"

Obey him? That sounded oddly sexy coming from his lips. As if he was demanding she succumb to him in more ways than this. She shivered and nodded obediently, though she wanted to flee now more than ever.

He slowly lowered his hand, but didn't release her. "Be a good girl ..."

Carefully, she kept her head turned away, on the off chance he hadn't seen her face yet. She licked her parched lips. "I'll leave, and I won't come back. I came into your house by accident. My mistake, sir."

"Nice try, Tara." He rested his chin on the top of her head. He was pressed so tightly against her that she could feel every inch of his body ... even the parts she'd tried so hard to forget about. "I knew who you were before you stepped on that porch."

She lowered her lids and took a shaky breath. Her traitorous heart sped when his arms flexed around her, and she'd swear he pushed his hips against her even though he hadn't moved. "Can't blame a girl for trying, can you? It's been years since I last saw you."

She refused to mention what they'd been doing the last time they'd seen each other. It was better left unsaid.

"I suppose it has been, but you're pretty damn memorable. I mean, you've grown up and all ..." He lifted his head off of hers, and she could sense him looking down at her. "But you still look the same to me. If I let go, will you behave yourself?"

"Do I ever?" she asked lightly.

"That doesn't exactly make me want to let go of you," he said without a trace of amusement in his voice. If anything, he sounded annoyed. "Will you be good, or not? What's it gonna be?"

She didn't move. "It's been a while since I had a man pressing me up against a wall. I'm cool like this if you are. Feel free to move around a bit, too, if you'd like. Could be fun — for old times' sake."

Instead of the laugh she expected out of him, he sighed. Man, the Marines had stolen his sense of humor. A couple of tours probably did that to a guy. "I'm serious. Will you remain where you are?"

"Fine. I'll be good," she promised.

"All right." He let go of her instantly, stepping back enough to allow her breathing room. "It's been a while."

"Yeah." She closed her eyes for a second, steeling herself for the way she'd feel when they locked eyes once more. All grown up and ready to take on the world. "Too long. You should've called."

Her whole body throbbed with excitement and desire now that he was back here with her — which wasn't fair. Last time she'd seen him, before he'd made her come and run off before she'd been able to return the favor, he'd promised to write to her. She'd promised to behave. Turned out they sucked at keeping promises.

Especially him.

"I know." He cleared his throat. "Life's been busy."

She turned around to face him, but splayed her hands against the wall on either side of her hips as she did a quick once-over of the man she'd once been crazy about.

Holy. Crap. He was hotter than she'd dreamed.

Like, much hotter than he'd been back when he was a scrawny eighteen-year-old leaving for war. Back when they shared their almost-night together. He'd just been starting to become the man he was today. And that man? He oozed confidence and raw, dirty sex.

Really, really dirty sexy.

She swallowed hard, her heart quickening. He had a few lines around his brows and mouth, probably from squinting in the desert sun, but his moss-green eyes spoke of things he'd seen that she would never begin to understand. Without a doubt, he'd gotten hotter.

More dangerous.

She ran her gaze down his body, taking all of him in. His biceps were huge and rock-hard, and she'd bet he sported a six-pack under that shirt of his, too. "You were busy for eight years?"

He lifted a shoulder. "It happens. But you were a hell of a lot easier to lure than I thought you'd be, all things considered."

"You didn't lure me here. I'm on a case for — "

"Mr. Washington." He bowed. "Nice to meet you officially, Ms. Harris."

"No. You didn't."

He laughed, the sound both annoyingly cocky and intensely attractive all at once. "Oh, I did. How's it feel to be duped by an old friend?"

She forced her attention back to his face — and the conversation. When she locked gazes with him, she drew in a deep breath. While she'd been watching him, he'd been watching her. And now his eyes held a new darkness in them. Her insides quivered in response.

Shaking the unwelcome feelings off, she asked, "Wait. Are you saying you tricked me into coming here tonight?"

"Are you feeling okay? You're really slow tonight." He cocked a brown brow. "Are you really that surprised I could outthink you? I've done it before."

She crossed her arms. "That's up for debate."

"Which part? The part about you being slow tonight, or the whole me-tricking-you-before thing?"

"The latter." She stared him down, trying to regain her equilibrium in the face of the landslide that was Jake. "I'm never slow, and you know it."

"Let me count the ways I've tricked you." He held out his hand and counted off as he said, "The high school dance. Graduation. The night I tied you to a tree and made you — "

"Okay, okay. I get the point," she cut in impatiently, her cheeks going hot. "That's not what I meant, though. I meant why would you want to lure me in?"

"Why not?"

She canted her head. "You haven't exactly been trying to get a hold of me since you went off to fight for freedom and country. You left your past in the past, though you swore you'd write to me once you got there. Obviously, I was part of that past you wanted to forget."

It had been as if he was afraid if he ever contacted her again, he'd have to finish or something. Instead of risking it ... he'd easily cut her out of his life.

It had hurt.

He glanced away and shifted his weight on his feet. "I didn't want to forget you, Tara. I just ..." He broke off, rubbing his jaw. "I was a kid. So were you."

"I know." She stared him down. "But you could have written. You broke your promise to me."

Something flashed through his expression, but it left quickly. "You broke your promise to me, too. You're still a thief."

Not really. She wasn't one of the bad guys anymore. "I don't steal anymore, not like I used to. Now, I — "

"I know what you do," he pointed out. "I hired you, remember? But stealing is stealing ... and that's what you're doing."

She clamped her mouth shut, stealing another glance at him. His brown hair was disheveled, his eyes were icy, and the hard line of his mouth told her more than words ever could how he felt about that. He was hot when he was angry. "Are we really going to play catch-up in a house we've both broken into?"

He crossed his arms. His light green gaze slid down her body, and back up, sending shivers through her body. Freaking. Shivers. Over the years, he'd apparently developed a way of looking at her that fooled her mind into thinking he'd done more than simply look. "I didn't break in. You did."

"What? Wait a second. Are you a ... ?" She did another quick glance down his body, not letting herself get distracted this time. He wore a gun on his hip, and since he'd always liked to prepare for all eventualities, he more than likely had another strapped to his ankle. He also had something in his pocket.

A badge, maybe?

He rocked back on his heels. "Am I a what? I'm dying of anticipation."

Ignoring him, she continued on her thought process. She didn't think he'd become a cop. Even he couldn't have gone that clean. Which left ..."Let me guess. Private security?"

He laughed. "Your creepy Sherlock-ian powers of observation are still as strong as ever, I see."

"Did you expect any different?"

He sighed. "No. It's actually why I wanted to see you."

She had the insane urge to run her thumb over his chin dimple, like she used to ache to do. She'd been too scared to make a move back then. Even on that night. Too much of a girl and not enough of a woman. But she wasn't that little girl anymore.

Maybe he was counting on her still being that little girl, and he was hoping to take advantage of her childhood crush to lure her into some scheme of his. She shook her head slightly and took a sideways step toward the entry. Time to walk away from him and all the troubles he'd brought to her door.

"Whatever you're selling, I'm not buying."

"Wait." With one diagonal step, he blocked her escape with his hard, lean body. God, when had he gotten so freaking big? "We need to talk, Tara."

She frowned at him, irritated at his insistence despite the way her pulse leaped at his proximity. "Not in here. You want to talk? Come with me. You'll have my undivided attention outside of this house."

"We'll be fine here. The owner won't be back until tomorrow morning." He dragged his fingers through his brown hair, making it stand on end. "We're quite alone, and you're not going anywhere without hearing me out first."

"Fine." Her temper rose, but she forced herself to remain calm. Outwardly, at least. "What do you want?"

He curled his hands into fists. "I need your help with a project."

She laughed. Did he really think she would pick up where they left off? Happily go on another mission with him, acting as his sidekick? Hell no. She wasn't anyone's helper anymore. She worked alone. "I'm not interested. We're not even friends anymore, let alone thieving buddies. And I don't work with men I don't trust. Remember?"

His jaw tightened. He was so uptight and wound up. When had he become so serious? "Yeah, but you have to help me anyway. I'm not asking you. I'm telling you."


Excerpted from Stealing His Heart by Diane Alberts, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2014 Diane Alberts. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times and USA Today bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. Diane has always had a vivid imagination, but it wasnt until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was and became a published author. Though she lives in the mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot, she dreams of being surrounded by hot, sunny beaches with crystal clear water. In the rare moments when shes not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another.


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Stealing His Heart (A Shillings Agency Novel) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
A sexy thief has just met her match. Stealing His Heart is smartly written, wickedly sexy and part of my favorite series. All pluses in my opinion. What appealed to me is that the author veered off in a direction that has not been explored much in romance. Thievery, blackmail is a new scenario for a second chance romance. In Tara, there is a woman doing a bad thing for all the right reasons. Her heart is in the right place, yet her actions are wrong none the less. Jake was a jerk for using their past to control her future. I was not his biggest fan but the heat these two ignited made up for the irritation I felt for Jake. Tara is no wilting flower and Jake is no puppy dog. Both are opinionated and determined. Stealing His Heart is the culmination of attitude, steam and humor. Hard not to be impressed. Copyright of Night Owl Reviews
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
A quick, steamy second-chance romance read! Jake and Tara were friends through thick and thin--and unfortunately for both, there was a lot of "thin" in the early years. Both lost their parents young--Tara was fortunate to move in with a loving grandmother, but Jake ended up with an abusive foster father. Still, they had each other to get them through everything...until Jake wigged out just as they were about to "seal the deal" at the age of eighteen. He joined the Marines soon after, and hadn't been in contact with his childhood friend since. Fast forward in time--Jake's no longer a part of the war on terror, having come close to losing his leg and nearly dying from an IED. Now he's a security expert with the Shillings Agency and keeping himself emotionally distant from everyone after his fiancee dumped him. Tara's acting as a "recovery specialist"--a Robin Hood of sorts--stealing back items that were originally taken from her clients by wealthy sleezeballs with more money than morals. Unknown to her, Tara's last big job had her blowing through Jake's security system like it was nonexistent, and their client is not a happy camper--so Jake sets a trap for Tara, demanding to know how she got in in exchange for her freedom. If she refuses to help, he'll send her off to jail without a backward look. The witty back-and-forth conversation--especially from Tara--was one of my favorite parts of the book. It had me laughing out loud more than once while reading. The sex scenes were hot, and the glimpses into their backstories,both shared and separate, were heartbreaking. All good things. The technical stuff--Tara having to reveal how she got past Jake's system--was a weaker part of the plot. She just didn't seem at all convincing as she tried to put Jake and Cooper (his boss) off, pretending she didn't remember how she'd gotten in. (Seriously, the girl remembered conversations that were a decade old word for word, but didn't remember how she got into her last job?) The method that the two men used to get the information out of her was amazingly transparent--again, a woman with her smarts should have been able to see through it in a second. Fortunately, the story's strengths--Tara and Jake renewing their relationship in all its snarky, steamy glory--more than make up for what the other parts of the plot lack. Rating: 4 stars / B+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Tara Harris is a professional thief who retrieves and returns stolen objects to their rightful owners for a fee. That is until she is caught by Jack Forsythe. They have a history. They were partners in crime until he disappeared years ago. Now he's back and blackmailing her. What choice does she have? Tara and Jack are an incredible couple. They have wonderful chemistry. She is a feisty lady who has a wicked sense of humor. He's smart, sexy and reformed. Now he's part of the Shillings Agency, a security firm. The story is a combination of romance, mystery and second chances. I love Diane Alberts writing. She creates characters that you care for with a storyline that keeps you hooked. When I finished reading Stealing His Heart, I was smiling. I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
xCynyx More than 1 year ago
Dear Diane Alberts, your books will kill me one day.  Jake works in a security agency and one of his cients got robbed by no other than his childhood friend and ex partnerin crime. Now he has to get her to help fix the security breach or send her to jail. Tara is a thief with an honor code, she steals from the bad guys and returns the items to the righful owner. When her lastest job turns out to be a set up and the guilty is the man she can't forget, she knows she's in deep trouble.  There were things about Tara that I loved: her loyalty, her strengh, her wild side and fun attitude. She has a way of seeing life that makes you happy. And she espects her values above anything else, even when that might land her in jail.  Jake is an Alpha hero. He likes to be the one in control. He has his life all figured out, and this is supposed to be just another job and nothing else. With a troubled past that has him thinking of himself like a lost case, he's sure Tara deserves better than him. But he's not ready to all the feelings Tara brings out in him, her easy going attitude is contangious and he's not even sure he wants to fight back.  Their relationship is complicated. They can't denied their attraction but Jake doesn't want to give in. With Jake's need to in control at all times and Tara's ned to rebel at all cost they make a fun read.  I would have love for Tara to hold back harder. She wants nothing more than to make Jake smile and happy again, but she gave in all the times with Jake. And if she played hard to get, I feel like it would have been more fun and games or at least some payback, because Jake screws up more than once.  I loved the end. I don't know how to explain this without spoiling anything so I'll just say big BIG gestures are involved and I ove reading about it! 
Nicola_1202 More than 1 year ago
On the whole the second book in the Shillings Agency series doesn't disappoint and as is customary in a Diane Alberts/Jen McLaughlin novel, we have a hot hero, a woman who's not afraid to go toe-to-toe with him, sizzling chemistry and equally sizzling sexy shenanigans. Jake Forsythe and Tara Harris have a history and when he discovers the thief he's been contracted to find is the girl he left behind at 18, it matters not that she is doing it with the best of intentions. He has a job to do and she has a choice; co-operate & submit to his requests, or end up behind bars. Stealing his Heart was a mixed bag for me. Tara is my kind of girl. Strong, fiery-tempered, and independent, she can hold her own. Jake is a complete contradiction of himself; bossy yet gentle, protective yet vulnerable and arrogant yet unsure. Their sparring was natural, had spark and being told from both perspectives gave us a real insight into their histories and showed exactly how each had changed. Jake's history, both growing up and in the marines has left him a bit of a loner and whilst he can come across as cold, his words are filled with heat... “In bed, you’ll answer to me without thinking twice. If you can do that, you’ll be very, very happy. I promise you that.” And amongst the heat is humour; Tara has a wicked playful side and it was truly heartwarming to see her begin to unearth Jake's lighter side... “Pink’s always been one of my favorite colors, but I never thought of doing the bathroom in that scheme. It’s delightful.” But he wasn't what it would class as a real dominant and Tara calling him 'Sir' didn't really feel right. Plus I really would have liked more made of the bad guy aspect - I thought it was building up to some possible action. Nevertheless it was still a hot and heartfelt romance. 3.5 stars. (Whilst this is second in the series and characters do cross over, it can easily be read as a standalone. It's also very loosely tied to Diane's Wedding Dare novel, Falling for the Groomsman, as Jake is Christine's brother). Copy received courtesy of Entangled Publishing for an honest and unbiased opinion.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
Jake and Tara have some unfinished business from eight years ago. When he shows up at one of "jobs", the attraction between them is still there, but Jake is no longer the same man. Jake is now cold and is blackmailing Tara into helping him. He has two days to get Tara to give him the information he needs or she goes to jail, but she can't do that without going against her beliefs. During the two days, Tara tries her hardest to bring the old Jake back by playing practical jokes like when they were young. The more the old Jake resurfaces, the more the sparks fly between them.A super sexy second chance romance! eARC received in exchange for an honest review in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.
MzAlexander More than 1 year ago
I'm going to be very honest and say that I initially read this book because of the cover :)..sue me, I judged! Anyway I'm sooo glad that I did read it because it was awesome. As the cover indicates this is a pretty hot read with a super hot Alpha. I love that the leading lady is equally strong and not a simple and willing pushover. An alpha and a strong lady is always a recipe for good ....fun :). Definitely a great  story with awesome characters that I will be recommending to my friends!!
BookAddict010 More than 1 year ago
Tara is a modern day Robin Hood, stealing items from the rich and returning them to their rightful owners. Jake, an ex-military man, works for a private security firm. The two have a complicated past, which ended with Jake walking away from Tara. Now he is blackmailing her into helping him with a case, and as these two spend time in close quarters, things quickly get heated. This is a fast paced and steamy read. Jake is a total Alpha male, dominant and possessive, and into light BDSM. Tara is a strong and mischievous heroine and has no trouble holding her own. Things are electric between them, adding delicious tension to even the most benign situations. As the stakes rise and the Tara and Jake begin working through their past issues they have a hard time keeping their hands off of each other, making for some steamy scenes. Overall, this is a fantastic book. Great plot, interesting characters, and a sweet and sexy love story.
Mennina1 More than 1 year ago
Tara takes from the rich privileged who think they should own whatever their hearts desire, even if means stealing from the rightful owner. She hasn't met an alarm system she can't break. Jake makes security systems and had a deadline to figure out what was wrong with his latest design before the homeowner turns Tara into the cops. He blackmails Tara into working with him, but little does he know she has no intention of helping him. Jake and Tara have a past, in which Tara would have been ready to give him everything, but Jake walked away. The two of them reconnect and then fight the feelings. They tiptoe around their real feelings through out the whole book. Great read, and the author did a great job keeping the book interesting. I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review.
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
A fast paced story with plenty of action, in and out of bed and a bit of humor. Plan your day according because you will not be able to put this book down, once starting. Jake, ex military now security expert, a true alpha with plenty of ink is on a mission to bring in Tara, a strong willed modern day "Robin Hood". They have a history from a few years back. Jake wants to have control in everything and it was interesting to see Tara turns things around. Loved the pink in the bathroom. I received a ARC book from the publisher for an honest review.
BAB56 More than 1 year ago
Diane Alberts’ Stealing His Heart is a story that revolves around Tara Harris and Jake Forsythe. Tara is a thief. She recovers stolen items and returns them to their rightful owner. She does this because her parents were duped in a ponzi scheme and lost everything. Their love made the strong and they got back on their feet only to be killed by a drunk driver, who happened to be a Senator. Basically the Senator got away with a slap on the wrist. Tara went to live with her grandmother. She also inherited a large amount of money from her parent’s insurance. Her father’s lawyer only allows her to have a certain amount each year, which she gives a lot of it to charity. She supplements her income by recovering the stolen items. Jake parents died and he went to live in a Foster Care Home. The man was abusive to Jake. Jake took it so that he wouldn’t hurt the younger children. At that time Jake and Tara were friends. Jake was a thief when he was a teenager, as a matter of fact, Tara was his partner in crime. Before he went away in the military, Tara promised him she would stop. Jack works for the Shillings Agency, which is a security group consisting mostly of ex-military personnel. Tara broke the Jake’s code on one of the Shillings Agency client’s house. This client is involved with the mafia. She stole a vase and returned it to their rightful owner. Because of his history with Tara, Jake’s boss gives him the assignment to get Tara to tell him how she did it. Jake sets Tara up for another break-in, where he catches her and tells her that she has to help him by telling him how she broke his code or go to jail. Tara always had feeling for Jake, and now that his is a man, she really finds him red hot. Jake is a bitter man. The war left him with a scarred leg. His fiancée left him because of it. He is not the same person that Tara remembers. He does everything he can think of to get Tara to tell him what she did. She refuses to give him the information because it goes against everything she believes in. The sex is crazy hot, and he it a totally domineering jerk, but she loves him anyway. Jake realizes that he needs the code, and also he needs to save Tara. Read the book to see if he can do both. I will say that before the sex scenes started, the interaction between Tara and Jake had me laughing my head off, and it was in public! Thank you, Ms. Alberts! Received copy from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Marcy99 More than 1 year ago
This is book #2 in the Shillings Agency series but it can totally stand alone. Jake is my favorite kind of hero. He's a wounded warrior who doesn't think he's worthy of being loved because of what he went through as a teen. He was wounded in the military and now works in a security agency. He's reunited with the girl he loved as a teen when they end up on opposite sides of a case. Tara works as a modern day Robin Hood, reclaiming items stolen and returning them to their proper owner. She's strong and independent, but has never forgotten the Jake she knew as a teen. They're at cross purposes on this case, but their chemistry together is smoking.
Kiwibooknerd More than 1 year ago
There is something comforting about being able to trust a publishing house, like I do Entangled, because you know no matter what book you pick up, if their name is on the front then it is going to be a great read.... This is the second book in this wicked awesome series by one of my favourite authors. This is the story of Jake and Tara and it will indeed "steal" your heart. Jake works for Cooper (from the first book) at Shillings Agency. He has been tasked with finding out why one of his alarms failed when a thief broke in. The client is extremely unhappy and so Jake needs to get the alarm fixed and working ASAP. Enter Tara, the thief who is not only his former best friend but the one women who has the ability to break through the walls that are currently guarding his heart. Tara and Jake were inseparable growing up till 8 years ago when they almost had a one night stand and Jake up and left her and town for good to enlist in the Army. Even though Tara is a thief, she is a honourable one. She is kind of like Robin Hood in that she only steals from "bad" people who have stolen something form someone who is "good" She refuses to help Jake and tell him what is wrong with his alarm because the person who she stole from originally is a bad person and she wont compromise herself even if it means jail time. Jake and Tara spend a memorable and HOT few days together while he tries to wear her down and get him to help her out....Oh and did I mention that Jake is into BDSM and is a very dominant alpha male.....need I say more? This is a great read and I loved it from start to end....
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim Rating: 3.5 Stars Jake Forsythe is former military turned personal security expert for Shillings Agency. When a safe he was assigned to protect is broken into, he is tasked with finding the person responsible and figuring out where he went wrong. Tara Harris has made it her life's mission to make people pay. She’s like a modern day Robin Hood, stealing from the rich, powerful, corrupt; righting their wrongs when the law doesn’t see fit. Tara is also the person who broke into the safe of a mob member to steal a vase he previously stole himself. The safe of a client of Shillings Agency. Jake and Tara have a long history. One that I didn’t find fully told. I seriously had a hard time getting into this book. At 29% in, I didn't have a problem with Jake. I didn't love him nor hate him, he was just there. And I was totally NOT feeling Tara. Once Jake catches her, she’s told that she has to help figure out where he went wrong with his code or she’s going to go to jail for her crime. But everything is a joke to her and she doesn’t take anything seriously. I’m a fan of Diane Alberts and I was really looking forward to reading this book. So when I would have stopped with other authors, I kept reading, hoping it would be worth wild. I’m glad I kept reading. Once I understood Tara’s background, she made sense. However, Jake’s background was still a little spacey and I have no idea how they even became friends in the first place. Due to his time spent in Afghanistan, Jake sustained an injury that cost him his fiancée. With everything in his life being out of his control, he has to control things in the bedroom. Tara is a woman who doesn’t take orders from anyone, especially the man who left her unfulfilled years previously. The push and pull between these two is tiring at times. Both are strong minded and don’t like to give in. But when they get together, things are very hot. Did Stealing His Heart live up to my expectations and the standard set by the previous book, Temporarily Yours? I don’t think so. You do however get two characters who will grow on you. You also get a love story and the ever important, “I screwed up, I’m fixing things” scene. But there was still a little something missing. Did the book deter me from wanting to read the next book in the series? Heck no. I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s in store for Gordon and “the princess”. Source: Publisher
KYBookmama More than 1 year ago
An alpha male and a strong woman...what more could you want from a good read?! Jake has returned from his tour of duty and works for a security company. Tara is carrying on the family tradition of being a thief. The two come together and have to figure out a way to work together. HOT read!
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Wow!  What an intensely emotional story!  It did have funny, sweet, and smoking hot scenes too.  But it was the intensity of Jake that got me.  He was so damaged and so hard, yet still so drawn to Tara.  He didn't want to be but was nonetheless.  Reading his words and his tones broke my heart.  I wanted to reach through the book to give him a hug and comfort him.   Then there was Tara.  She was amazing.  I adored her character.  So strong in her principles and her beliefs in helping those who had been wronged.  She was funny in keeping Jake on his toes.  Standing up to him, helping him remember how he used to be, and tempting him to lose his control was hilarious and compelling.   I loved the ending and his the characters had to work for their HEA, not a quick fix, but realistic.  I hope we get more stories for the Shillings Agency. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
kdjohnston73 More than 1 year ago
Stealing HIs Heart is book 2 in the Shillings Agency series by Jen McLaughlin. And let me just say whew!! This author sure knows how to write a sexy hero! Jake was hot alpha male all the way! Add in a herione who doesn't back down and stands toe to toe with him and you get Tara. I enjoy second chance love stories anyway but I just loved this book!
JaneyC More than 1 year ago
Complimentary copy generously provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review This is the 2nd book in the Shillings Agency series, and follows Tara Harris and Jake Forsythe (Christine’s younger brother, who we were introduced to in Diane Albert’s contribution to the Wedding Dare series.) Jake has been physically and emotionally scarred during his time in the military, and as a result of this, his girlfriend at the time scooted off. As a security specialist at Shillings Agency, his latest task is to identify the thief who managed to infiltrate his sophisticated alarm system of one of the Agency’s “prestigious” clients. Tara Harris is a thief; well an educated thief in that she only steals to return her clients property that has been stolen previously. Being independently wealthy, she is not driven by financial gain. She has morals. Jake and Tara have history; they were best buddies and used to run “tricks” together. That was until they got a little hot & heavy one night, and Jake left her wanting. Word is it may have been her who bypassed his system, so he needs to make contact, break the code and save her. I enjoyed this story; Tara was a spunky, ninja burglar, who was passionate to her cause. She was humorous, controversial and took Jake’s darkness and flipped it. Jake was affected by his past injuries, and had forgotten to laugh. He constantly alluded to his “darkness” and how he wasn’t good enough for Tara. He implied he liked control, which made me think he was going to be a little more dominant than he turned out to be, but that didn’t detract from his really, really, dirty sexy self.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I’m pretty new to Entangled’s Brazen imprint and I could kick myself for not discovering its pure, sexy awesomeness sooner. I swear I love it more with every single book I read. They’re perfect little bite-sized books with alpha men and sassy women and I just love to devour them in one sitting. I love how the characters in each book all intermingle in some way with the characters in the other books, particularly in the Shillings Agency series, because I just love these characters. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a sucker for a good second chance story. That’s exactly what I got with Stealing His Heart. Tara and Jake have history. They were partners, friends and, briefly, nearly lovers. Now they’re at odds with each other. Tara is a modern-day Robin Hood, stealing items from the rich – items they, themselves, stole – and returning them to the rightful owner. Jake is part of the Shillings Agency private security company and her latest target is one of their clients. He’s tasked with getting the item back and returning it to the client. She’s not willing to play along, even if it means she has to go to jail. As they are shoved together again, a great battle of the wills breaks out between them. Tara and Jake were complete opposites, but still a perfect match. She was light, sassy and even kinda goofy at times. He was cold and dominating and didn’t find much joy in the world. Tara remembers when he wasn’t though and she keeps seeing glimpses of that man underneath his hard exterior. She’s determined to get that guy back. He’s determined to get the info he needs so they can go their separate ways before she wiggles her way back into his heart. Combine their history with the sexual tension that oozes from them and this book becomes a great, steamy read. I loved reading along as Tara and Jake broke down each others walls. It was obvious from the start that there was something between them and it didn’t take too long into the story before it all came to a head. The feelings were real. The sexy scenes were HOT. (I love a good dominating dirty-talker.) They were both protective of the other and I liked where that led the story. Whether she’s writing adult books as Diane Alberts or new adult as Jen McLaughlin, I love this lady’s books. They have the perfect combination of HOT men, smart and sassy women, sweet romance and steamy sexy times. She’s definitely on my auto-buy list. I’m already looking forward to see what she writes next! I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
3 - "Keep your chakra off my s***." Stars. Stealing his Heart is book 2 in the Shillings Agency series, and whereas Kayla and Cooper from book one were quite an easygoing pair, with a few commitment issues, Jake and Tara are pretty much the opposite. Both have pretty dark and interconnected pasts, but through life circumstances, and lifestyle choices have not really had a lot to do with each other over the last few years. One and ex-serviceman operates very much inside the lines of the law, while the other very much operates outside of it; unfortunately a client of the Shillings Agency has been the subject of Tara’s own style of vigilante justice, and Jake is given the job of discovering her secrets, and rectifying the problem before the Police are involved. ”I have no intention of taking advantage of you… in that way. I’m only interested in your brain, and how you can help me get my job done.” Of course this isn’t totally true, and Tara eventually pushes Jake’s buttons enough that he is stepping over the lines he has set himself, and well outside of his comfort-zone when it comes his self-control. This side of Jake is not something Tara has really experienced before, and Jake tries to keep himself in check believing she deserves better. He didn’t lose control, and he didn’t act without thinking. Ever. As previously mentioned, this book felt a little darker and heavier than Temporarily Yours, whereas the first book was based around a couple who didn’t previously know each other, being thrown together in unusual and often funny circumstances with lots and lots of swoon worthy sexy-times thrown in. Jake and Tara have a past, and issues with each other that they try to work through. ”You seem to be forgetting that I’ve been in your arms already. You didn’t scare me then, and you don’t scare me now.” I liked this addition to the Shillings Agency series; Jen is an author whose writing style I have come to enjoy immensely. This book didn’t have the WOW that I have come to associate with her couples normally, but it was still a really enjoyable read. The main thing that stood out for me was a certain guy also employed by Cooper Shillings, and he goes by the name of Gordon… Tell me more Ms. McLaughlin! ARC generously provided by Entangled for the above honest review.