Stealing Jake

Stealing Jake

by Pam Hillman
4.2 95

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Stealing Jake 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
MaryConnealy More than 1 year ago
This book has it all. Romance, danger, action, humor, heart. All wrapped up in a historical romance set in with such an interesting backdrop. Sweat shops, coal mines, orphans and gunfights. Such a fast read, there was so much going on that you'd have though the main characters wouldn't have time to fall in love. Ah but they did. I'm smiling as I type because I loved it and love thinking about sweet, vulnerable, valient Livy and heroic, protective Jake. Pam Hillman has written a gem of a book with Stealing Jake.
JoanneTroppello More than 1 year ago
Livy O'Brien used to be known as LightFingered Livy, but that was back in the days when pickpocketing was a way of life for her-a survival mechanism. Now she is a Christian and living in a small, but burgeoning town outside of Chicago. She lives with Mrs. Brooks at the local orphanage. Her experiences from the harsh childhood of living on the streets and stealing to survive have become a catalyst to her heart for saving children stuck in similar circumstances. All she wants to do is save the children and show them God's love. Livy is not looking for love or marriage. Although, life has a way of sneaking up on us and she finds that out first hand. She never expected she'd literally run into the man of her dreams. Jake Russell is the Sheriff's Deputy and he has his own problems to deal with-an outstanding loan on his family's farm, investigating the culprits behind a surge of robberies in town and dealing with grief over the loss of close family and friends, in a mining accident. He wasn't looking for love either. God has different plans for their lives and He shows up in the little town of Chestnut, a big way. I'm more of a contemporary romance kind of girl, so when I agreed to review this book, I wasn't sure how I would like it. Stealing Jake stole my own reader's heart from the get-go. Ms. Hillman's writing style easily swept me into the story and I wanted to devour each chapter and actually went to bed late several nights all because I wanted to read just one more chapter. One of the most appealing factors was the character development. I really got to know Livy and Jake and all of the other fascinating people of Chestnut. Ms. Hillman's attention to detail was just the right amount to give me enough information about the historical setting and to see the scene without boring me to tears with endless, useless minutiae. After I finished reading Stealing Jake and I visited Ms. Hillman's website, I was surprised to learn that this was her debut novel. It read nothing like a debut. I thought I was reading the work of a seasoned multi-published author. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of Ms. Hillman's future novels. Stealing Jake is one book that I highly recommend.
mustlovetoread More than 1 year ago
Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman I received Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman from Vicky Lynch at Tyndale publishing in exchange for a book review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The characters are very believable and the situations they encounter make for an enjoyable and interesting story. There are many different plot lines running throughout the book. Livy used to be on the streets, until she learned to trust Mrs. Brooks. Jake is the deputy; he feels everything has to be in order before he can love and live his own life. Mrs. Brooks runs the orphanage. There are also kids being kidnapped and kids loose on the streets. Livy catches two kids stealing a watch from the deputy. She recognizes what they are doing because that is what she used to do as well. Her heart goes out to them and she tries her best to help them. Then, she runs into Jake Russell-literally. She can't trust him and runs from the law and love. Livy has to learn to accept her salvation and increase her faith in what God has done and will do for her. Jake has to learn to love, but then he has to convince Livy to trust him-even though he is the law. If you are looking for a great romance, a good mystery, and following Livy and Jake's walk in faith, this book is for you! You will be hooked from page one, and won't want to put the book down. Pam Hillman has a knack for telling an awesome story. She will draw you in, and won't let you go until it's all wrapped up!
JanetRuth More than 1 year ago
Moving to Chestnut, Illinois in the 1870's, Livy knows first-hand what it's like to live on the street. Her heart goes out to any children struggling for their very survival. Together with elderly Mrs. Brooks, Livy has started an orphanage to help the children. They don't have much to offer but somehow are able to provide a place to stay, nourishing food and unconditional love. A cycle of robberies occur in the small frontier town, and of course the street kids are blamed. Livy knows the kids are innocent, and just struggling to survive. She works tirelessly trying to convince the kids to trust her and move into the orphanage. Jake Russell is working as a sheriff's deputy, desperate to earn enough to keep the family farm. His day to day run-ins with the street kids and Livy soon change his mind about the true victims in the small town. For a really different kind of historical fiction story, check out Stealing Jake. It was very interesting to get a glimpse into the plight of homeless children so many years ago. And who doesn't love a great story of romance?
Jutzie More than 1 year ago
An incredible read!This book has so much within it. Excitement, love, redemption, trust, suspense for starters. Jake Russell is working as a deputy in the town of Chestnut, Illinois. His father and 28 others were killed in a mine explosion some years earlier and he was trapped in the mine. He was not about to go back. Livy O'Brien grew up on the streets of Chicago, literally. She only had her sister Katie but she died. When the town of Chestnut started having robberies they were blaming street kids. Livy knew they would not draw attention to themselves and tried to convince Jake of it. It is heart wrenching to think of kids being on the streets and having to survive. This was fiction but that is a also a fact. This book definitely pulls on the heart strings. They were taking these street kids from Chicago to work in a factory in Chestnut. You see some of the kids being separated from their siblings. A side story is Luke who was able to escape but he is still searching for his brother Mark. There are many unique characters as well. Gus and his donkey Little bit, Emma who owns a cafe, Mary and Gracie. This is just an excellent story.
Crazyfool82 More than 1 year ago
Loved the characters in this story and the faith they had in their higher power,looking forward for more awesome stories to come!!!
Bookworm29JT More than 1 year ago
I love this wonderful heartfelt story! I just finished reading Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman. It is the story of Livy O'Brien, A pick-pocketing street kid from Chicago who was taken in by Mrs Brooks, a few years before. All she wants is to leave her past behind her and to help out with the orphanage that her and Mrs Brooks opened in Chestnut, Illinois. When she spies a boy bump into Deputy Jake Russell and discreetly steal his pocket watch. She intervenes by "bumping" into the boy and discreetly removing the pocket watch from his pocket. As she turns around to return it to the Deputy, she is nearly run over as he had started to run after the boy. While seeing if Livy is all right after he nearly ran her over , Jake reaches in his pocket and removes the pocket watch that he had thought was stolen. Glad that he did not chase a kid down and accuse him falsely, he focuses on the curly haired lady in from of him. Jake takes her home and is surprised that she lives and works at the Orphanage. He tries to stop thinking about her but he still cannot seem to get her out of his mind, He wants to get to know her better but she does not seem willing to trust any man. Livy senses the growing attraction between herself and Deputy Jake but will not let her guard down, Not after what happened to her sister, besides a Lawman would never be attracted to her if he knew that she used to be called "Light-fingered Livy". After a string of robberies start occurring in their small town, everyone blames the street kids that have taken residence in "shantytown" a small section of town filled with buildings that should have been condemned and empty crates that serve as shelter for the street kids . As the town tries to get rid of the street kids, Livy is determined to get them to trust her so that she can take care of them at the Orphanage. She is convinced that it is not the street kids that are stealing items from the local businesses, but can she convince everyone else that they are innocent? After someone attempts to murder both Livy and Jake, They have to race against the clock to save the lives of several street kids. Will they be able to rescue the kids and clear there names or will the events of Livy's past cloud the towns judgment? I thought that the book was very well written. This is the first book that I have read from Mrs Hillman and I love her writing style. The story was very easy to follow and the plot was so engaging that I finished the book in a matter of hours, I just did not want to put it down! I love the character Livy and her compassion and determination to help the street kids and I like that we also get a glimpse into a street kid's point of view. The ending was definitely the best part, with so much going on in the last 100 pages it is impossible to put the book down. Overall I would give it 5 Stars. I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was not asked to write a favorable review, Just a honest one.
DeliaLatham More than 1 year ago
Beautiful. Heartwarming. Soul-stirring. I could go on, but why? STEALING JAKE is wonderful. I laughed. I cried. I squirmed with conviction for not doing enough for others, not caring enough about the less fortunate. I ached with sorrow for little ones without a place to lay their heads. If touching the reader’s emotions is what makes a book memorable, then STEALING JAKE is destined to be absolutely unforgettable. I won’t rehash the plotline—the back cover text does that quite well. But I will say that this storyline includes a little bit of everything, from down home, Old West derring-do to streetwise city kids. From orphans who capture the heart without half trying to rebellious teens who don’t appreciate the comfort of a loving home. Suspense. Humor. Romance. All there. All perfectly delivered. A debut novel this good is bound to present the author a challenge. Can she do it again? I think so. STEALING JAKE is a showcase of solid writing skills, vivid imagination, and excellent plotting devices. Pam Hillman will have no problem creating another stellar tale…and this reader will definitely be in line to see what it’s about.
AdkMtn More than 1 year ago
What a great story. I'll be looking forward to more books by this author.
LoveMonterey More than 1 year ago
Though Christian fiction is not my normal cup of tea, this was a very sweet story about redemption, forgiveness, and learning to look past one's prejudices. The religious aspect was heavy-handed, to say the least, but easily forgiven if you consider the genre. Overall, it was an enjoyable read that made me wish the world was as good as Livy and Mrs. Brooks.
HSMomof4 More than 1 year ago
Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman is a wonderful historical fiction novel that shows the forgiving love and amazing grace our our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. "When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself. Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy-literally-while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town-as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off-Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman." This story has it all... romance, suspense, danger, humor, and more! The characters are well-developed and have you cheering them on! I especially enjoyed Gus, a quiet man who helped out his neighbors in the dark of night, not wishing to be known for his acts of kindness. Throughout the story, God's grace and mercy and forgiveness shine through. How many of us can say we have never sinned or have nothing hiding in our past that we don't wish people to know? Yet, Livy, who lived on the streets of Chicago as a child, comes forward to share her past to help the street children of Chestnut. Her desire to help others trumped her need to keep her past in the past. How many of us would put our lives "out there" to help others? My rating: 5 stars I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for my review.
JennJenn81 More than 1 year ago
I read this over the course of a week while spending my daily 30 on the treadmill. It was cute, kinda predictable, but still a nice read. I liked the spin on Livy's character--it's not often that thieves make good heroines. Nice piece of Christian fiction.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Stealing Jake by author Pam Hillman takes you back out west just outside of Chicago, in the small town of Chestnut, Illinois. Livy O’Brien works at the newly opened orphanage to help the poor orphans stay off the streets and have a chance at a better life. Livy knows the life of a street kid and of a pickpocket from personal experience herself due to living on the streets of Chicago. She has found a new life that is forgiven and a new purpose. However, old feelings die hard and when she meets deputy Jake Russell, she has a hard time setting aside those old prejudices of police, especially the corrupt ones. Yet Jake is different as he is a moral man and both must work together to find the ones behind a rash of crimes that has erupted in their small town. Jake believes it is the swarm of street children coming from Chicago, yet Livy has her doubts and instead sets out to prove them innocent. What they both stumble upon is much worse than either could have imagined. This was an enjoyable tale of the American West complete with gunfights, explosions, danger, and a sigh inducing romance. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own honest ones.
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman, set in Illinois in the 1870’s, is an interesting historical romance. Livy O’Brien, alias Light-Fingered Livy, has put her past life in Chicago behind and is a new woman through Christ’s forgiveness. Her difficult past ceased when a Christian lady, Mrs. Brooks, took her in at the orphanage and introduced her to Jesus. Her past life behind her, but not forgotten, Livy helps Mrs. Brooks run an orphanage in Chestnut, Illinois. Deputy Jake Russell has had struggles of his own. The family gold mine explosion and the loss of his father and others in the community has filled him with regret and persistent fear of the underground and dangerous passages. The job of Deputy helps his widowed mother and siblings but financial woes loom with his insistence that the mine stay closed. Livy becomes involved with the plight of homeless children whose lives are similar to the one that she endured on the Chicago streets. She is adamant that their lives be changed and places herself in extreme danger for their sakes. The ruthless businessman, using Chicago street children in his factory in Chestnut, poses a threat to the entire town of Chestnut. Livy’s actions come under the radar and expose her as a target. This novel is very entertaining but also has a great plot with the message of forgiveness and new beginnings and that of overcoming fears and failures. I recommend this very good book. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Stealing Jake is an amazing historical romance. It has humor along with suspense to keep your attention.There are abandoned children, stealing, pickpockets, and an orphanage to keep your interest. I look forward to reading more from Pam Hillman. I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Cindy-J More than 1 year ago
Pam Hillman begins Stealing Jake with some desperate choices by street kids trying to survive impossible situations. Livy O’Brien has recently moved to Chestnut, Illinois and is helping care for kids at the orphanage, but donations are few and money is scarce. Known in Chicago as Light-Fingered Livy, she has the skills to obtain what the kids need, but she left Chicago and her old lifestyle behind and doesn’t ever plan to return. As a relatively new Christian, sometimes it’s hard to trust God to provide what is needed though. Can she truly leave her past behind and trust God to supply those needs? Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Russell is trying to catch the thieves who have been breaking into local stores. The number of thefts is on the rise, and the townspeople are complaining about the increasing number of street kids around town. The townspeople believe that if he would only arrest those kids, the thefts would stop. Livy knows the street kids aren’t to blame, but can she convince Jake without revealing her past? Will Jake give the street kids the benefit of “innocent until proven guilty”? Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked how Livy related to the street kids; she knew what to do, but especially what not to do, in her efforts to get them to come to the orphanage instead of staying on the streets. She also wanted more for them than just a warm bed and three meals a day; she wanted to introduce them to Jesus. The reminder that everyone has something to share with those less fortunate was subtle but very real. Jake’s love and care for his family and friends was obvious. He also cared about his town and its residents. He wanted to find the truth about the thefts around town, not settle for the “obvious” answer that everyone else seemed to believe. Some things I didn’t care for about the story were that Livy and Jake’s romantic relationship developed too quickly, in my opinion. The book only covered two months, and Livy and Jake met at the beginning and were engaged at the end. Also, within about four hours after Jake was injured in an altercation and broke some ribs, he walked Livy home before returning to the jail then being called to the bank. That part was very unrealistic to me because a friend of mine broke some ribs and was confined to the hospital for several days. Again, I really liked the book overall, in spite of those few down sides. This book will go on my keeper shelf, and I’ll be looking for additional books by Ms. Hillman to enjoy. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
PatGMoore More than 1 year ago
Debut novel by Pam Hillman and a fabulous book to read. It wasn't what I expected. Livy is working for an orphanage and while she is running errands she spots a young lad snitching a wallet. Without the boys knowledge Livy steals it back and returns it to the owner without anyone being the wiser. Enters Jake Russell, deputy sheriff. He wants to get all the street urchins off the streets and in jail. He literally runs into Livy. She just added to his problems, especially the personal ones. With Livy trying to rescue the street children and Jake trying to arrest them they keep bumping into one another. Livy was a street child herself and she learned all the tricks of the trade. Her desire is to bring all of them to the orphanage so they can be cared for. Children are being brought in from Chicago to Chestnut, IL to work in sweat shops. The street children are the ones that managed to escape. Jake and Livy keep crossing paths. Livy finds that God show his love in ways she never expected. You will find mystery, fun, humor and heart break. There is suspense, fast paced adventure and a book you won't want to put down. I came to love the characters of Livy, Jake & Luke. Stealing Jake is a Christian Historical Romance with action/suspense and intrigue. Luke will steal your heart. This book is a keeper.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
“Stealing Jake” is a historical romance novel. If you like novels set in the 1800s with romance mixed in, you will love this one! Pam Hillman writes in a very easy to read format. Livy O’Brien used to be known as “Light-Fingered Livy”, but now she has made a change in her life and that life is behind her. Or so she thought. Until she spots some “street kids” doing what she used to do. She is helping to run an orphanage in town, and she is going to do all she can to help get these kids off the streets. Jake Russell is the sheriff. He is trying to stop these robberies that are happening in town. In the meantime, there is definitely an attraction between Livy and Jake. Livy has to deal with trust issues, and Jake isn’t sure he is ready to settle down. I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book! Set in the Wild West – well, Chestnut, Illinois – with the town quickly springing up, bringing a lot of riff-raff and thieves into town. Light-fingered Livy has moved there to get away from her past and to help Mrs. Brooks run an orphanage. But her heart breaks for the orphaned, abandoned children, who keep showing up in town, yet are too distrustful of adults to come to the orphanage. She was one of them. Unfortunately, the townspeople don’t want them around as they are convinced the children are behind the rash of burglaries. Even Jake, the kind deputy, who seems to care for Livy, just wants them gone. “Those ragamuffins didn’t know it yet, but they shouldn’t have stopped in Chestnut. The town wasn’t big enough for thieves and robbers to hide out for long.” How can Livy convince Jake to “…understand how children abandoned on the streets suffered…”? “She jabbed at his chest, unable to check the tears squeezing out the corners of her eyes. ‘Don’t talk to me about justifying my actions until you’ve walked barefoot through the snow or fought the dogs for bones to throw in a pot to have a little something to eat.’” I found this book really mesmerizing and couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend it. I received this book from in return for my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an entertaining and very enjoyable story! Pam Hillman knows how to capture your attention and keep it with humor, banter, danger and heart-capturing characters woven perfectly into it. A unique story-line about the children of the streets and the sweatshops of the past. Livy has turned her life around and is trying to help those just like her by taking in those kids to her orphanage. Deputy Jake is just trying to keep this coal mining town crime free and a string of robberies is making that awful hard to do! Livy crashes into his path and ends up entwined in the mess that unknown criminals are making of their city. Both fight the attraction and I think I love their reactions to each other the most. They are wonderful characters who are backed by well-written secondary characters – I loved the mini-stories of their lives sprinkled in. The whole cast of this story makes it a deeply moving and fast paced book. I felt like I was watching a movie. I highly recommend for a fantastic read – this is a bookshelf keeper! I received this book from for an honest review.
SonnySJ More than 1 year ago
I adore this story. It was such an enjoyable read. The story of the street children was convicting. Times have changed but the issue with children that have been abandoned or forgotten have not really changed. It was really sad to see the reactions of the towns people to the children that needed more than the donate of clothes and food. The hearts of some people are sadly still the same. The character of Livy really made me proud. She was willing to do what it takes to help these kids. She really understood their lives and have a genuine desire to love and protect them. It is interesting how her fears, doubts and dreams for God played out in this story. How hard must it have been to do these things in this time period? Jake Russell was a strong hero in this plot. He was not perfect by any means. He struggles with providing for his family, protecting his town and trying hard to forget Livy. These are two people who has not idea of how one accident will change the course of their lives. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. I also posted this review on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Goodreads, Deepershopper, etc.)”
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
Stealing Jake was a cool story. There were sad parts and happy parts, but they all worked together to make it so I didn’t want to stop reading. I received this book from The Book Club Network.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
Livy O’Brien has a past which she doesn’t want to share with folks in her new hometown of Chestnut, Illinois. She is now a respectable member of the community, a born again believer, and a hard worker helping Mrs. Brooks care for the orphans at the orphanage. Her past comes to haunt her as she begins to discover street children, such as she once was, hiding out in town. To make matters worse, they are being blamed for robberies which are taking place in town. Livy desperately wants to help them, but they have been so abused for too many years that they no longer trust adults. The children are on a mission to both survive and save siblings from the wicked intentions of a cruel factory owner. Livy may need the help of the deputy sheriff, Jake Russell, who is taking an interest in her, but his interest will completely disappear if he learns the truth about her past. The setting for this book was outside Chicago, several years following the Civil War. There is no government welfare system to help and protect children who are abandoned and without parents. They must fend for themselves. There are also no laws concerning child labor. Children can work as many hours as adults and often did because they could be paid less and their smaller hands could work some parts of the machines better than adults. It was certainly an interesting story about a travesty that took a number of years to begin to change. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my opinion.
TCramer More than 1 year ago
I've read slightly over 100 books this year and this is most certainly one of my favorites. It's so good that I actually woke up at 3 AM this morning and finished reading it through 5 AM. Fortunately, I'm off work today and was able to go back to sleep until 8 am. The setting is in the 1870s in Chestnut, IL, a growing community just train ride away from Chicago. Characters include Livy O’Brien, a young lady working in the new orphanage in town. Livy grew up on the streets of Chicago and survived by picking pockets in order to keep from starving. She has changed her ways and is spending her life helping Mrs. Brooks, the lady who rescued Livy from street life, take care of orphans. Livy has a heart to protect and help the street children in Chestnut, as she attempts to convince the community that the children are only trying to survive in the world with the cruel hand they have been dealt. Jake Russell is a farmer, shareholder in a coal mine, and sheriff’s deputy of Chestnut. He is working hard to make ends meet for his widowed mother and his younger siblings. He has a history of being one of the few survivors from a coal mine collapse and lives with survivor’s guilt. Of course, Jake finds himself very attracted to Livy and is unaware of her past life as a pick pocket living on the streets in Chicago. Both Jake and Livy are very likeable characters. The author also does a great job developing the supporting characters in the book. Ms. Hillman has a way of making the reader feel as though they are in the community of Chestnut, IL. The story includes gripping action and mystery as well as a touch of romance. As previously stated, this is one of my favorite reads of the year and I highly recommend it. If you enjoy historical fiction, you will love this book. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network ( in exchange for my honest review.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
Pam Hillman is an amazing author. I was captivated from the very beginning of this book. Livy, Jake, and Luke stole my interest from the beginning and didn't let go until the very end. I loved the plot. The plight of the street kids tugged at my heart strings. From all I've read, "street kids" and orphans were not treated very well back in those times (and you can't really say they are now), and Pam Hillman perfectly captured that fact in this nail-biting story. Livy O'Brien is a sweet, kind-hearted, yet fiercely protective woman. I liked that about her instantly. Jake had me wavering back and forth in parts of the story. Just when I thought he understood where Livy was coming from, he would say or do something and I'd be smacking my head, thinking "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!" But in the end, it worked out just like I knew it would. Luke's story grabbed my heart. I cannot imagine what that fierce youngin had to go through. His story added depth to the overall story, where Livy and Jake's romance added the right amount of tension. The message of the story, in my opinion, is letting go of the past. Both Livy and Jake have things in their past that hold them from embracing their future. They both learn the lesson of letting go, to let God fully in. It's a sweet, sweet message. Overall, I loved this book and I can't wait to read more by this fantastic author. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Tyndale Blogging Program in exchange for my honest review.*