TBR Challenge Review: Thief of Hearts by Tess Gerritsen

Harlequin Intrigue #328
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub Date: 1995 (OOP but available in a reissued Kindle version)
FTC: Purchased myself...a distressingly long time ago

The Blurb:
Reformed cat burglar Clea Rice has witnessed enough crimes to put her on the straight and narrow. But little does she suspect that her search for justice will land her in the arms of wealthy English gentleman Jordan Tavistock. As their attraction grows, so does the danger. Now their biggest concern isn't whether a proper gentleman and a cat burglar can find happiness...it's whether they'll survive long enough to find out.

As part of the TBR Challenge hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian, I chose to read a category novel (this month's theme) by a very well known author. I've never managed to read a book by Tess Gerritsen so I don't know how it compares to her more recent full length thrillers. And it's been a long, long time since I've read a category romance.

For fans of Tess Gerritsen, the first thing you need to know is that this is not a medical mystery. There's very little medical information in here. And it's not really a mystery. Or not much of one. I'd classify this as more of a caper than a mystery. Still, it falls along the lines of romantic suspense, where the romance is sidelined in favor of action and intrigue.

Although fans of her newer books were trashing this one on Amazon and other review sites, I actually liked this one quite a bit. Sure, it's hella predictable. I'm way too much of a forensic TV junkie not to see whodunnit coming from nearly page one. But that wasn't what kept me reading. I loved the characters enough to want to follow along as they tried to avoid the bad guys intent on stopping them at any cost.

Category romances have some limitations. Primarily length. At 250 pages, there's only so much detail you can go into. You can't spend pages describing every minute thing that happened. And that's all to the good in terms of pacing IMHO. And, given the caper-ish feel of the book, it's not surprising that much of the set up strains credulity at times. I didn't give a hoot. My suspension of disbelief was just fine with it.

My only complaint was that the romance wasn't quite believable for me. There wasn't enough chemistry between the Jordan and Diana (aka Clea). If I'm going to believe people fall in love over matter of days, I expect the sparks to be obvious. I'm not talking explicit, but I want some serious tension. Something I think Gerritsen may have struggled with given the scope of the story and the shorter format.

My Grade: B-


  1. Sounds like a fun read--I've never read anything by Tess Gerritsen either.

  2. @Hannah,

    It was a fun read. A little like Suzanne Enoch's Sam Jellicoe series.

  3. A couple of years back Harlequin reissued most of Gerritsen's HIs in 2-in-1 reprints. Pretty sure that's how I have a copy of this story.

    Yeah, some her suspense fans tend to get on my last good nerve. Yes, she used to write romance. No, that doesn't make these stories "bad" or "inferior" - just different. Reading one of these will not give you The Love Cooties. Seriously. Blah.

  4. @Wendy,

    Thanks again for hosting this challenge. Harlequin tends to get reissue fever the second one of their category authors turns NYT Bestselling author, don't they? *cough NoraRoberts cough*

    I don't understand the bashing, either. It's not like it's a surprise that this is a romance. Or that it's not going to be the same as her full length suspense novels.

    Love Cooties...LOL

  5. I remember this! I read it back when it came out -- it stuck in my memory because the description had made me think of "To Catch a Thief." I had fun with it.