Happy release day to DON’T GO STEALING MY HEART by Kelly Siskind! This was a fun story that I was lucky enough to read a wee bit early. If you’re in the mood for a rom-com that’s got a few twists and will keep you on the tips of your Blue Suede Shoes (yeah… I totally made a horrible pun… you’ll laugh when you read the book), this is one you should have at the top of your TBR.
Author: Kelly Siskind
Series: Showmen, #2
Release Date: April 22, 2020
Review Copy: Netgalley ARC
Some people would call Clementine Abernathy a criminal. She considers herself a modern day Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Not exactly on the up-and-up, but she knows what it’s like to lose everything. Her latest heist involves swiping a priceless Van Gogh from its owner, who’s supposed to be an egotistical trust-fund brat.
Turns out Jack David is a sexy, kind-hearted man…and Clementine is in trouble. Falling for her mark would make her the World’s Dumbest Conwoman, but Jack is charmingly persistent, always singing sweet songs in her ear.
And that earth-shattering kiss? She never stood a chance.
Now she’s imagining a fresh start with this dashing man, but that means telling Jack about her past. And other nefarious sorts are after the same painting. Too soon, Clementine learns what it means to risk it all for love.
I’ve been in a “light hearted rom-com” mood lately, and was intrigued by Clementine’s Robin Hood-like-cat-burglar back story. This was my first Kelly Siskind book, and I was not disappointed.
What I loved:
Clementine’s outlook on what she does, and how she lives her life, had me rooting for her, criminal or not. Her interactions with the townspeople while scoping out her latest mark were witty and surprisingly genuine, considering why she was there. Jack is about as upstanding and charming as a leading man can get, and I was smitten from the start. Both of our leads have interesting quirks that drew me in, along with personal issues that gave them depth and relatability. They seem to just “fit”, despite the fact that they’re each hiding something big from the other. They’re both trying to juggle what’s “right” with what they feel they “have to do”.
The balance between the lighthearted, sweet, romance-y bits, and the less lighthearted, dark, uncomfortable bits was delicate, but the story managed to fall on the right side of that line each time. There were a few plot devices used that I really don’t care for — but instead of them becoming part of my “What I didn’t love” section of this review, the author addressed each instance quickly, and with the kind of finesse that actually turned them completely around for me. I was pleasantly surprised, and pretty impressed.
In the end, they just make sense together. They are sweet, and they “get” each other. They grow and learn from each other, and they make me smile.
What I didn’t love:
Both of our main characters have struggled and suffered in their pasts, affecting how they behave in this story. Of course those details are important, but I didn’t love how often those circumstances were repeated. It felt like the author was reminding me of something, but didn’t give me enough time to forget it between mentions.
As much as I liked Clementine and Jack together, it’s hard to overlook that the entire book took place in less than two weeks, and they both had to overcome HUGE trust issues to make their connection. The story didn’t feel rushed, but it did require a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. I guess this makes it half “what I loved” and half “what I didn’t love”, lol.
I also didn’t love the surprise “reveal” at the end. I saw it coming just before it happened, and I was SO hoping I was wrong. I wasn’t, and I’m bitter on behalf of the characters.
Overall, this was a fantastic introduction to this author, and a nice way to spend an afternoon. You’ll laugh a lot, you’ll swoon just a bit, and if you’re like me, you’ll grumble some at the end. (Well, not the *end* end, because our author graciously supplied us with an epilogue that totally made me smile.) And if you’re like me, I think you’ll find that you “Can’t Help Falling In Love” with Clementine and Jack.
I’m excited to check out some of Kelly Siskind’s other stories, and encourage you to join me.