A plot so riddled with action and suspense that it'll give you itchy fingers (which means you want to find out what happens so badly that you're tempted to start turning pages faster than you can read.) Such a delicious dilemma for an avid reader!
Love that the romance is front and centre right from the start. The reader is in no doubt that chemistry exists between Jake and Livy and romance could blossom quickly under ideal circumstances. Alas, since the circumstances aren't ideal, there isn't a smooth path to matrimony -- but I sure enjoyed all the bumps and detours along the way!
Trust is a core issue that threads its way throughout this story. It's something Livy in particular really struggles with because of her past. But Jake harbors his own share of doubts which compound Livy's trust issues and it spirals into quite a quandary. Then there's young Luke, a mistrustful street kid who holds the key to a lot of questions that need answering...if only he could trust someone with the information.
The surprising suspense thread kept me riveted right to the very end....and then I mourned that it was all over. You know -- that black moment in a reader's life where you realize there is no more story but you're not ready to let it go? And the thought of starting another book leaves you feeling unsettled? That's how I felt when I reached the last page of Stealing Jake and what a wonderful (and disturbing) conundrum for an avid reader to be in. Definitely one for the keeper shelf.
My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of this book.
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 plotlineâ€”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.
Someone is selling Chicago's street kids as factory workers in 1874. Livy O'Brien was once one of those kids but she gave up her light-fingered ways two years ago. Now a Christian, she's passionate to help kids in need in the down-rail town of Chestnut, running an orphanage with Mrs. Brooks. With crime on the rise and the street kids implicated, Livy dives in to their rescue.
Jake Russell is Chestnut's deputy and determined to restore order to his town. When he (literally) bowls Livy over on the street, he's drawn to her caring ways. But surely she's wrong about the street kids. Chestnut didn't have crime before they arrived from Chicago, so who else could be to blame?
Livy and Jake are at odds in their opinions of the orphans-and strangely attracted to each other. Can they find out who is really to blame for the crimes and save a passel of kids while they're at it? The clock is ticking_
Stealing Jake is a historical romance that takes the reader into the seamier side of America's history. The novel is strong and tightly woven. The bleak, icy setting of winter in an Illinois coal town suits the desolate need these children find themselves in.
Pam Hillman's award-winning debut novel captured my interest from the start. The story revolves around the budding romance between sheriff's deputy Jake Russell and reformed pickpocket Livy O'Brien. Livy is determined to rescue the orphaned children living in shantytown and prove they are not responsible for a recent spate of robberies. Jake is trying to uphold the law while making sure a deadly mine is not reopened only to take more lives. With an intriguing cast of characters and excellent storytelling, Ms. Hillman deftly weaves a tale fraught with romance, danger, and hope. Expect many more engaging stories from this skilled and entertaining author.