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4.5 out of 5 stars
Stealing Jake
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on July 28, 2011
This was actually a really great read. It was fun and entertaining. It wasn't rocket science, but it was a great way to spend an afternoon.
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on July 27, 2011
I finished this book a couple days ago, and still think about all the characters in it. It is a heartwarming story!
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on July 27, 2011
THIS WAS A VERY NICE DECENT ROMANCE NOVEL! A WELL WRITTEN PLOT AND I LOVE ALSO THE FACT THEY ARE NOT PERFECT CHRISTIANS AND HAVE DOUBTS LIKE THE REST OF US. THE LITTLE BIT OF SUSPENSE THROWN IN WITH MANY CHILDREN NEEDING SOMEONE TO STEP UP FOR THEM AND TAKE A RISK TO SAVE THEM AND SHOW THEM THEY ARE NOT JUST NOBODY. THIS WAS ONE THAT IS FREE BUT WELL WORTH A FEE! GET IT WHILE YOU CAN AND FALL IN LOVE WITH THE WHOLE CREW! PAM
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Set about a decade after the Civil War Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman is set in small, but quickly growing, coal mining town of Chestnut, Illinois. A series of thefts around town, mostly of food and other necessities, leave many in the town frustrated by the number of hardened street kids who seem to have migrated from Chicago. But when the thefts grow larger and bolder, the frustration grows to downright anger. Sherrif's deputy Jake Russell finds himself caught up in the middle of it all. But, he also finds himself caught up in the presence of Livy O'Brien, the young woman who helps run the local orphanage. Livy is convinced that the street kids are not responsible for the increasing thefts, but she cannot convince the townspeople or Jake without revealing her own shady past.

I will confess to having a little trouble getting into the book because the first couple of chapters seemed to jump around a lot. But, that issue faded almost immediately, dissolving into a captivating story of both romantic love and the love of Christ. By about the fourth chapter, I simply could not put the book down. The character development was well-done, woven in as the story progressed. The spiritual dimension of the book was smooth and natural, fitting well into the overall theme rather than seeming forced as it often does.

For lovers of romantic Christian fiction, I give Stealing Jake a hearty commendation.

This ebook was sent to me for review by Tyndale.
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on July 25, 2011
Pam Hillman's debut novel, Stealing Jake, is a joy to read! From the very first scene we are caught up in Livy O'Brien's world - a world where homeless street children are forced into a life of crime in order to survive, and if caught, are "sold" to unscrupulous men who use them for cheap labor in sweat shops. Although Livy has escaped that life by the grace of God, she refuses to leave it behind completely, knowing that she can be the instrument God uses to save others from that miserable existence.

Then she meets Jake Russell, the deputy of the small Illinois town where Livy and her mentor, Mrs. Brooks, have recently moved to start an orphanage. With Livy's past, her first instinct is to avoid this lawman, but circumstances - and mutual attraction - continue to bring them together.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way Pam introduced and developed her characters. Both Livy and Jake have their demons, and Pam reveals them to the reader in a natural and compelling way. She allows her hero and heroine to face them, and then vanquish them before our eyes. I am waiting impatiently for Pam's next book!

I received a free copy of this book for my review.
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on July 23, 2011
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.
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on July 10, 2011
Livy O'Brien catches a street kid stealing the pocket watch from Deputy Jake Russell. And a handsome Deputy he is too! In an attempt to protect the boy she lifts it from him and returns it to the Deputy without either one being the wiser. She's able to do that because she is Light Finger Livy. At least she was before she became a believer. Now she's attempting to start a new life but knows that if the townsfolk knew what she really was they wouldn't be so accepting . Then break-ins and robberies begin to occur and the towns people and the deputy believe it's the street kids. Livy defends them and even begins to sway Jake's opinion. But a past has a way of catching up with a person. Can the little spark between Jake & Livy grow into a flame or will it fizzle out when Jake finds out about Livy's past?

This was a great story. I love the cover and when I saw it, it made me want to find out what was inside. I'm glad I did! The author has an easy writing style that just draws you in and holds you there. The characters were very believable and easy to relate to. Livy struggled with forgetting her past and the mistakes she'd made. I think we all can relate to that. Jake was a great lead. Strong but he had some insecurities. Don't we all. I enjoyed watching Jake and Livy interact and struggle with their growing feelings for each other as well as their faith. I liked all the secondary characters as well. I think the author did a wonderful job of weaving into the story the message of forgiveness, new beginnings and second chances. The street kids will absolutely win you over as your heart goes out to them. The story kept a steady pace but ramps up toward the end to a point that I found myself rushing though the pages. If you like historicals then you won't want to miss Stealing Jake. I look forward to more from Pam Hillman. A thank you goes to Vicky Lynch at Tyndale for providing this complimentary copy for my review.
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Livy O Brien is a new and different person from when she was a pickpocket on the streets of Chicago. She's a Christian now and helping to run an orphanage. But when street children begin showing up in the small mid-western town she's living in, her past might catch up with her. And, now that she knows deputy Jake Russell, she really doesn't want that to happen. But, she cares for the street kids and has a desire to help them.

Stealing Jake is a light, easy read. An historical romance with a touch of suspense, this is one of my favorite genres. I enjoyed the characters of Jake and Livy. The story was good. The suspense and action kept things interesting. Don't look for lots of depth, but this was a light, easy read that was very enjoyable. I will be looking out for further books by Pam Hillman.

I received a free copy of this as an ebook for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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on July 9, 2011
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.
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on July 3, 2011
Livy's childhood left her feeling untrusting and fearful. She has in the past few years come to know God, yet her past continues to haunt her. The new life she has been living leads her to make sure other children do not grow up with the same hardships she did.
The story of Livy's childhood is interestingly unwound as you move thru her present. An interesting point that is an under theme is that God makes a way thru if we just will trust.
Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for making this book available to me thru NetGalley.
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