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Stealing Mr. Right (Penelope Blue) Mass Market Paperback – March 7, 2017
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Books with Buzz
"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. See more
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"Morgan has superbly revived the pairing of romance and jewel heists. " - Kirkus
"Morgan opens her Penelope Blue series with an utterly unique, compelling and surprisingly touching romance, full of snarky commentary and blistering chemistry. " - RT Book Reviews
"The reader is left with a solid romance and a tease of mischief to come" - Publishers Weekly
"Not since Suzanne Enoch's excellent Samantha Jellicoe series has such a successful blend of love and law hit the shelves. Watch for future novels." - Booklist
About the Author
Tamara Morgan is the author of thirteen contemporary comedy romances and the forthcoming Penelope Blue series. Her books combine fast-paced antics and humor with heartfelt sentiment. Her debut novel was chosen as the Smart Bitches Trashy Books book club pick in April of 2012, and her books have since gone on to receive two starred reviews from Library Journal and three RT Top Picks, one of which was nominated in the 2014 RT Reviewers' Choice Awards in the Contemporary Love & Laughter category. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved this story! It started with a bang and kept up with the twists and turns, leaving me guessing at every turn and finally building up to a suspenseful climax. The plot is intricate and the chemistry between the main characters is intense. Tamara Morgan has woven an entertaining story in a way that is fun and unique. The alternating pattern of past and present storytelling was rather unusual, and kept me flipping the pages until the very end. I loved the humor, the dynamic between Grant and Penelope was so much fun!
Their game of cat and mouse was absolutely delightful, their playful flirtation was irresistible. This book was well-written, the alternating past-present storytelling slowed down the pace of the story, though. The characters were engaging, intriguing and well-developed, the plot was well-constructed and mysterious. I’m really looking forward to reading more in this series.
'He was the professional, but I had street smarts. He held the cards, but I called the game. Damn, but it was going to be fun seeing which of us would eventually come out on top.'
This quote from partway through the story is an apt description of the relationship between Penelope Blue and Grant Emerson. Penelope is the daughter of a renowned jewel thief, the Blue Fox. When he died, Penelope became a street kid but with all the tricks of the trade under her belt. Those in the crime world on both sides of the law believe she must have access to the millions of dollars worth of jewels her father had hidden over the years, but she has no idea where his fortune is . When the chance to steal a precious diamond necklace that always eluded her father comes her way, she’s ready to do whatever it takes to be successful. If only her husband Grant hadn’t foiled her plans, once again! He’s at the scene of her almost-crime, and she is forced to abort the mission.
Penelope and her partners in crime are busy trying to think up another way to get a hold of the necklace when Grant brings it home for safekeeping. Is it a trap? Did he bring it home to force the issue of her life of crime out in the open, to see if she’d take the necklace and run? The game is afoot, but if one of them wins, they might both end up as losers in love.
This story has both a romantic comedy and a chick lit feel, and when I heard it was the first of three stories about the couple – who are already married – I was worried that this part would end in a cliffhanger. I’m happy to report that that is not the case. Stealing Mr. Right has a wholly satisfactory happy ending and is a complete story on its own. It’s told entirely from Penelope’s point of view and consists of equal parts flashback telling how Grant and Penelope met and got married and scenes in the present dealing with the aborted jewel heist and resulting fall-out. The segments are well identified and the writing voice used also makes it clear which is which – the parts that take place in the past are written in past tense and the parts in the present are written in present tense. It makes for an interesting reading experience.
Penelope is a resilient young woman. She had no choice but to adapt to life on the streets as an abandoned teenager, her mother having passed away in childbirth and her ‘trophy wife’ stepmother unwilling to play the part of mom. She was aided by Riker, another street rat and together they did what they needed to survive, eventually moving on to bigger and better heists. Stealing was a way for her to survive and she’s not apologetic about it at all. Now, she doesn’t do it for the money but for the thrill of the job. Riker is her best friend and they have a close relationship – though that has been strained by her marriage to Grant. He thinks Grant is using her to get at her father’s supposed fortune and that their marriage is a farce that will end with her getting hurt. Penelope finds herself torn between the man she’s in love with and the man who’s always had her back.
Riker and Penelope added two more to their thieving crew, Jordan and Oz, also street kids. They each have a specific role to play. Riker is the mastermind planner who chooses the jobs, negotiates with the backers and runs the show. Penelope is small in stature and can fit into spaces like air ducts and housemaids trolley carts. Ironically, she is claustrophobic yet still finds herself spending hours in small spaces, waiting to give the go ahead or do the job herself when the coast is clear. Jordan is the explosives expert, making whatever is needed to be used as a distraction (like firebombs in garbage cans) and Oz is the everyman, the one who wears disguises and blends into the background, casing joints, providing backup, basically playing whatever character is needed for the situation. These four are not a hard edged violent crew. No one gets killed or injured on their missions (though a guard or two may get knocked out ) and this is one of those scenarios where the crimes are always big ticket items – art heists, jewelry thefts, etc. from big corporations or wealthy people who can live with the loss.
Grant is an enigma. Penelope assumes that he knows exactly who she is when she first – and rather audaciously – approaches him on a surveillance job. In fact she introduces herself by her real name, so there’s no mystery. What she doesn’t expect is that he’ll ask her out! How much he knows about her isn’t clear, and nor is his motive is in wanting to date her. As the story progresses, Grant’s role becomes murky. In the sections of the story set in the past, he’s a handsome man in pursuit of a beautiful woman and they share some sensual scenes (which aren’t overly descriptive, though Grant is a good kisser!) as their relationship heats up. In the present, all bets are off and we don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, a man who loves his wife and is willing to do anything for her or if everything is leading up to a big takedown. Honestly, it makes for a very exciting and page-turning read because the reader has no idea what is going to happen right up until the very end. The plot twists are eyebrow raising, with the necklace at the center of the story. Stealing Mr. Right entertained me from beginning to end and I definitely plan to read more about this intriguing couple!
I loved Pen's complicated relationships, and there were MANY! The author slowly peeled back the layers of each, alternating the storytelling between present day and past events starting 19 months earlier. While some of the flashbacks didn't contain enough relevant content for my editorial tastes and slowed the overall pacing down a bit, I thought the majority of them worked.
I did have other small quibbles, but overall, I breezed through this one and enjoyed it immensely. Not only did it satisfy my craving for a good "heist," it also solidified my not-so-secret love for well-written special agent heroes. *swoons over Grant Emerson forever*
I can't wait for the next book in this series!
RATING: A- (4½ stars)
Note: I received a review copy of this title courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ok so I am going to be completely honest I was not able to finish this book. I tried for a month and it just did not work.Read more
Based on the cover and blurb of Stealing Mr. Right, I was sure I was in for a light, fun cat and mouse read.Read more
A jewel thief married to an FBI agent, I thought for sure this had recipe for disaster written all over it, but somehow these...Read more