In Samantha Kane’s sensual tale of wicked passion, a desperate woman must resort to burglary—but the beautiful thief ends up stealing the heart of a rogue.
The daughter of a reformed jewel thief, Julianna Harte knows a thing or two about stealth. When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.
Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.
“Now, about this woman you seek,” Hil said, returning his focus to Alasdair’s request. “Tell me.”
Alasdair sat down on the sofa, and Hil took the seat next to him, leaning back, quite relaxed. His look was politely interested as he smiled at Alasdair. Though he looked as though he hadn’t a care in the world, Alasdair wasn’t fooled. Hil missed nothing. He was brilliant, sharp, and insightful. He could dissemble any scene or event, or person for that matter, with the precision of an artist. Along with Hil’s useful connections, it was the very reason why Alasdair had sought him out today. Hil was involved in all manner of investments and projects with a wide variety of people in the city, some rather questionable. Alasdair gave Roger a meaningful glance, unsure of whether he wanted to involve him.
“Shall I leave?” Roger asked, but clearly he had no intention to do so, as he moved over and sat in the chair opposite Alasdair and Hil. He settled in and sipped his tea, looking all too comfortable.
“No,” Alasdair answered, “don’t bother.”
“Oh, good.” Roger sent him a delighted smile. “I’ve been a little bored, and this promises to be rather interesting.” He frowned for a moment. “Well, more interesting than anything else at the moment, anyway.”
“So glad I could oblige.” Alasdair let his sarcasm show.
“Is it a particular woman,” Hil interrupted, “or will any one do?”
Hil’s question brought the whole situation back into stark focus, and Alasdair planted his elbows on his knees and dropped his forehead into his palms, despair overriding all else for the moment.
“Oh, this does look bad,” Roger said. He sounded almost gleeful. “I’d venture to say it’s a particular woman.”
Alasdair turned his head and glared at him.
“What?” Roger asked innocently. “I didn’t do anything.”
“I don’t remember you being so annoying. Did you learn that on the Continent, too?”
“No, I’ve always been that way.”
“He is more annoying.” Hil sighed. He reached over the arm of the sofa for his cup of tea while Roger tried to look innocent, neither denying nor confirming his accusation.
“I thought we were discussing his woman,” Roger said, pointing at Alasdair.
Alasdair sighed. “Actually, we do need to discuss her. Time is of the essence, I fear.”
Hil looked at him with concern. “I’m sorry, Sharp. I didn’t realize. And here we’ve been wasting that very commodity. Who is she? And why do you need to find her?”
“God knows I wish I didn’t have to tell anyone about my colossal stupidity, but it’s necessary.”
“I exist merely to enjoy the colossal stupidity of others.” Roger sounded amused, but also concerned. Typical Roger. He was a walking contradiction most of the time.
“It all started last night,” Alasdair began slowly, not sure how much he wanted to tell them.
Roger nodded wisely. “Yes, that’s usually how it starts.”
“Yes, well my tale is an old one,” Alasdair said with a snort. “The short version is, I caught a thief in my bedroom, she turned out to be a very intriguing woman, I relieved her of her virginity, and this morning I awoke to discover she had relieved me of the Stewart Pearl.”
Roger sat forward, his eyes wide with disbelief. “Good God, man! There was a virgin left in London?”
Despite the gravity of the situation, Alasdair had to laugh. He remembered all the times Roger had made him laugh when they were younger, when laughing was the last thing he thought he’d ever do again. How foolish and trite his youthful dramas seemed now. “Yes, believe it or not. And now, alas, she is no more.”
Roger smiled in commiseration. “Well, at least you had the pleasure.”
A memory of Juliet coming apart in his arms flared as bright as the morning sun. “Yes,” he murmured, lost in the image. He shook his head to see Hil watching him with those all-seeing eyes, his head tipped to the side. Alasdair cleared his throat. “But pleasure is fleeting. The humiliation of losing the pearl will last forever.”
Roger winced. “There is that.”
Q: What would you like readers to know about the book before they read it?
A: The Devil’s Thief is a very steamy read. It’s not an erotic romance, but it’s still a very sexy read. It also has a lot of humor. And misunderstandings. And a fistfight or two. Several bawdy jokes. Three handsome Devils, and a smart, clever heroine.
Q: What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read the book?
A: A smile. I wrote this book to entertain and amuse readers. I hope that at the end of the book they’re pleased with the happy ending and remember it with a smile.
Q: Who is your favorite character in this book?
A: Sir Hilary St. John holds a special place in my heart because he’s the center of this group of close friends. He holds them together and he cares for them–sometimes without their knowledge or consent. He’s mysterious and sexy and such fun to write. I also love Wiley, the young street gang leader and thief who proves he’s brave and rather noble in the end. He has such a smart mouth and keen eye and I loved writing his dialogue.
Q: Is there a character who gives you fits and makes you want to go ninja?
A: All of them at one time or another. Sometimes I want them to do something and ultimately it simply doesn’t work, either because it conflicts with the plot or it’s too out of character. At one point Alasdair was being a jerk and I wanted to punch him. So I did. Well, I had another character do it. But it was just what he needed to turn his character around.
Q: You may have noticed we like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from this book?
A: It’s more than one line, it’s a snippet of a conversation between Alasdair and Julianna at a supper party given by her stepmother, when their relationship is still a secret.
After ascertaining that everyone else was engaged in conversation, she pretended to take another sip of sherry and whispered behind the glass, “What are you doing here?”
“I was invited. I assume that Lady Linville wished to reciprocate for the invitation to my reception. You know the one? It was the night you decided to steal my pearl.” He grinned and it took the sting out of his words. “So I came. I concede it was a brilliant plan on my part.”
She rolled her eyes. “Positively diabolical.”
Q: What’s up next for you?
A: Love and War: The Beginning, a Brothers in Arms short story was released this week. There will be a Brothers in Arms novella, Love Betrayed: Prologue, in the next few months, and the full length Love Betrayed will be out next year. Tempting a Devil, the second book in The Saint’s Devils, will be released next July.
Enter to win: One Netgalley preview copy of The Devil’s Thief, which expires in one month.
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Giveaway sponsored by: Samantha Kane
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