A Stolen Heart
by Candace Camp, historical (2000)
MIRA, $5.99, ISBN 1-55166-552-2


Uhm, how do I rate a book which I somewhat enjoyed while I was reading it, but for the life of me, I can't remember a thing about it afterwards? A Stolen Heart is fun, but it is also too much of a trip down the familiar and been-here's.

In fact, right now I'm rebrowsing through A Stolen Heart just to get back a mental idea of what the whole story is all about. Let's see - heroine's name is Alexandra Ward. She's a feitsy Bostonian who handles her family's shipping firm, and she's in London to see the new partner Sebastian (Lord Thorpe). Thorpe is a world-travelled man who has a fascination of everything from India. His staff, his home decorations, everything is Indian and to Alexandra, as fascinating as the man himself.

Uhm... shades of Amanda Quick's Scandal here.

Sebastian's friend, the Countess of Exmoor, recognizes Alexandra as Simone Montford, her late daughter-in-law. So now begins the question: who's Alexandra (as if I can't guess!)? Sebastian, meanwhile, starts to wonder if Alexandra's the real thing or a con out for the Countess' fortunes. As if there is any doubt!

Someone starts trying to kill our heroine (gee, surprise), and Sebastian starts reevaluating his assumptions (ho hum). They cozy up in a way that's so familiar (yawn), that by the end of the day I'd completely forget I'd read this book until I see it again a week later.

Wait! I do remember my one reaction - apart from boredom - while reading A Stolen Heart. After being told the tragic TV-Movie-Of-The-Week story of Simone (complete with She knew she would never see you babies again! I blame myself! I blame myself! mushfest), Alexandra's brilliant reply is - get this - "That's so sad!" Almost choked to death on my M&M's.

Oh, and I think that there are books in the making about Alexandra's long-lost siblings. Now, why didn't I see that coming?

A Stolen Heart is a nice, comfortable stroll down the garden path of the likes of Amanda Quick. It's well-written, but it is also so familiar that it ends up more cotton candy than anything of substance.

Rating: 76


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