About the Book
Book: To Steal A Heart
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Comedic Historical Romance
Release Date: November, 2020
After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.
After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.
As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.
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About the Author
More from Jen
“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?
Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.
Are there other interesting characters in this series?
Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.
Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.
Wishing all of you the very best!
To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano is the first entertaining installment The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency series. We go back in time to November of 1886 in New York City where Gabriella Goodhue is working to prove the innocence of friend and housemate, Miss Jennette Moore. She thought her days of skullduggery and thieving were behind her, but Gabriella’s skills are needed. Gabriella soon finds that there is another party working the case and it is none other than her old thieving partner, Nicholas Quinn. Gabriella is none to happy to see the person who abandoned her nor is she willing to team up with him. Fate seems to have other plans as the pair are thrown together in one situation after another. Friendship is rekindled and new feelings begin to bloom. I laughed so often while reading To steal a Heart. There are a variety of quirky characters with Daphne, a female mystery writer who finds herself in unusual situations and tends to swoon frequently, standing out. I did find the beginning of the story confusing until the explanations began and characters were identified. Once I understood what was happening, I just kept reading. I did not want to put down my book. I thought the author captured the time-period with the language, attitudes, conveyances, fashions, etc. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the opulent homes, balls, parties, and New York City. The pacing varied in the story, but there was so much going on that I tended not to notice. The mystery was fun. There was one bit of information early on that gave me a clue as the guilty parties’ identity and I was eager to see if I was correct. It was a riot following Nicholas and the ladies of The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency as they worked the case. I chuckled, giggled, and outright laughed my way through this engaging historical novel. The ending was delightful. To Steal a Heart has faith, humor, intrigue, love, and mystery. I am eager for Daphne’s story in To Write a Wrong. To Steal a Heart is a lively historical novel with a one-eyed pirate loving pooch, a gawky writer, curious costumes, matchmaking mamas, missing gemstones, gossip galore, and messy skullduggery.
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit (Link: https://amzn.to/3nqrIpC). Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.
To Steal a Heart is available from Amazon* along with other major retailers. The next book in The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency series is To Write a Wrong featuring Daphne Beeckman and it publishes August 3, 2021. You can find Jen Turano's other entertaining historical novels here. Thank you for joining me today. Tomorrow I am participating in the Celebrate Lit Tour for Saving Mount Rushmore by Andrea Jo Rodgers. I hope that you have a joyful day. Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!
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