Heart of Lies

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Title: Heart of Lies
Author: Jill Marie Landis
Series: Irish Angel Series
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: February 15, 2011
Pages: 304

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Maddie Grande has been living most of her life as a thief and beggar in a tribe of street urchins and orphans in New Orleans. All she wants is to start over and leave her old life behind, even if her twin “brothers” can’t. The stealing and thievery is all they know. So when they kidnap a wealthy carpetbagger’s daughter, they force Maddie to care for her.
Tom Abbott is in New Orleans to find Megan Lane, the missing sister of his client, Laura Foster, but he somehow picks up the kidnapping case and is led right o Maddie. They feel an undeniable attraction even though Maddie is an accomplice and Tom is forced to turn her in.
The case may have led to Tom finding Megan, but whether or not he can tell her if it means giving her up is up to him.
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After reading Heart of Stone, I was ecstatic to find that there would be a second, even if it was far from being released. I patiently waited and waited and ordered it from Zondervan. When it arrived I eyed it wanted to devour it but knowing I had other obligations first. So I waited some more and watched as I got closer to reading this book. All I have to say is it was well worth the wait.
Jill Marie Landis hooks you into this book with vivid detail of the Louisiana swamp and the main character, Maddie, and her less than normal life. She paints images that stick in my head even though I’ve never been anywhere near a bayou in my life and she drags you into an intricately thought out storyline that never disappoints.
I fell in love with Maddie and her unusual way of life from the first page and it only took me a few chapters to think that this installment of the series might actually be better than the first. By the end of the book, I was convinced. Though I loved the first, I love the second just a little bit more and if the rest are anything like these two sign me up now!
The author decided, that for this series, it would be less about romance and more about reuniting sisters and redemption from their pasts. Normally for a romance book, I prefer the romance to be dominant, but this way is different and refreshing. I lets you focus more on the characters than it does what the characters are doing. Adding a whole new experience to romance and just reading in general.
The author also decided to make the romance couples complete opposites. The first book was an ex-prostitute and a preacher and the second was an ex-thief and liar with a Pinkerton detective with a high sense of honor and principle. That as well is something I always like to read. The contrast always makes for differences and chases, which this book had plenty of.
Something that this book didn’t have plenty of, however, was the Christian aspect to this book. It kind of lacked it and when it was evident, it was in a kind of skewed view to appeal to the sugar-coated side of readers. It didn’t really dig deep and there wasn’t a portrayal of any faith by Maddie and barely any from Tom. In this and only this, I found this book seriously lacking.
Jill Marie Landis is an accomplished and award winning author and it shows in her fantastic storyline and great character development. Sadly the Irish Angel series must come to an end, hopefully not for a while, but when it does I will still be reading Ms. Landis’ books. I’ll dream of visiting her home state, Hawaii, every time I pick up one of her books.
This book is great. It’s a light read and perfect for someone who just wants to relax with a good book or someone who wants to get lost in a historical romance. I give it a four out of five.

I was given this book by Zondervan in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine.

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