"He'd do it again, promise the Tailor his ultimate obedience in exchange for Rosalyn's talent being ignored. He would still rather rot than hand her over."
Warning: This is the third novel in Clarissa Kae's Victorian Retellings series. This review may contain spoiler information for the first two novels in the series.
Nikolas Whitworth, the Earl of Rochelle, is handsome, witty, and charming. The title of traitor has recently been added to the list. Found guilty of working for the Tailor, Nikolas finds himself forced to aid the Dark Duke in hunting down the criminal mastermind. What the Dark Duke doesn't know is that Nikolas did not join the Tailor in outrage or financial desperation. He joined to protect the only woman he has ever loved, Rosalyn Deveraux, and is desperate to protect her still.
thoughts & feelings
To be honest, Robin Hood, has never been on my list of fairy tale favorites. However, I am happy to report that I really loved Clarissa Kae's spin on the classic story. One of my favorite parts of this novel was the gender flip. Rather than having a dashing hero play our Robin Hood character we get to see a young woman, Rosalyn Deveraux, in this role. Orphaned as a child, Rosalyn picks the pockets of lords and ladies alike and donates the majority of her spoils to the poor. Her skills are not limited to thievery. She is a master of disguises, wicked with a bow and arrow, and has an uncanny ability to pick the winning horse of any race. It was fun to get to see the ways in which Rosalyn disguises herself and how she gets out of sticky situations. Her knowledge and attention to detail, rather than brute strength, are what keeps her from the clutches of the Tailor.
I also enjoyed the romantic aspect of this novel. The connection between Rosalyn and Nikolas is unearthed in the second novel, Cinders Like Glass, but we come to know how this connection began and see it's continuation in A Stolen Heart. You guys know I'm a sucker for relationships that better both individuals so I loved this one. Rosalyn turns Nikolas from a life of lies to a man with conviction to do what is right. In turn Nikolas offers Rosalyn a refuge that she so desperately needs.
You're probably wondering "Mattie, if you loved this story so much why did you give it four stars instead of five?" It all comes down to the resolving of the climax. Throughout this series we have been hunting down the criminal mastermind, the Tailor. The climax of this story is A-MAZ-ING and I will be very careful to not ruin the experience for you. At the climax we finally have an idea of who the Tailor is and a trap is set in motion to capture him. Arrow are aimed, swords are drawn, there is no escape, your not sure who's side some people are on, and then...it kind of falls flat. Sort of like in Breaking Dawn when everyone is ready to go to war and then they decide to live in harmony and everyone happily walks into the sunset. I am desperately hoping for a forth book that sets to right the injustices but I don't think it is going to come. Amazon and Goodreads have A Stolen Heart listed a book three of three for this series. I really can't explain any further without giving major plot points away. Just know that if you read this novel and need to talk about it I am here for you.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Language: mild, one "farmer swear"
Trigger Warnings: death of an immediate family member
Title: A Stolen Heart
Series: Victorian Retellings, #3
Author: Clarissa Kae