Book Review – The Heart Heist by Elle Keaton

Crimes of the Heart #2
Publisher: Dirty Dog Press
Pages: 182
Characters: Duff/Jacob
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series

When a gorgeous stranger wanders into his life one summer night he knows he’s in trouble; he’s going to break all his rules and probably his heart.

Duff Cleveland knows better than to open himself to love, that’s how you get hurt.

Jacob De Rossi is a family guy; he’s got the house and the picket fence he’s just missing the man.

Something about Jacob has Duff wanting more, but how many just one more time’s can a dedicated hookup artist justify? He can hardly handle the life he’s living, having an actual boyfriend is impossible.

Jacob’s not letting Duff go easily. It’s obvious, to him at least, that Duff needs someone in his corner, and he is the man for the job.

Will Duff admit his heart is safe in Jacob’s hands, or turn his back on the one thing in his life that makes sense?

The Heart Heist is a first-person, dual POV, following Duff Cleveland and Jacob De Rossi as Jacob woos Duff’s reluctant heart. No cliffhanger, HEA guaranteed. Heat level, 4+. Can be read as a standalone but you may enjoy it even more if you read Feinted Heart first.

Buy Link


I’m enjoying this series, and loved Duff and Jacob’s story. It was great seeing characters from the previous book as well, especially seeing Arnie from someone else’s perspective (other than Tobias’). I thought this was a lovely feel good story with wonderful characters, and I was rooting for Duff and Jacob to get their HEA as soon as they met.

Both Jacob and Duff are good guys, and are very clearly attracted to each other. I liked how Duff slowly opens up to Jacob, and how patient Jacob is waiting until Duff is ready. I love Arnie, and how he steps in when someone needs to. Rob’s a good friend too, and it’s obvious that she’s worried about Jacob getting hurt. I felt for Duff convincing himself that he can’t expect someone to deal with his life, there’s no prince, and he won’t get his HEA.

This is very much a story about friendship and family. Jacob’s family is his grandparents who raised him. I loved the scenes with them in, as they’re fabulous characters, and they love they share for each other, and for Jacob, left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. On the flip side, Duff’s aunt is a huge commitment with her issues, but when she’s not battling mental illness, it’s also obvious she loves him and feels bad for being a drain of his time, finances, and emotional energy.

Cat Bourne needs a mention as he’s an integral part of the story. I think his connection with Charley says a lot too. I’m looking forward to reading Charley’s book. He’s intrigued me from his first appearance on page.

I loved the ending, and the scene with Duff’s dad, and thought it was perfect for this wonderfully satisfying read.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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