by Kate Silver

March 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7458-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

France during the time of the Sun King, Louis XIV, is a contrast of wealth and poverty. Keeping the peace and protecting the King falls to the capable hands of the Musketeers. When a daring masquerade turns dangerous, a man and a woman must figure out who they can trust.

Miriame Dardagny canít believe her luck. She watches as ruffians brutally attack a man in the rough streets of Paris. After they leave, thinking they have killed him, she goes to steal what she can from the corpse. Living on the streets all of her life, Miriame has learned to take advantage of any stroke of good fortune. Soon the winter cold will be descending on Paris and she needs some boots to keep her feet warm. Her luck takes a slight turn for the worse when she realizes that the man isnít dead yet. For all her lack of morals, Miriame doesnít feel right leaving him in the street to die. Using his own coin, she takes him to an inn and insures that he is taken care of in his last moments of life. Leaving him there, she takes everything of his, even his name to start a new life as a member of the Kingís Guards, the Musketeers.

Jean-Paul Metin recovers from the vicious attack to find that someone has stolen everything he owns. Heading out to find the thief, he takes his place in the Musketeers. Amazingly there is already a Jean-Paul Metin serving. The young scoundrel will not give him the satisfaction of admitting he stole from Jean-Paul and dares him to prove it. Then he meets the young manís sister. Losing his heart to the beautiful girl makes it harder for him to force a confession. In one shocking moment, Jean-Paul discovers that his thief and his love are one and the same. How can he ever come to trust her again?

While Jean-Paul and Miriame are dealing with their own passionate emotions, there is a dangerous cloud of intrigue swirling around them involving the Kingís mistress and her enemies. Will the young coupleís love for each other save their lives? Or will the distrustful beginning of their association cause to drive a wedge between them?

This is the third in a series of stories by Kate Silver dealing with women who masquerade as Musketeers. Miriameís character is well-developed. Her background and motivations are clear and understandable. To grow up on the streets of Paris, she had to be hard and ruthless. Sheís a wonderfully strong female character. I wish Jean-Paulís character could have been as developed. Other than his reason for coming to Paris, there isnít a great deal of background information given for him. He strikes me as a foolish young man, easily swayed by the beauty of a woman.

Thief of Hearts has a great female character who suffered from lack of support by a weak story.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Jenni.

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