by Michele Hauf

July 2005
ISBN: 0-373-51363-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #49
Mass Market Paperback

Michele Hauf turns her pen to action adventure in her first book for Harlequin’s Bombshell line. I’m familiar with Ms. Hauf because of her fascinating fantasies for LUNA and I looked forward to reading Once A Thief. I wasn’t disappointed.

The best way to catch a thief is to use a thief. Rachel Anderson had been a criminal for more years than she could remember. Then she chose to leave that world and make a new life for herself. She hid her past and started a security consulting business. Who would know the best way to stop a thief than a reformed one?

Rachel has a problem though. She’s been hired to provide security for a million dollar gem and it’s been stolen. Not on her watch. She’s going to do all she can to get it back and not lose the reputation she’s worked so hard to build. More than that, she doesn’t want her past to be exposed.

Returning to Paris on the trail of the jewel thief, Rachel is fighting back the bad memories. Then her past comes back to haunt her as the man who made her into the master thief she was reappears to torment her. Now she has to beat the master she ran from and a thief she’s attracted to. Will Rachel be able to find her way through the devious underworld to retrieve the jewel and free herself from her past? Will the jewel thief end up stealing more than a ruby? Will he steal Rachel’s heart as well?

Ms. Hauf brings Paris to life. She creates a fabulous world of international jewel thieves and intrigue. Rachel is a strong willed heroine. She does what she has to survive, but won’t compromise her own internal morals. Recognizing her own faults, she tries to grow beyond the boundaries she’d been taught to find a life she’s comfortable with. Her emotional growth is intertwined with the fast paced action of the story to keep the reader on the edge of her seat with bated breath.

Michele Hauf has written another winner in Once A Thief. This book is a page-turning adventure of a woman trying to rid herself of her painful past and maybe find a little self-redemption in the process.

Reviewed in September 2005 by Jenni.

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