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New Release Review! STOLEN HEARTS by M. O’Keefe (Hearts #1)

Stolen Hearts
from USA Today bestselling author M O'Keefe 
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by M. O’Keefe
Release Date: January 12th

The flare of a cigarette and the handsome Irishman in the shadows–I wanted it all, but I wasn’t allowed to want.

Ronan was danger and beauty, murder and mercy. To me, he was a mystery, but he was also the only man who ever knew me.

In that single stolen moment before I had to give my life to someone else, I imagined myself with him, the man with scars and bruises. The one who knew what hurting meant far more than I did at that time.

Instead I was given to another man, one who broke my soul right along with my bones.

Through it all, there was always that memory of the man in the shadows, the one who said–not in words–that I was strong, that I could endure, that I was more than just a princess in a ballgown.

Now Ronan is the only man who could keep me safe from two warring families that wanted my blood. The spark that started two years ago burned brighter with each touch, each glance, each kiss. He woke me from the nightmare, giving me life with soft touches and sharp words.

Two years ago, Ronan gave me strength, but he took something in return. I never gave him my heart, but hearts like mine are made to be stolen.

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I knew two things going into this book. One: it was by M. O’Keefe/Molly O’Keefe. Two: it is a cliffhanger. What I didn’t realize is that it is a CLIFFHANGER. I’m not a huge fan of cliffhangers in general (I admit it, I’m an instant gratification kind of girl, and there’s a reason 99% of what I read has a guaranteed HEA), but I’m enough of a fan of Ms O’Keefe that I was willing to take a chance.

I’m pretty sure I’m not sorry…? 😉

Seriously, there is so much we still don’t know at the end (and OMG, that end! Can we even call it an ending??? It’s more of a…just leaving the reader bereft and alone at an unbelievably intense moment) that I’m not even sure how to review it. Is it readable? Definitely. Are the characters likable? Yes…kind of. Poppy, the POV MC, is definitely likable, though most of the time it’s clear she doesn’t know much more than the reader, and one isn’t quite sure who to blame for that. It’s definitely not all her fault, but maybe kind of? The others? It doesn’t feel like we know enough about them even after reading this book to say for sure. I want to like Ronan–not quite as much as Poppy does, but it’s close–but I just don’t know. We only see her side of everything, and not knowing what his motivations are and only seeing his actions makes it difficult. Ditto her sister Zilla. I JUST DON’T KNOW. This book is dark. Seriously, seriously DARK.

And has a cliffhanger ending.

Darn you, Ms. O’Keefe!

So–do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely!…but. If you don’t handle not knowing things well, you might want to pick this up now BUT wait to actually read it until the next one comes out. (The author even suggested this in one of her FB groups–now I know she really wasn’t kidding!) I’m not sure when that release date will be (you’re killing me here, Ms O’Keefe!) but I sincerely hope it’s soon!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

The ones who have spent their life fighting don't know when to stop.

About the Author:

M. O’Keefe can remember the exact moment her love of romance began–in seventh grade, when Mrs. Nelson handed her a worn paperback copy of The Thorn Birds. Writing as Molly O’Keefe, she has won two RITA Awards and three RT Reviewers’ Choice awards. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two children.

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