⚠ Warning: This review contains minor teasers
• BLURB •
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.
• MY REVIEW •
“One thing was clear — he was the danger. Ronan was the unknown.”
👏 Ronan. 👏 Ronan. 👏 Ronan.
Okay, Constantines… Morellis… you’re gonna have to scooch over because Ronan is here to stay! My gosh I loved every little bit of Stolen Hearts! This is my introduction to O’Keefe’s writing, and it has honestly made me eager to check out her backlist of books right alongside the next books in the Hearts Trilogy.
(For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is part of the world of the Midnight Dynasty. Two powerful warring families with each character’s story told by a different romance author. All can be read separately and in different order, but I highly recommend you read them all for an expansive experience of the world. More info below).
This story is about Ronan, the mysterious Irish right hand man of sorts to Caroline Constantine (the matriarch of the Constantine clan), and Poppy who was taken under Caroline’s wing after a family tragedy. What started out as two strangers connecting one night, only to see each other again two years later. With instant attraction and intrigue, a forbidden romance develops.
“What do you want, princess?”
It’s a relatively short first book (having easily read it in one sitting), and it leaves you with such a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. So many things were running through my mind by the time I finished the last chapter. Although this is a contemporary romance, it has a smidge of darkness surrounding it due to the characters that have been introduced. They’re all keeping their cards close to their chest and all seem to have ulterior motives that you never know who to trust. Yes, even Ronan.
He is the (anti)hero in this story who reveals very little of himself, and when he does seem genuinely sincere, it’s followed by actions that’ll have you second-guessing him again. It’s hard to turn away from his enigmatic persona. Maybe it’s the Irish charm! 😉😍 O’Keefe has brilliantly written him as a protagonist who can effortlessly hold your attention. Every time he walks into a room, sound fades out and you’re left anxious to see what he’s about to do next.
I came into this story not really expecting the story I ended up getting. It’s unpredictable, full of plot twists, and left me wanting so much more. Yes, for the most part the story is about Poppy’s and Ronan’s complicated, slow-burn relationship. But weaved in and out of it are lies, danger, and secrets that’s itching to be uncovered. There’s honestly so much to look forward to when reading this book—drama (and lots of it), suspense, and a thrilling mystery. Not to mention the intense chemistry all throughout between Poppy and Ronan whenever they’re near one another, and the dynamics the secondary characters bring that give this world more dimension.
Poppy can be described as bit of a damsel in distress— which I can usually roll my eyes at. But Poppy is a likable character. Despite certain insecurities, and personality traits stemming from the struggles she’s had throughout her entire life along with her more recent battles, she still comes off as good-natured, tenacious, and quite relatable.
Please note this book contains sensitive subject matter than may be triggering for some readers. It contains domestic abuse, child abuse, violence, and mental/psychological disorders. It also contains sexual content suitable for readers 18+ only!
This story is told solely from Poppy’s point of view. Whilst I would’ve loved Ronan’s as well, I still enjoyed seeing everything through Poppy’s eyes and how she interpreted certain situations and her inner monologue in regards to Ronan. Poppy’s backstory gets revealed early on as it sets the entire atmosphere for the rest of the book along with flashbacks here and there adding depth and an understanding to her present day situations and concerns.
“My blood was up. And I was ready for a fight.”
She’s so fascinated by Ronan that her curiosity leaps off the pages and almost transfers to you whilst your reading. The few snippets that Ronan divulges to Poppy makes him all the more swoon-worthy in that his-sexy-but-his-also-bad-news kind of way. Who doesn’t love a complex, bad boy with a gritty past, though?!
Overall, such an eye-popping start to the trilogy. It’s short, at times sweet, and most definitely packs a punch! It’s a romance story that I think would appeal to a lot of romance readers no matter if you prefer dark romances or lean more towards the contemporaries. It’s a bit of both along.
- Broken heroine
- Dangerous hero
- Second chance
- Secret romance
Stolen Hearts is set in a world where the Constantines and the Morellis can either be an ally or an enemy— image, power, and connections are key. Poppy is an outsider, and still navigating through her new life within, and she has a strong attraction to Ronan. But he’s practically part of the inner circle, and has a working knowledge of how things operate in their world. Can she trust him when it really counts?
“No man had ever made me so curious. Or reckless.”
It’s gripping! You’ll fall for Ronan even though you might not completely trust him and you’ll root for things to fall Poppy’s way. In my opinion, it’s a must read! Bring on Broken Hearts!!
Thank you M. O’Keefe, Dangerous Press, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read a review copy! 🧡
Midnight Dynasty is a brand new world where enemies and lovers are often one and the same.
Continue with the world of the Midnight Dynasty!
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Read my reviews for other Midnight Dynasty books!
👑 Cinderella Trilogy by K. Webster
Book One: Stroke Of Midnight by K. Webster
Book Two: Prince Charming by K. Webster
🔥 Hellfire Club by Becker Gray
Book One: Wicked Idol by Becker Gray
Book Two: Callous Prince by Becker Gray
🌹 Beauty and the Beast Trilogy by Amelia Wilde
Book One: Secret Beast by Amelia Wilde
Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo