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To Steal a Heart (Secrets and Spies) - K. C. Bateman

This is the first book by this author and all I can say is WOW!  This story takes place in 1815 in Paris and England, during a time of a lot of unrest.  Nicolas Valette is a spy and is working to take down Napoleon.  Nic actually works for both England and Paris as a spy.  

The opening scene Nic is watching a thief, walking on a tightrope, with a parasol, in pink ballet shoes, at night, try to break in to his house.  Just as she is coming through the window, he offers her a hand and startles her.  Nic knew who she was.....Mademoiselle Marianne Bonnard.  From this scene forward these two were perfect together!  Their banter back and forth was comical, yet full of so many emotions from both of them.

Marianne's parents were killed in a fire years ago and her and Sophie were sent to live with their cousin, Jean-JacquesDuval.  Marianne is being coerced into being a thief for Duval in order to protect her sister, Sophie.  Duval ordered Marianne to plant incriminating evidence into Nic's house.  Fortunately, Nic has been following Marianne around because he wants to use her for job so he ends up "buying" Marianne and Sophie from Duval to use as whores.  This scene was so entertaining.

After Nic gets the girls safe, he explains to Marianne what he needs her to do.  He agrees that if she does this job with him, he will give her and Sophie freedom....so Marianne reluctantly agrees.  Marianne isn't happy, but they leave Sophie behind with Andrew, one of Nic's men to watch over her and head out to another place.  Here, Nic teaches Marianne everything she needs to know to do their job....break the rightful King of France out of jail!  

The training Nic put Marianne through was rough and entertaining at the same time.  Marianne already was good with throwing knives, but needed a lot of help with everything else.  Even though Marianne is a tiny little thing, she was not afraid to speak her mind with Nic.  Of course, Marianne's sassy mouth was starting to turn Nic on.  The sexual chemistry between these two was off the charts.  Marianne is a virgin but was very affected by Nic.  Nic was somewhat of a playboy, but was very intrigued by Marianne.

The entire journey these two went on was wonderful.  It was a great story, woven in with some actual historical facts.  I really enjoyed every part of this book.  It was very well written story with wonderful, complex characters and had a perfect happy ending.  I am really looking forward to Ms. Bateman's next book.