Saturday, April 28, 2018

Avon Gale, Roan Parrish - Heart of the Steal

Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.
As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.
When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye? 

Comment: I've heard about this book at a site somewhere and immediately added it to my TBR list. I think what made me want to try was the opposites attract trope this book seemed to offer, with two different people, from different backgrounds and different personalities, and I was eager to see how the story would play out.

In this story we meet William Fox, a very responsible man who is a bit shy and is at a party because his sister is the planner and he wants to support her. One of the guests is Amory Vaughn, a man many look up to because he is rich and because his family has always had a foundation that helps mostly the arts.
Although there doesn't seem to exist much in common between them there's attraction and the night ends up with a conversation over art and a hot encounter. William, however, thinks he won't see Amory again, especially because he is not confident enough to assume Amory would be interested in him.
The reality, however, is that he is. Amory sees in William not only a fellow admirer of art but also a person he can feel connected with, something he hadn't felt for a long time. But his tactics to conquer William are not very proper. Will these two ever find a common ground?

Overall, this story did feel a good one and my favorite part is clearly the romantic development. I've read, since I finished the book, some reviews and some readers have commented a lot on a detail that has annoyed them a lot. 
In the beginning of the story, after their first encounter, Amory - because he is used to get what he wants no matter the method - tries to prove to  William he is interested in him by doing a certain gesture that isn't certainly polite nor socially acceptable. The indignation comes from William's reaction to it due to the fact William is an FBI agent, therefore bound to serve the law. What Amory did is not lawful so one should expect according reactions from William and when he not only did not act but still pursued a relationship with Amory (some time later though), many got annoyed with this.
The indignation comes then, mostly, from William's lack of proper and professional behavior. I can accept that but to be honest, for me, I felt quite separate from this fact, as if it was just a detail and not a huge factor. I can't explain well but it just didn't feel such a big deal, as if William's profession was just a detail to impress us why they are different people. We certainly didn't see much of William's work as a key point in making the plot move forward - except perhaps in a weekend discussing being polite to all kinds of people in the force, diversity for all and so on.

Somehow, I could just focus on certain details, especially the romance, which I sort of liked, despite some scenes I felt were there just to increase the drama. I actually think the reasons why they had some conflict before the HEA were realistic but done in a way that, for a reader,c an feel rather pointless. Relationships aren't easy but if you get to a point where things seem so perfect, then a conversation should solve things before an eureka moment does it for you.

My favorite part were all the scenes where we get to see them interacting socially, where they spend time together trying to have a good time and this excludes the sex not that those scenes were that bad but for me, they were just a confirmation of their emotional bond.
The differences between them lead the plot to a place I felt a little annoyed at, this need to create a situation to better balance with the "right" decision that is to just the other as he is and thus be happy.

As for the characters, I just liked them together, I liked how they seemed to try to be considerate about the other person but I must admit there are little things between them, things that put them in opposed places in terms of mental readiness to accept a relationship, which weren't dealt as easily as I would imagine. This means I got the feel they were cute and happy together but there was always the possibility their differences would always be an excuse if things didn't go so well all the time. I don't know, just an impression.

Just to summarize, I liked the characters, i liked several scenes in how their relationship progressed but this is not one of those stories I'd feel compelled to read over and over.
Grade: 7/10

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