“Livy hadn’t wanted her past to follow her to Chestnut, but now it had caught up with her full force, and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it,” Pam Hillman writes in her novel, Stealing Jake. This three hundred and eighty four page book targets readers who enjoy historical fiction during the late nineteenth century in America’s West. With no profanity, little violence, and wholesome romance, topics of misuse and abuse of children may not be appropriate for immature readers. The end of the book includes acknowledgments, fourteen discussion questions, a chapter of the author’s next book, and her biography. Scripture verses are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. Set in 1874, “Light-fingered Livy” O’Brien has escaped her past of pickpocketing and living on the streets of Chicago and now finds herself helping Mrs. Brooks at the struggling, yet growing orphanage in the small town of Chestnut, Illinois. Hoping the past is behind her and God has forgiven her sins, she is still skittish whenever she meets someone in authority, especially when it is the good-looking Jake Russell, a sheriff’s deputy who also takes care of his mother, siblings, and the family farm. When a rash of burglaries occur in the booming town, everyone blames the influx of untrusting street kids. Knowing of their plight, Livy watches one of them steal Jake’s pocket watch, only to confiscate it and return it to its unaware owner. As more robberies happen and the young ones are accused, Livy learns of a sweatshop of underaged, overworked children being held against their will. With no one else in the town believing the kids’ innocence, she must overcome her fears of the past to stand up for them. Jake, aware of this newcomer’s beauty and fortitude in carrying for those in need, has trouble accepting the young hoodlums are not to blame. Dealing with the family’s farm faltering and owning a closed coal mine, he often gets sidetracked by Livy’s good intentions. Although romantically predictable, the tale shows how misconception and misconstuing hides the truth and that God truly forgives those that turn to Him. With a heart for the homeless, the main character learns love covers a multitude of sins. Focusing on writing inspirational fiction set in the American West and the Gilded Age, author Hillman lives in Mississippi with her husband and family. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.
I am so excited about today's review because not only is it a great book, but you can download it FREE to read! Livy O'Brien is a young woman who survived by pick pocketing on the streets. She became a Christian and starts working in an orphanage. She immediately connects with the children and their struggles because she has lived them too. She wants them to know what she has found -- hope. Livy is pouring her heart and soul into these kids. But what they say is so true. When you aren't looking for love, it finds you. Jake Russell finds her and there is definitely an attraction. He is a sheriff's deputy and at first Livy doesn't want to trust him, much less like him. The growth of their relationship was so well written and not "hokey". I loved that history was entertwined into the story in such a natural way. Stealing Jake will steal your heart!!
“Stealing Jake” is a historical romance novel. If you like novels set in the 1800s with romance mixed in, you will love this one! Pam Hillman writes in a very easy to read format. Livy O’Brien used to be known as “Light-Fingered Livy”, but now she has made a change in her life and that life is behind her. Or so she thought. Until she spots some “street kids” doing what she used to do. She is helping to run an orphanage in town, and she is going to do all she can to help get these kids off the streets. Jake Russell is the sheriff. He is trying to stop these robberies that are happening in town. In the meantime, there is definitely an attraction between Livy and Jake. Livy has to deal with trust issues, and Jake isn’t sure he is ready to settle down. I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
I've read slightly over 100 books this year and this is most certainly one of my favorites. It's so good that I actually woke up at 3 AM this morning and finished reading it through 5 AM. Fortunately, I'm off work today and was able to go back to sleep until 8 am. The setting is in the 1870s in Chestnut, IL, a growing community just train ride away from Chicago. Characters include Livy O’Brien, a young lady working in the new orphanage in town. Livy grew up on the streets of Chicago and survived by picking pockets in order to keep from starving. She has changed her ways and is spending her life helping Mrs. Brooks, the lady who rescued Livy from street life, take care of orphans. Livy has a heart to protect and help the street children in Chestnut, as she attempts to convince the community that the children are only trying to survive in the world with the cruel hand they have been dealt. Jake Russell is a farmer, shareholder in a coal mine, and sheriff’s deputy of Chestnut. He is working hard to make ends meet for his widowed mother and his younger siblings. He has a history of being one of the few survivors from a coal mine collapse and lives with survivor’s guilt. Of course, Jake finds himself very attracted to Livy and is unaware of her past life as a pick pocket living on the streets in Chicago. Both Jake and Livy are very likeable characters. The author also does a great job developing the supporting characters in the book. Ms. Hillman has a way of making the reader feel as though they are in the community of Chestnut, IL. The story includes gripping action and mystery as well as a touch of romance. As previously stated, this is one of my favorite reads of the year and I highly recommend it. If you enjoy historical fiction, you will love this book. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.