Eve is a jewel thief, though not a very good one. She used to make an honest living as a governess, but she was wrongfully accused of stealing from the family and forced out of the home. Now she figures she may as well be the thief she was branded. So she dons the persona of a foreign princess to gain entry to upper class parties then slips away to find whatever baubles belong to the hostess.
At the same time, Philip, Viscount Wesley, is having a grand time stealing from his peers as the so-called Orchid Thief. When he comes face to face with Eve at a party, he recognizes her ruse right away. And they quickly learn each other's secrets when they try to go after the same prize.
Eve fascinates Philip and he maneuvers her into becoming his partner. Working together brings the two of them closer and closer together until they can no longer fight their growing desires for one another. But there is so much Philip still doesn't know about Eve. And she is convinced that if he ever learns who she is, he'll realize they can never be together.
I enjoyed the development of their relationship quite a bit. It was not a case of instant-love, but a progression. First curiosity, then infatuation, then a physical connection and only in time, come real feelings. --And speaking of that physical connection... The sexual tension was great and the love scenes were hot. Plus, it's always a treat to learn a new word for the male anatomy. Maybe you've heard it called a lingam before, but that's a new one on me.
The jewel thief story line was fun and fast moving. And the resolution of it was unexpected. I will say that I was disappointed with one small thing: Philip's reaction to Eve's secret seemed out of character. I hate it when the heroine's worst fears about the hero are realized. I would have preferred him to have taken it all in stride from the beginning. But alas, that was not the case.
Overall, though, it was a solid historical romance, with just the right amount of steam. A little more than 4 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley