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Touch of a Thief [Paperback]

Mia Marlowe
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2011
Lady Viola Preston can relieve a gentleman of the studs at his wrists without his being any the wiser and pick any lock devised by man in less than a minute. But she's careful to wear gloves when she steals jewels. When Viola touches a gemstone with her bare skin, it 'speaks' to her, sending disturbing visions. Still more disturbing is the handsome rogue who catches her red-handed and forces her to join him on the most dangerous and thrilling adventure of her life...

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Brava; 1 edition (1 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075826352X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758263520
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,178,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mia Marlowe has always been a dedicated Anglophile and is proud her ancestors came to America from England. Of course, since they made the trip in the 1600's, it probably means they were in a spot of trouble in the UK, but she tries not to dwell on that. Especially since she loves setting her historical romances in England, Scotland and Ireland (along with a few Viking tales that wander a bit further afield.)

Mia's work was featured in the Best of 2010 edition of PEOPLE magazine. She regularly receives starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and raves from other review sites. Her books have been translated into over nine different languages and she will pass the twenty published novels milepost in 2013. For more info, visit

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touch of a Thief................. 17 May 2011
By lonegunwoman TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author has included historical facts through out the novel, which helps with the interest factor and makes a compelling read. The thief is Viola, an eldest daughter, with no brother to inherit the family title, it goes to her cousin who does not support the dowager and her daughters as he might have.

Returning to lift the jewels Quinn spoke of at supper Viola finds herself caught in the trap set for her as Quinn and his servant are waiting. To maintain her freedom she is enlisted to work for Quinn in authenticating jewels and stealing a red diamond so it can be returned to India with its Prince.

After a trip to Paris and kindness shown her Viola finds herself in a much more pleasant set of circumstances and enjoying life, Quinn has presented Viola as his bride to protect her honour,as they travel on their "honeymoon" which is a hot and steamy affair, all in search of the red diamond, first to Paris then in to Germany. Murder death and much more on their return to London awaits them.

Great read, well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touch of a Thief 21 May 2011
By Bunny
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lady Viola Preston aka Mayfair Jewel Thief builds up a reputation as someone who isn't fooled by fake jewels and who steals from those who can afford it. To resolve the family's financial problems it's either being a thief or selling her body. All is well until Lieutenant Quinn and his servant Sanjay (aka Crown Prince of Amjerat) set to catch her out as they want the Mayfair Jewel Thief to provide a burglary service to steal the Blood of the Tiger when it's in Paris. Under the guise of being on honeymoon Viola and Quinn seek out the priceless jewel, can she steal it? How will things end for Viola and Quinn? A fabulous read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An all-round enjoyable story 4 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dug into the very first books I downloaded to my kindle, and found this lovely little gem. Got completely drawn into this fab story, so much so that I will definitely check out the other novels from this author. Fast pace, strong-headed characters, love, a great cause, and a powerful gem. Definitely recommending to the lovers of the genre. Thanks for the great read !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The lady thief touches his heart and steals his soul. 27 July 2011
By Techie - Published on
Touch of a Thief is an erotic romance with layers of suspense and paranormal in an international setting during 1857. It has three main characters without being about a love triangle. The romantic couple, Viola and Quinn. And Sanjay, whose story leads up the premise. Every one of them experienced a loss that marked their destinies. All of them know injustice, abuse and deceit. Being wronged by the successions laws of the time.

Lady Viola Preston loses everything when her father dies without a male heir, hence his title and possessions go to an uncaring relative. And she is forced to steal in order to support her mother, her sister and her niece. Viola becomes the Mayfair Jewel Thief.

Lieutenant Greydon Quinn is a British noble returning home after serving in India. He also carries a painful secret akin to being the heir of an aristocrat.

A worse fate has befallen Prince Sanjay of Amjerat, who has lost his princedom under the British rule in India, because he is an adopted son to the late prince. The loss of his principality coincides with the stealing of a rare and malefic red diamond from the temple of Shiva. The diamond must be returned to the temple where its evil powers are bridled, or the outraged people of Amjerat will be in uprising against the British authorities costing the lives of innocents. When Quinn and Sanjay learn that the red diamond is going to be added to the English Queen's royal collection, they follow its trail of sorrow and death, intending to bring it back where it belongs.

When Lieutenant Quinn returns to England, Sanjay accompanies him posing as his Indian servant. They set a trap to catch the Mayfair Jewel Thief with the purpose of blackmailing the burglar into stealing the red diamond for them. Surprised when he discovers that Viola is the infamous thief, Quinn coerces her into helping to retrieve the evil gem in exchange for her freedom and half of his personal jewels. Quinn needs Viola's abilities to open a safe, and other related skills of her profession, but he ignores her biggest gift of all, Viola channels gems's chronicles into voices and sometimes disturbing visions. Which is a blessing and a dangerous gift that threatens her sanity and health. This paranormal element in the plot is one of Touch of a Thief's strongest original appeals.

At one point in the story, Viola demands to know more of Quinn other than his body. He refuses to reveal anything personal. In her quest for the truth, she touches one of his rings, the gem reveals a grievous secret from his past. I nearly cried reading those pages. Although, the heartbreaking event will be the catalyst that unites their souls.

The sexual attraction between Viola and Quinn leaps out of the pages, their sensuality and their camaraderie gifted us with a wonderful romance. The only part I didn't enjoy was the use of Sanskrit words for genitalia during some of the love scenes. This is a personal peeve of mine, but it doesn't take from the story as a whole. I love historical romance books, and I've read many this year. Sadly, due to lack of time, I can only write reviews for those which I like the most. Touch of a Thief is one of the best historical romances I've read in years. It has everything I enjoy in a book - a great history setting, romance, suspense, drama, wittiness, eroticism, friendship and adventure. I highly recommend it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another step up for this author 20 May 2011
By Marcy W. - Published on
As I've said about other books by Mia Marlowe in her previous incarnations as Emily Bryan and Diana Groe, this author gets better with each book. Although I sometimes wonder how long I can go on saying that, on the strength of past experience I'm betting (and hoping) for a very long time!
In "Touch of a Thief", Ms Marlowe adds a touch of the paranormal, just enough to add to the fun, not so much that one must suspend all reason to enjoy the read. When our heroine, Viola, touches a gem with her bare hand, she receives visions of what the jewel has 'seen'. This 'gift' is almost more of a burden -- but for our purposes, it works well to bring Viola and Greydon together.
As always, Ms Marlowe's historical and settings research is thorough and well-integrated; and expanding the scenery beyond the English Channel is always interesting for me. It is her characters that really make the story, and that includes the secondary ones as well as the hero and heroine. The relationships are so well drawn that these people leap off the pages; dialogue is one of this author's leading talents. Another is her ability to write very sensuous scenes without resorting to cliched clinches; keep a fan handy as you read!
I'm looking forward very much to the next "Touch of ..." book, relying on Ms Marlowe's wonderful imagination for a fun and unusual story, and her excellent writing to lure me in and keep me reading till the very end. I highly recommend that you join me!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea but Rang a Bit Hollow 26 Dec 2011
By ABookADay - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great concept regarding a cursed diamond and a respectful officer trying to return it home, but not in any way believable and the ending was a disappointment.

This is a full length novel involving Viola and Greydon. Viola and her mother and sister are in dire straits in London so she turns to stealing to put food on the table. Apparently she becomes a 'famous' theif due to her practicing lifting stuff and having an unsavory contact/fencer who can provide her with maps of London homes. She has a special skill where she can 'hear' real stones from fake ones. This is an interesting concept used through out the novel.

Greydon is back from years serving in the military in India where he befriends an Indian Prince who acts as his servant upon his return to Britain. He is searching for the cursed diamond that was stolen from a temple in India. He wants to return it to its rightful place in India and is upset at the treatment of the country by the British.

So he blackmails Viola into helping him find the diamond after discovering she is this 'infamous thief'. Their adventures take them around the world and finally back to Britain for a grand finale of sorts I suppose. They fall for each other and the sizzle level is a solid Medium.

The kicker here is that the ending just sort of drops off with loose ends left. It was quite unsatisfying with the potential to be great. Overall, just on o.k. here but I may try this author again.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books you'll read all year! 20 May 2011
By C. K. Gregory - Published on
If you love romance, this is one of the best books you'll read all year. Captain Quinn and Viola's relationship is exciting and sexually charged from the first meeting. I love how Mia builds sexual tension between her unique and very realistic characters with witty banter and circumstances that throw them together in challengingly close proximity.

In this case, Viola is the thief! Yes, a noblewoman left destitute with young siblings to support, becomes the famous Mayfair thief. Naturally everyone is looking for a man, so she's able to slip in and out of society balls with no one looking her way. She has another gift besides being an adept thief, except it's more of a curse. With one touch, she is able to see into the past of a gemstone's wearer.

Quinn was stationed in India during British India's heyday. He befriends a prince who has lost his kingdom...and a very precious, very dangerous jewel. When Quinn hears about the famous Mayfair thief, he sets a trap. Not to turn him in, at least not at first, but rather to enlist his services.

This is my favorite Marlowe historical romance since Mia's Distracting the Duchess, which she wrote under the name Emily Bryan. I've been a fan for a long time.
I can't wait for the next book in the Touch of Seduction series!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars First Review - Ever! 28 May 2012
By Sofie T. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is actually my first review. This is due to the fact that there are already so many good and thorough reviewers out there, that I haven't felt the need to add my voice. But I just had to make a note about this book. It was just so boring and unbelievable.

I know that's a little harsh and a lot of readers have apparently enjoyed this book, but to me it was soooo repetitive and predictable and the plot was thin I thought. Also I found the author's description of what I can only term as nympho-tendensies of the heroine truly unbelievable. No woman has that little control over their "passionate nature". I actually felt a little insulted by the author's apparently low opinion of her heroine's strength of character.

If you only read for the sex scenes spiced up with some weird words for genitalia this is the perfect book for you. If you enjoy a bit more character and plot find something else to read
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