the book cover for Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean
  • STAR RATING:  Four and a half stars
    PAGE LENGTH: 391 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: August 23rd 2022
    WHAT SERIES? Hell’s Belles
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Sexual content
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  Literally any of Sarah MacLean’s backlist, particularly the Bareknuckle Bastards series


New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean follows her highly acclaimed Bombshell with Heartbreaker, featuring a fierce, fearless heroine on a mission to steal a duke’s secrets…and his heart.

A Princess of Thieves

Raised among London’s most notorious criminals, a twist of fate landed Adelaide Frampton in the bright ballrooms of Mayfair, where she masquerades as a quiet wallflower—so plain and unassuming that no one realizes she’s the Matchbreaker…using her superior skills as a thief to help brides avoid the altar.

A King of Reputation

Henry, Duke of Clayborn, has spent a lifetime living in perfection. He has no time for the salacious gossip that arises every time the Matchbreaker ends another groom. His own reputation is impeccable—and the last thing he needs is a frustrating, fascinating woman discovering the truth of his past, or the secrets he holds close.

A Royal Match

When the two find themselves on a breakneck journey across Britain to stop a wedding, it’s impossible for Clayborn to resist this woman who both frustrates and fascinates him. But late-night carriage rides make for delicious danger…and soon Adelaide is uncovering Clayborn’s truths, throwing his well-laid plans into chaos…and threatening to steal his heavily guarded heart.

Ugh this was so good. I love a Sarah MacLean novel (minus one, but I won’t name names) and Heartbreaker is no different. Take a delightfully stuffy duke who reminded me of Henry Cavill, and the queen of the cutpurses, and mash them together in a road trip of sorts, and you get….well, you get a wild ride of a romance novel. I really, really loved this, and I think it’s in part because I loved the Duke of Clayborn so freaking much. Seriously — I could have inhaled this in a matter of hours if I didn’t have to do my job.

I love, love, love big strong, stoic men who just turn absolutely feral when they meet the love of their life. That’s Clayborn to a T. He does literally everything in his power to make sure that Adelaide stays safe — even when she’s trying her best to keep him safe from her past. He doesn’t care in the slightest where she’s from, as long as she’s his. He’s got a deep voice, he’s big and muscly, has a perfect face, and has a habit of saying, “Hmmm,” when he’s thinking of rather naughty things he wants to do with Adelaide. (Anyone else picturing Cavill now??) The whole of Heartbreaker is a seriously swoony affair.

Adelaide, however, frequently drove me bonkers. She spends a great deal of the novel believing herself to be not good enough for Clayborn. DESPITE him telling her over and over again that he doesn’t care where she was born, who she was born to, or what she’d done in her past. It doesn’t matter to him! He loves her as she is! But she doesn’t take his word for for 99% of the book — so we’re regaled time and time again with paragraph after paragraph of her woe-is-me-ing about this. I could have done with like…80% less of this, personally. But she eventually does figure out that Clayborn is telling her the truth, and well, the rest is history.

There are some seriously steamy sex scenes, too, because MacLean is an absolute master of her craft. You’re in for a treat if you love historicals. I can’t recommend her work enough.

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