When blond-haired, blue-eyed Max Domer arrives, he is ready to protect and serve. It is his motto. It will be her downfall. Max is ready to leave Center City behind, cut all ties, and make a fresh start as a detective on the West Coast. There is nothing unusual about the burglary call he catches, except that the woman is stunning and, for some reason, antagonistic toward police. But she’s caught in someone’s crosshairs - her car is stolen, her father dies, and murder comes to her doorstep - and, like it or not, she needs his help.
But while Max is on the trail of a master crime ring, the real thief sets about stealing his heart. And Jennifer, who innocently lets her guard down, learns she can’t judge a man by his uniform. They are polar opposites destined to stand together and fight for their future.
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And that's what I write about.
In my books, cops are the good guys and the good guys always win.
I'm a Pittsburgh native and an avid sports fan. I work Pittsburgh connections into all of my stories and my characters often wear black and gold or reference the city's outstanding sports teams -- the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
My books are based on real incidents. Plus, I'm married to a retired FBI agent whose stellar career fuels my ideas and whose technical advice is invaluable. He also takes credit for the steamy scenes!
Interview with Rena Koontz
Not at all. In fact, I confess to never having listened to an audiobook until recently. I was pleasantly surprised to discover audio listeners are such avid “readers.”
How did you select your narrator?
I was brand new to the audio book world.You might say I dove into the deep end of the pool and I don’t know how to swim. That’s true -- I don’t.
I opened my book up for auditions but my friend and fellow author encouraged me to search for my own narrator. I selected first names of friends, cute names, different names. Each time I clicked on their audition sample, I closed my eyes. When Verla Bond began to speak, my eyes popped open. She was the one.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
Very closely. Verla wanted to ensure she pronounced my characters' names correctly. For example, was it JO-vahn or jo-VAN?
Plus, I wanted her to capture the characters as they sounded in my head, so I made sure to explain that Eric was a thug, a high school dropout, whose speech would sound muddy, while Jovan (jo-VAN) attempted a distinctive, sophisticated manner of speaking.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
All of my books are based on real crimes that I’ve woven into love stories. I was a news reporter who covered cops and courts and reported on the bad guys. Their crimes stuck with me. In the case of Thief of The Heart, where the heroine is the victim and target of a crime ring, I was the burglary victim in this story. Writing it helped me heal.
Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
More than one. In Chapter 6, Verla Bond captures Jennifer’s frustration as she tries to convince her hometown police to help her once she discovers her pawned jewelry in another city. And in Chapter 33, when Officer Tocar is shot, his pain comes through as if the listener is right beside him.