Title: Heart-Shaped Hack
Series: Kate and Ian #1
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Release Date: August 25, 2015
When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.
Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.
But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.
Ian took off his glasses and slid them into the pocket of his jacket.
“I like those,” she said. “Put them back on.”
“They’ll only be in the way when I kiss you.”
“Who said we were going to kiss?”
“I did. Katie, you must pay closer attention. Besides, this is the end of our first official date. Why wouldn’t we kiss? Sharing a kiss is quite common at this stage.”
“I know how dating works.” Although truthfully, she was a bit rusty and hadn’t kissed anyone since Stuart.
“This hallway is awfully bright. I would prefer more romantic lighting, like the kind inside your apartment.”
“You don’t get to come in again until the second date.”
“The only thing I took away from that statement is that we’re going to have a second date.”
It really was incredibly bright in the hallway. Kate almost wished Ian hadn’t told her he was going to kiss her and that it was a bit darker, because she was suddenly hit with a bout of first-date-kiss nerves that made her fidget.
“I’ll just wait until you stop moving.”
She made herself stand still. He slid his hands underneath her jaw, and his fingers came to rest behind her ears while his thumbs grazed her cheek. His first kiss was soft and gentle and only lasted a few seconds. He pulled back a few inches and came in again, giving her another soft kiss. The third was firmer, more aggressive, and he dipped his tongue lightly into her mouth. The fourth was soft again, leaving Kate in a heady and intoxicating state of anticipation about what the next kiss would be like. Number five was almost her undoing because Ian pressed his body closer to hers and gave her a deep, openmouthed kiss while circling her tongue with his. When he finally pulled back, it took her a moment to regulate her breathing. She was holding on to his neck rather tightly because her legs felt like Jell-O.
“You seem a bit wobbly, Katie.”
“I’ve got to hand it to you. Your kissing skills almost make up for your shortcomings.”
“I have shortcomings? Really?”
“A couple, yes.”
“I’d promise to work on them, but we both know I’m not going to.”
It should be noted that my original review basically read: "*FLAILS* *DIES* I CAN'T EVEN WITH THESE FEELINGS..." This book made me shouty and incoherent and full-on fangirl. I had to take a couple of days to turn that original review into something meaningful, but please, let’s not lose sight of the fact that I went full-on fangirl meltdown over this book. Imagine this entire review written in shouty caps with all the "i's" dotted with hearts. That is how I feel about this book.
Okay, now that that's out of the way—you should go buy this book. Yes, right now. I'll wait. And then we can squeal and flail and shouty caps together. In the meantime...
Kate Watts is innocently trying to run an open food pantry in Minneapolis when Ian, charming, charismatic, quirky, and incorrigible Ian, comes barreling into her life. Technically, I suppose she barrels into him. Either way, their paths cross when Ian begins making anonymous donations and Kate is determined to get to the bottom of it. When she discovers that he is a hacker with a "Robin Hood complex", she is not at all impressed. Ian, on the other hand, is immediately taken with the kind-hearted and steady Kate. He makes it his mission to win her over and, despite her initial resistance (he's a hacker—which is inherently shady and dangerous), he wins.
I mean, of course he wins. Ian is...EVERYTHING. It's like the author crawled into my brain and created the perfect guy. He is nerdy, witty, thoughtful, and adorable. In some ways he's very childlike without being childish (which seems like some sort of epic feat to pull off). There is not a dark, broody hair on this man's body. He's confident, and lighthearted, and his attitude is entirely devil-may-care. I wasn't even 5% into this book when I began shouting about how much I knew I was going to love it, and how everyone needs to read it.
It's not all perfection. Ian is a hacker. That alone means that there are bumps in the road, an undercurrent of suspense and danger. He sometimes has to disappear for a while. He has had to move unexpectedly, without notice. His life is not as steady and sure-footed as Kate's and taking something like that on is a lot to ask of someone in a relationship. These are heavy issues and they're not ignored. It's not a dominant theme of the book (which I would say is overall lighthearted and swoony) but it's a pinch of spice that keeps things interesting and kept me glued, absolutely glued, to my kindle wanting to see how everything played out.
The banter in this book is, bar none, some of the best I've ever read. Nothing felt over the top, and almost everything left me with a goofy smile on my face or—often—literally laughing out loud. The couple is adorable and while Ian is the MVP charmer, Kate holds her own. She's his perfect match; she is strong and smart, sensitive and sassy. Ian doesn't work without Kate. Half of his charm comes from her repartee. I can't love one of these characters without loving the other in equal measure. The result of that is some kind of explosion in my heart that initially left me with nothing but shouty caps gibberish.
It's amazing. Heartwarming. Flirty. Sexy. Hysterical. Emotional. Heartbreaking (briefly) and then...perfect. It's perfect.
Why are you still reading this? GO READ THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY!!
~ Review by Shelly
Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.