In this romantic suspense, the first book in a new series, art restoration expert Annalise Quintrell discovers the theft of a valuable piece of art from the museum where she works. Fearing she’ll be suspected if she alerts her boss, she turns to the only person she can think of to help. It’s bad enough she has to ask a former art thief to locate—and steal back—the missing masterpiece, but Rory Cavanaugh is her ex-fiancé, and seeing him again will bring back all the pain of their devastating breakup.
Rory has made some terrible mistakes in his past, but the worst was lying to Annalise and losing her trust. He’ll do anything to redeem himself in her eyes, including putting himself at risk, as he launches a sometimes wild hunt for the piece of art.
Jannine Gallant is one of my favorite romantic suspense authors. I’ve come to rely on her special blend of adventure and romance, but she surprised me on this one…in a good way! Normally her stories are set out west, places like Lake Tahoe where her characters do active things like hiking and camping. Places I never go and things I never do! But this one is set on the East Coast, generally along the I95 corridor from Richmond to Philly. And that’s where I live.
So instead of living vicariously through the characters in this story, I enjoyed traveling familiar highways and byways with Annalise and Rory—without all the angst of the real traffic—as they dug deeper into the mystery and rediscovered what they loved about each other.
Another thing—Gallant’s stories usually feature a loving and steadfast pup, but in this one, Annalise has a cat…a calico cat that remains annoyingly and traitorously faithful to Rory. As a big cat lover, I enjoyed the feline interactions. Here’s a sample:
“’Maizie!’ (Rory) scooped up the furball and snuggled her close.
“Purring like a well-tuned engine, the cat rubbed her head against his neck and chin, green eyes slitted in sheer bliss.
“’I’ve missed you, too, you silly cat.’”
He had me at “Maizie!” I’m smiling now remembering the scene.
I really enjoyed this story and, as always, can’t wait for the next book in the series.