She’s on the run…
Brilliant art appraiser Alex Northrop’s ex used stolen art to fund his nefarious activities. Now he wants her dead. But it isn’t just herself she’s worried about – if he discovers who she really is, he’ll kill her family.
Professor Henry Chilton is shocked to find a beautiful stranger passed out in his bed, and even more so when the she reveals a priceless painting is a forgery – the painting he’d planned to use to fund a woman’s shelter. She’s mysterious and frightened, and he is determined to discover why.
Alex’s knowledge of art is undeniable–just as Henry’s attraction to her is irresistible. But in order to help him recover the real painting, Alex isn’t just risking exposure…she’s risking her life.
Sometimes when I’m in a boring meeting, I day dream. It’s so much more fun than thinking about what bills I need to pay or what groceries I need to get. Sometimes my day dreams involve running away to England and meeting a real life Earl or Duke. Reading this book was like a fantasy come to life. Veronica Forand has created a story that weaves together some many compelling elements that should be overwhelming, but instead create a story that is well rounded and complete.
I adored Alex. She’s a tough cookie and has made choices in her young life that make her mature beyond her years. I loved that we got to know Alex layer by layer. The complexities of her personality and choices are revealed slowly and as they fit into the pieces of the puzzle of this story. When a new trait is revealed, it makes sense and never feels forced. I felt deep compassion for Alex and the betrayals she has endured. I think that is what makes her relationship with Henry so important.
Henry is an honest to God Earl. He is also a former British Navy operative and a professor at Oxford. While it could have been farfetched that he fell for Alex so quickly and wanted to help her without knowing anything about her, it really didn’t. Henry’s background is slowly shown just like Alex’s and the more you know about him, the more it seems like kismet that Alex stumbled into his house looking for refuge.
This book covers international theft rings, crime lords, brutality, spies and lots of adventure. None of it seemed out of place. From the opening page, the author sets the tone with a fast moving plot that takes you across the globe. The quiet moments, in beautiful Ripon and Oxford, don’t slow the action down; rather it allows time for deeper character development. As well as some great intimacy between the characters.
Alex and Henry are a great couple. Whether chasing each other through the maze at his castle, staking out underground art theft auctions or exploring each other in bed, they shine together. Their relationship is complicated, yet when they spend time together I adored how they interacted and respected each other. Even with demons chasing Alex, she still takes the time to enjoy her reprieve with Henry. She was so light and fun when she would tease him. Her shopping spree in Ripon was one time I am sure a man was happy to tag along.
The bad guys are really, really bad in this book. Just when you think you have reached the depths of their depravity, it gets worse. Alex’s fear is real to the reader and since the book starts with her escape it is clear why she goes to such extremes. I desperately wanted Henry to be her literal knight in shining armour. Alex needed a champion and Henry was just so devoted to her that it was beyond tense waiting for the events to unfold.
This is the first book I have read of Veronica Forand’s and I certainly will be reading more as soon as I can! She is just so talented! She created a compelling story with great characters that are really well developed. The plot was so intriguing and held me captive with the twists and turns. A great
A Bostonian by birth, Veronica Forand regrettably lost her Boston accent while moving from state to state and country to country. Cleveland probably had the most profound effect on her ability to pronounce the “r” in the word “park.”
She does try to return now and then to visit family and eat long neck clams and lobster. Summers on Cape Cod are also high on the priority list.
Her experience in crime involves time as a court appointed attorney. Eventually, she switched fields to where bigger crimes take place, corporate tax. The allure of spending mornings in her pajamas homeschooling her children and writing fascinating fiction inspired her to change careers again. Now that the kids are out of the house (in school), she writes romantic thrillers by day and is the perfect wife and mother at night.
Her experience in romance is limited to one man. Luckily, he’s still finding ways to charm her by taking her on vacations to the south of France, Fiji, and the Green Mountains when time is short. Avid travelers, they love to roam with their kids across continents in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and the perfect piece of chocolate.
She’s lived in London, Paris, Geneva, Washington D.C., and the accent destroying city of Cleveland. She currently resides near Philadelphia.