Labels: AQuick, Triple8Challenge08
This story was one that I have been wanting to read for a while (I had the book in the TBR pile for over three years) but was really unable to crack the book open because I know that this is not a strictly romantic book. It's more in the line of Romantic Suspense and yet I have a problem comparing it to the Suspense that I read with Sandra Brown and Linda Howard. It is just not the same!
Tobias March has been hired to recover a small diary that contains the identity of a traitor who murdered the head of a large syndicate of organized crime. His search takes him to the doorstep of Lavinia Lake who's antiquity shop, unbeknownst to her, is being used by criminals to leave messages for each other. After observing her for a bit he realizes that she is not involved in the criminal activity that is taking place under her nose and he "urges" her to leave Rome before she puts herself in more danger.
Lavinia leaves Rome with barely the clothes on her back and is forced to establish herself in another career when she arrives in London. She decides to become an inquiry agent for hire. Unfortunately her run ins with Mr. March are not at an end. When she becomes victim of a blackmailer she puts her inquiry talents to use and runs into Tobias over a dead body. Well it seems that the blackmailer had links to the diary that Tobias is looking for and was using it to blackmail several people, one of which took offense and killed him. But the person also stole the diary which means that Lavinia needs to locate it. So it's only natural that Tobias and Lavinia join forces to uncover the murderer.
I don't think the book suffers any glaring problems, but still, I never really warmed up to Lavinia, although I thought Tobias was a wonderful character. Lavinia just didn't do it for me and that really was the big failure of the book. I also found that I cannot read anymore of Amanda Quick's books. The language in her books, unfortunately, make all of them sound the same. It's like reading Garwood's love scenes, after you have read alot of them you start picking up on certain phrases that she reuses, it doesn't take way from the book, but after you realize they are there, it becomes annoying. Quick uses the word 'metaphysical' and 'mesmerism' in most of her books and it's lost it's humor for me.
From an outside view, if I put the annoying, personal, pet peeves aside, the book was entertaining. I didn't see the bad guy coming. There is a clear villain and we know who that person is almost from the beginning but the mastermind behind the plot was well hidden. I actually thought it was someone altogether different and was surprised when the villain was revealed.
Because of this I'm sure that someone that is not as... anal? as I am would have enjoyed the book much more.