Reviewed by Tracey
When Interpol’s covert behind-the-scenes Elite Crimes Unit looks for new talent, they recruit someone who knows all the tricks—and sometimes a troublemaker is exactly who’s needed for the job…
Olivia Lawson’s bosses at Scotland Yard don’t take her work very seriously. Art and antiquities? Bor-ing! But her latest investigation, at London’s world-renowned Tate, is turning out to be far more explosive than anyone expected. In fact, the vandalized, booby-trapped painting hanging on the gallery wall would have blown her off her feet if it wasn’t for the tall, dark-haired stranger who tackled her at the last second—a stranger as finely sculpted as any masterpiece in the museum.
Ethan Maxwell is working this case for the Elite Crimes Unit because it was a choice between that and lockup. A (barely) reformed art forger, he’s got the expertise to lead Olivia through a dangerous manhunt. But the crime may have a more personal connection to him—and the all-too-real feelings he’s developing toward Olivia could pull her into the line of fire too. (Blurb)
This was a DNF for me. I really, really tried to push on through with this book, but by the time I reached 37%, I just couldn’t. I found myself doing anything I could, even laundry and dishes, just to put off picking up my Kindle. I haven’t ever read this author before, and I probably won’t read anything else from her. I’m sure she suits a lot of readers, she just wasn’t a good fit for me.
I found myself disliking both main characters, and the dialogue was choppy and unbelievable. It didn’t flow smoothly, and I found myself starting to highlight the portions that I didn’t like…which is never a good sign. Olivia Lawson is a constable at Scotland Yard and Ethan Maxwell is an art forger working at Interpol. They meet when Lisa touches a painting that is booby-trapped and Ethan saves her from being hurt by tackling her in the gallery. She’s actually pretty bitchy about him saving her from injury too.
“And who are you, again? I’m the lead investigation officer here, and I don’t appreciate anyone rushing in and shoving me to the floor–”
Well, that’s the thanks you get for saving someone from injury. And, Ethan replies so (insert sarcastic voice here) smoothly;
“You mustn’t get yourself worked up. It seems I’ve arrived just in time.”
He might as well have called himself Superman and patted her on the head.
Everyone in the book then blamed Olivia for the painting being blown up, she was even demoted and Ethan given charge of the case because she’s the one who touched the painting. I really don’t think people are so stupid to blame a person for an accident that couldn’t be helped. Someone was going to touch the painting, and since she was the agent in charge, it was more than likely going to be her. Then she and Ethan discover another painting in the museum which is a forgery, and they don’t even bother to inform anyone that it is a fake…they just blithely go off to have tea.
The character of Olivia bounces so quickly between ’I want to be taken seriously, and I need this promotion to detective constable’ to acting so unprofessional that it’s almost embarrassing. She never behaves consistently, wanting to be thought of as businesslike, and in the next sentence behaving in a totally unbusinesslike manner.
“…she had an opportunity to prove that she was a valuable asset to the department. And no matter how she looked or dressed, she did not belong on the beat writing up traffic violations. Could the men at Scotland Yard be any more condescending? When Mr. Maxwell had said he’d expected her to be less ‘lush’, she hadn’t known how to take that. More male judgement? She couldn’t help that she had an ample figure and liked to dress to show off her curves..”
I didn’t like the copious amounts of chauvinistic behavior credited to every man in the book. Yes…there is chauvinistic behavior that goes on in the workplace and the world, but this antagonistic behavior was given to every man in the book…even Ethan. Maybe pick one man to act like this…and, at least don’t make it the hero too. The following is an actual thought that Ethan had when he met Olivia.
“Scotland Yard was putting on their soft side with this one. Could that be the reason he’d been called to the vandalism last week at the Wexler gallery? Had the Arts and Antiquities Unit lost its credibility with a woman on the team? Ethan’s father had always insisted that he never work with a woman. They were catty. And emotional. And yet he tended to ignore such advice. Often it was to his detriment. Though his profession had changed since receiving such biased advice – and his father had been quite the womanizer – Ethan found there were occasions when he hadn’t a choice to whom he was assigned to work alongside. This could prove a challenge. Mostly because he enjoyed women. In any position but that of holding authority over him.”
Arrrggghhhh!!!! And I’m supposed to like this guy, fall a little bit in love with this guy. I don’t think so, and I should have stopped reading at this point. At one point, while they are diligently supposed to be investigating these crimes, Ethan says they need to go to one of the crime scenes. Olivia responds with this:
“I can’t. I have a party to attend. I have to go home and get ready”
Maybe if she wanted to be taken seriously at her job and get a promotion she could change her priorities just a bit. I’m done…I could keep quoting and getting irritated, but it’s not worth it. This was just not my cup of tea.