2020 Book # 26 – Close Up by Amanda Quick

Title: Close Up
Author: Amanda Quick
Date finished: 5/12/20
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Pages in book: 302
Stand alone or series: #4 in the Burning Cove series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: 
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Welcome to Burning Cove, California where 1930s Hollywood glamour conceals a ruthless killer…

Vivian Brazier never thought life as an art photographer would include nightly wake-up calls to snap photos of grisly crime scenes or headshots for aspiring male actors. Although she is set on a career of transforming photography into a new art form, she knows her current work is what’s paying the bills.

After shooting crime scene photos of a famous actress, the latest victim of the murderer the press has dubbed the “Dagger Killer,” Vivian notices eerie similarities to the crime scenes of previous victims—details that only another photographer would have noticed—details that put Vivian at the top of the killer’s target list.

Nick Sundridge has always been able to “see” things that others don’t, coping with disturbing dreams and visions. His talent, or as he puts it—his curse—along with his dark past makes him a recluse, but a brilliant investigator. As the only one with the ability to help, Nick is sent to protect Vivian. Together, they discover the Dagger Killer has ties to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood royalty and high society. It is a cutthroat world of allure and deception that Vivian and Nick must traverse—all in order to uncover the killer who will stop at nothing to add them to their gallery of murders.

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I read this book as part of Bout of Books 28!

It’s been awhile since I’ve read an Amanda Quick book, but this one was a great one to pick back up on! The author did an awesome job of transporting the reader right into Old Hollywood. I felt like I was on the scene of one of those noir films, everything classic drama and black and white. And while that was one of my favorite parts of the novel, overall I can’t say that this book was one of my favorites. It was good and I loved the atmosphere and ambience that the author infused into the novel. But I thought the pacing could’ve been improved a bit, it felt a tad slow to me. And there wasn’t all that much chemistry between Nick and Vivian, nor was there all that much tension through the suspenseful parts of the story. There was enough of it to keep the story interesting but there wasn’t enough to really keep me on the edge of my seat. I still really enjoyed the novel and the world it transported me into and I would recommend it, especially if you love old noir films!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #11 – Soft Focus by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Title: Soft Focus
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Date finished: 2/11/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Jove
Publication Date: October 1, 2000
Pages in book: 350
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Elizabeth Cabot is all business. She knows how to maximize her investments and cut her losses–in both her career and her personal life.
So when she discovers that Jack Fairfax has deceived her, she’s determined to end their relationship. Putting a stop to their budding romance is easy. But breaking up their business deal will be more difficult. Despite all her efforts, she has no luck disentangling herself from Jack’s client company, Excalibur. But the situation becomes even more strained when a new obstacle emerges: a lethal act of sabotage that could put both of them out of business for good.
Elizabeth is no fool. If she can help Jack save Excalibur, she’ll recoup her substantial investment plus millions in profit. Putting her emotions aside, she insists on helping him search for the scientist who’s disappeared with a valuable new crystal that could revolutionize the high-tech industry. She’ll go in, solve the problem–and get out.
The trail leads Elizabeth and Jack to a fringe film festival, but their goal is as elusive as the shadowy black-and-white images from classic noir films. Life starts to imitate art, and double-dealing seems to be the name of the game. For these business adversaries turned reluctant partners, keeping an eye on each other–and the lid on a sizzling attraction–seems the only insurance against further treachery. But with millions at stake, trust can turn to betrayal in the blink of an eye.

My rating: 2.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Mystery or Thriller” square. Elizabeth and Jack make an interesting team in this story. He’s a little heavy-handed with the orders and she’s a little strong-willed so it makes an ok balance tension wise. There wasn’t really much depth to the characters though and there wasn’t any character growth. And to be honest, I’m getting sick of the women in romance novels always being like, there’s no way he loves me, this is surely just a fling, don’t get too invested. Realize your own self-worth woman! Gosh if  you don’t think you’re worth falling in love with, then he for sure won’t either. Just grow a pair.
The story line in itself was fine. Nothing outstanding but wasn’t awful either. I was pretty neutral to the plot. I didn’t really get excited at any points and I was honestly somewhat bored at a few points. I normally love this author but this was just not one of my favorites.

Memorable Quotes:
“A lady with a past has nothing to lose. But a woman with a future can’t be too careful.”

The bottom line:  I don’t think I would recommend this book. It was not my favorite and its not part of a series so I probably wouldn’t bother.

Author website

Link to Amazon