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

2014 – Book #83

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The eighty-third book I read in 2014 was The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee. I finished this book on 9/16/14. I rated this book 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Portia Cuthcart, who discovers she has “the knowing” when she is still only a small child. “The knowing” is a form of future-telling through food that has run in her family for generations. Portia hopes to learn what this gift means through the help of her grandmother, but as the years pass her grandmother doesn’t end up directly teaching her anything about their shared gift. Portia seems to figure most things out on her own though, and muddles through until her fiance tells her that he needs her to give up “the knowing” and be normal. Soon after, her grandmother dies in a very odd way and Portia blames herself, so she shuts herself off from “the knowing” for three long years.

When her husband divorces her because he got her supposedly best friend pregnant though, Portia flees to New York City and it is there that she discovers herself again. She becomes infatuated with her upstairs neighbor, Gabriel, and though she keeps telling herself not to, she can’t help but become involved in his life and his two girls’. Things start sliding downhill though when Portia and her sisters try to open a trial restaurant in Portia’s apartment. And all the while Ariel (one of the daughters) is trying to do a school report on her family and is uncovering some troubling secrets. She’s also trying to cope with the trauma of watching her mother die in a car crash, while also dealing with her fear of becoming invisible herself.

Overall, this was just such a great book. It was touching, emotional, funny, heart-wrenching, and riveting all at once. Though I thought that the bad guys could’ve gotten a harsher punishment, the happy ending was for the most part exactly what I wanted it to be. And I loved the depth of the characters in the story, they came alive to me. This was the first book I’ve read by this author, I’ll definitely have to check out some of her other books!

Link to author website: http://www.lindaleebooks.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Glass-Kitchen-Novel-Sisters/dp/0312382278/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410907140&sr=8-1&keywords=the+glass+kitchen