This is the first book in a very entertaining series. You will enjoy the read and I think the author is doing a wonderful job developing the characters and her writing. You can see improvement from the first book to the second and I look forward to the third. I gave it 4 stars, but in some ways it was a 5 star book. I love spunky women and HMOGS-Hot Men of God!
If you love traditional romances spiced with an action plot that twists and turns, youll love Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. The opening chapters are filled with tumultuous changes in the life of Desiree Jacobs. As partner with her father in HJ Securities, a firm that specializes in providing top notch security for art galleries, museums, private clients, etc., Desiree is tasked with finding the weak link in their security systems so that HJ Securities can offer better protection. Desiree takes the unorthodox route of stealing a prized piece of art then returning it to the owner to demonstrate the weak link. Couple this adventurous job with a father whos accused of art theft, murdered in his bed, and an attempt to do the same to Desiree, interest and you have a suspense tale that keeps you reading. Tack on a desirable FBI agent Tony Lucano, who no matter how much he denies it, is drawn to Desiree and you have romance that equals the suspense. The plot drives this novel from start to finish with surprises all along the way. Just when you think nothing else will surprise you, Nelson tosses in another one to keep you reading. If youre not a plot kind of person but are in this book for the romance only, the developing relationship between Desiree and agent Tony Lucano is strong enough to fulfill that need as well. As a bonus, youll also receive an interesting insight into the world of art iniquities.
I think that Desiree had an awesome job. I really liked Desiree's ability to disguise herself enough to fool people for her job. I enjoyed the scene where she almost got caught even though the room she was in was almost impossible to get out of. I know that the guy on the cover is supposed to be Tony but for some reason I kept picturing Tony Almeida from 24. He just suited better to me what Tony would look like. Desiree's and Tony's relationship starts off annoying at first because no matter what she does he doesn't trust her. Eventually he realizes her true character, it was just frustrating that he had already prejudged her. I kept thinking about the Da Vinci Code while reading the book because of the talk about paintings and art museums. And I also recalled an episode of Magnum PI where there is a father/daughter art thief duo just like in this book. While I enjoyed the book, I felt that some parts dragged a little. To me the middle part of the story didn't grab my attention the way the first part or the end did. I still enjoyed reading this book though. There were twists that I didn't see coming and lots of suspense. I also have a new respect for art after learning so much about it in this book. I'll be looking forward to the next one in the series.
In several ways I'm thoroughly impressed with this novel. The characters seemed real and likeable and the plot was complex. In fact, if I didn't know that the author was a woman, I'd assume a man had written this story at first because it was so graphic and had some very mafia-esque scenes that were not at all feminine. Like the portion that went into his former relationship and betrayal. That was great!!!I also especially liked the fact that the hero and heroine were both Christians. :) There were some tense moments in this story and the romance was very well done. I held my breath more than once. I love it when you aren't sure who the double-crossing mole is and you start to suspect everyone. I also really enjoyed the times when Desi had to break in and swap paintings during her theft job. That was great stuff.The author also had some good one-liners. For example; She ought to have her brain removed and forensically examined for discombobulated synapses. And one way she described Tony's extreme anger... If steam could escape out his pores, he'd be a toxic cloud. :) Is that great stuff, or what?On the other end, I found the terrorist's dialogue a bit cheesy-sounding. Or maybe the fact that once Desi stopped thieving and the FBI took over and she became the victim, it didn't work as well for me. I thought the ending was almost too detailed. The humor also seemed misplaced and more feminine. So I went from fear and anxiety at the beginning of the story, to not feeling like I'm really there toward the end. Like I was in a sit-com show. Very strange. I think the dialogue is what killed it. Up until that point I was there. Overall, I'd say I really enjoyed the story and would probably enjoy the next one as well. There was just that weakness toward the end.
What to do when the father you idolized, loved, and trusted confesses in writing, he is a smuggler and art thief? And what to do after hes murdered and youre the only person to clear his reputation and find his murderer? Fearing to lose her family business Desiree Jacobs pokes about the cutthroat world of international art theft. The attempts on her life testify that someones not happy about her nosing around. Desirees scheme to vindicate her father is waylaid by handsome, bullheaded Special Agent Tony Lucano whos out to establish that her father, Hiram, was an international criminal and Desiree his accomplice. The sparks between Desiree and Tony are instantaneous but neither will admit anything but distrust and animosity simmer beneath their faades. Besides, why should Desiree care about the very man determined to ruin her life? First time author, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, has woven a romantic suspense that has upped the ante for all future romance-suspense novels. In the prestigious form of Victoria Holt and the rough and tumble, intelligent wit of Dashiell Hammets, The Maltese Falcon, Jill Elizabeth Nelsons unique voice and style will keep you reading to completion and then begging for her second book of the, To Catch A Thief series, Reluctant Runaway.Run dont walk to your nearest bookstore!