The Book of Hours (Coin / Hours Duology) Paperback – December 29, 2014
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I loved this book, and I loved the Duo-logy! -- Terry's Book Addiction
The Book of Hours by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a psychological thriller, full of suspense. Lightning never strikes twice, but psychopaths do. Arnold Wickham is an art dealer with no scruples, and he has his eye on the main prize - a new piece of work called The Book of Hours by Gabriela. He will stop at nothing to get his hands on it and nobody will stop him, least of all Gabriela herself. Richard Harrison is in love with Gabriela and he has the chance to protect her. He must stay one step ahead at all times if he is to guarantee their future. In this story set in London and California, Richard and Gabriela will do everything it takes to protect themselves and the Book of Hours.
The Book of Hours by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is the second book of a series. I didn't read the first one and I thought that might spoil it for me, but it didn't. Ms. Alonso-Sierra has provided plenty of background information that brought me up to speed on the characters, allowing me to concentrate my mind on the story at hand. The characters are extremely well-written and you are given every opportunity to get to know them and to follow them from continent to continent. The plot itself was clearly well-thought out and was full of action and plenty of suspense, which is what glued me to the story, giving me an innate desire to find out what was going to happen. This is a real mix of romance, crime, and suspense, full of mystery, everything a great story needs. Fantastic story, really well-written and gripping.
A sequel to The Coin, Alonso-Sierra's novel, The Book of Hours picks up with Gabriela's story four years later, but in much the same situation - danger. As a gifted artist, Gabriela created a copy of a manuscript for a charitable event. Unfortunately, her rendition of the famed book drew the attention of a psychotic antique collector, set on possessing her creation no matter what. Once her life was threatened, others set in motion a reunion with her only true protector, Richard Harrison. Thrown together again by a common enemy, the pair struggle to find common ground and quickly realize that their long-ago feelings still burn hot. However, with danger looming and familial complications in their way, will Richard and Gabriela finally clasp their happy ending or say goodbye once and for all?
Longing and regret, as well as suspense, were themes that ran throughout the entire novel, compelling the choices of the characters as well as the story's pacing. Though that pacing at times felt drawn out, the emotional connection between Richard and Gabriela compelled the reader to keep turning the pages. The author skillfully crafted very real and human characters that one could not help but rooting for while bonding with the couple. The energy level of the novel was high when faced with life-threatening events ranging from a runaway car to kidnapping. The suspense riveted the reader to the tale compensating for any perceived shortcomings. All and all, this was a worthwhile read - enjoyable and exciting!
Amy Willis from InD'tale Magazine
About the Author
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This is the first book I have read by the author and enjoyed her writing. Her prose is vivid and you don't have to guess what she is describing. Ms. Alonso-Sierra has a gift with words and it makes the book a pleasure to read. There is never any doubt as to the setting. The story takes place in different continents and you move with the characters never doubting where you are.
The plot starts out a little slower than I would have liked, but picks up and moves at a steady pace, making you want the story to continue.
My only suggestion to the author would be to fix a few point of view issues. There were several times I had to stop reading and go back to see whose POV the story was in, thus pulling me out of the story. Though this did not stop me from reading the book.