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Fatal Charm Paperback – September 8, 2017
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She’s a great character. The way she feels torn apart between her career and love life is relatable and gives us a sense of proximity that builds a connection to the story. The book shows us the inner journey that Caitlin goes through. But the plotline also offers us so much more: there’s action sequences, lots of traveling involved, love and deception and a mystery that needs to be solved. All while avoiding to be killed.
The story is well-written and presented no noticeable problem in its logic. The stories about the design of the jewels and how they have strong influences from Caitlin’s trips are a nice personal touch. The description of Paris is particularly striking. A definitive hit to all mystery readers who fancy a love story in between.
I like Caitlin, the jewelery designer who gets herself entangled in a web that's far too complicated for her to have ever comprehended before she actually found herself caught in it. The vivid description of the locales of Paris and California invoke a sense of really being there. MsDowell has been an avid traveler all her life, and it shows in the way she paints a picture of different locations. Colin, the Irish professor, who has vowed to protect Caitlin as she embarks on her dangerous mission of returning the stolen heirloom to the Louvre, is equally affable and likeable.
If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries, strong protagonists (personality wise), a geographical tour of some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, interspersed with romance, guns, kidnappers and murders, then you must give Fatal Charm a shot. It is indeed charming.
The plot of the novel is not the best around, but that does not mean that it is not good either. We have our main protagonist who is on a quest of finding missing jewel from a museum. As any other good crime/thriller story, there will be passion, danger and of course – romance. Romance will definitely be the main reason why many people will want to finish reading the novel from covers to covers, because as its title suggests, there will be some fatal charm that the characters will need to deal with. Overall, good novel. If you are a fan, go ahead and read it.
A wise weaver of tales Blair elects to place an appetizer before us before the book opens, a fiery taste of what is to come – ‘She was only a few steps from the hotel when a car pulled up beside her. Jules Allard got out, blocking her way to the hotel. What? She turned and ran. His footsteps pounded after her, closing the distance. She shouted, “Au secours! Help! Police!” The street was empty of pedestrians. Rough hands seized her from behind in a fierce grip. She tried to scream but his hand covered her mouth brutally, grinding her lips across her teeth, covering her nose, making it difficult to breathe. His other arm came around her waist and he pulled her backwards, toward the waiting car. Her heart pounded as she struggled in his fierce grip. “Bitch,” he said, “you want to live, you cooperate.” Caitlin forced herself to go limp, as if she had fainted, her lead lolling, her arms dangling at her sides. His grasp loosened as he half dragged, half carried, her dead weight toward the car. More focused on keeping her upright than on keeping her restrained, his grip on her slackened. Caitlin twisted her body out of his embrace, and using the side of her hand to deliver a sharp blow to the base of his nose, she shoved her knee into his groin. He grunted and doubled over in pain, his nose gushing blood. She broke loose and ran toward the busy intersection, where she could see people, find help. Too late. They were on her again, the two men she had last seen in Berkeley.’ So welcome to Blair’s way with words and ideas and stories.
The provided scenario invites us in – ‘A perilous scheme to thwart ruthless adversaries hurtles successful young jewelry designer Caitlin Abernathy from her comfortable California studio to the streets of Paris and the beaches of Brittany as she attempts to return a priceless stolen heirloom to the Louvre. Colin Stryker, the devastatingly handsome history professor from Ireland who has appointed himself her protector, fights to rescue her before her captors add murder to their crimes, while at the same time unraveling the torturous train of events that led to the original theft. With every moment fraught with danger, can the chemistry already sizzling between the two ignite into passion?’
Served up in fine style, this is an engrossing book – full of intrigue, and romance, and mystery and one fine heroine. Blair has style – and it is infectious. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 17