Elle Dakin is shocked when she’s given the opportunity to fly to Paris to attribute a newly discovered painting to her favorite artist. After all, why would they choose a broke, struggling Art History doctoral student for such an honored task? When she arrives in Paris, she realizes the deal was too good to be true—suddenly she’s neck-deep in a murder, an international art theft, and threats to her safety. Thank goodness Ryan, an art exporter, comes to her aid, protecting her from the dangerous side of Paris and those who would try to harm her. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s sinfully handsome…until she discovers he has just as many secrets as everyone she’s met on this trip of a lifetime gone wrong…
The last assignment undercover FBI agent Ryan DeLong wants is to investigate art theft. But here he is, stuck in Paris, chasing down the thieves of a million-dollar masterpiece. The only bright spot is Elle, the shy but enchanting doctoral student who teaches him about more than just the beauty of Surrealism. He can’t tell her the truth of his identity, plus he refuses to get romantically involved with anyone while he’s on a case. But when he learns Elle also has things to hide, he begins to doubt everything he thought he knew about her.
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NICUnurse’s Review of A Surrealist Affair
Jacqueline Corcoran is a new-to-me author, but she penned a romantic suspense book, and I love romantic suspense. It’s more of a passion, really. I cut my teeth, so to speak, on Nora Roberts’ romantic suspense books, and I’ve never lost the love she instilled in me for the genre. So it’s never a hardship to give a new romantic suspense author a try. Some are hits, and some are misses.
I admit that I know almost zilch about art beyond music. Art was never my thing, and I did everything I could to avoid art appreciation in school, so I can’t speak to how well the research was or how well the author stuck to reality on this aspect. But she did add enough intrigue that it felt believable, and that’s a definite plus. There were also quite a few twists, some of which I had figured out ahead of the big reveal. However, the biggest twist was a bit of a shock, so again, big props from me on that. Romantic suspense in which I figure it all out prior to the story’s arc and big reveal just falls flat for me. Thankfully, this was not the case with this book.
So let’s talk characters for a minute. I figured out a long time ago that if I couldn’t connect with at least the hero or heroine of a book, I usually didn’t care for it, even if the plot was great. I struggled with Elle. There were parts of her that I just thought were too naive and gullible for someone her age who was a doctoral student. But there were also times where she was exceedingly savvy and brave. Almost to a fault. For the most part, I liked Ryan a little better but kind of wanted to smack him when he put the job above Elle’s safety. Needless to say, this made it easy to put the book down at times and do the daily required adulting. However, as the story arc approached, I found that putting it down became a lot harder.
The lack of fully connecting with both the hero and heroine but still really enjoying the suspense created a bit of a dichotomy for me. All in all, I felt this was a decent story. While I can’t say it was unputdownable, I can say that I was reasonably entertained and never once considered not finishing it. And I can also say that I was engaged enough to look forward to what this author produces in the future. To summarize, I’d say this book was more of a hit than a miss.