Title: Perfect Touch Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Sara Medina is a designer and art dealer from San Francisco. She matches her clients desires with fine and folk art from the world over--living up to her thriving business named Perfect Touch. She still remembers her rural childhood of hard work and poverty on the family dairy farm, but she keeps it firmly in the past as she searches out new artwork and artists that are on the breaking edge of acclaim. After she experienced the cultural riches San Francisco had to offer, she decided her life would be that of an urban career woman rather than a working mom commuting from the suburbs. With the intensive hours and travel required to grow her business to the next level, she has no time or energy left for romantic or family entanglements.
Jay Vermillion recently inherited Vermillion Sky, a ranch that nestles up to Wyoming’s Grand Teton Mountains--and the estates of the rich and restless. As a returned veteran of numerous deployments over the course of two wars, he finds himself wrestling with the demands of a ranch that has been run down during his father’s long illness. Between the urgent need to modernize and revitalize the Vermillion Sky, as well as an unexpected and vicious fight with his former stepmother over the custody of now-valuable paintings that were part of his father’s estate, Jay has no time for finding a wife and creating a sixth generation of Vermillions to ensure the family legacy continues.
When Jay hires Sara to appraise and market his father’s cache of paintings by Harris “Custer” Armstrong, neither one expects the explosive results of their eventual meeting in Jackson, Wyoming. In addition to a mutually inconvenient attraction, they a discover double murder at the edge of the ranch lands and a potential betrayal even closer to home. All trails lead to Custer’s artworks as valuable enough to kill for, especially an unknown painted rumored to be called The Muse.
As Sara and Jay unravel the motive for the killings, they both discover that love, like murder, doesn’t wait for a convenient time. On the heels of that soul-shattering realization, Sara is targeted for murder. Suddenly, the war-weary soldier finds something he is once again willing to die for…
Amazon •Add to Goodreads
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Welcome to our spotlight on
Perfect Touch by Elizabeth Lowell!
We’re pleased to present a giveaway, excerpt, and review.
Elizabeth Lowell’s exciting novels of romantic suspense include New York Times Bestsellers: Dangerous Refuge, Beautiful Sacrifice, Death Echo, The Wrong Hostage, Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. She has also written NYT best-selling historical series set in the American West and Medieval Britain. She has more than 80 titles published to date, with over 24 million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Sara’s phone chimed and vibrated in her hand. She looked down, saw her partner’s phone number, and connected. For a few minutes Piper Embry would take Sara’s mind off the cold and the man whose deep voice wove through her dreams.
“Bought any great rugs lately?” Sara asked.
“I’ve got my eye on some that have me checking Perfect Touch’s bank balance.”
“What happened to consignment?”
“I’m working on it,” Piper said. “What’s this message you left about Wyoming?”
“I wrapped up the Chens early and came to Jackson.”
“I thought you were getting tired of flying all over the place.”
“But you’re still lusting after those Custers? Or is it Jay Vermilion of the incredible voice?”
“Wait until—if—I get my hands on those paintings,” Sara said, ignoring Piper’s teasing. “They will wring the hearts and pocketbooks of at least five of my clients, and go a long way toward reducing my world travel.” Chilly air swirled hard against her, blowing her hair into a nearly-black cloud around her face.
“What’s that sound?” Piper asked.
“Wind. Spring here is long on bluster and short on cherry petals.”
Sara glanced around quickly, looking for shelter. All she saw was another odd arch leading into another part of the park. Or maybe out of it. Whichever, she opted to stay in the sun.
“You okay?” Piper asked. “Your voice is different. Kind of strained.”
“You know me too well. My room was robbed. Computer and coat are gone. But I’m fine. Don’t have time right now for some junkie’s drama. In five minutes the judge is supposed to finally deliver herself of a verdict on the Vermilion case.”
Perfect Touch is a great mix of romance and action. My attention was grabbed very early on when Sara’s hotel room is burglarized. The story slowed down a little about a quarter of the way in, but it recovers and gets into scenes with lots of action and danger. I feel the rest of the book moved along quickly.
The main characters, Sara and Jay are extremely likable. They are ethical and hard-working. They also have some humor, especially Sara. I thought the characters were well-developed with their past traumas and related hang-ups. The villains were believable and easy to hate.
The author did a great job of creating vivid descriptions. I especially enjoyed the setting descriptions, even those that described the landscapes in the paintings.
I was kept wondering almost the whole story who had burglarized Sara’s room. Every time something bad happened, I was left with lots of questions about the perpetrators, their motives, and how everything fit together. Thankfully, all of my questions were answered at the end. This book’s ending was very satisfying, in terms of the mystery and the relationship.
My main complaint was that the point-of-view shifts were not clear enough, probably because it was ebook format. I wish there had been a marker rather than an extra space to identify these because the space wasn’t very noticeable and I didn’t always know ahead of time that a transition had taken place, until I was confused about why I was in another person’s head. Also, regarding point-of-view, sometimes characters noticed things or knew things that they shouldn’t know from their perspective. For example, before Sara even knows Barton, she notices “Barton Vermillion rushed up.” If she had never seen or met him, how did she know that’s who it was?
I am not sure if every reader will like how much internal dialogue this book contains. I like knowing character’s thoughts, but sometimes it seemed like too much. So, I think whether this is a positive or negative will just depend on who is reading the story.
Overall, I thought Perfect Touch was an excellent romantic suspense that will appeal to many readers, especially those who like stories about a city girl falling in love with a cowboy. While this is a common theme, I thought the author wrote it very well. I would recommend this book to readers. I give it 4.5 stars for spot-on characterization, edge-of-the-seat suspense, and a satisfying conclusion.