This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on May 5, 2020
Old Hollywood, Intuition, an Art Photographer, Private Detective, a Serial Killer’s coded poetry, and a bit of 30’s glitz and glamour to make Close Up one dishy read.
Close Up is the fourth of the Burning Cove standalone modern historical romantic suspenses. A reader would have no trouble jumping in here while a reader who got them in order will spot the previous pairs in the series.
Close Up does an entr’acte on the scene of a garish murder where moonlighting crime photographer, Vivian Brazier snaps a pic and tosses the lead detective a big clue about his Dagger Killer. Vivian might come from a San Francisco blue blood family, but her rep of sleeping with her art teacher and turning down a golden marriage opportunity has her parents fed up and cutting off the cash so she’s hungry for a break. She pursues her dream of becoming an art photographer with the intuition of how to get the most out of her subject and the scene. Her series of pictures on men is barely getting started when the Dagger Killer decides to come after her.
Intuition has been a curse more than a gift for Nick Sundridge who takes a new job as bodyguard to a daring photographer who doesn’t bat an eye over his fever dreams that guide him in his detective work just as he shocks her when he thinks she’s got the talent to have her work in the exclusive galleries that keep snubbing her. Nick has his work cut out for him protecting Vivian from a coded poetry-writing assassin and the one who hired him especially when the danger is closer than they think.
Close Up is a delightful melding of historical backdrop that reminisces of Old Hollywood glamour and detective movies, edgy yet unusual characters like a lady crime photographer and a guy with a psychic sensitivity and a trained dog partner, clever suspense plot with a couple of twists, and a simmering romance that burns alongside the story building until it comes to a full sizzle.
Vivian is tough with soft edges. Her work is everything and she’s been burned by men in love and in her career choice so she’s wary of Nick. Nick has also had a bad experience with a woman so he matches her wariness all the while he is not intimidated by her talent and resourcefulness. He’s protective without being smothering. They clicked well and it was rather low-angst as far as the romance letting the suspense plot carry the external conflict. And his dog is as welcome to the cast of characters as meeting up with other familiar faces from earlier books.
No one element of the story stands out so it was as a whole enchilada that I appreciated what I got. I love how the author achieved a nostalgic feeling as I read like the glamorous classic movies give me and I definitely want more. Fortunately, I jumped in at book three so I can go back and snag the first two books before the next book in the series releases. I can definitely recommend this to those who like modern era historic settings and a good romantic suspense.
My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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