Review: Close Up by Amanda Quick

Posted May 29, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 26 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Close Up by Amanda Quick
Close Up

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Burning Cove #4
Genres: Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on May 5, 2020
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

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.

Challenges Met

New Release #55
Literary Pickers #77 sailboat
COYER Quarantine #32
Historical Fiction #45
Books N Tunes #19 Glenn Miller’s In the Mood


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart

I like the Art Deco feel of the cover. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

The covers are fabulous. They really capture the tone of the story backgrounds.

1 year ago

I love the sound of this one. Old hollywood is always such a fun setting/era to read about!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Ethan

Yes, this is a series that caught my eye exactly for the era and the mysteries. 🙂

Jenea’s Book Obsession

This sounds really good so I’m curious about the first two books now too!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, I’m on my library waiting list and impatient to get back to them. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

This story sounds great! I love old hollywood glamour, and am always fascinated my stories with a serial killer on the loose. I love that this story had romance, and edgy yet unusual characters. I can see why this was such a hit! Fantastic Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, it has it all, Lindy. I think you’d enjoy them, too.

Lover of Romance
1 year ago

Great review you have here. I have enjoyed this author but still need to read this series. I love the era that its written it with all the elements of the time that we associate with it.

Great review.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I’ve enjoyed her sci fi and I didn’t realize she wrote these until I spotted book three. Now, I’m hooked because the era really captured my fancy, too.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I really enjoyed the Old Hollywood feel of the setting! I appreciated the low angst of the romance, getting the conflict instead from the mystery and suspense of identifying the killer. Glad you to hear you enjoyed this, too, Sophia! 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, I liked that the romance wasn’t stirred up since there was plenty of other to keep the tension up. I really enjoy these.

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

I am really digging the Old Hollywood/Art Deco vibe of the cover. Looks like a great read!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, these covers are divine. And, the stories are pretty good, too. 😉

1 year ago

This sounds like a good one and I like the sound of the low angst romance. Sounds like the author did the hiostorical nostalgic feel well too.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lola

Yes, the low angst was welcome. Loved the nostalgic feel, too.

Carole's Random Life in Books

Good to know that the books in this series can be read as stand alones. I love the sound of this and the setting sounds perfect.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

They sure can. I jumped in at book three and had no trouble and the setting is creamy. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 year ago

That cover is lovely!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Whomever they got to design this series really nailed it with the 30’s look and female models that match the heroines splendidly.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I had fun with this one. I am enjoying Burning Cove

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, this is only my second one and I want the first two.

1 year ago

Love the glamour and glitz theme for this one. Great tune pick 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  vvb

The whole series so far has fit that description and I love it too, Velvet.
Thanks, a little Big Band seemed just the thing.

1 year ago

This cover is bomb! love the review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  sharonda

Yes, someone is a stellar cover artist. Appreciate your enjoyment, Sharonda. 🙂