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Book Review of The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson
I took a basic art class in junior high—way back in the day. At the beginning of the class, the teacher taught us some very basic art history. We learned the basics like Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Dalí. I still remember the most famous of the famous, but sadly, I’ve forgotten more than I remember. Enter The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson. This is such a fun book, and it’s filled with art and descriptions of art. I hate to admit how many of the artists and paintings and pieces of art work that I had to Google—a lot!—but, I had a lot of fun researching and remembering.
A free-spirited artist teams up with a no-nonsense detective to capture a thief who has stolen a priceless Michaelangelo painting.
Manchester, England, 1857
Rosanna Hawkins is one of Manchester’s finest artists, even though no one knows her name. She reproduces “parlor versions” of classic masterpieces with near-perfect precision, which her employer then sells to the emerging upper-middle class families.
When the largest art exhibition ever to be held in England opens in Manchester, Rosanna is excited to visit. She meets the handsome Inspector Martin Harrison, who is head of security, and is immediately intrigued by his charm, confidence, and portrait-worthy good looks. The two spend many a flirtatious afternoon exploring the exhibition hall, discussing art, and sharing their secret hopes. Rosanna dreams of painting something original and meaningful, and Martin hopes to one day shed the shadow of his father’s notorious past.
But when they discover the theft of some of the paintings—and all the evidence points to Rosanna—she must convince Inspector Harrison she is innocent and proposes a plan to capture the real art thief.
It is a daring race to catch the criminal before he disappears with the most priceless piece in the collection—Michaelangelo’s The Manchester Madonna. If Rosanna and Inspector Harrison fail, not only will the painting be lost forever but so will their chance to paint their own happily ever after.
My Book Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It has a little bit of something for everyone!
- Beautiful Cover Art
First, isn’t the cover beautiful? I love it! It totally captures the feeling and emotion of the book. Next, I love the characters in this book. Rosanna makes a fun character. I liked her most of the time. She has an entertaining personality, she’s independent, she’s fierce in defending herself, she’s talented, and she’s witty. On the other hand, though, she’s naïve and needs to work on her “street smarts.”
The handsome Inspector Martin Harrison also makes a great character. His street smarts may not be lacking, but his relationship skills may need a little practice. Inspector Harrison works hard, takes his job seriously (unless a beautiful lady happens to walk by…), and is good at what he does. I found him relatable, kind-hearted, strong, and smart.
Rosanna may be a bit cringy in a few places, but so is Inspector Harrison. They both need some practice in a few areas—just like the rest of us! I think it’s those foibles that make the characters interesting and more relatable.
The story line in this book takes a minute to get going, but once it does, hold on! It’s quite the ride! There’s a lot of art in this book, and it’s helpful to know the artist and technique. It’s also helpful to know what some of the pieces look like. I found Google to be my best friend for this. I learned a lot! For example, do you know what Rembrandt’s etchings are/look like? Have you seen Michelangelo’s unfinished Manchester Madonna? These are just a couple of examples of art it would be helpful to know.
You think a book about art may be boring. Nope! There are a few different story lines, and I found each of them to be entertaining. They kept my attention, especially toward the end of the book where it gets really exciting! Both Rosanna and Inspector Harrison find themselves in some crazy, potentially dangerous, situations, and need to look past each other’s faults to trust the other. Does it work? Do they get out of those sticky situations and learn to trust the other? Do they figure out the art of love and lies? Ah, you’ll need to read it to find out!!
Content Rating: PG-13
- Profanity: None
- Intimacy: Moderate (There is some kissing and a seduction scene.)
- Violence: Moderate (There is an assault and somewhat of a hostage situation.)
Age Recommendation: YA+
My Rating: 4/5