Perfect Touch: A Novel
By: Elizabeth Lowell
Releasing July 28, 2015
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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…
The motel room door was ajar.
I locked it, Sara Anne Medina thought. Didn’t I?
She pushed the door open with her big purse—and froze. The room had been tossed ruthlessly. Her suitcase was upended and off the stand. Her clothes were strewn across the worn carpet, toiletries scattered, her underwear and workout gear tumbled together. The lavender scent of her favorite shampoo filled the air.
I was only gone for five minutes.
The take-out coffee she had bought was hot against her suddenly chilled hands.
Some stranger went through my things. Did the tweaker get off on my underwear?
Is he still here?
The thought had her jerking back so quickly the coffee sloshed over her cold-numbed fingers. She looked around the hallway. No one in sight.
I don’t have time for this drama. I have to be at the courthouse. I have to finally meet my mystery man, so I’ll stop dreaming and get back to reality, where I belong.
Where I want to be, even with the damn tweakers.
Using her foot, she kicked the door all the way open until it slammed against the stop. No one was behind it. No one was in the room itself. The closet was open, no place inside to hide. The bathroom door showed a view of the toilet, shower, and sink. The mirror was smudged where she’d cleared the shower’s steam with her hand just minutes ago.
Whoever had been here was gone.
The mess wasn’t.
It will have to wait. Then, They took my computer. It’s all backed up on the cloud, but damn it!
The cord dangled from the wall, over the chair that had held her overcoat. The coat, like the computer, had vanished.
Wonder how many pawnshops there are in Jackson, Wyoming? And why would they take a woman’s coat? There aren’t too many women my height who are a size six.
With a hand that trembled slightly, Sara set down her coffee, took a pen out of the bottomless bag that passed for her purse, and poked through the mess of clothes on the floor to the suitcase half-hidden beneath. The inside pockets were still zipped closed.
They missed my little jewelry case. I’d rather they take the jewelry and leave the computer, but they didn’t ask me, did they?
"Perfect Touch: A Novel" by Elizabeth Lowell. Having read many of Ms. Lowell's works in the past, I was very excited to have this opportunity to read her latest story. "Perfect Touch" tells the story of Jay, a former soldier now running the ranch he inherited from his father, and Sara, an art expert Jay hires to authenticate his father's collection of paintings. I liked Jay -he was strong and sexy yet not overbearing and didn't give in to pressure. I thought he tended to stay too calm at times though. It would have been nice to see him lose it a bit with Liza and Barton. Sara was an independent woman that was nurturing and kind. She enjoyed her work with art and, despite all her talk of not, I think she really liked country life. As far as the relationship between the two, I never felt the hot and steamy connection yet I did like that they had a background prior to meeting and pursuing the sexual part of the relationship. I would have liked to have seen the two of them spend more time together as a couple getting to know each other - it was mostly all about figuring out the mystery, etc. Although I didn't feel the heat, they did work well together and needed each other, even they didn't realize it at first. The book is filled with the inner thoughts of the main characters. Now, I don't mind that in a book and sometimes, I rather like it. However, I felt it was a bit too much in this one and the thoughts were somewhat repetitive and a bit formal - especially for someone thinking to themselves. The story was a bit slow moving, especially in the first half. It does pick up as the story progresses and eventually, we get to the action and suspense. "Perfect Touch" is not awful, just not one of my favorites. It does have For me, it wasn't Ms. Lowell's best but I am still a big fan and know that I will gladly pick up her next book. (received copy for honest 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.
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