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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Book Review: ACT of Redemption by Jenna Bennett

Title: ACT of Redemption
Author: Jenna Bennett
Release Date: 17 October 2012
Series: Book #1 in the Art Crime Team Mystery series
Number of pages: 206 pages
Source: ebook copy provided by the author for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's website, , , Barnes and Noble, KoboSmashwords

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: A shy librarian and a dashing FBI agent must work together to catch a killer and recover a priceless silver treasure in this light and sweetly romantic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Do It Yourself Home Renovation mysteries and the Cutthroat Business mysteries.

On the island of roses and ruins, love awaits and danger lurks.

When Annika Holst's father dies, it's up to the young librarian to carry out his last will: to take his ashes back to his hometown, medieval Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

But no sooner does the plane touch down in Stockholm, than the bag with the cremains goes missing. A young American named Nick Costa comes to Annika's aid... but can she trust the handsome stranger? And what of Curt Gardiner, another young man from “back home,” also visiting his mother’s native Sweden?

To catch a murderer, recover her father’s ashes, and find a missing Viking treasure, Annika has to put her trust in one of them. But the wrong choice could mean not only the loss of her heart... but of her life as well.

My Thoughts: Ever since I've seen The Thomas Crown Affair I've been fascinated by heist and art theft stories. Be it movies or books I'm all for it (sadly in my opinion there are not enough of these stories), so when I heard that Jenna Bennett's (whose previous paranormal romance Tall, Dark and Divine I enjoyed a lot) new release had this set-up I couldn't wait to read it.

ACT of Redemption is the first book in a new series by Jenna Bennett, the Art Crime Team Mystery series, featuring the FBI's special team specialized in art theft recovery (“FBI art theft. You steal it, we reveal it.”). What I loved about ACT of Redemption was that it had many facets making it an original and unusual romance: it had the art theft storyline, the mystery element, the globe-trotting/virtual sightseeing set-up as well as the discovering your ancestry and finally the budding romance just to name the main ones.

The characters seemed real and were likeable, the heroine very relatable, while the hero dashing and crush-worthy. I loved how despite being a serious hunk Nick was a good guy with a great and protective heart, and the chemistry between Annika and himself was just lovely. Nick's humour at times made me chuckle:

Fredrik nodded. “I’ll send someone down there to pick up the bag and bring it back here.”

“Don’t bother.” Nick headed for the door. “I’ll go down there myself. And tomorrow morning I’ll take the first ferry to Gotland and give her the bag myself. And tell her everything.” And then he’d shake her until her teeth rattled and ask her what the hell she thought she was doing, ducking him. If he liked her answer, he might kiss her.

at times made me erupt with laughter:
Her eyes widened behind the lenses, and her mouth dropped open. He grinned and lowered his voice.

“Librarians may do it quietly. But some of us do it well enough to make any woman scream.” And then he winked and left her standing there while he went to greet the police.

and then at times made me sigh:
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have told you... I just thought... before... that you should know.” Her lip started quivering, and she bit down on it, and that was his undoing.

“Listen to me.” His voice was rough, even in his own ears. “I don’t care what your father did. I don’t care what you’re doing. You can have the entire contents of the treasure chamber at the Visby museum hidden in your underwear drawer at home, and I couldn’t care less. All I care about right now is kissing you. And if you keep dropping things like that on me, I can’t.”

“I’m sorry...”

“Don’t be sorry. Just kiss me back.”

As already mentioned,  besides being an exciting mystery and a sweet and sexy romance ACT of Redemption also worked as a travel guide and history book: Jenna Bennett infused the story with descriptions and trivia about the location and Swedish history which I found fascinating as they were colourful and leapt off the pages. I enjoyed the virtual sightseeing and guided tour Jenna Bennett took me as a reader on with her story, making notes of the sights a tourist might want to check out in Visby.

Verdict: ACT of Redemption was a wonderful story I greatly enjoyed! I was so engrossed in the virtual sightseeing of the romantic gothic city ruins, the race against the bad guys and the sizzling chemistry between Annika and Nick I stayed up until dawn without realizing time was flying by! ACT of Redemption had everything one could ask for in a thrilling and entertaining read: adventure, cultural travels, romantic sights, dreamy sexy hero, relatable heroine, sizzling chemistry and nail-biting mystery. I can't wait to read more of this series and look forward to what other corner of the world Jenna Bennett will take me to next time!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Writng 9/10
Ending 8/10
Cover: 9/10

Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.

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