Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review and Giveaway: PERFECT TOUCH by Elizabeth Lowell

Perfect Touch: A Novel
By: Elizabeth Lowell
Releasing July 28, 2015
William Morrow


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…

Laura's Review: 
 This was one of those books that just felt good to read. It's hard not to like Jay and Sara right from the start - although not without flaws, they both are people with big hearts and strong character. And the landscape is almost a character itself - and Ms. Lowell's descriptions made me feel like I was reading a book with pictures. I've been to Wyoming before and it was like I was right back there again. I kind of wish the artist featured in the book had existed so I could see his paintings in real life! 
I don't know if I've been reading too many romance novels filled with angst, but the absolute lack of tension in the romance department made this story fall a bit flat for me. It was just too relaxed and easy between them right from the start. All of the drama was external to their relationship and while it created some good suspenseful moments, it wasn't quite enough to make me want to stay up all night reading. 
A nice story that fans of Elizabeth Lowell are going to love. 

3.5/5 stars

A copy of this book was provided in exchange of an honest review. 

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There were a few moments of silence, then Piper asked softly, “Want me to come out?”
Sara hurried in the direction of the courthouse. “No need. I can handle the Vermilion paintings alone.”
“Ah, yes, Jay Vermilion. He of the deep and delicious voice. Does he look half as good as he sounds?”
“Haven’t seen him.” Sara glanced both ways and trotted across the street against the light.
“Maybe he can warm up your … spring,” Piper said.
“If I get to handle the sale of the Custer paintings, my spring will be just toasty. Yours, too. The Newcastle twins are dancing in place at the thought of owning paintings seen in The Edge of Never.”
“The what?”
“Weepy contemporary movie about a young couple who doesn’t know how to love and doesn’t have the sense to separate.”
“Ugh. If you have to be taught those things, you’ve got more problems than a movie can solve.”
Sara laughed. “I hear you, but it rocked Sundance. That’s where the Newcastle twins saw it and immediately huddled with the director, very hush-hush. The movie is probably going to rock Cannes just as hard.”
“And Custer the moderately well-known Western artist ties in how?”
“There’s a painting of his, Wyoming Spring, that’s featured prominently throughout the movie, including the heart-rending scene where—”
“Spare me the details,” Piper said quickly. “Merchant-Ivory movies make my butt numb.”
“Because of it—the movie, not your butt—the market for Custer’s works will heat up like Vegas in July.”
“What about the big auction houses?”
“The Vermilion estate has probably half of the Custers that were ever painted and nearly all of them that aren’t yet in circulation,” Sara said. “We may not need to go through a big public auction if we can act as the agents. No percentage sharing.”
“Go for it. I’ll get Lou to cover anything on this end for Perfect Touch. She’s got some downtime.”
“What happened? Couldn’t Lou seal the deal with Najafi?”
“Lou’s good, but Najafi would try God’s patience,” Piper said. “How long will you be gone?”
“If Jay Vermilion loses the paintings, I’ll be home tomorrow.”
“In that case, girlfriend, have a long stay in Wyoming.”
“You’ll nag me to come back after two weeks.”
“Not if there’s money involved. Bye. Go get those bucks!”
“Go get some yourself.”
Smiling, Sara pocketed the phone, flipped hair out of her face, and hurried along the sidewalk to meet her future.
 With her fingers crossed in her pockets.             


Author Info
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.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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