Um, did I read a different book than everyone else?
Or am I burned out after reading four Holt’s in a row? Inquiring minds want to know…..
Dallas Lawson was trained to follow in her father’s footsteps restoring old paintings but when he dies she’s left at a crossroads – take a position as governess, take charity from relatives or try to continue the career she’s trained for in a man’s world. A commission comes in for her father from the Comté de la Talle of Chateaux Galliard and she accepts, although she “forgets” to mention her father is dead and she’s coming in his place, much to the chagrin of everyone at the Chateaux.
Dallas settles in to life at the Chateaux and begins work on the paintings, but in typical Holt fashion our heroine soon finds things amiss in the household. The Comté is dark and brooding (of course) and suspected of killing his first wife. His daughter Genevieve is a spoiled fourteen year old brat with a penchant for shutting doors at the most inappropriate times (remember that), a mystery surrounding some Emeralds lost during the Revolution along with Dallas’ discovery of a long hidden wall painting that may reveal a clue to the location of those emeralds.
On paper that all sounds appealing to fans of Holt and the romantic suspense genre, but unfortunately this one fell flat as a pancake – at least for this reader. I just did not warm to Dallas; I found no chemistry whatsoever between Dallas and the Comté, Genevieve pretty whiny and irritating, a mystery that wasn’t much of a mystery at all, and worst of all a baddie was pretty easy to guess. Meh. Only for die-hard fans of Holt set on reading all of her books, otherwise I suggest you pass.