Sometimes you just need some fluff. This book was fluff. Not to be confused with smut. Those are two entirely different literary categories.
I know of Grace Kelly. I've seen Rear Window. I have to admit to having seen more movies featuring the named dropped Audrey Hepburn or Ava Gardner. I had to stop reading for moments and do a few Google searches. There were so many names. I now find myself wondering where one can find older movies during a shelter in place order. I'll have to see what Netflix has to offer once the children are in bed.
The book starts in 1949 with a 20 year old Grace on her own in New York. From the beginning, the author makes it clear to the reader, Grace is not like other women of the time. The author then spends the next 380 pages reminding the reader that Grace wasn't like other women. This book is clearly a tribute to one Grace Kelly. Grace Kelly must have had flaws but the reader is never granted any access to what they might be.
And that was my biggest problem. This Grace was just a little too perfect. Sure her marriage to Rainer wasn't a happy one but the author places all of the blame squarely at Rainer's feet. As someone who has been married for 11-ish years, I know that's rarely the case. It takes two. I'm not suggesting that I wanted to see any knock, down, drag -out fights. Even if they did exist, the author would omit them. Her Grace Kelly has too much class for such a thing. Again, I may not have been married as long as some people but I know fights happen. Sometimes they aren't pretty.
So why such a seemingly high rating for a book that had a main character who was just a little too Mary Sue for me? Because it was a charming book at the end. It oozed old Hollywood. The descriptions of California, southern France, and Monaco were just what I needed to help escape from whatever this current reality of ours is. And at the end of the day, I'm a sucker for old Hollywood.
When I started this review, I had the book at four starts. While I was writing this review. I took away a star. The more I reflected, the more I took issue with the way the book ended. It was abrupt. Sloppy. It was completely out of sync with everything else the author had done in the book up to that point. The epilogue wasn't at all necessary. Everyone knows how this story ends.
Read 3/22/2020 - 3/27/2020
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly. But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It's up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer's horrifying finale?
Another great book in the Jack the Ripper series, while I really enjoyed this book, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two book in the series. But I think that was because if the setting in this book. I’m not a huge carnival and or ship person fan. I did however greatly enjoy the writing and characters. Of course I still live for Wadsworth and Cresswell and just adore them together. I love how their relationship progresses and their overcome obstacles over obstacles. I love their banter and humor just as much as their sweet moments. While it was not my favorite setting I still liked the suspense and murder mystery we got, like in previous books it keeps us on the edge of the seat and guessing. Some things were pretty easy to foretell buy others came by surprise. I also should say that I enjoyed the audiobook a bit more than the actual books. It just adds a bit more to the story, I have not gotten the audio book for this book but most definitely will soon and listen to it again. I also still think that this series would make a great TV series and I would so be down for that. Overall I enjoyed the book, the writing and most of all the characters and I’m looking forward to the next book.
I rate it 4★
This story can be found in the Something True series. The novel can be read as a standalone. For reader enjoyment, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading The Dating Arrangement before reading this title.
Grace makes happy endings easier for all the brides she works with. She wants someday to have an HEA of her own. Right now the only man that makes her sizzle when she thinks of him is Xander. Yet, he is supposed to be off limits.
Xander did not expect to run into Grace. When an incident happens, he becomes very protective and he is not sure why. He has always been attracted to her, but he is sure she will never give him the time of day. How do you change a stubborn woman's mind?
This book was what traditional romance should be. These characters are rich, deep and compelling. I loved that they were opposites, who cannot stop thinking about each other. The chemistry for them is strong. The heat in this story is on par and sizzles throughout the book. This author is a 1-click for me and after reading this, I am sure you can see why. I give this read a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.