Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: Hearts on Hold, by Gracie Macgregor

The Maltese village of Xlendi offers privacy, anonymity, and the serene life Cate Boyd craves, far from her former world where she's accused of her husband's murder and she's a well-known painter. But her peace is shattered when a development company announces its plans to level her village, and threatens to expose Cate’s secrets if she stands in its way. Professor Brandon Blackshaw seems too coincidental for comfort, especially when she discovers that Vena is his research partner. As the pressure mounts, Cate must decide which is more important: her hard-won privacy, or the future of her beloved new home.

The author's writing style is poetic and smooth. Her eye for detail draws the reader right into the setting and place with an ease rarely shown. Her attention to the history of the region and insight to human character is quite remarkable. The conflict was solid. But in saying that, it wasn't until halfway through the book that I felt invested in the characters. The attraction between the hero and heroine felt forced, and the romance just didn't seem legit. The mystery elements that slowly unraveled kept me somewhat intrigued, but in my opinion, didn't conclude realistically. The plot was just erringly slow too. However, given different characters and a different storyline, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another of this author's books for the writing style alone.

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