Wednesday, April 23, 2014

REVIEW: COUNTERFEITS: An Art Theft Romantic Suspense, Vol.1 by Kris Bock

Painter Jenny Kinley has spent the last decade struggling in the New York art world. Her grandmother's sudden death brings her home to New Mexico, but inheriting the children's art camp her grandmother ran is more of a burden than a gift. How can she give up her lifelong dreams of showing her work in galleries and museums? Rob Caruso, the camp cook and all-around handyman, would be happy to run the camp with Jenny. Dare he even dream of that, when his past holds dark secrets that he can never share? When Jenny's father reappears after a decade-long absence, only Rob knows where he's been and what danger he's brought with him. Jenny and Rob face midnight break-ins and make desperate escapes, but the biggest danger may come from the secrets that don't want to stay buried. In the end, they must decide whether their dreams will bring them together or force them apart.


RATING:  5 Stars

‘Counterfeits’ is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s ‘Moonspinners’, and Kris Bock used all the things I love about this genre.  Appealing lead characters, careful development of the mysterious danger facing one or both of those characters, a great location that is virtually a character on its own, interesting secondary characters who might or might not be involved or threatened, and many surprises building up to the climax.


Jenny Kinley is a painter building a career as an artist in New York. When she returns to her family’s art camp in New Mexico after her grandmother’s death and learns that most of it has been left to her, she is both touched and disappointed, unwilling at first to give up her New York dreams to run the camp.  Rob Caruso, the chef/handyman Jenny remembers fondly from her last years living there, has inherited the other percentage, much to the angry dismay of Jenny’s father, who was left nothing.


But suspicious events have been occurring ever since Jenny arrived, even before the will was read.  There have been breakins at the camp.  Jenny’s father won’t tell her where he’s staying.  Jenny’s friends Arena and Trisha come to stay with her, and Trisha is escaping an abusive husband.  Jenny begins to suspect that her grandmother’s death wasn’t an accident.  Both Rob and Jenny’s father are worried about things that happened in their past, with a suggestion that they were involved in something unpleasant together.  And there are threats about art work either stolen or faked. The tension grows, the mysteries connect with each other, and although Jenny has her own suspicions about Rob, their romance pulls them closer together.  All the different elements combine for a vivid climax. 


The book leaves a few unanswered questions, but judging from the obvious skill of this author, I suspect this was deliberate, with the possibility that the answers will show up in subsequent volumes of Art Theft Romantic Suspense.  ‘Counterfeits’ was intriguing and fun to read, and I really enjoyed it.  I am pleased to award this book 5 stars.


I am grateful for the free reviewer’s copy I was given.
Reviewed by: Roberta 

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