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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Book Review: The Lady Has a Past by Amanda Quick

by Amanda Quick
May 4, 2021
330 pages
Genre: historical thriller, 20th-century, historical romance
Beauty and glamour meet deception and revenge in this electrifying novel by New York Times bestselling author Amanda Quick. 

Investigative apprentice Lyra Brazier, the newest resident of Burning Cove, is unsettled when her boss suddenly disappears. Lyra knows something has happened to Raina Kirk, and tracks down her last known appearance at an exclusive hotel and health spa. The health spa is known for its luxurious offerings and prestigious clientele, and the wealthy, socialite background Lyra desperately wanted to leave behind is perfect for this undercover job. What Lyra lacks in investigative experience she makes up for in gut instinct, and her gut isn’t happy that she’s saddled with a partner by Luther Pell, Raina’s dangerous lover, who wants to bring in someone with more experience to help.  

Instead of the suave, pistol-packing private eye she expected, though, Simon Cage is a mild-mannered antiquarian book dealer with a quiet, academic air, and a cool, remote gaze. Lyra suspects that Simon is much more than what he seems, and her instincts are confirmed when they arrive at the spa and pose as a couple: Simon has a unique gift that allows him to detect secrets, a skill that is crucial in finding Raina. 

The unlikely duo falls down a rabbit hole of twisted rumors and missing socialites, discovering that the health spa is a façade for something far darker than they imagined. With a murderer in their midst, Raina isn't the only one in grave danger—Lyra is next.

Having abandoned the conventional obligations of an heiress, Lyra Brazier is forging her own path as a burgeoning private investigator in the resort community of Burning Cove, California. Wearily seeking respite, and perhaps a casual entanglement, antiquarian book dealer Simon Cage has also newly arrived in town. The two converge over the seeming disappearance of Lyra’s boss Raina Kirk. Lyra can’t shake the suspicion Raina’s in trouble, and Simon concurs. The pair’s initial investigation leads them to the exclusive and fashionable Labyrinth Springs Hotel and Spa. Posing as newlyweds, Simon and Lyra begin to untangle a web of deception and danger lurking beneath the glam facade of the renowned resort.

Set in 1930s California, Burning Cove is a charming series where thrilling suspense meets steamy romance. Quick’s characters are clever and likable. She writes empowered female characters, infusing them with intelligence, resourcefulness, and fierce independence. Though this is a period series, contemporary readers will appreciate the feminist sensibility underlining the story. The romantic and intellectual chemistry between Raina and Simon is immediate and deliciously readable. Plus, Simon has a supernatural sensory gift of sorts, which satisfied my paranormal proclivities. The story is intriguing and kept me guessing. This is my second foray into the series, and I loved this installment just as much as my first read, Close Up (Burning Cove #4).

5 Sheep Review: Close Up (Buring Cove #4)

Five Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
The author of over 50 New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 35 million copies of her books in print

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