Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by Brilliance Audio on April 15, 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Length: 15 hours, 44 minutes
Amazon | Audio | Goodreads
When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. . . .
Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession. . . .
Nora Roberts has her romantic suspense mojo back! In this latest book, we see elements of the Hitchcock classic, Rear Window, which happens to be my most favorite film.
Lila Emerson, a professional house sitter, witnesses a woman falling from her apartment window in New York City. She saw this as she was “people watching” from her current apartment. What might have initially been classified as a murder-suicide is impacted by her quick response. Ashton Archer’s brother is one of the victims and he finds a willing partner in Lila when he decides that the police aren’t looking at the case correctly. Together they launch their own amateur investigation.
It doesn’t take long for the tension to ratchet up as Ash and Lila’s snooping take them down some dangerous and downright scary paths. Lila’s pretty bright, with an investigative and analytical mind. Ash is an artist, who is the de facto head of his bizarre but interesting huge family, is used to managing people and details…the guy who gets things done and makes things happen…so they make a great team. The villains in this story run the range from seemingly bloodless to clueless, which kept me off balance.
Lila and Ash were a perfect match, especially given how their differences complimented each other. He’s sexy with some serious alpha qualities that he had to often reign in with the fiercely independent Lila. I loved their dialogue. What was an added bonus was the romance between two of the secondary characters, the friends of Lila and Ash. Theirs almost, not quite, but almost surpassed that of the main characters.
This was my first time listening to Julia Whelan and I was very pleased with her performance. She was able to provide distinction for most of the characters and this has a big cast. I especially liked her portrayal of Lila as she sounded just like I would have imagined her to speak…the right cadence, pacing and inflection. The audio experience certainly enhanced my reading experience.
The bottom line
I enjoyed this story with its themes entrenched in the old film classic. The romances worked, the mystery was tough to first unravel and the villains deliciously scary to provide that tension I love so much in this genre. The audio performance just made everything even better with a pretty even balance between the romance and suspense.