An unconventional woman and a man shrouded in mystery walk a tightrope of desire as they race against a killer to find a top secret invention before it’s too late.
Former trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn moved to Burning Cove to reinvent herself, but things are not going well. After spending her entire inheritance on a mansion with the intention of turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, she learns too late that the villa is said to be cursed. When the first guest, Dr. Norman Pickwell, is murdered by his robot invention during a sold-out demonstration, rumors circulate that the curse is real.
In the chaotic aftermath of the spectacle, Amalie watches as a stranger from the audience disappears behind the curtain. When Matthias Jones reappears, he is slipping a gun into a concealed holster. It looks like the gossip that is swirling around him is true—Matthias evidently does have connections to the criminal underworld.
Matthias is on the trail of a groundbreaking prototype cipher machine. He suspects that Pickwell stole the device and planned to sell it. But now Pickwell is dead and the machine has vanished. When Matthias’s investigation leads him to Amalie’s front door, the attraction between them is intense, but she knows it is also dangerous. Amalie and Matthias must decide if they can trust each other and the passion that binds them, because time is running out.
The synopsis intrigued me. A story set in the 1930s, featuring an attempted murder of a trapeze artist? Sold!
First, I have not read any of the other books in this series. A few characters from the previous books are in this but the author did a good job reintroducing them and I wasn’t left confused or with questions.
Although it was a decent read, the plot failed to fully captivate me or pique my interest. The attempted murder plotline was more interesting than the cipher plotline, but unfortunately the latter took up the majority of the book, with the former just bookending the story. I enjoyed the time spent at the Inn and the attempts and success at marketing and publicizing the business. I thought it was clever and well done.
Amalie was an okay heroine - I didn't have any strong feelings for her. The other characters, including Matthias, were alright too. Honestly, I didn't care for Matthias and Amalia's relationship and the chemistry between them seemed forced.
In regards to the content, some things weren't described, whether it be a scenario or character plot point, and you'd have to put the pieces together. I'd often find myself going back a few pages to make sure I didn't accidentally skip over reading something, only to find out that there was just a spontaneous name drop or mention of something that was not addressed before.
I received this book through Penguin Random House’s First to Read in exchange for my honest review.