Nancy Warren has become one of my favourite authors in this past year and I think that this is her best book yet! Duncan Forbes is sexy, supremely self-confident, smart and handsome. Alex Forrest is independent, smart, extremely comfortable with her sexuality and beautiful. He?s a break-the-rules-when-it-suits-him kind of guy and she?s a gal who needs order and structure in her life. Alex is the librarian in sleepy Swiftcurrent, Oregon and one day looks down from replacing a book on an upper shelf to find a very sexy man looking up her skirt! He claims to be an Art History professor researching a book but Alex isn?t so sure she believes him. His sleepy sexuality, cocky grin and rumpled appearance do not exactly scream ?academic?. Why would he be doing research in her tiny library in this small town when a big city or university library would better suit his needs? When she discovers a dead body in her library the next morning she is more suspicious than ever. What is Duncan Forbes really doing in town and, more important, why is she attracted to him?
Duncan is what he claims, but he?s also known as ?the Indiana Jones of the art world? for his efforts in tracking down stolen works of art. He has come to Swiftcurrent because of a lead on a Van Gogh painting secreted out of France before the Nazi invasion. His information is that a Franklin Forrest was the last person to possess the painting and, though unfortunately the old man has recently died, it looks like Duncan has just stumbled onto his granddaughter. So he doesn?t reveal his true reason for being in town and sticks to Alex like glue for three reasons: 1) she may know where the painting is 2) she may be in danger given the dead body found in her library and 3) she?s drop dead gorgeous, fun to be with and incredibly sexy! Alex tries to resist him, heck she doesn?t really even trust him, but he?s the hottest and most fun guy she?s met in a long time and so she succumbs to his considerable charms.
Police Chief Tom Perkins is also suspicious of Duncan, who arrived in town at almost the same time as a man was murdered. But he?s thorough and looks into all possible leads and that includes Alex?s unstable cousin Gillian. Tom has had a thing for Gillian since high school, but she left town years ago then returned with a husband Tom never did like and a drug problem. Could the dead guy be some sort of drug contact of Gillian?s? He doesn?t really believe that and Gillian adamantly professes her innocence. Gillian is going through a tough time as she has just divorced her husband and is trying to stand on her own for the first time in her life. Everyone in town (including Alex) thinks she?s a drugged out screw-up and her slightly neurotic behaviour only fuels the gossip. Has Gill finally lost it? Tom refuses to believe it and comes to her rescue at her lowest moment. Then things begin to get more dangerous when both Duncan and Alex each have life-threatening experiences. Who is behind them and why? And whatever did happen to that painting?
This was a really enjoyable book with a fast pace and lots of chemistry between both Alex & Duncan and Tom & Gillian. The mystery of the painting was not deep and the villain of the piece was fairly obvious, but it was fun to play detective along with Duncan and, when he admits the truth to her, Alex. Tom and Gillian?s romance was very sweet and satisfying as Gillian pulls her life together and gets to experience a pure love for the first time in her life. And Duncan's larcenous family background was also good for a few giggles! A very highly recommended read!