Perfect Touch: A Novel
By: Elizabeth Lowell
Releasing July 28, 2015
Sara Medina is a designer and art dealer from San Francisco. She matches her clients desires with fine and folk art from the world over--living up to her thriving business named Perfect Touch. She still remembers her rural childhood of hard work and poverty on the family dairy farm, but she keeps it firmly in the past as she searches out new artwork and artists that are on the breaking edge of acclaim. After she experienced the cultural riches San Francisco had to offer, she decided her life would be that of an urban career woman rather than a working mom commuting from the suburbs. With the intensive hours and travel required to grow her business to the next level, she has no time or energy left for romantic or family entanglements.
Jay Vermillion recently inherited Vermillion Sky, a ranch that nestles up to Wyoming’s Grand Teton Mountains--and the estates of the rich and restless. As a returned veteran of numerous deployments over the course of two wars, he finds himself wrestling with the demands of a ranch that has been run down during his father’s long illness. Between the urgent need to modernize and revitalize the Vermillion Sky, as well as an unexpected and vicious fight with his former stepmother over the custody of now-valuable paintings that were part of his father’s estate, Jay has no time for finding a wife and creating a sixth generation of Vermillions to ensure the family legacy continues.
When Jay hires Sara to appraise and market his father’s cache of paintings by Harris “Custer” Armstrong, neither one expects the explosive results of their eventual meeting in Jackson, Wyoming. In addition to a mutually inconvenient attraction, they a discover double murder at the edge of the ranch lands and a potential betrayal even closer to home. All trails lead to Custer’s artworks as valuable enough to kill for, especially an unknown painted rumored to be called The Muse.
As Sara and Jay unravel the motive for the killings, they both discover that love, like murder, doesn’t wait for a convenient time. On the heels of that soul-shattering realization, Sara is targeted for murder. Suddenly, the war-weary soldier finds something he is once again willing to die for…
The author's poetic way to describe the beautiful countryside, the art and the city lights was addictive, I had hard time to put the book down.
The plot is beautifully crafted, the art history and family drama in the beginning, lull you into a safety of a cowboy love story, until slowly the chills of danger starts to rise, the danger is present and the tale turns into a blood chilling thriller, with a constant bloody attacks, and human hunting, for unknown reasons.
The connection between Sara and Jay is a delight, like a tingle in the belly. With lots of dialog in the story, the banter and flirting between them is entertaining. They are both lovable, charming, and charismatic characters, easy to relate to, and cheer for. I loved how their relationship grew, first with the phone calls, then at the ranch, in a rather natural way, also that there was no conflict between them, but that it came from the outside forces, they had no control over.
The danger from both the nature around them, and from the men hunting for them, with the narrow escapes, unknown factors, were the makings of a white knuckle suspense. The passion, friendship, and support between Sara and Jay was luscious and captivating, perfectly balanced with the suspense. And even though all the art talk could be a little long-winded at times, I now want to go and visit my favorite art museum again
~ Four Spoons
A glance at her watch told her she was out of time. Soon, a different stranger would be deciding the fate of her career in a Jackson courthouse. With a silent curse, she hurried to the front desk.
“I’m in room 101,” Sara told the woman who answered. “My room has been robbed. Computer and coat missing. Tell the sheriff or whoever cares that I’ll be at the courthouse.”
Leaving the woman stuttering questions behind her, Sara strode out the front entrance into the chill streets of Jackson in the spring. Within ten steps she was regretting the loss of her coat.
And she had forgotten her coffee.
Quickly she walked down what had to be the coldest sidewalk in town. The wind rolled straight off the snow of the Tetons through the streets. The chill was made worse by the fact that the sun was shining bright and hard enough to look like summer.
An archway leading into a small park caught her eye. At first she thought the arch was made of the bones of cattle that she’d seen as a child. But these were different. They were more elegant and pointed, tapering out. They didn’t feel like the finality of death, but more a symbol of life cycling through change.
Antlers, she realized. Grown and shed each year in a cycle that isn’t birth or death, but simply another way to be. Like Custer’s paintings, a beautiful and eerie reminder that wilderness--wildness—isn’t all that far away.
Shivering, she hurried on.
I should be back in San Francisco, holding hot coffee from Murray Cafe as I head up to the offices of Perfect Touch.
But then all I’d know about my mystery man is his voice.
So what? The practical part of her mind pointed out. The last thing I need is a man.
Sara liked living her life on her own terms, doing what she wanted whenever she wanted. As the only girl out of seven children, she’d had more than enough diapers, house work, and babysitting to last her a lifetime.
Wind with icy teeth bit at her black slacks and tugged at her red pullover sweater. The only thing that kept the wind from billowing up her sweater was the sleek black leather belt snugged at her waist. But it wasn’t enough to keep her warm.
Damn that thief.
Then she reminded herself that it could be worse in so many ways. She could be back home on the dairy farm—a plain, rebellious teen hauling a feed cart through damp, drafty barns, then making the return trip leading a stubborn Holstein.
At least there aren’t any holes in my boots forcing me to get up close and personal with fresh cow flops.
The phone in her pants pocket rang.
If it’s the sheriff, he can wait.
Elizabeth Lowell’s exciting novels of romantic suspense include New York Times Bestsellers: Dangerous Refuge, Beautiful Sacrifice, Death Echo, The Wrong Hostage, Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. She has also written NYT best-selling historical series set in the American West and Medieval Britain. She has more than 80 titles published to date, with over 24 million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.
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