Cover Image: The Art of Love and Lies

The Art of Love and Lies

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Member Reviews

This book had so much promise, art forgeries, and mystery. Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me. I didn't really care for any of the characters and the police work was terrible. I'm not an art person but I do love a good forgery. However, there was too much art history that I didn't understand. If it was a better whodunit versus it being so obvious, I probably would have looked past that. 

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and #Netgalley for the early copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I’m loving books set in the Victorian Era lately. I like seeing women having more choices and freedoms than they do in Regency times. I thought this book was really good! I liked the flirting between Rosanna and Martin and the suspenseful ending!

Rosanna loves to paint, but is terrible at coming up with original ideas, at least according to her instructors. However, she is excellent at creating reproductions of famous artwork to be sold to people who want a taste of art but can’t afford the originals. Inspector Martin Harrison is intrigued by the lady who visits the art exhibit with pencils in her hair.
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I was completely captivated by this book! I loved the premise of a young woman being tricked into doing illegal art reproductions. The love story between her and Inspector Martin was captivating and I kept coming back to the book for more. 

I will say that I was disappointed that the artwork side wasn't portrayed very accurately. The main characted finishes a painting and wraps it up that same day, without giving it sufficient time to let it dry. It seems like the author didn't put enough research into the art of painting. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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The novel is well paced in both suspense and romance. I loved the way she gave her characters the growing freedom to be themselves despite their past constraints.

There was one moment that was hard for me to suspended my disbelief, but I was so taken in by the writing, the characters and the prose that I ignored it and continued on with a smile all the way to the absolutely darling ending.
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I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the author took us into the life of an artist who was trying to find her place in the world and how different people saw her talent. I loved that Martin saw her and loved her for who she was even when she did things that he couldn’t agree with. I loved watching Rosanna and Martins romance develop and seeing them grow in their trust with each other. I thought this story was very well told and enjoyable to read.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
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This was a very cute book. If you enjoy a love story with some mystery then you will enjoy this book.
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This is a lovely story! I enjoyed the intrigue and beauty between the characters!  The setting of Manchester was perfect and loved the train scenes!  What an adventure set around art and the uniqueness of a masterpiece in a persons eyes!

Thanks to NetGalley I received an advanced review copy for free and am leaving this review voluntarily!
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The Art of Love And Lies is a genteel, well-researched novel about art forgery and true love, and all of it’s based around a real-life incident of art fraud. The end result is lovely romance, but some research issues kept it from getting a higher grade.

Rosanna Hawkins has a unique job – she painstakingly reproduces famous works of art as parlor replicas which hang in the homes of the average citizen. Her boss does not respect her, though she is the daughter of a gentleman, and does not treat her art as anything but fungible. As part of her job and at the insistence of her boss, Anton Greystone, Rosanna attends a large art showing in Manchester, trying to scout Michelangelo’s The Manchester Madonna, which she plans to replicate next. Romance unexpectedly arrives in the form of the exhibit’s head of security, Inspector Martin Harrison.

But criminality may threaten to ruin their romance; someone is stealing art from the exhibition and planting evidence there that implicates Rosanna. Determined to clear her name, Rosanna and Harrison team up to find out who the real culprit is before a priceless masterpiece is stolen forever.

The Art of Love and Lies knows its art forgery history, and does a good job when it steers into a version of the genuine heist which occurred at the very art expo Rosanna attends. But some historical wobbles popped out as quite noticeable to me.

To wit: Rosanna and her sisters are the daughter of a gentleman and are Landed Gentry. And yet their father encourages them to work instead of marrying and has no problem with Rosanna living in a boarding house.

Rosanna is a smart if slightly snobbish heroine, and I liked Harrison just fine. Their romance is very sweet and well-handled, although th mystery is initially not really mysterious, and leans heavily on their missing obvious context clues. There is an eventual plot twist, though, that makes up for this.

I do, however, have to protest that while it’s perfectly possible for Rosanna to be skilled enough to make several copies of famous paintings in quick succession, the paint on her canvas wouldn’t instantaneously dry, especially without proper curing or glazing.

And yet The Art of Love and Lies is a perfectly nice book that’s good enough for an evening’s diversion.
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Not at all what I expected and a delightful read. A completely unique book about love, life, and history. You'll want stay up all night reading about this treasure.
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What a fun cover and I just adore that hat!

Rosanna is an independent woman--one who finds herself painting copies of famous paintings and unknowingly ends up caught in a ring of intrigue. It was fun to imagine the replicas and the painting process. Martin is a dashing investigator and it was a treat to watch their interactions. 

I felt like the story was building up for the first half of the book and I wasn't sure what twists and turns it would take, if any, so it was a surprise to watch the second half unfold. While it did take a minute to get into the story, it was a ride once I did.

The romance was a bit of a whirlwind and was fun to watch develop. I loved the Victorian art experience and it was a surprise to see an appearance by the Queen herself. The mystery, intrigue, and gradually building plot made for an amusing story.

Content: a few mild moments of peril/danger; mild romance
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Such a fun, quick read! This is a great cozy mystery if you’re looking for fun, romantic, flirty, and fast. 
Plot: Very upbeat and quick, which is a good thing! It didn’t have time to get boring, and every part of the story mattered. We’ve got great romance with flirty banter, puzzling mystery, and just a touch of suspense.
Atmosphere: If you’re a fan of art museums, you’re going to love this one. The artsy Victorian vibes are something I didn’t even know I needed, but it was so fun!
Characters: They aren’t super dynamic or deep, but they’re just right for the pace and vibes of the story, there is growth, and they’re fun, believable characters.
Enjoyment: It was so fun! A lovely, unexpected read that is definitely worth enjoying. 
Depth: This is a pretty light read, but it definitely works. I think it’s just meant to be fun, and it is! There is some light violence, but nothing too graphic or disturbing. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC. All opinions are my own.
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This was such an enjoyable romance/mystery read and I loved learning of the Art Exhibition. Well written.  
Many thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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After reading the synopsis, I was so intrigued by the story. It started off slowly but I as I kept reading, the climax of the story finally hits about 2/3 of the way in. I feel like it it could have been tweaked to have the robbery of the art happen much sooner. Then the writer could have spent more time building up the romance of the two MCs. I really wanted to liked this story, but sadly I didn't.
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Rebecca Anderson's writing style is enjoyable, but the believability of the storyline is far fetched. I'm not an art expert, but even I know that you can't copy paintings that fast and wrap them up even faster without sufficient time to let the paint dry.
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Manchester 1987: Rosanna Hawkins is a masterful artist from the Victorian modern era who knew her paintings were "Nice" and "little." From the original paintings, they were intolerant. Rosanna was an upstanding woman of unimpeachable character with a family peopled with uprightness. Her employer Anton Greystone was astonished and delighted by her reproduced masterworks which reflected each stroke, each layer, and moreover, she was quick. Her speed and artistic style could match any style, be it modern, like Cole, or classical. Among the wealthy clients who either loved art or wished to understand it, her Renaissance work was highly in demand. She was not a creator, she reproduced with a great deal of skill, simplicity, and clarity. The masterworks Rosanna made were referred to as "Parlor versions" to sell to the emerging upper middle class of Manchester, as well as to some of the higher classes who preferred their painting to be bought cheaply.

Anton promises Rosanna to expand her work everywhere not only in local houses but also in the drawing rooms and parlors of fine homes from London to Glasgow and beyond. Rosanna was proud that she know how to distinguish her reproductions from the originals they so perfectly reflected. Anton took the money by selling the reproduced painting of Rosanna to the wealthy working class so that they could festoon their walls and halls with pictures.

Manchester was about to witness a vast array of world-famous art. Rosanna was interested and delighted to visit the Art Treasures exhibition display of Rembrandt etchings where she will own an original print on the streets of Manchester. What attracted visitors from London and America to Manchester's Arts Treasure exhibition was The Manchester Madonna, Michelangelo's recently discovered fragment of a study for Mary and Jesus painting. Rosanna desires to take this opportunity to visit the exhibition to educate herself to study, ponder and experiment with copying the masters up and close and in person. She is confident she could replicate the paintings at the exhibition flawlessly. Anton asked Rosanna to recreate the partial work of the Manchester Madonna, to recreate the painting to her surprise. So that she makes a worthy copy that will make them both rich. The concern is whether will Rosanna be able to duplicate an unfinished work to reproduce a partial work? The intention was to be famous, gain rewards, accolades, and greed to become rich.

The role of head of exhibition security at the Art Treasure in Manchester, thrilled Martin Harrison. Rosanna and Martin's paths cross in the hallways and galleries of the exhibition. Hawkins explains to Martin the art pieces that he is not aware of which amused and delighted him with a story, a painting, a sculpture, or a sketch. As they admire each other's talents and looks but their encounter only becomes romantic and flirtatious. The irony happens here as Martin accuses Rosanna of copying the paintings and for accompanying a theft that occurs at the exhibition. Rosanna wants to prove her innocence and Martin is on the way to catch the real thief of the paintings that goes missing on the day of Queen Victoria's visit to the Art exhibition in Manchester. The chase begins!!

The author has researched plenty about art history and brought to light the interesting era of Victorian times. The characters are intriguing and bring surprises along the way. Easy read and can be read as a standalone novel. The story is a bit predictable though after the half till the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as it was a sweet and wonderful read. Loved the cover of the book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an advance copy for my honest review.

Smitha Agy
Novel Nerd Blog:
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In 1857 Manchester, Rosanna Hawkins excels as an uncredited artist reproducing classic masterpieces. She takes pride in the independence her work gives her, though she longs to create something meaningful. When she meets Inspector Martin Harrison, she is drawn to his charisma and shared interests. Amid flirtations and discussions of their aspirations, they uncover art theft. Rosanna must prove her innocence and catch the true thief, coming to grips with her part in the crime.

Given how much I adore the Proper Romance series, I was looking forward to this one set in the Victorian era. However, from the start, I felt like Rosanna was a character who did not fit her time period. Not even in just a “she’s a forward thinking woman”, but she just didn’t fit at all. How was I supposed to believe that an upper class family would just allow their daughter to move out alone? Never mind how perfect she was at painting, that she needed to make a mark so she could distinguish it from the original.  

From the description, I was expecting a bit more mystery from this story. However, it was really straightforward, with no surprises at all. 

Overall, this story had the potential to be interesting, but fell flat for me. Readers who are looking for just a sweet romance with no expectation for anything else may enjoy this more than I did.
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While it took me a while to get into this book, I did enjoy it! I loved getting a glimpse into the world of that I am not very familiar with. Interesting setting, interesting characters, and interesting resolution.
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“You have stolen my heart, and I shall never be the same.”

An artist. A detective. An art exhibition in Manchester England, and a crime to be stopped.

This book had me on the edge of my seat, I had to keep reading to see what would happen next! There is a mystery, some danger and suspense. There is also a lovely love story. I loved Rosanna and Martin! They have some very sweet moments and kisses between them.

Read for: 
🤍the meet cute
🤍Victorian England
🤍instant attraction 
🤍an art exhibition
🤍a mystery to be solved 
🤍danger and suspense
🤍a sweet romance

I loved learning about the Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857 in Manchester England. I felt like I took a step back in time to visit! The author’s knowledge and love for art really shone through the pages and I loved it! I also loved how the story tied up so nicely in the end. Such a satisfying happy ending! This is a wonderful, educational, romantic, suspenseful, adventurous story that you don’t want to miss!

Thank you to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the arc copy. All opinions are my own.

Content: some violence, some dangerous situations.
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The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson perfectly balances everything you expect in a Victorian romance   and everything you expect in an art heist film.  It was utterly wonderful and I loved every page!  

Anderson balances the character and relationship development for Rosanna and Martin beautifully with the action surrounding the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition.  I so enjoyed how the actual history was layered in with the fictitious events of Rosanna and Martin's story.  It was clear Anderson had done her research well -- everything was so richly detailed and it made the story come alive!  

Another aspect I enjoyed was learning about the art on display in the exhibition.  I'd never even known about this event before; it was so fascinating to learn bits and pieces from the novel that I went online and searched for more information!  s

The combination of romance and action was perfectly executed.  Rosanna and Martin's relationship progression is paced so well alongside the conflict with Anton and the artwork replicas Rosanna created.  The conflict surrounding the morally gray area in which Rosanna's replicas resides is so fascinating as well.  There's certainly nothing wrong (and I'd say a lot of good) in making art more accessible to more people, but I can also see the negative side to flawless replicas as well.  

A solid five star read for me!  Thank you to Netgalley, Shadow Mountain, and Rebecca Anderson for an ARC copy.  All opinions are my own.
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I was intrigued with this title, The Art of Love and Lies. I have enjoyed painting for years and I enjoyed the reminiscing of how Rosanna describes each of her  strokes, the light and shadows, it helped you envision the painting. Unfortunately I think it unrealistic for an oil painting to dry and packaged within a day or two of finishing it.  The plot of the story was not necessarily original, but I found it interesting. Although there were a lot of holes in the story, or maybe it was too quick paced. The art description was thorough, but  everything else could use some deeper detail. The instant attraction of Martin and Rosanna was nice, but I would have liked a little more development of their relationship. I also thought the chase of the thief was choppy. There could be more explanation or suspense, what led them to actually became on the same train, or jumping trains. Overall, it was a good read, but not my favorite from this author. I appreciate the clean, wholesome story.I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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