The Art of Love and Lies
by Rebecca Anderson
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Pub Date 08 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 22 Aug 2023
Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain
Manchester, England, 1857
Rosanna Hawkins is one of Manchester’s finest artists, even though no one knows her name. She reproduces “parlor versions” of classic masterpieces with near-perfect precision, which her employer then sells to the emerging upper-middle class families of Manchester.
When the largest art exhibition ever to be held in Manchester opens, Rosanna attends, excited by the chance to sketch such famous works. When she meets the handsome Detective Martin Harrison, who is head of security for the exhibition, she is immediately intrigued by his charm, confidence, and canvas-worthy good looks. The two spend many a flirtatious afternoon exploring the exhibition hall, discussing art and sharing their secret hopes. Rosanna dreams of painting something original and meaningful, and Martin hopes to one day shed the shadow of his father’s notorious past.
The couple’s blossoming summer romance takes a strange turn when Rosanna recognizes her own works on display in the exhibition hall. Someone is stealing paintings and replacing them with her parlor version reproductions. When the evidence casts suspicion on her, Rosanna must convince Detective Harrison of her innocence and proposes a plan to capture the real art thief.
It is a daring race to catch the criminal before he disappears with the most priceless piece in the collection—Michelangelo’s Manchester Madonna. If Rosanna and Detective Harrison fail, not only will the painting be lost forever but so will their chance to rekindle their romance and paint their own happily ever after.
"An artist and inspector are on a mission to recover a stolen painting. Fun interplay. Rosanna and Martin are a winsome pair. The novel’s pursuit scenes are thrilling, as is its intrigue around how Rosanna and Martin will get past his misconceptions about her. They learn to see the world anew through one another, even as they ask provocative questions about facts, truth, and forgiveness. And ebullient news clippings are included throughout the novel; in them, a gossip-prone journalist opines, critiques, and waxes poetic about the exhibition, informing and teasing out the story’s developments.
In the enchanting romance novel The Art of Love and Lies, an art thief can’t prevent love from blooming."
—Foreword Reviews, starred review
“Exciting historical romance. A tender love story.”
“Appealing Victorian romance. The romantic escapades of this unlikely duo will keep readers eagerly turning pages. It's a chaste yet undeniably alluring romance.”
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 156 members
Rosanna Hawkins is a wonderful artist. She can reproduce famous works of art and make the indistinguishable from the original. She is excited when an art exhibit comes to town and provides her the opportunity to sketch more famous works of art. She even meets the handsome Detective Martin Harrison, who is the head of security. However, she notices some of her reproductions on display at the exhibit. Someone is taking the originals and replacing them with her reproductions. Working together, and possibly falling in love, Rosanna and Martin must find the culprit.
I enjoyed this book! I love Rebecca Andersons writing style. The star is compelling and a hard to put down book! I cannot wait to read more of her books!
"The Art of Love and Lies" by Rebecca Anderson is a historical romance novel that transports readers to the elegant and refined world of Regency England. This novel is a delightful and heartwarming story that beautifully captures the essence of the era and takes readers on a journey of love, loss, and redemption.
The story centers around Caroline Jardine, a young artist who is struggling to make a name for herself in a world that is not kind to women. When she meets the dashing and mysterious Lord Nathaniel Harte, Caroline finds herself drawn to him in ways she never imagined. But Nathaniel is hiding a dark secret that threatens to destroy their budding romance and everything Caroline holds dear.
The characters in this novel are well-crafted and multi-dimensional, making them feel like real people that readers can root for and empathize with. Caroline is a strong and independent heroine who is not afraid to challenge societal norms and pursue her passion for art. Nathaniel is a complex and intriguing hero, whose past traumas have left him scarred and in need of healing.
The romance between Caroline and Nathaniel is beautifully written and develops slowly over the course of the novel, allowing readers to fully invest in their journey. The chemistry between them is palpable, and their interactions are filled with tension and longing. The supporting cast of characters adds depth and nuance to the story, creating a rich and vibrant world that readers will not want to leave.
Overall, "The Art of Love and Lies" is a captivating and well-written novel that will appeal to fans of historical romance. Rebecca Anderson's writing is engaging and immersive, transporting readers to a bygone era and making them feel like they are a part of the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a heartwarming and entertaining read.
Holy smokes I really enjoyed this book! Romance, action, a bit of adventure and fun banter make this story so entertaining. This is the first story I’ve read by Rebecca and I can’t wait for future books by her, and hopefully ones about Lottie and Ella!
The history came alive for me and I felt like I was in Manchester and able to walk the halls of the Art Treasures Exhibit. And while I’ve always had a deep appreciation for art, and have absolutely zero talent, this story made that love increase. Another intriguing aspect of this story was getting a glimpse of the world of art, forgery, and police/investigative work during the Victorian era.
Another weird tidbit that I completely, 100% loved about this story was how I was able to relate it a bit to the movie How to Steal a Million. This is one of my ALL time favorite movies and it was so much fun for me to find similarities.
And last but not least I need to compliment the utter perfection that is the romance in this book. Martin and Rosanna were so sweet and they were the best main characters in this story. I felt like their timeline of falling in love was believable and so well done. Their time together touring the exhibit were some of my favorite parts of the book and I loved that they were able to become closer this way.
I could go on and on how I loved this story, but I’ll just say that if you’re a fan of historical romance then this is the perfect book for you!
" A free-spirited artist teams up with a no-nonsense detective to capture a thief who has stolen a priceless Michelangelo painting" that was what drew me in, it worked so well in what I was looking for. The characters were what I was looking for and felt like real people, I enjoyed the mystery aspect and the romance aspect. Rebecca Anderson does a great job in telling the story and I enjoyed reading this overall.
"He made a sound of dismayed expectation. “Valuable? Dearest Bunny, you are indispensable. Without you, I have nothing.” He waved about his person with two empty hands, waiting until he was certain she saw the generosity of the gesture and recognized the liberality of his words. Then he moved forward and enfolded her in his arms."
THE ART OF LOVE AND LIES by REBECCA ANDERSON is a delightful historical romance novev which takes place in Manchester during the time of
Queen Victoria, and in fact this illustrious lady makes an appearance in the book. It is at the time of the Art Treasures Exhibition where Detective Martin Harrison literaly bumps into professional imitator Rosanna Hawkins! I love thevway they relate to one another, teasing and flirting and having lively discussions about life and art until the detective arrests her for her supposed involvement in forgery and theft……
This is a most enjoyable read, full of suspense, lies and skulduggery, with charming (and some not so charming) characters, some romantic moments and also a fair bit of humour. I love Rosanna’s courage and quick thinking. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Shadow Mountain Publishing. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
Take art mix in romance and replicas. Fun!
This book looks at the world of art and the deceit that can follow it. Rosanna was an artist or at least a copyist. Her original artistic efforts had been panned by her teachers but her talent was genuine so began her career as a replicator or copyist, making copies of the masters that would be sold as copies, by her associate Anton. Sold to those willing to purchase. Through this endeavor she was able to live independently. As she tours the Art Treasures Exhibition, she meets Martin, a detective assigned to guard the valuable art objects. As they spend time together touring the exhibit and becoming acquainted, their relationship develops first into friendship and then more. However, when Martin expresses his opinion about copies or replicas of the originals the relationship begins to fracture. And when the full extent of Anton’s dealings are brought to light, the relationship may be totally and completely destroyed unless Rosanna can somehow get Martin to understand. An engaging book that will keep you wanting to read just one more page. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy. This is my review and all thoughts are my own.
This was absolutely fantastic! The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were well-developed; complex, and intriguing. I highly recommend this beautiful telling of the power of love. I can't wait for more from Rebecca Anderson. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
Great story. Rosanna (that's the second book I've read this week with this name) is a talented artist. She lives independantly in Voctorian times and funds her lifestyle by copying masterpieces from the manchester exhibition. These she gives to Anton who then sells them to local middle class families. She meets Martin who is a peeler doing security detail at the exhibition. A romance statrts. He is squeaky clean because his father was sent to Australia having been convicted of being a fence, It's just kisses but there's still the first flush of passion,
There are two more sisters so scope for a series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This book started off a tad slow but after the first two chapters I couldn’t put it down! I wish I could read it again for the first time.
This was a sweet story about a naive young woman extremely talented with the paintbrush, and an inspector who delights in her but detests all forms of crime. The author contrasts the two men in her life along a backdrop of distinguishing which works of art are original and which are fake; the truth eventually comes out whether it's character or a painting.
If you enjoy historical fiction this is a clean read.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC and for the opportunity to post an honest review.
Mystery, intrigue and romance what's not to love?! Another well written book by Ms. Anderson. Five star worthy!
This book was different from my usual reads, which I found enjoyable. The book had a flow to it that almost seemed like paint strokes on a canvas. It was written almost like a poem and contained a lot of words I was unfamiliar with. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I appreciated the bits of history of art that was put into the story and the information given about art that beginners and/or non-artists could appreciate. It was an interesting and different storyline but I did find it kind of slow, personally. It may have been because I’m NOT an artist that I didn’t appreciate it as much, I’m not really even sure what it lacked, I just felt like it left me wanting something more.
This is a fun, lighthearted historical romance with a dash of crime/thriller. Rosanna Hawkins is a modern sort of woman, even though it's 1857 in Manchester, England. She lives on her own, is an accomplished painter, and is bordering on being a successful businesswoman with her partner, Anton Greystone. Everything is going along smoothly until she meets Inspector Martin Harrison. Inspector Harrison is a good and honorable man, striving to differentiate himself from the life of his father, who had the same name but lived a life of crime. <It's almost unbearably stereotypical but he's so earnest that it works.>
Rosanna is engaged in the business of reproducing master artworks. It's a steady, lucrative use of her talents as an artist. But is it ethical? Does it satisfy her creative needs? And what is this relationship with Anton? Are they business partners, lovers, something else? Meeting Martin has made her see her circumstances in a new light, and her questioning of the status quo is met with resistance by Anton.
This story has one of the best meet-cutes I've ever read. Without spoiling too much, there are several scenes that I could see so vividly in my mind's eye it was like watching a movie. The first kiss scene with Rosanna and Martin, and the train chase scene with all of them. So richly detailed without being clunky.
I wanted to know more about how Rosanna and Anton had fallen into their arrangement. It was a bit nonsensical to me that Rosanna, despite being a 'modern' woman with a great deal of independence and self-awareness, would go along with Anton's arrangement. But, it's necessary for the story so that's that.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
The Art of Love and Lies was a really different book from what I usually read. however I was not disappointed. I loved Rosanna and Martin so much and I just wished we got more romance scenes between the two of them in the book. Unfortunately, the plot didn’t really do it for me it was a bit expected and not really exciting. My overall opinion is that it was a fast and entertaining read and i’m so thankful i got the opportunity to get an arc it and review it.
This was a fun read. I liked the characters and their interactions. It was a bit obvious, but still an interesting story.
Between 3 1/2 and 4.
Rosanna is an artist who reproduces masterpieces and sells them through a middleman who's her contact with clients. Despite her talents, no one knows who she is and the intermediary puts a lot of restrictions on her, going to great lengths to make sure she stays anonymous.
When the art exhibit opens in Manchester, Rosanna starts going every day and there she meets Martin, the detective in charge of security. At first, it doesn't look like they have much in common, but later in the story they work together to solve the mystery.
Setting the story at the exhibit makes it really stand out from other historical romances in the same time period. It was fascinating to read about it.
I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
I haven’t read many books set in the art world, and I enjoyed that different setting. Rosanna was naive but sweet. She’s tougher than she seemed, and I liked that. I loved that Martin appreciated her intelligence and humor as well as her beauty. An enjoyable read.
This book is beautiful inside and out. The gorgeous cover first drew me in (although it's not exactly accurate — our protagonist always has pencils tucked into her hair!) and I absolutely loved the title.
This historical romance takes place in Manchester, England, in 1857.
Rosanna Hawkins is an artist of immense talent who can reproduce any masterpiece for her rich clients. She spends much time in the world's largest art exhibition — which by chance, is taking place in Manchester — studying the greatest painters' masterpieces in order to reproduce them at home. This is where she meets the head of security, Detective Martin Harrison, a policeman who had to overcome a difficult past. Both soon become close friends and start developing tender feelings for each other. However, when Rosanna discovers that some masterpieces have been replaced by her own paintings, Detective Harrison looses his trust in her, for how can he love and trust a con artist?
I really enjoyed the setting of the book. It's unusual to read a historical romance taking place in Manchester, and in an art exhibition no less, but that brought much originality to the story and allowed it to develop in unexpected ways. The author did her research about painting — not only about the craft, but also its importance and interpretation and importance.
The plot was fine. There wasn't much going on in the first half of the book, and much happened in very little time towards the end. It would have been interesting to develop this second part a bit more, especially as it would have been an opportunity to dive deeper into the characters' minds, and their view on trust, betrayal, etc.
I loved Rosanna and Martin's romance but I wished it would have been a bit more developed, with more dialogues, more chemistry... It was still very sweet and enjoyable.
Overall, a really good book with a great cover!
*I received an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion*
A good art heist in novel is hard to resist and when inserted into a real, historical event like the Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, anticipation mounts. The ATE brought thousands of masterpieces together for extended display and the idea that some could be replaced by forgeries during the exhibition is fascinating.
Initially, this story introduces us to Rosanna Hawkins, who is painting reproductions of masterpieces to be sold by her employer to wealthy people who are well aware that they are not buying originals. Rosanna's employer has no interest in artistic skill or merit and simply sees Rosanna as "copying" famous works. At some point, her employer switches to replacing originals on display with Rosanna's work, thereby making them forgeries. Interesting, there's no real moment when the fluidity of her work is explored. It would have made for an interesting discussion.
There are a few places where belief must be suspended and any knowledge of the time period is best forgotten. First, Rosanna is presented as the daughter of an upper class gentleman, as some of her work is being sold to wealthy neighbors of hers. However, she is living alone in a boardinghouse and we learn that she and her sisters were encouraged to find employment. Living alone and working doesn't seem to work for an upper class woman in 1857. Second, Rosanna produces nearly flawless copies of masterpieces in just days. She painted FOUR reproductions of a Michelangelo (The Manchester Madonna) in a week. She wraps the paintings up with hours and her employer hauls them off. Even those with rudimentary understanding of painting know that it takes a significant amount of time for a painting to dry and cure. It also seems impossible to replicate masterpieces in days. Again, suspend the disbelief. Third, Rosanna befriends the head of security at the art exhibition and when she realizes that her own work is on display in place of original paintings, the immediate response is too extreme to be believed.
I loved the premise here and someone without interest in or knowledge of the time period might enjoy it.
Rebecca Anderson weaves a compelling tale set in Victorian Manchester, England. Featuring a somewhat unconventional heroine and a hero with rigid, unbending rules, "The Art of Love and Lies" is a fast-paced read filled with fascinating characters.
Ahead of their time, the parents of talented artist Rosanna Hawkins encourage her to work for a living. That she does, and her skill for accurately reproducing fine works of art pays her bills. That comes to an end when it appears she has stolen valuable artwork. Rosanna displays great character growth, maturing from a naive young lady to one who outwits an art thief. Martin Harrison likewise learns that things aren't always black and white. Their romance develops quickly but is nevertheless sweet and believable.
Rebecca Anderson's prose is lovely and flows well. Victorian England is wonderfully portrayed, and the art itself is well-researched. Manchester is not the usual setting for historical novels; her previous book "Isabelle and Alexander" also takes place there. Hopefully Rosanna's two sisters get their own stories.
Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an ARC of this engaging work.
I really enjoyed this book. Who doesn’t love a good romance with mystery and adventure mixed in. I loved the characters and their witty banter. I’ve enjoyed Rebecca’s book, and will definitely read more from her.
Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for a ARC in exchange for my honest review!
Endearing clean romance featuring a sweet couple and a lot of great historical flourishes. Gets some miscommunication drama in the back half.
It's clear that the author Rebecca Anderson loves art. The MC's enthusiasm is infectious - not just to other characters, but to the reader as well, and I found myself caught up in her excitement. It's this passion for art that also makes it easy to see why Martin is so immediately attracted to her. Even though our leading couple have a rather instant liking, it doesn't hit my usual instalove bumps of "but why???" and I found their relationship to be rather endearing. The plot was straightforward with stakes that kept me invested and a satisfying conclusion. To my personal distaste, the book also includes the one-two combo of miscommunication and jumping to conclusions to generate drama. Such is life. Overall, a fun and cute read for anyone looking for clean romance with a sweet couple and some well-researched historical fiction.
2.5 stars, rounded up
While I didn't completely hate this book, it definitely could have been better.
I enjoyed seeing the Rosanna's dedication to her work and enthusiasm for artwork. It was also sweet seeing Detective Harrison develop an interest and appreciation for artwork.
The main thing that would have helped the book is if the author had cut the entire first half of the book because NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. Yes, the MC was meeting the love interest, but the parts with the two of them weren't even that sweet.
The description made it sound like the MC would discover that her copies were being used to help steal the originals, but that didn't happen until HALFWAY THROUGH THE BOOK!!!
The second half of the book should have been drawn out a bit more. ADD SOME ACTION!!! ADD SOME DANGER!!! ADD SOME ROMANCE!!!
This book had a lot of promise, but could have been a lot better!
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley for review. My opinions are my own.
If you love historical romances, you MUST read this book! I read this entire book in a car trip - thank God - because I could not stop.
Rebecca Anderson weaves a fabulous story about Rosanna, an artist who recreates famous artworks, and Martin, a detective. Naturally, they fall for each other. I’m not giving anything away here because this is in the description, but they work together to take down a criminal who is stealing real artwork from an exhibit.
I am left wondering if this will be part of a series. I also could see this being part of a trilogy, where each of Rosanna’s sisters have a story… and I’m here for it!
Rebecca Anderson is a new to me author. I enjoyed her work very much. It was a little different from most of the other stories I’ve read from this time period with some fun plot twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more of Rebecca Anderson’s work.
This is a delightful read. Martin is head of security for an art exhibit in Manchester, Rosanna is an artist who makes her living replicating famous paintings. She longs to create art, but it's hard to argue that copies of known art sells. I liked the moral quagmires raised here, can copies or replicas of art, be art in themselves? Is it wrong to appropriate someone else's creative work if your intent is not fraudulent? Interesting stuff. I got both Martin and Rosanna's perspectives and could see where they were coming from. I also liked their romance, it felt genuine, cultivated through repeated conversations and interactions, which I think is so much more authentic than how courting is generally presented in historical romances. Also on the scene is Anton, who at first seems like a suitor of sorts, I found him highly effective as a bad guy. He's not a mustache twirling, cackling villain, he's smooth and Rosie wants his approval, maybe even his affection, this too I felt was a departure but the general one note villains often found in this type of story. A truly engrossing, fast moving, effective story. Well done. I received an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review
This was an interesting story. I learned a bit about art since so much of the story took place at the exhibit. I'm one that has never really understood art. I can say if I like something or not but I can't tell you why or understand the artist at all. I'm an art simpleton. So I found the descriptions for the art and the processes fascinating. It was a fun set up for the story. And it was obvious that the author loves art. That came through in Rosanna.
I liked Rosanna and Martin. Their playful banter was fun and I believed their attraction. Their romance takes place over a pretty short time period but it didn't feel like insta-love, just insta-attraction that grew into love.
What I would have liked better... The blurb as currently written, which is months before the actual release so it could change before release date, lead me to believe that Rosanna and Martin would hatch a plan together to catch the bad guy. But they really they were working separately and just happen to get their guy together. I would have loved to see Martin have faith in her from the start (though that would have dismissed one of the plot points). I wanted them to decide on a plan to work together instead of having things just happen to come together. I suppose it added an element of drama in the romance part of the story to question if they would end up together but since I already knew they would, the drama was lost on me. I would have preferred the drama to be centered in catching the bad guy and seeing just how they well Rosanna and Martin could work together for a common goal. I understand why it was written as it was but that doesn't change what I would have preferred. They each needed the other to be successful in catching him. One alone could not have done it.
I enjoyed the story overall. Though I predicted the bad guy's plan early on it was still fun to see how it was going to play out. Interesting, clean read.
*I received a complimentary ARC through NetGalley and voluntarily chose to review it.
This was a very interesting story. It's unlike anything that I had read before. And I loved it!
I got sucked into the story from the very first page and I finished this book at one seating. I happened to be painting a lot when I was in school and just didn't have much time for it as a working adult. When Rosanna mentioned something about learning by imitating, that was something my teachers and tutors told me too! Very relatable to me. The set up of the story was interesting to me. The fact that the story took place mostly at an art exhibit was a plus!
The way they "courted" each other at the exhibit was very romantic and it's one of my favourite scenes.
I liked Rosanna and Martin. Their banter was fun, playful and witty! The chemistry and the attraction between them was believable. Their romance didn't feel like insta-love.
I also liked the way the mystery was handled, I did expect a little bit more drama in it. The mystery was solved pretty quickly and very neatly!
I felt that the story between them was too short. I wanted some more. Perhaps, can we have more books on the Hawkins' sisters?
I enjoyed the story overall. This is a clean and swoon worthy romance read to me! I will be reading more of this author's work!
Lastly, many thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley.
I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This was a fun story into the art world in the later 1800's, with a bit of intrigue and theft.
Rosanna is a painter, but not a painter of her own art, that was discouraged. Instead, she is a very good reproduction artist. She is so good that her art is wanted by people to put in their houses, or so she thought....
Inspector Hawkins is a man with a family whose past keeps following him. He has tried to outrun it, to be the opposite of his father, and has a very firm line of what is black and what is white.
As their friendship increases, so do darker forces behind the art exhibition.
I enjoyed the characters, I loved their banter and the humor in this story. Another win for Rebecca Anderson.
THE ART OF LOVE AND LIES-Rebecca Anderson
Shadow Mountain Publishing
August 8, 2023
Rosanna Hawkins will firmly tell you that she is a reproductionist and not a copier. When it comes to recreating the paintings of the masters, she is the best, at least that is what Anton Greystone tells her. He is the man that sells her reproductions to wealthy families who can’t get the real works of the masters they love. Rosanna makes a good living doing this.
She spends her days at The Art Treasures Exhibition, which has come to Manchester, England for a couple of weeks, to draw the works of famous painters. The exhibition houses some of the most famous works in the world, most notably art works by Michelangelo. While there one day she meets Inspector Martin Harrison who is there to protect the works of art hung up in the exhibition.
Martin is from Manchester but left after his father was found guilty of the crime of selling stolen goods and then was sent to Australia. Martin is a salt of the earth kind of man with a strong moral compass. When he meets Rosanna, he is instantly smitten. After that, he looks for her as he partakes his daily rounds around the exhibition. Over the coming weeks, Rosanna and Martin run into each other and Rosanna explains the works of art to Martin.
THE ART OF LOVE AND LIES is a sweet romance with a couple of twists I did not see coming. Rosanna comes from a wealthy family that allows her to have her independence for her and her sisters, Lottie and Ella. All three of them have endeavors into the arts. Rosanna rents a room in a boarding house and pays her own way while recreating famous painter’s work. She was not encouraged by her art teachers to produce works of her own and sometimes Rosanna has a desire to do so.
Anton Greystone reveals himself to be a villain and a scary one at that. When Martin finds out that Rosanna, as he puts it, is a forger, the would be couple, have a few bumps in the road before finding their happiness.
If you are the type of romance reader that likes a relatively clean romance(there are only two kisses in the story) that is well researched and with an heroine that can be annoying but interesting and a hero who blushes but who is strong and moral then THE ART OF LOVE AND LIES is for you.
This was a fun read. Rosanna is an interesting and flawed character. She is independent and also naive as a woman of her era would be growing up sheltered. Readers can't not help but love Rosanna because she is such a real character. Rosanna and Martin's relationship is enchanting from the beginning. Their conversation is witty and intelligent. The insight into the art world is also so interesting. The author has an appreciation for art and gives some wonderful perspectives to the art they view in the novel. I really enjoyed this book.
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions below are my own.
I loved this story! Another in the Proper Romance collection, it has delivered a fresh, sweet, adventurous, cosy read. The plot was pretty original. The banter between the MMC and FMC is top notch, and there is pretty much romantic tension from the start. I’m not sure how realistic the ‘security detail’ aspect of the story is, but it’s fun anyway! I hate seeing the FMC being used so terribly by her ‘boss’, but I loved seeing her artistic talent develop until she finally realised how good she is. Not to mention there’s a robbery, a counterfeit ring and a total visit thrown in. This is another great read and I’m looking forward to official release day.
This was a cute story. A lot of mystery and sleuthing. I struggled a bit with the main character. I don’t think I would have been the type of girl to allow a guy to touch me as much as much as Anton did.
I really liked martin. He was a good love interest. I felt like he had his hands full with Rosanna, she kept heading into situations head first.
I liked how you were on top of your toes. It was a fun resolution.
This book was enjoyable, but I was left wanting more: more details, more explanations, more depth of storyline. I thought the relationship between Rosanna and Martin was very cute and playful. I enjoyed her little art appreciation lessons and her fun, made-up stories about the artwork. Rosanna was a wonderful character and I liked watching her slowly come into her own and how she would start questioning and standing up to Anton a little more each time she saw him. It was an enjoyable read.
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this digital arc in exchange for my honest review which is not affiliated with any brand.
The Art of Love and Lies is a lighthearted book talking readers on a journey of romance, artistry, thievery and suspense. This book was clean and enjoyable to read and reminded me a bit of Michelle Griep’s book The Thief of Blackfriar’s Lane because of the solving-the-case events, witty banter, and lovable characters.
All in all, The Art of Love and Lies is a fun read! Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an eARC of The Art of Love and Lies. A positive review was not required, only my honest opinion. All thoughts are expressly my own.
I loved this book about Martin and Rosanna. Their chemistry was written perfectly and I loved their banter and wit.
The story of catching an art thief definitely kept me interested though it was somewhat easy to predict what was going to happen. There were some things time line was that didn't make sense but I was able to let those things go and just enjoy the novel. I loved the authors descriptions of the artwork and paintings. You could tell she put a lot of effort and thought to make it easy to picture and feel the love of the artwork the characters saw.
It was a sweet romance with quite a few sweet kisses, no language and a story that kept me turning page after page. I would love to see novels written about Rosanna's sisters as well to keep the series going.
Grateful to get an eARC version of the book from netgalley and Rebecca Anderson.
I thought the premise of the book sounded promising. I thought there were some beautiful moments in which we see what's going on in Rosanna's heart and soul as she creates. The relationship developments were not my ideal, and there were some details I didn't care for. The pacing of the book also didn't work for me. However, the second half of the book really picked up, and I was interested to see where it was going. PLEASE remember that just because this book wasn't MY complete ideal doesn't mean it isn't someone else's ideal! If you're interested in reading it, please do!
BRIEF CONTENT GUIDE
😘 Kisses only
🙊 No swearing (1 use of "damning" synonymous with "condemning")
🍷 No substance use that I recall
🤕 Mild violence
If you'd like (1) a character-driven story that leads to a more plot-driven/balanced storyline and (2) a unique Victorian setting involving art, you should give this one a go.
I received a free digital ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for honest feedback. This did not affect my review.
The book follows the story of Rosanna, a painter artist that tries to have a place between the guild of professional artist. She reproduces replications as good as the originals which are sold to the middle-class members in Manchester.
In the meantime, an art exhibition take places in Manchester and she dreams about sketchs the masterpieces from renowed authors, so she visited it.almost everyday. There she meets Detective Martin, who is in charge of the security staff. They spent many afternoons discussing art and feelings between them grows. One day she discovers that one of her paintings are displayed in the exhibition as an original, what means that someone are replacing them and stealing the originals.
The evidence signales her as responsible for the thefts, so she has to prove her innocence to Martin and to the rest , so she devises a plan in order to catch the thief. Will Rossana and Martin be able to stop the criminals from steal the most valuable piece of art in the exhibition and at the same time restore their relationship?
I have find this book very enjoyable, very well written and the mystery adds the perfect mix for a great story
If you enjoy a romance/ mystery novel, art, a little bit of danger and intrigue, daring, lovable main characters as well as some pretty creepy bad ones. This book is so for you!!
The story starts off a little slow, but super sweet and allows us to get to know the main characters as their lives cross paths.
Rosanna Hawkins is an exceptionally talented artist. Her forte? Reproductions, imitations, copies, forgeries, whatever one chooses to see her work as, she can make an identical piece to match great masterpieces. As such she spends a great deal of time at one of the largest exhibitions in Manchester, observing all facets of art and masterpieces.
Detective Martin Harrison is head of security for the exhibition. Upon meeting, Rosanna and Martin are quickly swept into a friendship and blooming romance while roaming the exhibition halls.
Both have such intriguing lives and pasts, but the real action is in their current lives, where there are art thefts, threats, kidnapping, chasing trains, it’s all there!
If you read the synopsis, I definitely paints a clearer picture, but if I’m being honest, I didn’t read it. I saw Proper Romance on the cover and dove right in. And I am so glad I did! The element of surprise in a book with more mystery is, for me, essential! But even if you do read the blurb, there is plenty of twists along the way to keep you in the edge of your seat! And plenty of sweet romance along the way to keep it interesting in both areas!
I will say, the beginning is a bit slower, and then it really picks up with the action, romance, all of it! But the things I learnt about art, especially great art, I left this look feeling like I read a beautiful story and learned something! Which I love! (And be sure to read the authors note to learn more of the behind the scenes that inspired it all)
My conclusion? This book is beautiful, it has this elegance that will sweep you in from the beginning with that stunning cover, and the pages within match it, with a touch of mystery added to really make this story a masterpiece! It is definitely a book to add to your shelves!
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the complimentary e-arc of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Content: clean with a little TW
Violence: mild; threats, kidnapping, a man slaps a woman. The bad guy in this could be a trigger for some, as he is nice until he’s not, and then he’s really not.
Summary: Rosanna, a phenomenal artist with a creative mind is constrained to imitating other great artists. Martin, an inspector with a strict moral code is trying to get out from the shadow of his tainted family. An art exhibition brings them together but their differing opinions of right and wrong threaten to tear them apart. When an art heist further complicates matters, their independent courses to stop a thief just might bring them together in an unexpected way.
I’m a bit conflicted on this one. The premise of this story had my name written all over it. Art, Victorian romance, mystery—sign me up! The execution, however, was a bit different than what I expected.
What I liked:
I do feel like the author showed creativity and uniqueness with the plot and aspects of the characters. She flipped the stereotypical gender roles making our heroine more bold and outspoken while the hero is more on the demure side.
Little bits of dialogue and description scattered through the book I found witty and humorous. Things like: “Finally, the man approached, his graying ginger hair combed back from the peak of his forehead, side-whiskers partly concealing his somewhat pointy ears. Martin had the fleeting feeling he was speaking to a fox in the process of becoming human.” While not essential to the plot, they added to my enjoyment as I read.
Things really picked up in the second part of the book. The added danger, action, and excitement the art heist portion brought was fun and not something I’ve seen a lot of in the other proper romance books I’ve read.
The exploration of creating and enjoying art set a nice background for the story.
I know the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” thing, but seriously, this book cover is beautiful.
What I didn’t love:
My biggest qualm is that the relationship moved too fast to have any real depth. While I wouldn’t call this insta-love (a trope I hate) the relationship between the two characters felt more like infatuation. The time between them is spent either flirting with each other or thinking about the person in their absence. We only see the beginning of their relationship, as most of the story happens in the span of a few weeks. Then, the last chapter jumps ahead several months to the happy ending (which I admit was very sweet and sigh-worthy.)But those in between months where their relationship could be explored and the reader could watch it deepen we don’t get to see, we are simply told and then we jump to the ending.
The conflict between them seemed a bit exaggerated and then resolved too quickly. I would’ve liked to have seen things drawn out a bit more and resolved more gradually.
I don’t mind introspection of the characters but at times it seemed repetitive.
I liked the characters well enough but wasn’t really invested in them. They tease and banter, which is fine, but I felt like they could’ve used a bit more substance.
I didn’t really understand Rosanna’s relationship with her employer, Anton. I felt that a few things that happened on the train wouldn’t have happened the way they did considering all the other passengers onboard (which seems almost forgot about at first.) But these were minor, and didn’t take away from the overall story.
Bottom line: I enjoyed the story well enough but it fell a little flat for me and contained tropes I personally don’t love. So whether or not you should read this really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a slow burn or a deep connection between the H and h, this probably isn’t for you. But if you don’t mind a whirlwind romance, you’re looking for a light read that’s a little different, or if you can’t decide between action and romance, you might like this book.
Content— Romance: Clean. Kisses only. Mild innuendo when one of the characters is trying to deceive another.
Violence: Present, but not graphic. A man strikes and threatens a woman. Mild danger and peril.
Thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the ARC. I am voluntarily leaving a review with my honest opinion.
There is nothing so uplifting as a good love story wrapped in a “light” crime story accompanied by the story of a woman figuring out who she really is. I found this book entertaining and it captured my attention. Will the love story come to completion? Will the characters stick to their “moral” structures? Will the truth of the crime be found? A good, solid read that was enticing and easy to read. There are some good gifts although many are around art supplies so that might be a limitation. Here are my favorites.
The world of fine art has always fascinated me, so I was excited to see a Proper Romance book about art! Overall, I enjoyed the characters and the story. Rosanna was both traditional, yet independent. It was a good mix. Martin was a solid, good man with a romantic heart under his tough detective exterior.
I enjoyed the story, but there were some inconsistencies that were a bit frustrating. It's best to just read and enjoy the adventure! The Victorian Era is one of my favorites so I enjoyed the little details about that time period.
Thank you to NetGalley, Shadow Mountain Publishing, and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinions.
The Art of Love and Lies is the perfect blend of a cozy mystery and historical romance. Although this book has a bit of a slow start, I found myself soon caught up in the story. The climatic train scene at the end had me on the edge of my seat and reminded me of a Victorian version of "Ocean's Eleven." Overall, this was a very satisfying story. Thank you to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.
Rosanna is an artist who reproduces masterpieces. She meets Martin, the inspector, and becomes friends while at the museum. They both seem to fall for each other quite quickly. I think the first half of this book seemed pretty slow, but was intrigued the second half of the book with all the action. Their relationship was sweet but seemed to just move so quickly in the first few chapters ( in my own opinion). This was a clean and fun read. There were just kisses and some innuendo in it.
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book and an opportunity to post an honest review.
**Review will be published August 1st, 2023 on my site and socials**
The premise of this sounded truly promising. The execution? A bit lacking.
I think I really got off on the wrong foot with the insta-love. It didn’t work for me and when I clocked the percentage of the first kiss I was rather surprised. Rosanna and Martin DID grow on me and I think the core of their relationship was sweet. I just needed more of a burn to get there with them.
All of the facets about painting and artwork were interesting. I thought it was kind of cool to learn about different painting techniques and how reproductions were created and used in this time period.
In the end I really to have more from the plot. There was nothing surprising or enchanting about it. While I did like the main characters and I do think they exhibited some growth from the beginning of the book the plot itself was lacking in definition.
Overall audience notes:
- Historical Romance
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: low
- Trigger/Content Warnings: brief assault, physical altercations, theft
I loved this story by Rebecca Anderson, such a great storyline and characters!
I just reviewed The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson. #TheArtofLoveandLies #NetGalley
I wish I could be glow-y about this book, but it just didn’t work for me. The information about the real life art exhibition was interesting. The author is clearly a big art fan. But Rosanna’s willingness to put up with the casual touching and kissing and baby names from uber creep Anton was annoying, as was her ability to self-delude. Martin’s overreaction when Rosanna made a confession about what was happening in the exhibition was out of character. The bad guy was literally a moustache-twirling Victorian villain, and a big climactic scene on multiple trains was wholly unbelievable. I hope for better next time from the author.
I read an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
I enjoyed the story in the beginning and thought Anton and Martin were going to be potential suitors until it was clear Martin was better suited. The sudden plot twist was jarring and honestly the story went downhill from there. It felt lacking in substance.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Martin Harrison is an inspector whose father is a criminal. Roseanna is a brilliant painter who makes a living recreating other artists paintings. They meet at the Art Treasures Exhibition where she is trying to sketch and memorize certain paintings and he is on security detail. Roseanna believes she is making an honest living, but is she? When a theft is discovered they both become involved in a dangerous game.
I really enjoyed the characters and their interactions. I would definitely recommend this book.
This book is a fun escape into the world of art thievery! The romance is clean and full of entertaining and witty banter. The cover is definitely gorgeous and would make a lovely addition to any book lover's shelf. The suspense and mystery are well done and enjoyable. I really enjoyed this exciting blend of historical, suspenseful, adventurous, romance!
Thank you for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
"The Art of Love and Lies" is a clean Victorian romance between an upper-middle class female artist and a working man, with some extra dashes of a heist thrown in for flavor.
I enjoyed the setting and the general plot. Our FMC, Rosanna, is an artist who produces "parlor pieces," or reproductions of famous artworks to earn her living (a reader familiar with social mores of the time must suspend some disbelief that she does this, that she lives in a boarding house when her family is described as quite wealthy, that her sister is a journalist, etc). Our MMC, Martin, is the son of a convicted conman who hopes to demonstrate though his diligence and hard work that he is trustworthy. The author did great work in developing Martin's backstory and character, as it was a common belief at the time that criminality was a heritable trait; and Martin faces distinct social consequences as a result of his father's actions. The two meet at the Art Treasures Exhibition, where Martin is running security and Rosanna is there to study and reproduce the pieces. They have a bit of a meet-cute, they flirt; it's quite wholesome and winsome.
The reader must once again suspend some disbelief when it comes to Rosanna's work, as she is able to VERY QUICKLY replicate paintings perfectly, from memory, back at her studio. We're talking two oil paintings in a week, four sketch-and-watercolors, each perfectly indistinguishable from the original. However, Rosanna's agent turns out to be a villain, who organizes a heist to steal the originals and replace them with Rosanna's reproductions.
I quite enjoyed the first half or-so of this book, but I think the story suffered in the latter half from some weak writing that could have been better shored up. Martin becomes a bit unsympathetic in his actions, and his moral uprightness quickly becomes frustrating and obstructive. I think the story would have benefited from some more time spent in his POV. The heist and its resolution suffered from a lack of tension and stakes. Rosanna is clever and she keeps her head, which I appreciated. However, at the end of the action, I felt like there needed to be perhaps at least one more scene where the two of them came together again, or checked on one another, or something.
Two small things I did not enjoy in the story: the "newspaper articles" inserted between chapters, which felt so obviously written to the plot of the story that they made me roll my eyes a little; I also didn't care for the insertion of Queen Victoria as a figure into the narrative. Her presence did absolutely nothing to advance the story or even add character; it felt superfluous and, given Victoria's well-documented behavior, a little bizarre.
TLDR: An enjoyable G-rated historical romance set in the Victorian era, with some mild adventure in the form of an art heist (but don't expect some Ocean's Eleven level of tension).
I put this one down several times early on because I really didn't like Anton, and I couldn't figure out if I liked Martin or Roseanna either. However, once the story got going Martin and Roseanna really grew on me and I loved the character development that happened. I learned a lot about art and was fascinated by the work Roseanna did- that in itself was worth the read. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, clean, historical romance. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book is adorable! I loved how rich it was with historical events and moments, and how they pushed the story along. The romance was fun and the story was exciting! This book is perfect for lovers of art as well as for lovers of romance alike!
Thanks to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain for an advanced copy of the book :)
The Art of Love and Lies encourages creativity. While entertaining with a mystery romance story, it teaches an appreciation for art. Pictures are more than something pretty to look at. See the story behind the scenes in front of you. Then look again and maybe notice something different. This book has a wonderful balance of mystery and romance. An enjoyable read.
I really enjoyed reading The Art of Love and Lies! As I read more and more historical romance, I find that books that feature middle or lower class leads, like this one, are far more interesting. And I especially liked that this was set during a real historical event that the author clearly researched. The love story was sweet and the leads were both likeable, with believable flaws.
My biggest criticism is that I think this book is better categorized as historical fiction than historical romance. The romance was there, but I felt like it was more incidental. I’d still highly recommend reading it, I just think readers should know what to expect!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital copy!
This book was a welcome surprise. Rebecca Anderson is a new to me author and she blew it out of the park so much that I'm going to read all of her historical romance novels. Definitely read this one if you love:
*Witty relatable characters
*phenomenal chemistry between characters
Rosanna Hawkins is an independent woman who has been working for a slimy man (Anton) doing reproduction painting. She is the best at what she does. Under the request of her employer she starts making reproductions of specific artwork at the temporary art exhibition in Manchester. During one of her visits she meets the charming security guard Inspector Martin Harrison. The two form a friendship enjoying the exhibition together. There is an unexpected break into the exhibit and Rosanna realizes that it is her art work has replaced the originals. Will the inspector believe her side of the story? Will he ever forgive her for her part in the art heist that so closely resembles the crimes of his father whom he cannot forgive?
The beginning started out slow and the story really picks up about half way. There was some really awesome action scenes. I just gobbled up all the scenes with the two MCs together. Their chemistry was perfect and the conversation was so fun and witty. I absolutely believed that they were falling in love. (was more of a slow burn and I loved it)..
This novel definitely has a chaste romance. Some kisses but nothing steamy or inappropriate.
You won't regret reading this one. I don't usually feel the need to buy a book after I've read it but this one is a keeper. I need it on my bookshelf.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"She knew that one saw what one looked for—whether that was beauty or roughness—and she could not imagine living a life where guilt was one’s focus."
"She simply took joy—deep, significant joy—in creating something that came from within her creative mind. The mind she was learning to trust for the first time."
Interesting story! Kept you guessing and loved that Rosanna was so creative and smart when she helped recover the stolen art and apprehend Anton on the train. Different style of writing….glimpse of a more forward thinking time. Loved learning about art and painting…the descriptions of Rosanna’s art work created beautiful pictures in my mind and made me want to see her masterpieces! Also a believable and fun story. Delightful, entertaining read.
I love the cover of this book and I love the book itself. It is not a classic masterpiece but in comparison to many books out there right now, it is a very nicely and well written book.
It is not an usual historic romance novel as it is about a girl who works or paints while she is from the upper class. I am not completely up to date whether in 1800s a man could visit a woman alone and show her some intimacy, so that was a bit unusual but I guess she was very open minded for that time. It is not like any untowardly happened between them, just a few kisses or hugs at least that's how I interpreted, and it raised my eyebrows but not deterred from liking the book.
The two main characters are very nicely developed and that is how I appreciate the book. I love getting to know another person, see how they think and how their perspective changes over time. The whole story from the beginning to the end did not disappoint.
I cannot highly recommend this book if you are into this genre. Many thanks to Netgalley for introducing me to this author in exchange of an honest review.
A beautiful love story. I could really visualize the different settings during the time period it takes place in. Old fashion love stories are full of such rich passion.
Rosanna Hawkins prides herself on her independence. She’s a talented artist, but her teachers always tell her that as a woman she can’t create her own art, but must stick to the masters. She creates recreations of masterpieces to be sold as parlor art for the upper middle class. All is going well until she recognizes one of her copies in the art exposition. Someone has stolen the masterpiece and replaced it with her work.
Now she and her budding love, Detective Martin Harrison must catch the true mastermind.
I enjoyed the mystery, and the details about the art exposition. It felt like reading accounts of the World Fair at the turn of the century. I liked Rosanna’s independence, relationship with her sisters, and the stories she told about artwork with Martin. This book had a great balance between history, romance, and mystery.
I enjoyed how this book talked about the feelings art invokes. Rosanna was fun to get to know. Her passion for art was contagious. Martin was a bit more complex as he struggled to overcome his past. The mystery of who was stealing the art adds an element of intrigue to the story.
This is the story of Rosanna Hawkins whose upper-crust parents with progressive feminist views have allowed her to live on her own and earn her wages. Her chosen profession is as an art copyist. Rosanna visits the art exhibition regularly and creates exact copies of great artists' paintings to be sold to wealthy social climbers. She sees nothing wrong with this until she meets Inspector Martin Harrison, head of security at the exhibition, whose past involves a father arrested and deported for counterfeiting and fraud.
This newest novel from author Rebecca Anderson definitely has a more lighthearted, fun feel than her first published historical romance. The reader gets an instant sense of the heroine's naiveté and innocence as we meet the man she has entrusted with selling her paintings. As this character is compared and contrasted repeatedly with the hero, these relationships become immediately obvious to the reader. That the heroine dithers between her opinions of these two men really makes the plot drag.
The conflict for the first half of the book is largely this internal struggle of the heroine. This is coupled with a large dose of art appreciation and the development of the relationship between the hero and heroine. While there is an instant attraction between them, I was pleased to note that the author conveyed a sense of time spent getting to know each other. The only annoying thing about their relationship is how often they are both willing to jump to conclusions rather than communicate.
The second half of the book introduces the external conflict involving the theft of the Manchester Madonna. While the pacing of the plot picks up, this part felt really unrealistic to me. This conflict was far too easily resolved in my opinion and involved some behavior on the part of the heroine that felt very uncharacteristic based on what came before and after.
While I didn’t enjoy The Art of Love and Lies as thoroughly as I did this author's first foray into historical romance, I still think this is a decent story that many will enjoy. The characters are complex, and the history is interesting. The plot does move a little slowly, particularly in the beginning. But one does get a feel for what it may have been like to attend this art exhibit during this time.
I didn't really know what to expect when I picked this one up but I was pleasantly surprised! It was a light-hearted, entertaining read with a unique plot.
Rosanna is an artist and creates replicas of masterpieces to be sold to wealthy clients who want to display them in their homes.
Inspector Martin Harrison is head of security at the large art exhibition in town and when he and Rosanna cross paths at the exhibition, sparks fly!
But when some of the exhibition paintings go missing and Rosanna is accused, she has to convince Martin and everyone else of her innocence.
The only way to do that? Catch the real thief.
What to love:
Mystery and suspense
Flirting and witty banter
Sweet but swoony kissing!
Villain you love to hate
This was a fun, quick read that I read it almost in one sitting because I was caught up in the story. I have seen reviews criticizing it for accuracy, but I am not an expert on art or the Victorian era and nothing was so glaringly incorrect as to ruin the story. This is a work of fiction, after all, and it was entertaining and I guess that is good enough for me.
Though their relationship progressed quickly, this was not an instant-love story. There was an initial attraction that blossomed into something more as they spent hours upon hours together almost every day and oh my word, their romance was so incredibly sweet!
If you enjoy historical romance with a bit of mystery and adventure, then you definitely need to give this one a try! I enjoyed it and I would absolutely pick up more books in this series.
I received a complimentary copy but a positive review was not required.
Another beautiful addition to the Proper Romance series. I love that it takes place in the Victorian era (as opposed to earlier Regency) because it allows so much more freedom for the characters, the women in particular. Rosanna was born to high society but because of forward thinking parents and a strong sense of confidence and individuality, she’s able to earn a living, live alone and unchaperoned, and even steal sweet kisses from a dashing head of security. It’s the perfect balance between the strict rules of the Regency and the modern day.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Rosanna is in a position I'm sure a lot of us have found ourselves in: she's good at something that can make someone else money, and so they do their level best to quash all of her other ambitions, gaslighting her to the point where she believes her only talent is in reproducing other people's art. As the title of the book might suggest, the lies of her artwork end up getting in the way of her love with a policeman, who is predisposed not to trust thieves and crooks. And my, is he all too ready to believe the worst of Rosanna.
Although this sounds like a set up for a very frustrating novel, it surprisingly isn't. Rosanna and her beau Martin both have very believable backstories, and that he can't understand her position - and that it takes her so long to recognize that she's being used - makes a lot of sense in context. Anderson's writing is smooth and comfortable to read as well, which definitely helps. Her words are sufficiently old fashioned to make it clear that this takes place in 1857 without being self-righteously archaic, a difficult balance to achieve. There's also a clear love for and appreciation of art, which is charming. On the whole, this is simply a nice book, and hopefully Rosanna's sisters will get their own stories.
I really enjoyed reading The Art of Love and Lies. I liked the characters, enjoyed their mix of flaws and strengths. I liked that it didn't go too deep in the "damsel in distress" vibe. There was conflict, there were highs, there were lows -- but nothing was so dramatic that you found yourself rolling your eyes. The ending got a bit rushed, but by the time you got there you didn't mind too much. Overall, it was a good read.
VERDICT Anderson’s (Isabelle and Alexander) latest stand-alone features a tender love story between a gentlewoman painter and a detective trying to rise above his difficult childhood.
Rosanna Hawkins has an exceptional gift of painting that her work looks identical to that of the original. She receives commissions for her work that gives her the independence she wants, and she feels her artwork will bring pleasure to those patrons who would like them for their home collections. When Rosanna discovers that her artwork is ultimately serving a very different purpose, she turns to her new boyfriend and security officer of the museum, Martin Harrison, for help.
The train scenes and chasing after Rosanna’s former business associate, Anton Greystone, made for exciting reading. The way they thwarted him was clever and my favorite part of the story.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required.
Rosanna is an artist, working at creating reproductions of famous artwork for a middleman who sells them for her. Martin is a security officer, tasked with keeping the art exhibit in Manchester safe. Together, they discover an art heist. Rosanna knows who did it, but Martin sees her as the first and only suspect. Such a fun story of how they team up to solve the art crime, but even more importantly, how Martin helps Rosanna to see that echoing the work of other artists is not all that she was made to do!
The story moves quickly, and Rosanna and Martin are likable characters. Though she seems a bit too gullible, blindly trusting the man who claims to be selling her artwork for her.
Nothing earth shattering in the realm of fiction, but this book was highly enjoyable!
I received an arc from NetGalley, but all opinions are my own!
This book was a fascinating look into the world of art, from the perspective of the artist and the viewer. Rosanna works creating reproductions of famous masterpieces while fighting against her own creative urges. The way the author describes her process and how she views art really drew me into her world. When Rosanna meets Martin Harrison, head of security at the art gallery housing the originals, her perspective changes when he listens to her impressions of the paintings instead of the "popular" interpretations.
I really enjoyed their developing relationship, as well as the adventures they get up to.
The premise of this book was so promising, and it delivered a bit of everything. A bit of romance; plenty of art, art history, and even interpretation; mystery and intrigue, and a glimpse into historical Manchester. I appreciated the effort to include so many elements, but I think the overall narrative might have benefited by trimming the focus just a little? The love story element was certainly the strongest part of the story, fairly well developed and captivating. The mystery was intriguing but played out so quickly in the story, and there were a few historical inconsistencies that kept me from fully loving this book.
I struggled to reconcile the time period with the abnormally independent lives of the MC and her sisters. It seemed hard to believe they would have lived away from home without any compelling reason, especially when they could have easily lived in their spacious home and still accomplished their work, for the intents of the author. Their weekly Sunday dinners seemed very reminiscent of Gilmore Girls?
I also had a hard time with the antagonist. His relationship with Rosanna is so odd, and he’s so blatantly unlikeable. I wish he would have been more of a character than a caricature. There’s so much promise in the characters and book, and while I enjoyed the read, it feel a little flat overall.
I’m always happy to dive into a Victorian era novel. I was intrigued by the plot of this book, promising art theft and romance! This book was heavily descriptive art pieces and the artistic methods used to created replicas of famous masterpiece paintings. While I appreciated the authors attention to detail, it was at times distracting from the plot. I struggled to like the characters in this book. I felt like Rosanna was naive and a little overconfident, which did allow for some growth for her character by the end of this book. I was really surprised that Martin seemed to not take his job very seriously. He spend a good deal of time just wandering around and talking with Rosanna and I made me lose a lot of respect for him and his position dealing with security at the exhibit. Apart from that these two characters simply did not communicate. It was a fanciful daydreams, and leaping to assumptions, simple conversations could have really made a world of difference and it was just frustrating to read. This book was not a favorite, but each book hits readers differently and I would encourage readers to check it out if the plot sounds intriguing!
Manchester, England 1857
Rosanna Hawkins is one of Manchester’s finest artists though no one knows her name because she reproduces “parlor versions” of classics to near perfection to which her employer, Anton Greystone then sells them to the emerging upper-middle class.
The Art of Love and Lies is slow. The relationship between Rosanna Hawkins and Martin Harrison though necessary seemed forced to me, and when the robbery did occur halfway through the story, I wasn’t really enamored of it. Both Rosanna and Martin are kind of stuck in their trajectories in life; Rosanna realizes that she wants more than to just sell her reproductions to Anton, she wants more control to create what she wants to; and Martin wants to escape the fact that his father is a convicted felon and that he can stand on his own as a successful policeman aside from the unfortunate history of his father. They both want more than life has shown them so far. 3.5 stars
My gratitude to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain. All opinions expressed are mine.
I wanted to like it because the premise sounded so good. It wasn't just my cup of tea. I hated the villain, and I guess it was intentional. I didn't connect on a deeper level with the main characters. However, I appreciated the plot of the story. I recommend this to people interested in the Clean Romance set in the Victorian era.
My Rating Scale
⭐️⭐️: Okay, but not my cup of tea
⭐️⭐️⭐️: I liked it, but some were so-so
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: I loved it, but I will not reread
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: Favorite and will reread
Rosanna Hawkins is a,n artist who paints replicas and sells them through an art dealer. Things start to get complicated, when Rosanna believes she is becoming a pawn in a game she doesn't want to play.
This is the second book I have read from this author. I really had a hard time connecting with Rosanna as a character. I did feel the storyline took a long to really develop and once you get to the heart of the story you are almost done with the book. I decided to stick with it but found myself losing interest in the story. When I don’t connect with the characters, I find a hard time engaging with the story. Plus. Martin as a character was pretty cool.
Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. All thoughts are my own opinions.
A touch slow but overall an excellent story with fun, flirtations and a bit of love. I really enjoyed reading this book especially about the art and the depth of knowledge regarding art and the process of creating it.
The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson is cute story of finding love where you least expect it. It is mostly lighthearted with a touch of mystery that brings just the right balance. Rosanna is talented artist who just wants to paint and create. And she does; just not in the way she ever hoped or expected. Then she meets Martin and begins to realize what she’s been missing. No longer content with the status quo, she begins to ask questions. Martin is convinced Rosanna is perfect. Until he finds out she is not. He is not sure how to reconcile what he thought with reality. But he does know he cares about her and sometimes, you must stand up for love. I really do love the playful banter and the friendship that develops between Rosanna and Martin. Both learn that things are not always what they seem and that sometimes, the risk is totally worth it.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.
Okay, this book was so fun! I felt like the writing was unique and the characters were lovely. And of course the mystery!
Rosanna is an artist and she re-creates famous paintings. She is witty, charming, and brave. I loved that she was willing to do all she could to put things to right.
Martin is charming. I want to find someone who just adores me as much as Martin adores Rosanna. I loved his character and his desire to do what was right.
Martin and Rosanna are so cute together! I loved their tours through the gallery and all their kisses! And of course the teasing. So good.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the historical details were also just so good!
I received and ARC from NetGalley and all opinions are my own.
We need more Victorian era romances! This was delightful. Here's what I loved...
-A strong/witty female protagonist
-A smitten male protagonist
-A truly dastardly villain
-A peak into the Victorian era art world
If you like clean historical romance, I think you'll like this one. 3.5 stars
I received an ARC from Net Galley and Shadow Mountain Publishing in exchange of an honest review.
Rosanna and Martin really pulled me into this story. I love the context of an independent female artist during the reign of Queen Victoria, so appropriate. The banter and often misunderstandings between Martin and Roseanna were engaging. I loved watching their relationship grow. Marin is the perfect hero in every way. Watching Rosanna one-up him time and time again was fun though. They are delightful and I hope to get to know her sisters better in future books!
The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson
Set in Manchester the summer of 1857, Rosanna Hawkins is an artist making perfect reproductions of famous artist works as seen in the Art Treasures Expedition. When Inspector Martin Harrison literally runs into her, sparks fly as they walk through the galleries. When the main art piece is stolen, will Martin and Rosanna be able to find it before it's too late?
I loved the witty banter between Rosanna and Martin and the build up to their relationship. I really liked the characters and the growth that occured through the story. Definitely recommend this cute story!
The art of Love and Lies is a cute story set in the Victorian era. This is my first time reading this author, but the description of the book sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a try.. Overall I enjoyed the book and it was an okay one time read. It was a fun story with a good plot. I just had a hard time really getting into the book. It is pretty slow moving. I also had a hard time relating to the main characters, or even liking them.
I did enjoy the book and am glad I gave it a try. It is just not one I wil be adding to my favorites or buying for my library.
A gentle, easy-read romance between the head of security at an art exhibition and a young woman who reproduces masterpieces for the parlors of the idle rich. Going in, I expected the art theft to be the main plot rather than just the final arc, so the sudden shift from leisurely romance and character study in the first half to thrilling heroics in the second was a bit jarring. The leads were a likable pair but sometimes made choices that seemed more plot than character-driven, particularly in the latter part of the book. However, the descriptions of painting and Rosanna's relationship with her art was lovely, and I was sad it didn't receive more attention before jumping over her self-acceptance to the final chapter. I'm sure many will enjoy this book, as it's not unpleasant, but if you are looking for nuance, it's in too much of hurry to comply.
My thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
"The Art of Love and Lies" by Rebecca Anderson is a captivating novel that takes readers on a delightful journey through the intricate world of love, lies, and art. Set in a charming backdrop of a picturesque art gallery, the book weaves a compelling tale of romance, deception, and the power of the human heart.
Mystery, art and romance enthusiasts alike will find something to cherish in Anderson's latest novel!
I enjoyed this quick and fairly light read from Rebecca Anderson. It was a unique storyline with interesting characters. There was a fun meet cute and a friendship that quickly blossomed into more. Martin and Rosanna had a great connection and admiration for each other. Of course, the villain in this story was absolutely despicable and I couldn’t wait for him to receive his comeuppance. There was some mystery and danger to drive the plot along, but my favorite part was the sweet, endearing romance between the two main characters. I loved seeing women during this time period excelling in things they loved while making a wage.
Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced copy, all opinions are my own.
#rebeccaanderson #theartofloveandlies #historicalfiction #historicalromance #cleanromance #netgalley #arcreview
I loved this book so much! Becca is one of my favorite authors and this was such a fun and unique story. At first it took time for me to get into but I kept going and once you get through the fifty pages the story flies and it was so fun and enjoyable.
I went into this with zero expectation. I haven’t read anything by Rebecca Anderson but found this story delightful! The idea of a woman who reproduces art was super refreshing! Add in a handsome inspector who guards the exhibit Rosanna frequently attends to mimic its pieces, and you were obviously going to get a fantastic story! The action and mystery was enticing and I was thoroughly delighted by the end of it.
The chemistry was there and it was fun to have Rosanna’s sister who columns that gave off the vibe of Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton.
Things totally played out how I had hoped they would and it was satisfying to the end.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
(3.5 Stars) First the cover is striking. With my love of art I was instantly drawn to the book. Rosanna Hawkins is upper middle class woman who makes a living selling reproductions of classical art. Art dealer named Anton is the middleman takes her art or commissions it for sales. She seemingly has been romanced by him but it isn’t going anywhere. She’d like to create her own works but her money is made with her reproductions. When a large art exhibition opens in Manchester (an event that really happened) it gives her a chance to see more works by the masters.
Detective Martin Harrison is head of security for the exhibition. He meets Rosanna when she is sketching. There is instant friendliness and chemistry between the two. But when Rosanna recognizes her own work as being substituted for originals she needs to convince a disbelieving Martin that she is innocent.
This isn’t a mystery as the villain is obvious. It is more the adventure of proving innocence to a new beau, figuring a way to get the originals back and catch the thieves. The story is quick and it is a fun adventure. I would have like to seen the romance develop a little more on the page. I think I am use to my historical novels being set more with the ton so I had to adjust the rules in my head to accept that she could be young, single and living and working on her own. The story is clean, some kissing, and a little peril.
Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for the ARC and I leaving an honest review.
I really enjoyed Rebecca Andersons last Proper Romance so I was looking forward to reading this one but sadly I did not enjoy this story at all. With the plot being about forgeries and stolen artwork I thought there would be some mystery to the plot but there was none, we all knew exactly who had stolen the paintings. I'm not into art much so I found I didn't understand the art discussions and most of the banter went over my head. I didn't like Rosanna, she was pretentious, insincere (being true to neither Anton or Martin) and really not that clever outside the realm of art. I liked Martin but his policing was terrible, it was mere chance that he caught the criminal. The romance was the most disappointing of all, There was no growth to it, they were instantly in love yet knew absolutely nothing about each other, they chose to trust each other despite having no character knowledge to base it on. There entire love was based of banter, it was just silly