4 out of 4 stars
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The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci by Belle Ami is one of the best books I have read in a long time. From start to finish, I could not put it down. It is a paranormal romance thriller about Angela Renatus, an art historian interning at a famous art museum, and Alex Caine, an art detective and army veteran who has been hired to find a missing painting and investigate Angela’s sinister boss. Sparks fly from the moment they meet. But the romance doesn’t overshadow the action-packed thriller. Instead, the reader is taken for a ride that is easily believed and one in which it is impossible not to be cheering for the heroes to save the day.
The missing painting is secretly a Leonardo Da Vinci original. Its history is intertwined with Angela and Alex’s histories -- something they had no idea about until they first met in the beginning of the story. From the start of her internship at the art museum, Angela had been having strange dreams and visions dating back to 1475 and involving Leonardo Da Vinci. Later in the story, she had additional dreams and visions about two people named Sophia and Gehrard, who were also linked to the missing painting. As I type this, and then think about those sentences from an outside perspective, I can see how this might be construed as a bit hokey. But the author does such a fine job of weaving together these visions with Alex and Angela’s adventures searching for the painting, that I simply must rave about the writing. The story is SO well told!
As the tension in unraveling the mystery of the past mounts, so does the romance between Angela and Alex. I’ll admit that if the story was ONLY about this romance, it would have been far less appealing to me. But mixed with the other action and paranormal elements, their romance felt natural and compelling.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper thriller without a well-developed villain to keep us on our toes. Angela’s boss, Alberto Scordato, is just the bad guy needed to keep the action moving forward. He is the perfect mix of despicable and clever, making his ever-looming threat over Angela and Alex all the more believable. Even though the reader might ultimately believe the good guys will find the painting, Scordato will definitely keep even the most careful readers second guessing themselves until the end!
I literally enjoyed every single thing about this story. I loved that all of the plot details felt complete and addressed. I loved how clear it was that a lot of research went into the writing. Additionally, I loved that the book was obviously well edited. If I could give 5 out of 4 stars, I would. But as I must work within the existing scale, I give this book a resounding 4 out of 4 stars, and very highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy romance thrillers with paranormal twists.
The Girl Who Knew da Vinci
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