4 out of 4 stars
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The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci by Belle Ami is the first book in a series that mixes many different genres into one very compelling story. There is an aspect of romance, historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy all blended into one story that would appeal to almost anyone. The story begins with a painting that is hundreds of years old of two lovers who are secretly married and continues when a German soldier and a worker at a museum discover that this piece of art has been incorrectly attributed to a student of Leonardo Da Vinci. These two steal the painting to protect it from a war that is destroying much of Europe and secretly hide it from the rest of the world.
In the present day, Alex Caine is a private detective whose main job is to find and return lost art to its rightful owners and he has been hired to find this lost painting by the German soldier’s nephew. Angela Renatus is an intern at a museum who focuses on works from the renaissance era. Alex and Angela are thrown together in a race to find the lost painting by the master painter himself, Leonardo Da Vinci. The two are up against Angela's lecherous old boss and his mafia connections while trying to find this invaluable painting as they travel across Europe. While on the hunt for this painting the two discover things about themselves and their pasts that they could never have imagined.
This well-written book kept me intrigued and interested from the very first page all the way through to the very last word. I truly enjoyed the intermingling of different historical times and the different interactions between the three main couples. The characters and the premise of the storyline were very believable and the two main characters were incredibly charming and likable. If I had one criticism, I would say that the story took place over too short of a time period in the present time. If it had been extended the intense connection between the two main characters could have been more believable and their love could have felt deeper for the reader.
I very happily give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. There are very few editing errors, the most grievous being a few forgotten ending quotation marks during dialogue. These small editing errors did not distract from the story and did not affect my ability to read the book smoothly. I read this book in less than a week because of how compelling the storyline and characters were and found it to be an easy read without too much unnecessary information.
I would recommend anyone who is looking for a casual read that is also intellectual and compelling to give this book a try. Some of the scenes are too explicit for younger readers but most adult readers would find something in this story that they find interesting. Any fans of fantasy, historical fiction, mystery or romance would find elements from these genres in this story and I personally cannot wait to read the next installment.
The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci
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