Tightrope by Amanda Quick

Tightrope by Amanda Quick

Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

An unconventional woman and a man shrouded in mystery walk a tightrope of desire as they race against a killer to find a top secret invention in this New York Times bestselling novel from Amanda Quick.

Former trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn moved to Burning Cove to reinvent herself, but things are not going well. After spending her entire inheritance on a mansion with the intention of turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, she learns too late that the villa is said to be cursed. When the first guest, Dr. Norman Pickwell, is murdered by his robot invention during a sold-out demonstration, rumors circulate that the curse is real.

In the chaotic aftermath of the spectacle, Amalie watches as a stranger from the audience disappears behind the curtain. When Matthias Jones reappears, he is slipping a gun into a concealed holster. It looks like the gossip that is swirling around him is true—Matthias evidently does have connections to the criminal underworld.
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Matthias is on the trail of a groundbreaking prototype cipher machine. He suspects that Pickwell stole the device and planned to sell it. But now Pickwell is dead and the machine has vanished. When Matthias’s investigation leads him to Amalie’s front door, the attraction between them is intense, but she knows it is also dangerous. Amalie and Matthias must decide if they can trust each other and the passion that binds them, because time is running out.

This was a refreshing read. It’s classic Amanda Quick – a strong heroine, Gothic-like hero, a mystery to solve and hints of otherness to make a reader wonder if it’s coincidence or supernatural senses. This novel may feel comforting for fans of the author, because if a reader is looking forward to the elements that make reading an Amanda Quick suspense mystery fun and entertaining, they’re all there to enjoy.

This is the first historical novel I’ve read by the author that takes place in a time period other than Regency. It’s more like the early thirties because the Crash is mentioned; I guess that qualifies as early 20th Century. The Jones family is going strong and getting into just as much trouble as their ancestors used to. Again, the novel has that feeling of continuity because the Jones’s family talents still make it hard to find that perfect woman who can complete them, who won’t run away screaming or having a hissy fit because they don’t fit into a clear societal mold. The heroine, Amalie, is wonderfully perfect for the hero, Matthias, because she’s a bit different too. Not so much in the ‘other’ factor, but because of her career. I don’t believe I have ever read a story where the love interest is a trapeze artist. I was fascinated.

I was delightfully puzzled as to who the bad guy could be. There were layers of motive and possibilities to choose from and it’s safe to share that all my guesses were wrong. How fun!

I would have rated my review higher if there were any surprising, jaw-dropping, Oh-my-gosh Wow moments, but alas, I didn’t find any stunners. I’m still a happy reader because the book provided just what I needed; what I was looking forward to and hoped the author delivered. She did. I needed pure escapism and Ms. Quick took me on a grand adventure.

This novel is enjoyable, entertaining, and has the requisite happy ending with a delightful mystery solved in efficient fashion. I enjoyed the romance between Amalie and Matthias and its culmination. Tightrope is well worth reading.

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