Thursday, June 28

Evelyn Vaughn: Lost Calling

An earthquake in Paris uncovers priceless artefacts that a museum curator becomes obsessed with when she starts to get psychometric impressions from them. She follows the trail her visions open up and finds herself the target of somebody who thinks the finds should have remained lost and is willing to kill to ensure they do.
This is the first book of seven in Harlequin’s Madonna Key series and I really enjoyed it.
The characters are very well drawn. Vaughn manages to make the hero’s virginity completely believable, not an easy task, particularly in the short format Harlequin requires. She also gives us a heroine who is an unrepentant bitch and yet still a sympathetic character. The story line had plenty of action, something this author writes very well and enough romance to spice up the plot without it taking over.
The story unfolds organically and while there were a few moments where I had to suspend my disbelief they were few and far between. It would have been easy given the length of the book to use clich├ęs and stereotypes as shortcuts. Vaughn, for the most part, avoids doing so and the story is all the better for it.
A working knowledge of the author’s previous works enriches the story but is by no means necessary.
My only gripe with Lost Calling was the unnecessary introduction of a mythological figure into a very minor role in the story. So insignificant is the part they play that I feel that it would have given the story greater credibility if they had been left out. I will be disappointed if this is a set up for a later novel because I don’t think this series should need a prop like this to carry it.
As the first book in a series there are a few issues that are not resolved by the end of the story but even so enough of the plot points are tied up that this book could stand-alone. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. I hope it lives up to its beginning.-Lynn

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