Book #58 was Just Before Sunrise by Carla Neggers. The back of the book reads:
Carla Neggers’ sizzling novels are loved for their deliciously funny dialogue, electrifying suspense, and heart-stopping romance. Here, the New York Times bestselling author presents a fast-paced, scintillating tale of love, art, and danger….
JUST BEFORE SUNRISE
Annie Payne realizes her dream when she moves to San Francisco and opens an art gallery. But when she accepts a secret commission to bid for a painting going on the auction block, she finds herself thrown into a haunting swirl of events linked to a five-year-old unsolved murder. Who is this secret client?
Marina owner Garvin MacCrae was determined to have the portrait of his late wife, and knows of only one person who would want it enough to outbid him. Could the intriguing art dealer who represented the auction winner hold the key to the mystery of his wife’s death? Working together to untangle a murderer’s clues, Garvin and Annie strike so many sparks off each other that they could start another San Francisco fire — a four-alarmer fueled by an explosive mix of suspicion, attraction, and love.
This was no Nora Roberts or Sandra Brown romantic suspense, but it wasn’t all bad. I liked Annie Payne, and could connect with her tough New England pragmatism (being from Maine myself). I also appreciated the contrast between her old life and her new. Garvin wasn’t a bad leading male, though for the entire book I wanted his name to be Gavin. Unfortunately, the fire between them just wasn’t there. Their initial attractions to each other were well written, but there was no growth and no heat to their later meetings. The mystery wasn’t all that complex — I figured out the bad guy rather easily. There’s actually a pretty limited cast of characters to choose from. So, not my favorite, but good enough that I’ll read another by the author.
Page count: 320 | Word count: 83,694