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    4.5 Star Fun

    Priceless by Catherine Stein truly is a priceless piece of literature. I was not prepared for the characters and the unique surprises written into this book. You get a dashing "villain" of a man in the form of Even Tagget, and a vivacious "heroine" in the form of Violet Dayton. Violet simply wants to accomplish her dream of opening an art exhibit with her name on it and to be able to live comfortably as a painter. Too bad a corrupt cop is willing to do whatever is necessary to capture an art thief plaguing the region, and if it means making Violet the scape-goat...that's EXACTLY what he'll do. The clock is ticking and she's going to need all the help she can get if she's to solve this daring mystery thief and stay out of the clink. Too bad it seems that Tagget intends to steal her heart if he can. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I have to say that it is truly a delightful story. I love that I get a bit of Tagget's story from the beginning and then things fast forward several years to where his life has dynamically changed. He's a a multi-millionaire now and apparently the perfect "target" for Violet to approach to "help" finance her search. Tagget is a lover not a fighter, but I like that he's not a huge playboy. You know the type, flitting from one to another without a care in the world. The author makes a point of saying that his lovers know what they are getting themselves into and that the "relationship" won't last long. The push and pull between Violet and Evan is really tantalizing and I enjoy reading it. They compliment each other and I like that Evan knows how to properly handle certain situations. He knows when a more...conservative approach is best while Violet has a more "devil may care" attitude. The only thing that I don't like about Violet is how she wants to play things. She barges into his life and hotel and basically sets up "house/shop", let's him pay for literally everything but wants to act like she's not a "free-loader" basically. It annoys me a bit. I feel that at times she's taking advantage of him simply because he has money and she really doesn't. I will admit that I thought that with Evan's connections that he'd have been able to handle things a bit better (?) or at least had some means of cowing the corrupt cop. My favorite part of this entire book is probably the mystery angle/aspect. I love how they are working together to discover who this mystery thief is and working out to catch him. I also was truly and utterly surprised by the steampunk aspect of this book! It caught me off guard and I love how the author incorporated it so well into this book. It was another element that kept me engaged and page-turning, because this book truly is a page-turner. On one hand this book CAN be read as a stand-alone novel, but I think that the experience will be further enhanced by having read the previous book in this series as the author does tie in Evan's past with another woman, Eden, into this book in places as well which piques my curiosity about who she is. I am rating this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really did enjoy this book and I am looking forward to reading more books by this author in the future. This story is well-done and truly enjoyable. I loved the romance and the slow build of it, even if I did find Violet a bit irritating in certain moments with her behavior. If you love a good romance, enjoy this author or just like the surprise of steampunk then this is a good book to pick up. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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