The Art of Love and Lies (Proper Romance)

Written by Rebecca Anderson
Review by Bonnie DeMoss

In 1857, Rosanna Hawkins is an artist in Manchester, England. She makes a living by painting reproductions of famous artwork, which her rude and arrogant employer, who is also a love interest, sells to the wealthy. Then she meets Inspector Martin Harrison at the Art Treasures Exhibition. She is bowled over by his attention, his respect, and eventually his kisses, and they grow closer, talking about art and life. She is taken aback when Martin says that copying famous art can be criminal, and is soon swept up in a scandal. Will Martin help her prove her innocence?

This is a compelling romance which vividly portrays the love of art. When we meet Rosanna, she is a talented but somewhat naïve young woman who does not seem to notice that a domineering and hateful man is controlling her. Her relationship with Martin seems to break the spell, as Rosanna learns confidence and takes steps to start her own career. The glimpses of the very real Art Treasures Exhibition are fascinating, and famous visitors such as Queen Victoria become part of the story. The characters are well crafted, and the romance quickly draws the reader in. Highly recommended.