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Stolen Obsession (Annalisse series, #1) by Marlene M. Bell

PEOPLE DIE, BUT LEGENDS LIVE ON.

Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored— despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.

But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself? 

Hold on for a heart-thumping adventure through exotic lands in this fast moving, romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M Bell.

 

From an art gallery opening to the island of Crete, the search for the answer to an ancient curse is on.  

Stolen Obsession is the first book in Marlene M. Bell’s Annalisse series featuring antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury. Although still grieving over the horrific murder of her best friend, which is related to a cursed bracelet, Annalisse steps forward when gallery owner, Generosa Zavos, reveals she owns the necklace from the same set of ancient jewelry.

Annalisse is in a fragile state at the gallery opening, and the author's descriptions of her thoughts and reactions upon seeing the necklace made me feel how untethered she was after being the one that found her friend’s body. Its presence terrified her, and the feeling was palpable. But she still has the gumption to perform CPR on her boss, who collapses in the middle of the opening. Of course, I liked the more focused and capable woman of action. Her old friend and coworker, Chase, is a real “ride or die” pal, and Alec is a sexy and romantic love interest. 

The story has a global setting but starts off on a rainy New York City evening. I really thought the author made the city feel real, with the chill in the air, running to get undercover from the rain, and that small cozy restaurant. Once Annalisse and Alec are on Crete, I could almost feel the sun and smell the lavender. The author had me envisioning the surroundings so effortlessly.  

With the mysteries of the ancient pieces of cursed jewelry and related deaths to puzzle out and an engaging couple you’ll want to root for, I recommend STOLEN OBSESSION to readers who enjoy romantic mysteries and tales of suspense, armchair traveling to iconic locations, and stories of dangerous cursed jewelry.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Lone Star Book Blog Tours.

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