I’m pleased to welcome fellow Decadent author Libby Waterford to talk about her book, Love Unlocked. Here’s a brief disclaimer: I’ve read this book. Yes, I bought it and I read it. I couldn’t help it! I find the concept of art theft fascinating. It’s lucrative and it’s dangerous and yes, even sexy. And I don’t mean that in a Pink Panther way! Ms. Waterford brings a bit of all that into the book plus the other side, from an artist’s point of view. Here’s her thoughts:
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Like romance novels, I like my art thefts to come with happy endings. Though only about 5-10% of stolen artworks are ever recovered, the ones that are make great headlines, such as the recent story of a Gauguin and a Bonnard that were found intact after 44 years. In recent years, several high profile art thefts have ended with the discovery of the artworks, if not the thieves.
Perhaps the most famous art theft in America was the 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston. 13 pieces worth $300 million were stolen and have never been recovered. Many books, both nonfiction and fiction, have been written trying to get to the bottom of happened to the works, or imagine what their fate might have been. It’s a mystery that’s haunted the art world for decades and may never be solved.
The art heist at the center of my romantic suspense novel Love Unlocked is the catalyst that brings Eve Caplin, retired art thief, and Hudson Cleary, world famous painter, together. Though Eve is trying to get out of the game, her ex-partner and a dangerous rival are pulling her back in. Hudson is intrigued by the mysterious Eve, and he can’t let her face dangerous criminals alone. If you like action, suspense, art, and sexy banter, you might want check out Love Unlocked.
by Libby Waterford
All she wants is a fresh start…
Retired art thief Eve Caplin traveled all the way from Paris to California looking for a fresh start in a small town. When she locks herself out of her home, she gets much more than she bargained for in Hudson Cleary, part-time locksmith and world famous artist. She wants to resist Hudson’s seductive pull, but can’t refuse his help when a man from her past blackmails her into stealing a ten million dollar painting. Not only does Hudson have access to the painting, he may hold the key to her damaged heart.
All he wants is her…
Hudson hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in two years. When he unlocks Eve Caplin’s door, the mysterious beauty arouses much more than just his creative impulses. He needs Eve in his studio and wants her in his bed. When he discovers danger closing in, he must decide how far over the line he’s willing to go to protect her.
Will he lose his heart, his muse, and his freedom all in one unforgettable night?
What Readers are saying:
“The author shows us out-of-the-ordinary characters — he’s a blocked painter, she’s a retired art thief — in a beautiful setting on the Central California coast. The breezy plot made it hard to put down.” – Julia on Amazon.com
“The compelling hero and heroine have great chemistry and the thrilling plot keeps you guessing!” – Philippa on Amazon.com
About the Author:
Libby Waterford writes California-set steamy contemporary romances. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and works off her weekly pilgrimage to In-N-Out by swimming and climbing the city’s hidden staircases.
Enjoy the following excerpt for Love Unlocked:
“So what’s the plan?”
“What do you mean?”
“The plan, you know, how are you going to steal the painting?” He spoke more calmly than he felt.
“I hardly think you need to know about that.”
“John mentioned involving me. Let me help.” He needed her to let him help her. He couldn’t stand by and let her face the threat of prison, bodily harm, or death all alone. Somewhere between her locked front door and the Rembrandt, Eve had become his to protect, and he wouldn’t let her down.
She pushed back from the bar, hands on her hips. “John was out of his mind to suggest such a thing, and you have no business being anywhere near this situation.”
God, she could be stubborn. “Then why did you tell me about it?”
She goggled at him for a moment, then ignored his question. “John and I can handle it. We have to get access to a museum fundraiser where the painting is going to be displayed and take it from there. It’s simple really. You’re not needed.”
Hudson saw his window and he went for it. “A fundraiser? Not for the Santa Barbara Art Museum?”
She was slow to respond. “Yes, actually.”
His chest surged with relief that he could offer her something that might help her stay out of harm’s way. “I donated a print to their charity auction. It’s a joint fundraiser for the museum and for art education scholarships for low income high schoolers.”
“Of course it is,” she grumbled.
“Which means I have an invitation,” he said. “Want to be my plus one?”
She bit her lip and crossed her arms. She wouldn’t be able to turn down his perfect way in, and he’d be at her side, keeping the wolves at bay.
“It’s dangerous, you’d get us all caught.”
He smiled. He knew rationalizations when he heard them. She was going to cave any minute.
“You need my help,” he said, moving closer. “I don’t like the thought of you out there up to no good on your own.” They were so close they were practically breathing the same air.
“I won’t be alone,” she said halfheartedly. “I’ll have John.”
He wasn’t above playing dirty. He slid a hand around the back of her neck, stroking the soft hair that covered it like a waterfall. It took physical effort to keep from shuddering at the intense pleasure the sensation brought him. “I really don’t like the thought of you out with John at some swanky party. You’ll probably be dressed to the nines. High heels and everything,” he murmured.
“Jealous?” she breathed.
“Very.” And he kissed her.