Saturday, January 21, 2012
Grand Central Publishing
Chicago, Illinois - Present Day
Watching the light go out of her father's eyes when he sees Connor Clayworth O'Flynn at the restaurant where they are eating fires up Venus Smith's determination to clear her father's name. Months ago, Alistair Smith was let go from his job as treasurer at John Clayworth and Company after decades of loyal service, but now neither he nor the Clayworth family will give any details about why. The fact that Alistair and Connor had grown close only makes this more of a betrayal as far as Venus is concerned, and she makes the radical decision to cozy up to Connor to get the information. Radical, because for as long as she can remember, she and Connor have mixed like oil and water.
Her first step is to help Bridget O'Flynn, Connor's aunt, clean out her closet of vintage clothes and jewelry. While there, Venus discovers a rhinestone mermaid brooch, a copy of an original piece of jewelry that had been the main object stolen during a heist at Clayworth's department store thirty years earlier. Rather than take it on consignment for her store, Venus buys the piece for herself, dismissing Bridget's concerns that the jewelry is bad luck.
When an argument breaks out between Bridget and her fiancé Tony, Connor decides that it's up to him to mend the rift. The brooch that Venus is wearing was a gift from Tony to Bridget, and Connor is sure that Bridget will want it back. He goes to Venus's store to talk to her about it, only to find the place crawling with police investigating a break-in. He's always felt protective of Venus, and now is no exception, so Connor offers to help her out. Eventually Connor reveals his reasons for coming to see her, and they reluctantly come to an agreement: she'll help him with Tony and Bridget, if he'll look into the accusations against her father again.
The Smith sisters are back (see A BLACK TIE AFFAIR, January 2010) and once again battling the Clayworth men in ALL I WANT IS YOU. With her father's long-standing employment with John Clayworth and Company, Venus and her sisters are very familiar with the Clayworth family, but she and Connor have never really gotten along very well. That dislike turned to loathing when Connor was instrumental in her father's dismissal from the company. With both sides keeping quiet, she has no way of clearing his name, until she decides to get closer to Connor. As far as Connor is concerned, his feelings for Venus are complicated, and he's not one for showing feelings anyway. When they begin their investigations, they start to grow closer, but there are still plenty of obstacles in their way.
As if the recent troubles with her father aren't enough, Venus and Connor uncover a decades old mystery surrounding the mermaid brooch, and it becomes apparent that somebody is targeting Venus. Between the mysteries and the complicated relationship Venus and Connor share, the tale has plenty to offer and will keep readers turning the pages to the very end. ALL I WANT IS YOU is a book I highly recommend.
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